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Northern NJ Wine MeetUp Visits Spuntino Wine Bar

Northern NJ Wine MeetUp Visits Spuntino Wine Bar

Last night, the Northern NJ Wine MeetUp Group had a gathering at Spuntino Wine Bar in Clifton. This diverse group of wine fans meets about every six weeks at various places in northern New Jersey. I’ve belonged to the group for about three years and the events are always fun and insightful. I’ve written about Spuntino in the past, so I was pleased when I received a notification that the November event would be there.

Our group of about 30 members, including friend and fellow New Jersey food and blogger Peter Conway of Mano A Vino, met for drinks in the spacious bar area then met in a private room near the open kitchen. Spuntino’s Sommelier, Jane, graciously walked us through the extensive menu and wine list. The restaurant offers forty two Italian wines by the glass, over one hundred Italian wines and a reserve wine list with several gems I’d like to sample.

When I say the menu is extensive, I mean it! Spuntino features a tapas menu, small plates meant to be shared. My party sampled a plate of Salumi and Formaggi, cured Italian meats and cheeses served with perfectly grilled crostini that was perfect paired with our first bottle of wine.

Bruschetta come in nine variations (one for $3, three for $8 and five for $14) and our table tried the Prosciutto di Parma and fresh Mozzarella version. The Italian bread was grilled to a crunchy exterior while the interior was still moist. We also sampled the Carciofo – flash-fried artichoke hearts served with a tangy lemon aioli.

Meatballs ($6) are king at Spuntino and last evening, we opted for the lamb variation. The three meatballs were served with a Parmesan wafer and were good, albeit a bit bland.

There are five pastas ($8) on the menu and on this visit, we devoured the pasta with wild boar ragu. The sauce was rich and flavorful and the pasta was topped with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

The pizzas are thin-crusted and hand-stretched and the meaty Salumi ($11) topped with Prosciutto, crumbled sausage, Capocollo and Cacciatorini made it to our table, once again.

If you’ve not experienced Spuntino, make a point to visit soon. It serves delicious, affordable food and the wine list would please any fan of the grape.

Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

94 Kingsland Road

Clifton, NJ, 07014

(973) 661-2435

HOURS

Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. -10 p.m.
Monday –Thursday: 11 a.m. – Midnight.

42 Wines by the Glass at Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas

42 Wines by the Glass at Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas

Arancini

With less than six months under its belt, Spuntino Wine Bar in Clifton has garnered positive accolades from locals and northern New Jersey wine lovers. The well-appointed space is divided in a lounge area with table and bar seating and a comfortable dining room with an open kitchen concept. There are even private rooms for small gatherings.

Spuntino offers a clever and affordable wine list, including 42 Italian wines by the glass, over 100 Italian wines and a reserve wine list of stellar, sought-after bottles.

The extensive menu features small plates ideal for sharing.  The larger-than-usual portions offer some old school favorites and creative, modern fare.

On my last visit, my guests and I sampled a plate of Salumi and Formaggi, cured Italian meats and cheeses, that was excellent.  Diners can opt for one selection for $4, three selections for $10 and ten for $18. Some of the choices are the Prosciutto di Parma – aged for 18 months, the Fontina – paired with honey and the Hot Sopressata – imported from Central Italy. All were served with perfectly grilled crostini.

Antipasti ($5) options range from an olives plate to pan-seared goat cheese wrapped in Mortadella to mussels steamed in white wine sauce.

Salumi Pizza

Bruschetta come in nine variations (one for $3, three for $8 and five for $14) and are mounded with toppings like Ricotta cheese and roasted grapes, goat cheese and caramelized onions and Gorgonzola cheese, apple and walnuts.

Must-try fried choices ($6) are the Arancini – fried risotto balls stuffed with peas and Mozzarella and the Carciofo – perfectly fried artichoke hearts served with a tangy lemon aioli.  The Arancini are super-crunchy on the outside with perfectly creamy risotto on the inside – a truly delectable treat.

Meatballs ($6) are a labor of love at Spuntino and come three to an order.  The classic version is served with either a rich tomato sauce or a spicy marinara sauce – try the latter, it is delicious. Diners can opt for pork, chicken, vegetable or lamb variations.

There are five pastas ($8) on the menu at Spuntino and our favorite was the Perciatelli Con Pesto – thick spaghetti with rich, herby pesto sauce.

The thin-crusted and hand-stretched pizzas are truly some of the best around these parts.  Whether in the mood for a simple basil and Mozzarella Margherita ($9) or a decadent and meaty Salumi ($11) pizza topped with Prosciutto, crumbled sausage, Capocollo and Cacciatorini, do not pass up ordering a pie.

Tapas-style food allows diners an opportunity to try many different dishes they might not otherwise order. Spuntino is a perfect place to share a romantic meal or for dining with a group.  Add it to your list of places to try for delicious and affordable food and wine in northern New Jersey.

Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

94 Kingsland Road

Clifton, NJ, 07014

(973) 661-2435
HOURS

Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. -10 p.m.
Monday –Thursday: 11 a.m. – Midnight.