Let's face it, any night that you don't have to cook is a holiday, especially when Roman's is doing the cooking. Roman's was originally established as a pizza parlor in 1974, but when Damiano Pascali took over the reins in 1993 he added dinner entrees to the traditional pizzeria menu to expand the business into one of Bergen County's most sought out BYOB restaurants.
Editor's confession: enticed by the Roman raves, we grabbed our girlfriends and some wine and went for a Friday night bacchanalia. The food, spectacular, tasted oddly familiar; almost like sneaking away from your mother's dinner table to eat at your aunt's.
After some gastronomical research, we discovered that Damiano has a brother, Dante, who also has a BYOB restaurant in Leonia, where the entire town dines on a Friday night. And so began the battle of the brothers since now this editor finds herself at Roman's table too often. As Dante said to this editor, "You are cheating on me with my brother." What can we say? The stomach is a fickle lover.
Roman's has an extensive menu of appetizers, salads, pasta with choices of tomato, marinara, meat, vodka and alfredo sauces, seafood and meat entrees, and daily specials ranging from $13.95 to $15.95. And of course there's pizza and hot and cold heros. And if that's not enough for you, Roman's makes their own bread. Can you say to die for in Italian? Neither can we, but trust us. It is! We just love it.
And speaking of love, what better to pair with Roman's take out than a Fellini flick. Frankly, nobody speaks to your inner Italian like Roman's, and Fellini. If you've never seen a Fellini film, then you know nothing about true cinema. If you have seen Fellini, to see any of his films again is like unexpectedly meeting an old lover and discovering that the flames of the passion you once shared still smolder in the deep recesses of their heart and no one has ever taken him or her to the places that you have. (Take a moment. Breathe. Drink wine. Repeat.)
And the beautiful part? The New Milford Public Library can have these films waiting for you at their circulation desk. Just click here to order your Fellini films. Free. If New Milford doesn't have it on their shelves, they will get it from a library that does and notify you when it has arrived. Here are Fellini's finest paired with Roman's finest. Of course, we suggest a bold red because there's nothing mild about Roman's or Fellini.
La Strada: Winner of the Academy Award for best foreign film and editor's choice for favorite Fellini film and, perhaps, best film ever made. Forget the subtitles, this film carries itself in images. Filmed in Bagnoregio, Viterbo, Lazio, Ovindoli, L'Aquila, and Abruzzo, this movie is poignant, funny, touching, sad--you'll run the gamut of emotions in this Fellini classic.
The movie pairs Fellini's wife, Giulietta Masina, with Anthony Quinn. Framed by the backdrop of a war-torn Italy, the movie centers on a brutish circus-like strongman, Zampano, played by Anthony Quinn, and a naïve young woman, Gelsomina, played by Giulietta Masina, whom he buys from her mother and takes with him on the road as he entertains for money.
Giulietta, both attracted to, and repulsed by, Zampano, finds a strange loyalty in him, despite his brutishness. This movie will have you beating a drum and crying "Zampano! Zampano!" down River Road.
The perfect Roman's take out pairing for this movie would be pork boscaiola made with onions, green peppers, sliced potatoes and mushrooms served in a light red sauce with a hearty Chianti or Amarone.
Nights of Cabiria: Winner of the Academy Award for best foreign film, this is possibly the editor's favorite film of all time. This movie once again stars Fellini's wife, Giulietta Masina, who plays a down and out prostitute who is down on her luck, but never discouraged. Simply one of the most beautiful films ever made.
Masina is often referred to as the female Chaplin and if you watch her facial expressons and body movements in this film, you'll see why.
Nights of Cabiria desesrves a special pairing such as the New Zealand mussels in red sauce and a pasta dish. Or the baked ziti oozing with fresh mozzarella cheese, ricotta, and if you're feeling bold, add slices of fresh sausage. The best wine to pair with a pasta and fish dish is a light pinot noir.
La Dolce Vita: And so the term papparazzi was born in this movie. Marcello Mastroianni plays a journalist, and bon vivant, Marcello. Marcello struggles to find his place in the world, torn between the allure of Rome's elite social scene and the stifling domestic demands of his girlfriend, all the while searching for a way to become a serious writer.
This movie demands elegancce and grace, and that goes for the palate, too. We suggest the Sicilian Salad, followed by the New Zealand mussels in red sauce (they are pretty outstanding). This dish (not the editor, the meal) calls for a Sangiovese wine.
And there you have Pic's Flicks. Get the movies, get the menus and take both out and stay in.