You may have noticed the sign above 381 Bloomfield Avenue no longer reads Gencarelli’s Cucina. The signage now bears the name: Mondo, and in sub text, “Eatery by Gencarelli’s Cucina.”
For the owners of Mondo, Debbie and Nicole Gencarelli, the name change isn’t simply superficial. The biggest part the story circulates around Chef Joe Stivala, the new executive chef at Mondo.
Montclair born Joe Stivala, joined the Gencarelli team six weeks ago, but is no new comer to the NJ food scene. Joe was the VP of operations at all five of the Arthur’s Tavern locations and executive chef at Franklin Steak House. He then was the opening chef at Tosca on Church Street, which he left in March, working in he interim as a restaurant consultant.
Joe's aim is to keep the Gencarelli classics, and to progress the menu by way of world flavors. Chef Stivala refers to the cuisine at Mondo as “Italian Ameritanean with a twist.”
Italian standards, like Mrs. G’s Sunday Gravy Rigatoni with meatballs and sausage in sugo (savory red gravy)($19.50), and an Italian table classic like Long Hot Patate, fried Italian long hot peppers and sliced potatoes, crumbled sausage, topped with shaved pepato cheese & drizzled with extra virgin olive oil remained on the menu. The new menu also explores parts of the larger Mediterranean world with dishes like Mediterranean Mondo Chicken, grilled Morrocan-style seared boneless chicken breast with olives, preserved lemon, capers, spices, and harissa over wilted baby spinach and toasted farro with pulled chicken thigh baby spinach and grilled leeks.
Mondo also offers solid selections for the meat lover like the salivation inducing Barolo Short Ribs with dirty polenta, which are braised beef short ribs in a porcini-barolo wine sauce, as well as the Gourmet Pork Burger with sweet pepper agrodolce, applewood bacon, Boursin cheese served on ciabatta roll, with berber aioli and rosemary-parmesan French fries.