Good Things Come in Small Packages: For Delicious Small Plate Dining You Can't Beat Sputino's in Clifton

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Maybe it’s just me, but when I go out for dinner, my favorite part of the meal is always the appetizer course. Few things are better than ordering several different appetizers and sharing them with the people at the table, sometimes without ever even ordering entrees. It’s one of many reasons why I absolutely love Sputino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas located in the Clifton Commons Shopping Center on Kingsland Road.

Along with having a very impressive wine cellar, and amazing craft cocktails, Sputino has ‘wine flights’ offering multiple sample-size glasses of wine in a variety of categories: Wines of California, World Class Blends, and The Sangiovese Tour. Wine flights are a great way to taste multiple wines at one seating, without having to drink a full-size glass of each.

Sputino’s real claim to fame is its incredible variety of tapas, or small plates. In Spanish, tapas is an appetizer or snack, that when ordered in multiples can be a full meal. It’s an exciting way to dine, letting you try a multitude of small plates that are perfectly portioned for sharing, giving you just enough to whet your appetite without filling you up.

Sputino never disappoints. The plates are small, so you’ll want to order two or three different plates per person. The menu is expansive, with something for everyone. I have many favorites, but a few that really stand out.

You can never go wrong with bruschetta. At Sputino, there are more choices that the classic tomato and basil. My personal favorites are the Gorgonzola, Apple, and Walnut Bruschetta, and the Wild Mushroom Bruschetta. Each bruschetta plate, includes two nice-sized toasted bread slices, with toppings, and are offered at $7.50 per plate.

There are meat and cheese boards, personal-sized pizzas, pasta dishes, risotto balls, warm olives tinged with roasted garlic and herbs, and a nice array of small plate meat and seafood options.

If I had to pick my absolute favorite, it would likely be the Pane Fritto & Prosciutto — bite-size fried dough, topped with tender slices of prosciutto, rosemary sprigs, extra virgin olive oil, and crunchy sea salt. Absolute heaven.

Try and save room for dessert, because the assortment at Sputino is definitely worth the indulgence. From gelato to chocolate cake, there’s something to satisfy every sweet tooth, but the standout dessert has to be Ciambelle, or homemade doughnuts served hot and dusted with powdered sugar and a trio of delicious dipping sauces.

Sputino offers indoor and outdoor dining (weather permitting) for lunch and dinner, a brunch menu, happy hour, and private events. You can see the complete menu here. Make a reservation online or by calling (973) 661-2435.

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