Great Restaurants

Duffenetti’s – Wildwood, NJ. STOP BY!

What’s better than spending some time during the Summer at the Jersey shore? The answer is finding a restaurant at the Jersey shore that’s so good you need to write home about it! That’s what Duffinetti’s is! This restaurant has a rich history and an even richer following! I don’t blame the following that this restaurant gets but that’s only just the start of it!

Duffenetti’s has been making Italian goodies starting in the 1960’s. 1965 to be exact. In the many decades, the restaurant has been an Asselta family staple. In the 70’s and at the moment, the gracious owner is Trish Asselta,  Duffy and Mary Asselta’s daughter. Even after closing for ten years for personal reasons, Trish knew that something was missing and in 2015, Duffenetti’s picked up a new location and has been back in business! Trish is so amazingly gracious, walking into the restaurant truly feels like walking into Nonna’s kitchen; but, that isn’t just Trish’s doing these days. Chef Stephen Quici came to Duffenetti’s in 2018 and if Duffenetti’s didn’t already have a following, Chef Stephen Quici added to it, for sure!

Chef Stephen Quici is out of this world. Culinary-trained, his food is amazing and the amount of love and hard work that he puts into his dishes back in the kitchen is beyond obvious! Quici has only elevated an already solid restaurant. He’s brought some amazing recipes and his dishes really shine.

My family and close friends have visited the restaurant many times already and no one’s stopping anytime soon. I had the pleasure of visiting Duffenetti’s last week and it won’t be my last. Trish does a wonderful time hiring entertainment. During my recent visit, there was a live singer who was singing amazing hits from Sinatra to Neil Diamond. It added to the wonderful atmosphere and delicious food I was about to experience! The ambiance of the room is great and you feel like you’re in an Italian restaurant but definitely still taking part of being at the Jersey Shore! Let me take you on this culinary experience I was able to partake in!

We started with long hots (don’t take the “hots” lightly, they’re insanely hot!). We also had some fresh bruschetta. I could have licked that plate clean! It was served on toasted seasoned semolina bread and also featured some fresh shaved cheese on top. We ordered a round of calamari because I don’t recommend ever going for Italian and skipping out on calamari.

Our waitress also brought us warm bread served with an olive oil filled with fresh herbs and cheese. The bread was so good our table devoured two baskets! To go with our dinner choices, a special house salad was brought out. This dressing is a Balsamic Vinaigrette but it’s a house recipe and so unique! It’s sweeter than what I expected but in a great way! You can take home a bottle while you’re at the restaurant or even order online and I highly suggest it!

As for our dinners, everyone was so happy with our dinners! I ordered chicken marsala and had it served over a bed of angel hair, a favorite Italian dish of mine over my absolute favorite pasta. It was so good that I ate the ENTIRE thing! I ALWAYS bring home leftovers. I try to have some self-control and always look forward to a second helping but, I.JUST.COULDN’T.STOP. I finished it and even wanted more!
marsala

My fiance’ had a chef’s special of Eggplant Parm with “the best gravy ever”. He enjoyed it a lot! Gravy is definitely a very subjective topic in Italian families and he had no complaints!

We had a chef’s special bronzino sauteed with escarole, beans, and bruschetta. Another plate-licking dish!
bronzino

Also at the table was the crab cakes with a side of roasted veggies. The crab cakes are topped with a lobster bisque and had rave reviews!
crab cakes

Last but certainly not least, my father had the seafood pescatore (he’s had it every time he’s gone). It’s served with fresh shrimp, sea scallops, mussels, clams, and topped with a HUGE dungeness crab cluster. It’s sauteed in fresh Italian herbs, garlic, and white wine. It’s not only delicious but a beautiful dish!
pescatore

Also, I did not have them but I’ve been told by MANY people how amazing Chef Quici’s gnocchis are! They are said to be literally melt in your mouth pillows. Literally, my only regret of the night is not ordering these!

We were so full that there was no room for dessert but I truly believe the food was so amazingly decadent that it wasn’t even missed!

If you’re in Wildwood, or even if you’re not and don’t mind the drive, I’d highly recommend shooting down to Duffenetti’s! It’s not something that you’ll regret. AND Duffenetti’s is NOW OPEN YEAR ROUND! That’s right, you can enjoy Duffenetti’s even during Jersey’s off-season. There’s no excuse not to give it a shot! I promise, it won’t be your last and make sure to tell them I sent ya!

Duffenetti’s can be found at:
Duffinetti’s Restaurant & Lounge
4600 Pacific Ave
Wildwood, NJ 08260
Restaurant: 609-522-0002
https://duffinettis.com/

Great Reads

Inferno

36263210
Publish Date 
: 5/14/13
Author:  Dan Brown
Started: 8/6/18
Finished: 8/9/18
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary from Goodreads:

Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno.

Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this sumptuously entertaining thriller.

My Review:

I first read Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons about 10 years ago. I’ll be honest I don’t have the best memory and rarely remember movies or books very long. Family members sometimes call me Dory because I have an awful memory. I should probably reread it as it was my favorite book ever at the time. Although not being able to remember much detail I do remember many things that I learned from the novel. Inferno is no different. Brown as before has done some astonishing research to be able to not only use landmarks and historical aspects as settings and interesting tidbits of information but has a magical way of making remarkable connections between historical artifacts. As I was reading I was so disappointed because I was on a cruise and had no internet access. There was so much I wanted to research that he brought up. As an English major, I am very familiar with Dante’s Divine Comedy but even so the artwork that the epic inspired centuries afterwards is astonishing. I have to say, if I had had internet access, it probably would have taken me even longer to finish the book to research. Without internet access, I was  however able to focus on the book itself and because of that,  I continue to be in awe of Brown’s writing. It takes a truly special person to be able to harbor all this knowledge into making such great connections in a thriller. His books hold so much detail that I am flabbergasted on how his mind can make the details connect and be so relevant to one another. If you haven’t read a Brown book, specifically one following Robert Langdon, do so. You won’t only have an entertaining read but will learn a hell of a lot. I call these interesting facts Jeopardy knowledge lol.

Although the book can be hard to follow because of all the information and connections, Brown does a good job of making it easy to recognize details’ significance. This isn’t a book that relies heavily on character development, but if you want to understand Langdon and his personality and career that makes him so knowledgeable, you may want to read some of Brown’s previous works such as The DaVinci Code, or Angels and Demons before reading into this or The Lost Symbol BUT you don’t have to read them to understand the book or follow it. The book does stand alone without the others.

This was great just as the others. It had twists and turns that I did not see coming the entire time and it really had me thinking. The characters were all very developed and even when we figure out what’s going on, there are still more character developments that are surprising. I reccommend the book for sure. It’s an insightful read with both mystery and history!