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NJ eats

Fancy in the Valley: A Belated Mother’s Day Lunch at Dimora

In case y’all don’t know, or happened to forget, May 8 was a VERY SPECIAL day.

No, it was not the last day before finals at Hamilton.

It was MOTHER’S DAY!! Huzzah!

You guys had better done something special for your moms! Unless you’re like me, and was stuck in school, stressing because exams and final projects were looming ever closer…

But that’s over now (HALLELUJAHHH) and I sent a letter to my mom that day, promising her I’d treat her to a nice meal once I came back. Well, I’m back now, and since my mom loves Italian food, I made a reservation at Dimora last Friday, one of the fancier and better Italian restaurants in our area (thank you Yelp!). We’ve always wanted to eat here, but never really got around to it – Mother’s Day was a perfect time to try out this place.

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front of the restaurant - pretty plain lookin'

It was a lunch reservation, so the place wasn’t too busy; it was nice and quiet, and set up pretty simply.

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inside

As soon as we sat down and our water glasses were filled, we were given a complimentary plate of small bites and nibbles.

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olives, salami, parmigiano reggiano, peppers

And bread. O’course.

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Crispy-crackly on the outside, perfectly soft and pillowy on the inside; I usually try not to fill up on bread at the beginning of the meal, but it’s pretty hard when the bread is this good…

 

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cool olive oil & balsalmic vinegar bottle. IT'S A GRAPE INSIDE!

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As we were perusing the menu, our waiter (who was super nice and funny) came up to us and started reciting a huge list of the daily specials, from appetizers to pastas to meat entrees. It was a little overwhelming having it come all at once like that o_O. I remember hearing a dish and thinking “Wow, that sounds really good…” but then forgetting what it was almost immediately under the barrage of other yummy-sounding dishes. And the guy had a reaaaallly thick Italian accent. AHHHHHHH. Fortunately, he was more than willing to repeat it more slowly, and my mom and I ended up choosing all of our dishes from the daily specials.

For our appetizer, we got a salad of chopped avocados with jumbo shrimp.

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So simple, yet so good! The dressing of olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper was light, and everything else was very fresh – they complemented each other really well. And who doesn’t love avocados? GREEN CUBES OF CREAMY, SMOOTH DELICIOUSNESSS.

For my entrée, I ordered the roasted branzino:

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Pay no attention to the unflattering angle, just focus on the beautiful crispy, herbed deliciousness. The waiter served it this way first, letting me take pictures of the whole fish; after I was done, he took it away and brought it back beautifully filleted and boneless, served alongside greens and potatoes.

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Another simple yet perfectly executed dish; the branzino was flaky and tender, perfectly cooked. It was roasted with olive oil and herbs, and I really liked the seasonings on top – they were lemony-salty, and made the fish taste SO GOOD.

Since we were at an Italian restaurant, my mom and I both agreed that we needed to order a pasta dish.

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We ordered the lobster, shrimp, and clams over linguine off the daily special menu (note how every single thing we got today had some seafood in it…). The serving was pretty big, and definitely more than enough for 2 people who had already ordered an appetizer and another entrée.

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Wow. Wow. This was UH-MAZING. The pasta was cooked al-dente, with the right amount of chew to it. The tomato sauce was slightly spicy, the kick balancing perfectly with the barely-sweet seafood. You know how I mentioned that this was a lot for 2 people? Well, my mom and I ended up finishing this entire thing. :P

Even though we technically ordered 3 dishes, by the time we finished the pasta, my mom and I were both stuffed. I was wondering whether to get or dessert or not (probably not), but our waiter never offered us a dessert menu. Which is weird, because I saw it on the website – maybe it’s only offered during dinnertime? It worked for the better, because I think we might have both popped if we tried eating dessert.

Instead, we shared a coffee to end the meal.

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Pretty good coffee it was too.

Because all of our food came from the special menu, this meal was not cheap; but if you’re looking for a fancy, but not TOO fancy of a place to eat, I’d definitely recommend here. The food is top-notch, the prices are good (especially if you order from the regular menu), and the portions are big. The waiters are super nice too; maybe next time, I’ll come back for a dinner and dessert. :)

 

Dimora
100 Piermont Road
Norwood, NJ 07648

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