Intertwining sophisticated Italian fare with impeccable service, Fascino has made quite an impression on critics and guests since opening in the summer of 2003, to become the newest - and brightest - addition to the New Jersey dining scene.
The New York Times honored Fascino with an "Excellent" rating and raved that Fascino offers both "warmth and serious food". In its "Best Restaurants in the State" year-end summary (1/4/04), they cited Fascino as the only newly opened New Jersey restaurant to have received one of just two such ratings that year.
Chef/Partner Ryan DePersio's classical training - and his experiences in Europe and New York’s top kitchens - is evident in his skillful and uncompromisingly prepared cuisine. Still under 30, Ryan has been described as a "rare talent" by The Record in its three-star review and in its three-and-a-half star review, The Star-Ledger cheered, "The food practically glows. It is a wonderful combination of simplicity and ingenuity that will leave you satisfied."
Fascino's seasonal menus underscore Ryan's ability to expertly pair ingredients achieving flavors and textures that elevate each dish. The menu has featured such delicious dishes as: Ricotta Gnocchi, Sweet Sausage Bolognese and Pecorino Romano; Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Toasted Brioche and Sour Cherry Marmellata; Australis Barramundi, Spaetzle, Zucchini-Squash Ragout in a Paprika Sauce; Pomegranate Glazed Kurubuta Pork Chop, Broccoli Rabe with a Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Puree. Tantalizing end-of-meal treats include Pizzelle Cheesecake Sandwich with Toffee and Seville Orange Sauce; Apple Crostata with Cinnamon Gelato and Apple Cider Reduction; Molten Center Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Gelato and Praline; and Graham Truffle Tart with Marshmallow Whip.
Under the direction of General Manager/Partner Anthony DePersio, Fascino has developed a reputation for warm and friendly hospitality - as any family operation might - and his signature attentive graciousness (and that of his staff) provides added elegance and charm. The word "Fascino" translates into the 'allure or desire to fascinate’. From decor and service to cuisine, the DePersio family has captured this essence at Fascino, raising the bar for fine Italian cuisine in New Jersey ... and beyond.
The Crain's New York Business three-star review may have put it best, exclaiming, "Anyone leaving Fascino does two things: marvels at the food and intelligent service, and makes another reservation."
Wine List: Fascino is BYO.
Ambience: Warm and appealing; handsome and comfortable - all in shades of burgundy and gold. Neo-European design featuring brass-tufted, rich terracotta colored booths and mahogany biedermeir chairs. Original neo-realist artwork derived from owner's photgraphs of life in Italy. Wrought iron artisan lighting with amber froster glass casts a warm glow over the whole space.