To Sal Albanese, the owner and chef of Presto’s restaurant on Warren Street in Jersey City, food should be simply prepared and lightly seasoned to let the flavor of every ingredient shine through. Too many ingredients and seasonings can overwhelm instead of meld flavors.
Albanese serves his personal philosophy with every plate that comes out of Presto’s kitchen where truly authentic Italian cuisine is the star of the show. Inspired by recipes handed down from family in Sicily – south of “the boot” – Albanese’s dishes stand out because they’re made with fresh, flavorful ingredients.
Nestled in Jersey City’s Marion Section, west of Journal Square, Rita & Joe’s Italian Restaurant has been serving customers since 1985 when owners Rita and Joe Pane turned a “beer and shots” bar into a popular neighborhood eatery
Fast forward to 2015. Rita & Joe’s celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, but instead of relying on the old standbys, Isabel “Izzy” Pane (Rita’s daughter-in-law) has made some changes to keep up with the changing times. She brought on Chef Stephen McCall, a 1999 graduate of the New York Restaurant School who, along with Izzy, has revamped Rita & Joe’s menu with a contemporary take on tradition. Rita’s signature dishes like Eggplant and Chicken Parmigiana are still offered, but Chef Stephen has created some new dishes flavored with carefully chosen seasonings and using all fresh ingredients. You won’t find store-bought pastas at this restaurant; everything is made fresh and to order. Continue reading Rita and Joe’s Traditional Italian Cuisine with Contemporary Flair→
Few Jersey City restaurants look like they did back in the day; and very few were around in the 1960s like The Barge Inn restaurant a little jewel in Jersey City’s crown. The Barge Inn serves Italian cuisine made from recipes handed down through generations. That’s why the food is so delicious – it’s authentic.
Owners Linda and Peter “Bitsy” Paldino run the restaurant which Linda’s dad John Marto opened in 1969. Linda remembers when Anne Polaro, sister to former Jersey City Mayor Anthony Cucci painted the murals depicting Italian scenes on the restaurant’s walls.
“Mayor Cucci was a friend of my dad’s,” Linda says. “I watched her do them; it took her two weeks.”