Suburban Italian (Settimo 7)

Settimo 7, 2445 Kusar Rd, Hamilton, NJ
Open T-F, 11:30AM - 9PM, Sa 4 PM - 10PM, Su 2 PM-8 PM
(609) 890-0777   Website    Google Maps

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Settimo 7 is the sister restaurant to our beloved Settimo Cielo, which was Trenton’s best restaurant for 12 years until it closed in 2018. The Hamilton restaurant opened in 2014, and in my mind has always been a haunted changeling. Why? First, the location is simply dreadful, on the ground floor of an office building in a huge office park in Hamilton. Where the Trenton location was old-school classy, with gorgeous Mel Leipzig paintings of our friends enjoying dinner in the dining room in situ on the dining room wall, the Hamilton location is ersatz, with framed prints of the Leipzig paintings on the wall. Of course, the visual joke of seeing a painting of the dining room in which you are dining is lost.

It was also a symbol of what was wrong with Settimo Cielo. The partners who ran it were outstanding at operations. However, they were clueless when it came to marketing. Instead of focusing on making the Trenton location successful, they were side-tracked by what, in my mind, was ultimately a fatal distraction.

Rant over.

The luscious eggplant rollatini are not to be missed.
The luscious eggplant rollatini are not to be missed.

All that kvetching aside, Settimo’s food is still sublime, even in Hamilton. For instance, the Pasta Bolognaise. Pasta in a red meat sauce, right? What could be simpler?

Well, at Settimo it’s a work of art, as good as the one we had in Sienna… apparently the chef receives whole sides of veal and butchers them himself…grinding his own veal for this sauce. Simple and utterly delicious.

Then sample the Chicken Paradiso. It didn’t think it was possible for me to be BLOWN AWAY by any chicken dish. But at Settimo 7 the chicken arrived at our table and just seemed to melt in my mouth, with an utterly delicious sauce.  Other highlights include the eggplant rollatini (simply decadent) and the luscious orecchiette with mozzarella.

Exquisite orecchiette
Exquisite orecchiette

The chef-owner (Franco Rivas) and head waiter (Henry Mendez) come from Ecuador, and worked together at Il Giglio on Warren Street in NYC. The Hamilton location is BYOB.

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21 thoughts on “Suburban Italian”

  1. We ate here last night for the first time. Terrific! Food was so delicious and you are right about the service, top notch. We had our two little girls with us and the staff was so attentive and seemingly happy to have us, even though we were more of a lively crowd 🙂 A gem of a place.

  2. Every time Jack and I are going to see a Passage Theatre performance at the Mill Hill Playhouse we start the evening off with a fabulous meal at Settimo Cielo. My starter is a Vodka Gibson – the bartender is incredible. We have NEVER had a bad meal here and often bring other couples who are equally pleasantly surprised. So glad to see Settimo Cielo on your list.

  3. My husband and I went to Settimo Cielo over the weekend for “date night”. We hadn’t been in a while and we had another great experience. This is definitely one of our local favorites.

  4. I must have gone to the wrong restaurant since the meal I had was one of the worse meals I had in a long time. Based on these recommendations, my husband and I went here. He had veal that was so thin it more resembled a slice of lunch meat with breading, not to mention the salad topping with what appeared to be tofu but was told it was cheese! My steak came out well done when I asked for extremely rare. They had no problem replacing it, but it was as tuff as shoe leather and full of grizzle! The broccoli rabe was also tuff and flavorless. There was not one good thing about this meal. Did I catch a bad day? The chef’s child playing in the kitchen? Someone loose a bet? The only saving grace was the wait staff.
    *****************
    Editor’s comment: I have to believe you caught it on a bad day. I eat at Settimo at least once a month, often several times, and it’s never been bad and usually outstanding. I continue to believe it’s consistently the best restaurant in town.

  5. What a delightful surprise and excellent dining experience! The staff is friendly, attentive, and competent. The food is superb. The atmosphere is classy. The ladies room is spotless!!! It’s well worth the drive from Doylestown, PA. We’ll be back for sure.

  6. So good– we checked this place out on the recommendation of this website and found the prices to be way more reasonable than comparable restaurants in New Brunswick and the Lawrenceville/ Princeton area- entrees start at $15, apps around $9. Excellent service. I had calamari to start and it was so good– not too greasy, very lightly breaded, with warmed marinara sauce. The pasta bolognaise was great, but between the yummy fresh bread & the calamari I couldn’t eat more than a quarter of the generous portion! Hoping the left overs are good:)

  7. Word is starting to get out about this treasure in downtown Trenton. The food is consistently superb. The service is wonderful. The sweet potato croquet is to die for. As a long time Trentonian I am delighted to see out of towners finally venturing downtown.

  8. We have been tothis restaurant many times since it has opened and it is consistently good. irecommend it to outof towners as well as locals and so far the responses have been the same- thank you , it was great! We go tto celebrate all our important occasions and I go for lunch as well. We are so lucky to have this restaurant, with incredible food and fabulous service and lovely atmposphere, right here in Trenton!

  9. Excellent flavors with unique highlights. A wonderful place to eat real italian food with a special taste. Highly recommend it!

  10. Thanks to all who took the time to comment. It is very helpful to have the benefit of your experience. I am looking for a spot to host a dinner this spring and Settimo Cielo may be the place !

  11. We had New Year’s Eve dinner there — the busiest time for a restaurant. Despite a full house all evening, the service AND the food were five star. Unlike many restaurants, they did not raise their prices for the evening, but instead offered the same impeccable, top notch dining experience we’ve come to expect over the past year. This is a sophisticated white-tablecloth restaurant that could thrive in NYC. Take a trip to Trenton to experience this special place. It’s in a safe area of the City, with secure parking directly across the street or at the curb. You’ll be eager to return, I promise.

  12. Not only have we eaten fabulous meals here and had some great drinks at the bar, but the service is impeccable and very subtle. You never even are aware of how very much they service you! Besides, who doesn’t like handsome men in black ties serve you with a smile! They are friendly and usually always give us our favorite table, the round one by the bar! I think its #11. We only wish more people felt as we do because their menu is excellent and well priced for the presentation!
    Can’t wait to go back! Cine, Cine!!!

  13. This place is absolutely wonderful! I can not believe that there are not lines out the door on a Friday/Saturday evening. Simply superb! Any chicken dish is excellent and the chicken melts in your mouth! The seafood dishes are also great! We have been there at least 7 times and not one complaint!! Settimo Cielo is a must TASTE!

  14. I cannot recommend Settimo Cielo enough! My husband and I popped in this past Friday for an early dinner. The atmosphere was romantic and relaxing, the service was attentive without being overbearing (i.e., perfect). Of course, the real draw is the food! We shared a perfectly prepared calamari appetizer; my husband dined on a delicious chicken dish (unfortunately I can’t recall the name) that came with green beans and some sort of corn fritter on the side. The corn fritters were unexpected and outstanding. I had the ravioli rosa; the pasta was wonderful and obviously hand made right there in the restaurant. I also had an excellent (and generous) glass of Cabernet for under $6.00 (great value!). We couldn’t resist finishing with dessert and both had the tiramisu, which was creamy but also pleasantly light. In summary, I cannot say enough good things about this restaurant; I am hooked, and we will be back soon.

  15. My fiance and first visited Settimo Cielo about a month ago and were nothing short of blown away by the attentive service, excellent cuisine and the relaxing, romantic atmosphere. Trenton has a fine history of great Italian eateries but Settimo Cielo really delivers and gives Trentonians a fine Italian dining experience for very reasonable prices.

    I just made reservations (which may not be required but it’s a good idea) for tomorrow night and my mouth is already watering.

    PS – Do yourself a favor and try and the Pasta Bolognese. It’s terrific.

  16. Co-workers and I had lunch a Settimo Cielo. The experience was excellent from the time we passed thru the door. The waiter, food, atmosphere are amazing. This is a perfect place to gather with friends for a fine evening and for a romantic dinner for 2. Will be back soon.

  17. Yesterday was Valentines Day and My Lady and I went to Settimo Cielo for a romantic dining experience and that is exactly what we got. First of all…although the restaurant is relatively new…people in the know…know about this hot spot. The food and the service are second to none. Not only did they offer entre specials, they also offered salad and appetizer specials. For starters we order a portabello mushroom with crabmeat and fontina cheese(delicious with a semi sweet sauce)and a salad(arugula,grilled pears,strawberries,cranburies,walnuts,fried noodles, and raspberry dressing)…You are probably saying to yourself…”I am not sure about that” but let me tell you…it was the best salad I have ever tasted. The entrees…my lady had a black and white pasta with clams, shrimp, and a 7.5 oz. lobster tail, and I had a filet of sole stuffed with a mushroom filling…both so good it makes you want to slap somebody! Then they give you hot bread and butter and some bruschetta before you meal. With you meal they provide stringbeans, carrots, and a fried or slightly grilled sweet potatoe/corn squares. We had 2 glasses of wine and the bill came to $85.00 (What a bargain!) I gotta tell you Hidden Trenton…Settimo Cielo ain’t going to hide much longer…word is out…the best Italian Dining Experience in Trenton is on Front Street near the corner of Warren. “If you don’t know…you better ask somebody.” Seriously…hats off to the owners,chefs, and the entire wait staff. First class dining in a first class atmosphere. Did I tell you that every lady received a red rose after dinner…well they did. We will be going back real soon.

  18. I have been to Settimo Cielo one time for drinks and ordered fried calamari at the bar…the service is first class and the calamari was crisp and delicious. I have made reservations for Valentines night and can’t wait to get there. The atmosphere is warm and romantic…new beginnings for the capitol city…Go Trenton

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