Market-style Italian dining at Primo Mercato | The Dish
SHORT HILLS, N.J. - You can get a taste of traditional Italian food and culture in the middle of the Mall at Short Hills in Millburn Township, New Jersey.
It's called Primo Mercato. You can order all kinds of dishes from six different counters or have a more fine-dining experience at the sit-down restaurant Osteria Primo Mercato. All of the dishes are made with Italian ingredients.
General manager Lorenzo Piombini said the mission is to bring Italy here without moving to Italy. This is a "mercato"—or market—concept, which is very Italian, he said.
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Executive Chef Gigi Putzu was born in Sardinia. He learned his skills in the kitchen from his grandma. He uses Italian flour for the pizza and pasta dough and mozzarella is imported from Italy.
Gigi showed us some of his favorites, like the macaroni Bolognese. Bolognese is a sauce made with minced meat—pork, beef, and prosciutto—and a mix of carrots, celery, and oils.
And when you need a break from shopping, nothing is better than some delicious pizza.
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A new dish at Osteria Primo Mercato is the beetroot carpaccio. To make it, Gigi starts with steamed yellow beets. Then he tops them with some red beetroot pickled with balsamic vinegar, some goat cheese, frisée salad, walnuts, and heirloom tomatoes.
So after you shop 'til you almost drop, grab a seat to check out Primo Mercato. You can come with a group and taste a bit of everything.