Fans of the old La Grotta Degli Amici were delighted when chef Joseph Catalano returned to Millburn after a few years' absence to open his own restaurant, Semolina, this summer.
At first glance, the storefront on Millburn's bustling main drag gives the impression of being simply a neighborhood place, with an open kitchen in the front and pizza available for delivery.But there's much more to Semolina than just the pomodoro pie ($8.95) or spaghetti and meatballs with tomato basil sauce ($14.95).
, who had been working in New York City restaurants most recently, puts some sophisticated dishes on the menu while his
cooking continues to evolve. (The restaurant is located at 343 Millburn Ave. 973-379-9101, ** 1/2)
"As you grow, you try new things, you find different techniques and you keep honing your craft to make everything better," he
An example is his
Italian pot roast ($21.95), with beef and root vegetables roasted in the wood-burning oven as the centerpiece, surrounded by a saffron potato foam.