Hoboken, Hudson County, New Jersey 07030
Restaurant hours: Open Mondays-Saturdays
5:30-11:00 (Fri and Sat)
*Reservations are recommended as seating is limited.
*No credit cards are accepted.
Reviewed by Sarah Nelson
Just like that feeling of contentment
after dinner at Grandma’s house, you will always leave Augustino’s
happily well fed. Grandma isn't there at the stove, of course, but
Buddy Yandoli is, the talented chef and owner of the three-year-old
restaurant on Washington Street.
We walked in on a Friday night and
were greeted by the mellow tones of soft jazz, and a charming waitress
who pulled out my chair and said, Have a seat, sweetie. The waitresses
treat their customers like friends, which may be the reason they
seem to know half the people who walk through the door. Augustino’s
diminutive size shapes its character, as does the bartender, who
reminds me of a trimmer version of Coach from the sitcom Cheers.
Vintage photos of Hoboken hang from brick and wooden walls, and
the aroma of authentic Italian cooking wanders throughout the dimly
lit dining room. Augustino’s is not elegant, but is certainly nice
and delightfully homey.
A sampling of homemade bruschetta
and a basket of bread accompanied the menu. It took some will power
not to order my favorite dish from previous visits to the restaurant,
chicken parmigiana and pasta ($11.50). Likewise, my dinner companion
had to resist ordering the always great pork chops with roasted
peppers in a red wine sauce ($16.50). But, in the name of a thorough
review, we broadened our horizons and ended up with an expanded
list of favorites. Augustino’s has a variety both of unique and
classic pasta, seafood, chicken, veal, and pork entrées ranging
in price from $9.50 to $15.50, (except for the lobster tails, $21.95).
Filet mignon ($18.50) is the only beef dish to make the menu. Ten
specialty pizzas are also offered.
An opener of mussels in white sauce
was enjoyable and fairly priced ($7.50) considering the quantity.
Our waitress pitched the specials, easily selling my friend on the
lobster-and-shrimp pasta in white wine sauce ($14.50). I went for
the chicken marsala ($12.50), which came with a choice of either
pasta or a medley of spiced potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and
onions. Everything met our high hopes. In fact, my date begged the
waitress to divulge the ingredients of the seafood pasta sauce.
She confessed the basics, while stressing that every pasta dish
tastes slightly different because Buddy makes each individually.
You'll never hear a waitress at Augustino’s
forget the specials mid-sentence, or hear her say, I don't know--I
haven't tried that dish yet. Quite the opposite, they tell which
dishes are to die for. It's also not uncommon for Buddy the chef
to visit each of the tables to see how everyone is getting along.
Augustino’s is a special restaurant, and a must-try for anyone who
loves good, homemade Italian cuisine.