Authentic Italian Cuisine to Stay or Takeaway
By Sally Deering
Spacious for a neighborhood deli, Salumeria Ercolano (Deli) on West Side Ave in the Marion Section of Jersey City is a great place for authentic Italian cuisine on the go. You’re also welcome to dine–in; the deli seats about 70 and offers a relaxed, casual atmosphere to enjoy some very tasty Italian sandwiches and main dishes. The deli’s warm and friendly vibe comes from owners Nat and Nancy Rescigno who turned an old coat factory into a deli & eatery people where people can relax with a good meal.
“We get a big lunch crowd,” Nat says. “City workers, police, firemen, business people in the area.”
“We also have summer seating outside,” Nancy adds.
Along with a great sandwich menu, Salumeria Ercolano offers hearty main dishes sure to satisfy those who love real Italian food. Chef Carmine Matteo, who grew up in Italy and learned how to authentic Italian cuisine at a Culinary School in Italy, offers specials of the day like Filet of Sole Stuffed with Crabmeat; and Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Tomato Bruschetta.
“Keep it simple,” Chef Matteo says. “The less ingredients, the better. Let the food speak for itself.”
Salumeria Ercolano serves up sandwiches, Paninis, salads, and main dishes. Sandwiches are named for Jersey City streets like the Westside (grilled chicken, provolone, grilled zucchini and pesto spread); Broadway (capicola, prosciutto, sopressata, provolone, roasted peppers, balsamic vinaigrette); Tonnelle (roast beef, provolone, tomato & mayo); the JFK (prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arugula, roasted red peppers, balsamic vinaigrette) and the Pulaski (chicken cutlet, Swiss, lettuce, tomatoes and chipotle mayo). (Sizes Med & Large, from $9.25-$20.)
Paninis (hot pressed sandwiches) include the Pavonia (grilled Portobello mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, artichokes, balsamic vinaigrette); Danforth (chicken cutlet, light marinara sauce, mozzarella, basil, parmesan cheese; and Grove (grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, tomato, basil, with olive oil & balsamic (Med & Large, from $9.25-$18.50.)
There’s Antipasto salad and Chef salad, Grilled chicken and Tossed salads to choose from (Small & Large, $3.50-$10.) pasta dishes like Baked Ziti, Stuffed Shells, Pasta in Vodka Sauce; and Chicken dishes like Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Marsala, Chicken Francese and Chicken Sorrentino.
“We make our mozzarella fresh every day,” Nat says
Soups are made daily, too, like the Roasted Butternut Squash & Apples soup Chef Matteo made recently. Most of the soups they make are vegetarian, he says.
Chef Matteo also creates sandwich specials like Tuna with Balsamic Sundried Tomatoes and Capers, and an Italian Hot Dog made with peppers, onions and potatoes. Non-Italian dishes are also popular, Chef Matteo says, like BBQ Pork Ribs and a Pulled Pork Sandwich with Apple Cider Slaw.
With 4,000 square feet of space, Salumeria Ercolano can be a great place for parties, and Nancy says they do lots of birthday parties and corporate events. The deli is a popular neighborhood go-to place and Nat & Nancy have gotten to know their customers on a first-name basis.
“I’ve been in this neighborhood almost 20 years,” Nat says “When you’re here that long, you get to know everybody and they know you.”
Nat and Nancy like to think of their staff and their customers as family, Nancy says.
“That’s very important,” Nat says “We want our place to be where people can come, sit and eat for a reasonable price.”
And maybe sing a song at the only deli that’s got a piano!
If you go
Salumeria Ercolano (Deli)
1072 West Side Ave, JC
(Fax) (201) 434-4945
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 am-6 pm; Sat: 9:30-5 pm