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Christmas Morning Brunch Recipes from Spuntino Wine Bar

Christmas Morning Brunch Recipes from Spuntino Wine Bar

Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas Executive Chef, Josh Bernstein, wants to help us to impress friends and family with unique and delicious Christmas morning brunch recipes he serves at both the Clifton, NJ and the Westbury, NY locations.

Egg White Fritatta

Egg White Fritatta

Egg White Frittata

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Clarified Butter
  • ½ cup Spanish Onion, diced
  • ½ lb Chicken Sausage, cooked and diced
  • ½ bunch Rainbow Swiss Chard, cleaned and chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 cups Egg whites
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat a 10 inch, nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat. 
  2. Add the clarified butter. 
  3. After about 30 seconds, add the onions, sausage, Swiss chard and tomatoes. 
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 
  5. Season to taste with the sea salt and ground black pepper. 
  6. Mix in the egg whites and stir with a rubber spatula. 
  7. Smooth the mixture out and place into a 400° oven for 5-7 minutes.  (The eggs should be fully set and slightly browned on top.) 
  8. Slide the frittata out of the pan onto a round plate.  Cut into 8 wedges.

 

Pane Francese

Pane Francese

Pane Francese alla Spuntino

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Pane Spuntino:

  • ¼ cup Clarified Butter
  • 1 each Crusty Baguette, cut into 1” bias slices
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Cups Maple Syrup
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting

Warm Berry Compote:

  • 1 lb Strawberries, de-stemmed
  • 1 ls Blueberries
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Mint, chiffonade

Method:

Warm Berry Compote:

  1. Cut the strawberries into quarters. 
  2. Combine the strawberries, blueberries, honey, vanilla and sea salt in a sauce pan. 
  3. Slowly bring to a boil over low heat to allow the berries to release their liquid.
  4. Let the mixture cook for 30 minutes to reduce the liquid by at least half. 
  5. Fold in the mint.  Set aside for service.

Pane Spuntino:

  1. In a bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. 
  2. Whisk for 1 minute to combine well. 
  3. Dip the baguette slices into the egg mixture.  Allow to sit for one minute to absorb the batter.
  4. Heat the clarified butter in a large non-stick sauté pan. 
  5. Add the battered bread to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. 
  6. Remove baguettes from the pan and dip into the bowl of maple syrup.  Coat on both sides and place into a baking dish. 
  7. Put the pane spuntino into a 450° oven for 4 -5 minutes.  The pane spuntino will puff slightly.
  8. Remove from the oven.  Serve on top of the warm berry compote.  Dust the top with the powdered sugar.

Spuntino’s philosophy, which emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients for their chef-driven made-from-scratch menu, is demonstrated in these dishes.

For more information, visit www.SpuntintoWineBar.com or at Facebook.

Cheers,

Veronique

The Fun Never Ends at Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

The Fun Never Ends at Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

Cured Meats & Cheese

Cured Meats & Cheese

As I’ve documented in the past, I’m a fan of the Spuntino concept. I like the idea of stopping in for a glass of wine and a few tapas after a long day at work or to meet a group of friends for an affordable evening of small plates sharing over a few bottles of vino.

Spuntino, the popular wine and tapas bar and restaurant in Clifton is now 2 ½ years old and judging by the convivial crowd we encountered on our last two weeknight visits, I’m guessing doing well. With nearly 50 wines by the glass and an extensive selection of tapas, shareable small plates, Spuntino offers something for everyone.

Chicken Live Pate

Chicken Live Pate

Something I especially enjoyed on my last visit, a Thursday night, was the flight of three Italian wines, available on that particular night of the week, for $12. The three pours of three ounces each offer diners not familiar with Italian wines a chance to sample three wines from various regions at an attractive value. On the night we were there, I sampled a 2009 La Chiara Gavi, a 2011 Boroli Langhe Anna Nebbiolo Blend and a 2007 Il Chiosso Ghemme. All three paired well with the various tapas we selected and I’ll review each of these wines in future posts.

Besides the tasty food and outstanding wine selection, Spuntino does a great job at doing special events and hosting food celebrations. This month through August 21, it held the Feast of Ferragosto, an Italian fête dating back centuries recognizing the end of the harvest season. The celebration features a five-course tasting menu at an incredible price of $35 – simply an unbelievable value. Another exclusive event Spuntino’s having soon is a Castello di Bossi wine dinner with special guest Pasquale Depinto. The award-winning Chianti wines will be paired with Spuntino’s delicious food on September 16 at 7PM and the cost of the limited-space dinner is $75.

Arancini

Arancini

On the evening we were invited, peaches were the celebrated food staple. At our waiter’s urging, we sampled the crostino of roasted peaches with Mascarpone and a drizzle of honey on grilled Italian bread. What a delicious combination! Another crostino we tried and absolutely loved was a special that evening – chicken liver pâté with fried sage leaves and pickled red onion, a delight of creamy, rich chicken liver with a bit of crunch and earthiness from the sage and acidity from the red onion.

A favorite of ours when dining at Spuntino, and a dish we don’t ever not order, is the Arancini – risotto balls. The creamy risotto interior with the deep golden, crunchy exterior are a winning formula only enhanced by the flavorful tomato sauce served on the side.

Spaghetti with Mullet Roe

Spaghetti with Mullet Roe

Something else we’re fond of is the meat and cheese plate. Spuntino offers an interesting lineup of Italian cheeses and cured meats that can be ordered in a combination of one item for $5 or 3 for $14. We opted for high-quality Pecorino cheese, Wild Boar Cacciatorini, a dried sausage with heirloom spices and Speck, a smoked Prosciutto from Alto Adige. The three items were served on a wooden board with Prosecco mustard and perfectly-grilled bread.  

A special of the evening that we couldn’t pass up when our waiter described it was the spaghetti tossed with white wine and olive oil then topped with shaved mullet roe – delicious in its simplicity and extra brownie points for perfectly al dente pasta.

We’re fans of Spuntino’s pizza and couldn’t leave without ordering one. This time, we opted for the Salsiccia with sausage, onions and peppers. While the personal-sized pie (enough for two) had the nicely charred and a bit-chewy crust we’ve come to love, the toppings just weren’t our favorites. The onion and pepper caused the surface of the pie to be slightly wet and not on par with the Fig and Prosciutto or the Funghi pizzas we’ve enjoyed in the past.

Pizza

Pizza

In keeping with the peach theme, we sampled the peach crostini for dessert. The buttery crumbly topping paired with the juicy, ripe yet slightly tart peaches worked well and we thoroughly enjoyed this dessert.

Another delicious visit to Spuntino under our belts, literally. If you’ve not experienced this welcoming restaurant with its friendly staff and open kitchen concept, stop in and join the rest of us who have a difficult time selecting wine and tapas from the extensive menus.

Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas – 94 Kingsland Road, Clifton, NJ, 07014. (973) 661-2435.

Cheers,

Veronique

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.