Experience culinary excellence at Laboratorio Kitchen with
Chef James DeSisto
In a town like Montclair—known for restaurants—an experience nothing short of amazing is being found at Laboratorio Kitchen. Chef/Owner James DeSisto says, “The name reflects my expression to food.” In the creations that come out of his kitchen one can find the influences of Italian, French, and New American cuisines spun in an original and highly creative way. His careful sourcing of local produce, sustainable seafood, as well as fresh pasta, which is all made in-house, create taste sensations the novelty of which is palpable.
Chef DeSisto was trained formally at Johnson Wales culinary school and then began working under influential leaders of the culinary world such as Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, and Mitchell Altholz. But it was in his grandmother’s kitchen working with her and his mother, where he truly discovered his interest and commitment to creating delicious food that made people happy. Since opening in September of 2014 he has felt the team in his kitchen is like the family of his childhood—together they are more important than any individual. DeSisto himself can be found at the restaurant almost 80 hours a week where he makes all sauces personally as well as breaks down the meat and fish. The teamwork and DeSisto’s attention to every detail truly show on the plate and especially on the tongue.
It is worth noting that the elegantly appointed Laboratorio has a huge local following and it is not just the quality of the offerings but the variety as well. Using peak seasonal ingredients, he offers chef-inspired seasonal specials which have included Bluefin Toro Belly with Avocado Mousse, dressed with Cucumber, and Orange Ginger Soy.
Pasta lovers will be thrilled with Cacio e Pepe stuffed Tortelloni with Truffle Butter, Jumbo Lump Crab, and Fresh Herbs. The Hand-cut Fettucine with Lamb Bolognese served with Pecorino Cheese and Fresh Basil is also not to be missed--the lamb in this dish makes it extra special. Or consider Spaghetti Norma, featuring fresh eggplant, Ricotta Salata, and served with fresh tomato sauce. If beef is your thing, Chef DeSisto has you covered with a Caramelized Filet Mignon served with French Beans and salt-roasted baby potatoes. Fresh Foie Gras Torchon, served with Tiger Fig slices, and Fresh Brioche is a must-try. One of our personal favorites is Dayboat Scallops nestled in a Cauliflower puree with baby corn and flavored with chive oil.
Another savory dish is the Caramelized Local Peaches with Mascarpone, Serrano Ham with Balsamic Pearls, and Celery Leaves. To finish a perfect evening their Belgian Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Cake and served with Mixed Berries is a must.
You can peruse the current menu offerings, as well as make a reservation on their website. Plan to BYOB. At the acclaimed Laboratorio Kitchen, there is always something new and special to tempt you. At this exceptionally creative destination, the cuisine is more than a passion to Chef DeSisto, ‘it is a calling,’ and is revealed in every bite. Do yourself a favor and book a reservation.
Everyone has a family meatball recipe. But when we can get one from a classically-trained chef, maybe it’s time to think outside the family recipe box. Hence, Chef James DeSisto has graciously shared the following recipe for a very popular dish at the restaurant so that our readers can make it at home. Imagine: adding cream. Bon appetit!
Laboratorio Kitchen’s Meatball Recipe
1 1/12 pounds of ground beef 80/20 blend
1/2 pound of ground veal
4 tablespoons of chopped garlic
½ cup of heavy cream
½ cup of chopped parsley
3 whole eggs
1 cup of grated Locatelli cheese (can substitute parmesan)
Salt and pepper to your liking
Splash of olive oil (extra virgin)
Method of preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mixed together all ingredients in a mixing bowl (plastic gloves recommended)
Hand roll at least 8 medium-sized meatballs
Place on a non-stick baking tray and bake for 35 minutes
(if you are serving with tomato sauce place meatballs in sauce for an additional 30 mins, this with add flavor to your sauce, and soften your meatball.)
615 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair