It's Saturday, 10 am.
Mama is in the kitchen rolling out dough for ravioli. Lisa Marie, coffee in hand, is answering the phone, taking reservations, and making sure everything is in order for the party coming in at 1 pm. Then, Elio, Lisa’s hubby/Mama’s boy, walks in. Clad in a white undershirt, (you know, the kind Italian guys made famous), he acknowledges the others in the room and makes for the espresso machine.
I'm at Cucina 98, the kitchen and storefront adjacent to Montclair's hidden gem, Corso 98. The Suriano Family, who live in Montclair, have owned and operated Corso 98 for past thirteen years. Though Corso 98 does not receive the press that other high profile Montclair restaurants do, Corso has developed a clientele the old-fashioned way - through authentically made food, great service, and word of mouth.
Every Saturday morning, the Suriano's open the door at Cucina 98 to sell a variety of fresh, homemade - and I mean homemade- Italian staples.
Boxes of ravioli, made just minutes ago by Mama are boxed for sale. Some are stufffed with braised lamb, others with roasted vegetables and goat cheese, and the classic, super-creamy Five Cheese Ravioli stuffed ricotta, fontina, and mascarpone. Boxes of ravioli are priced at $15 for a box of 15.
What's a ravioli without sauce? Cucina 98 also sells quarts of bolognese, vodka, marinara, and lamb bolognese sauce. There's even veal demi glace, and the special Corso vinaigrette.
And the dolce! Biscotti, pignoli cookies, orange almond biscotti, “got milk” biscotti, sicilian pistachio bars, 7 layer (rainbow) cookies, linzer cookies, mama’s knots, and more, are all made fresh!
Stay tuned to Hot From The Kettle for a full tasting from Corso 98!
98 Walnut Street
Montclair, NJ 07042