Fresco Brings NYC Fare, Hollywood Buzz To Montclair

fresco montclairUpdate your dining cards, people. There’s another big change in Montclair’s restaurant landscape. Tosca on Montclair’s Church Street closed and Fresco, a New York City Italian Eatery, opened, softly on Sunday night, and has been busy since. Already seen at Fresco — Dina Manzo, formerly of Real Housewives of New Jersey, filming a segment for a new reality TV show at the restaurant on Tuesday night.

fresco 2We hear Federico Castelluccio (a.k.a Furio from the Sopranos) and Jamal Woolard, best known for playing the Notorious B.I.G. in Notorious have also dropped by.

Why all the celeb sightings? Actor/movie producer and hedge fund manager Franco Porporino, Jr. (named as a top five men to know in NYC), now owns Fresco, along with his brother Robert.

Fresco’s menu is still Italian, but it’s anything but typical. Think truffled quail eggs on Tuscan toast points or skirt steak with portobello ragu and rosemary.

A grand opening event will take place sometime next week, so don’t be surprised if you see a a lot more celebs on Church Street. Stay tuned.

Fresco, 15 Church St, Montclair, NJ, (973) 337-5100

Photos: Phebe Khalil

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  1. Nearly every entree on that menu appears to be “carmelized”. What does that mean, exactly? Prepared in the style of Carmel, California?

  2. A thorough answer to my rude snark, indeed, but if one was opening a new restaurant, wouldn’t one want to at the very least proofread the menu?

  3. I’m thinking “carmelized” after Carmela Soprano. After all, Furio Giunta played by Castelluccio was madly in love with Tony’s wife. Minkia!

  4. Ooof, I’m cringing at the spelling errors on that menu. If they’re that careless with their menu printing, I worry about the food.

  5. My unscientific survey of restaurant menus in Baristaville shows that 80% of them have a typo or two. Sometimes the mistakes are pretty funny. Proofreaders must be hard to find in these parts. I’ve often thought of offering my services in exchange for a free meal.

  6. I had an interesting talk with a graphic designer friend of mine. Apparently there is an institutional/ cultural prohibition on printers running spellcheck. They are too “lowly” to ever second guess “a designer.” They just get to laugh at the designers behind their backs and get paid for the reprint. But if you are a smart designer and show them some respect, the printers will sometimes save your bacon.

  7. Wow, herb, I actually photographed him on the set of a PSA in 1974. I haven’t thought about him since, like, a day afterwards. But I remember the name. And that he was a little kid.

    Thanks for the memories.

    Oh yeah. And now that I think about it: I also photographed Frederico. Not very many people know that prior to his breakout role in The Sopranos, he was a busy free-lance graphic artist in NYC. The shoot I did with him was at the Pleasantdale Château where he was painting a cow (sponsored by the Knowles family) for the West Orange Cow Parade which was some years back. On the cow he recreated two of Caravagio’s paintings. “Bachus” and something else I’ve forgotten. His drafting skills as a painter were remarkable. And, he was a really nice fellow. And what didn’t come across to me watching The Sopranos…but was revealed when I met him in person? He’s really tall. A frightening assassin Furio would have been. If he’d been real.

    Not that any of the above actually matters.

  8. Another question, why is “extra virgin olive oil” abbreviated EVO or EVOO in all caps? It’s unnecessary and annoying to SCREAM THE INGREDIENT.

  9. hooger…you can thank Rachel Ray for popularizing the term: “EVOO”. It’s part of the Cute-As-A-Button thing she works hard at.

  10. Good lord. That menu is terrible. They even misspelled Italian words.

    Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. I live a block away, and I’m not going there anytime soon. Let me know if they’re still there in 6 months. I’ll try it then.

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