Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Jimmy Kimmel)

Eggplant Parmigiana is a favorite classic Italian dish that we enjoy at my house, and it’s a very affordable dish to make.

I love eggplant Parmigiana, but the number of steps you must take to make it is a pain in the neck.

You must peel the eggplant, salt it to remove excess moisture and to tone down the bitterness. Salting the eggplant also makes it less spongy.

Then, you must slice it thin enough, so it cooks up to a perfect crisp. Then there’s the flour coating, the egg dip, the seasoning, and the breadcrumbs.

Oy Vey!

Heating the oil to the perfect temperature of 350 degrees for frying is the easiest part, or maybe eating it is the easiest part.

I make eggplant Parmigiana maybe once or twice a year, and chicken cutlet Parmigiana once or twice a month.

Finding really good eggplant Parmigiana in the outside world is not easy. Some places make it a soggy mess. Some places don’t cook the eggplant properly, making it tough to eat.

I’ve eaten at places that just throw all the ingredients together without any thought.

I’ve also eaten at places that do a spectacular job, those are the places that I return to.

If your restaurant or deli makes a good eggplant Parmigiana, then chances are good, the rest of the food you make is better than good.

* On a side note, if you’re going to make any eggplant dish, choose eggplants with taught skin and an indentation on the bottom. In my experience, those characteristics have worked best for me.

I combined my personal opinions with suggestions from other people on where to find places in Monmouth County that make incredible eggplant Parmigiana, and this is the list I came up with.

  • Del Ponte's Coal Fired Pizza - 600 Main St, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

    Vita J. says this is her favorite place to grab great eggplant Parmigiana. They top it with the best, Parmigiano Reggiano. The pizza here is divine and is cooked well done and topped with fresh basil unless otherwise specified.

  • Denino's Pizza Place - 1077 F, NJ-34, Aberdeen Township, NJ 07747

    If the food here is anything like Denino’s in Brick, you’re in for a treat. John says, this is his favorite place for eggplant parm. The pizza is the star of the show, but the eggplant parm is the co-star.

  • Buona Sera - 50 Maple Ave, Red Bank, NJ 07701

    My favorite Italian restaurant in Monmouth County hands down. It’s not just a restaurant, it’s an incredible dining experience. Only the finest ingredients, prepared by skilled hands. The eggplant Parmigiana is tender and flavorsome. Every dish is made with the finest ingredients. The eggplant Rollatini is some of the best I’ve ever eaten.

    Buona Sera Italian Restaurant in Red Bank | Buona Sera

    Red Bank's finest traditional Italian Restaurant Not Just A Restaurant. An Experience. Menus OVER 40 YEARS culinary experience & passion Buona Sera Italian Ristorante isn't just a restaurant; it's an extraordinary dining experience located at the heart of Red Bank NJ. With over 40 years of culinary expertise and a deep passion for Italian cuisine, ...

  • Jimmy Pecci's Taste of Italy - 1201 Sycamore Avenue Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

    This incredible Italian market is Larry’s favorite place for more than just the eggplant Parm. Larry said the only place that could possibly have the best eggplant parm, is his kitchen. You’re a funny guy, Larry.

    I’ve personally never tried the eggplant parm, but I have purchased plenty of items from this place in the past. I remember the homemade sausage and the cannolis were out of this world.

     

     

  • Olivia's Trattoria & Artisan Pizza - 507 Prospect Ave, Little Silver, NJ 07739

    John S. eats only the best, and the best eggplant Parmigiana according to him, comes from Olivia’s.  I remember a friend telling me that they have the best bread at this place. I also heard they have an eggplant, ricotta, and spinach dish that’ll make you dance. My husband’s parents used to have a business in the area, so it’s quite possible he’s familiar with Olivia’s. I’m going to mention this place to him for a future visit.

  • Rizzo's Pizza - 1594 NJ-35, Ocean Township, NJ 07712

    It’s all about Rizzo’s for Joe B. I used to live around the corner from Rizzo’s and have had their stromboli’s, calzones and their Sicilian pie.   According to Joe, I should have ordered the eggplant parm with its incredible sauce, and ooey gooey mozzarella cheese.  45 years in business tells me they’re doing it right.

     

     

     

  • Nino Jr's Italian Specialty - 2005 NJ-35, Oakhurst, NJ 07755

    Tom F. frequents Nino Jr’s and loves most everything they make, especially the eggplant parm. I will take his word for it because I’ve purchased a thing or 2 here before. The fresh mozzarella with prosciutto, roasted peppers and imported olive oil on their homemade bread is hard to beat. My favorite.

  • Trama's Trattoria - 115 Brighton Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740

    If you’re looking for a great plate of eggplant Parmigiana in a romantic setting, this might be a good choice. Lucille K. mentioned that this place is at the top of her list for amazing eggplant parm. Trama’s is also her favorite Italian restaurant in Monmouth County. It really is a lovely place.

    Chef Pat Trama is fully committed to quality, consistency and attention to detail. My kind of chef, my kind of people. Shout out to the bartenders, they make fabulous cocktails.

     

  • Rockafellers Pizza - 421 Prospect St, Long Branch, NJ 07740

    Toni C. & Renee R. can’t say enough good things about the eggplant Parmigiana at Rockafellers. They mentioned, Rico being the best. I’m guessing Rico is the owner or perhaps the person responsible for the great eggplant.  Hey Rico, you’ve got quite a fan club.

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