On a bustling Main St in Chatham, NJ, is Mo’ Dough—an eatery celebrating all things dough. From pizzas and sandwiches served on house-made bread to freshly-fried donuts, hand-made gnocchi and croissants, Mo’ Dough offers a variety of items, ensuring something for everyone.
Husband and wife duo Rocco and Adele Flores are the masterminds behind Mo’ Dough. With plenty of restaurant experience and a popular Neapolitan pizza spot, Pizza Vita in Summit, under their belt, the pair came into Mo’ Dough with guns blazing. Chef Adele’s skill is highlighted at Mo’ Dough, where she can show off both her cooking and baking chops.
Oven-roasted figs, stuffed with goat cheese and topped with freshly sliced prosciutto. How about a pressed croissant sandwich, jam-packed with flavorful roasted vegetables, pesto and goat cheese? The simplicity of Adele’s cooking is apparent from the get-go, opting to allow ingredients to shine in the light they were meant to.
And speaking of sandwiches, Mo’ Dough makes a mean breakfast sandwich. Egg with ricotta and tomato, pepperoni and egg, Taylor Ham—the options are plentiful. Once you figure out what sandwich you want, it’s time to choose bread. Guests get the choice of toast or a fresh donut. Yes, a donut. Adele’s yeasted donuts are not overly sweet at all, instead acting as a fried bread of sorts. Its pillow-like texture and adaptable flavor makes it the perfect bun for a breakfast sandwich. Seriously, don’t knock it till you try it.
Then, you meet the pizzas, which are somewhat of a must-order at Mo’ Dough. Chef Adele bulk ferments her pizza dough with a starter, creating a dough that is well-flavored with tang and has a structure that is balanced between soft and crisp—a folded slice holds up straight without issue. Of course, the pizza is just a canvas, with many cleverly topped pies dotting the menu.
A burrata pie is topped with oven-roasted tomatoes, plenty of floral oregano and, of course, handmade burrata. Sounds standard, but the combination of the burrata and the umami-rich roasted tomatoes makes for something totally different than your average margherita pizza.
The best-selling pie is simply called “sauced” which will land you the signature dough, topped with a healthy spread of vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil and dollops of sweet ricotta cheese. It’s a top seller for a reason, teetering between savory and sweet flavors before being driven home by the punch of fresh basil. Yep, it’s a must-get.
Beyond pizza and sandwiches are a plethora of salads, stuffed breads and more, but it’s the handmade pasta that will keep me coming back for more. Mo’ Dough offers five pasta sauces in their regular rotation. Guests pick what sauce they want and then choose their vessel: Ricotta gnocchi or cavatappi—both made in-house.
A classic cacio e pepe and nut-free pesto are popular sellers, along with a simple tomato sauce, creamy vodka sauce and their “broken” meatball ragu. But, I found myself inching toward the alla norma—a Sicilian tomato-based sauce that is studded with a heapful of fried or roasted eggplant. Traditionally, it is finished off with ricotta salata (a hard ricotta cheese), but Adele opts for creamy ricotta, which melds into the sauce creating a harmony of flavors. With gnocchi, I found this to be delectable. It’s somewhere between authentic and modernized—just the way I like it.
It’s good practice to save room for dessert at Mo’ Dough. Chef Adele’s stuffed donuts are the star of the show. As mentioned earlier, the yeasted donut dough is plain in nature, creating what is the perfect outlet for a variety of flavors. Donuts stuffed with coconut cream or cannoli filling are irresistible, but Adele made certain I got something with chocolate on it too and I’m thankful she did. Chocolate iced donuts are painted with fresh ganache. The dark, glossy topping is luscious and rich, complementing the flavor of the yeasty donut with ease. Truth be told, I could eat this ganache with a spoon. In fact, I’d be happy to.
Mo’ Dough is a welcome addition to downtown Chatham. The playful spot is perfect for breakfast, a quick lunch or dinner. With plenty of options to choose from, it is the perfect spot for a casual family outing or a lunch date—everyone can find something to eat. Centered around pasta, pizza, stuffed breads and donuts, Mo’ Dough lives up to its name effortlessly. For Adele and Rocco Flores, it’s all about the dough.
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About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.