The Garden State’s dining scene and chefs are ever more dynamic, adventurous and assured.
By Eric Levin | | July 26, 2019
The two immediate differences between Viaggio, Robbie Felice’s first restaurant (also on this list), and his new one, Osteria Crescendo, is that Crescendo has a liquor license and a “large format” section of the menu. With the license, beverage director Joshua Strauss has created a fascinating, all-Italian wine list and cocktails that range from the suave Suit & Tie to the playful Bei Sogni, a grown-up Creamsicle. Felice, 28, has made the large-format page a showcase for shareable entrées. These range from brilliant creations like crisp, prosciutto-wrapped scallops in a Sicilian quinoa sauce with prosciutto crumble ($38) to a $115 40-ounce T-bone, house dry aged 30 days. It feeds one, if Godzilla is your guest, or four just folks. One needn’t go large format to revel in Felice’s pastas, red wine arancini with gorgonzola sauce, and a ravishing rarity such as his red-prawn crudo topped with garlic crema and lemon gel, surrounded by a red pool of shrimp-head oil, shrimpier tasting than shrimp.