By Sally Deering
When you step inside La Reggia restaurant in Secaucus your senses are seized by the distinct aromas of fine Italian cheeses and a warm and inviting atmosphere where tables are dressed in white linens and the wait staff is dressed in long white aprons – an homage to fine European restaurants where food and service are of the highest caliber.
Once you are seated at one of those beautifully dressed tables in the warm glow of La Reggia’s inviting dining room, you can understand why it’s affectionately called “The Little Italy of Secaucus.”
La Reggia serves Italian-American cuisine prepared with only the freshest vegetables, seafood and meats that go straight from the marketplace to the chef’s kitchen and then to your plate. Co-owners Chef Enzo Carputo and Alfonso Corbosiero set the standards high at La Reggia and ever since it opened its doors in 1998, those standards continue to be met.
Chef Enzo creates exquisite Italian dishes that surprise, impress and ultimately satisfy beyond expectation. In his own words, “I want to educate the people, I want them to know what real Italian Food is,” he says.
Born in Naples, Italy, Enzo Carputo came to the U.S. in 1980 and settled down in New Jersey. He learned to cook at a young age and his talent led to a career as Executive Chef for several fine restaurants where his dishes earned Five-Star ratings. At La Reggia, Chef Enzo will sometimes step away from the stove to visit with the guests in his dining room.
The menu at La Reggia offers a vast array of choices. Appetizers feature Caprese with Prosciutto di Parma, Fresh Mozzarella & Tomato; Wild Boar Sausage with Polenta & Fontina Cheese; Fried Calamari with Sweet, Hot or Ginger Sauce; Antipasto Italiano with imported Meats & Cheeses; and Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto, Parmiggiano Crust & Cream Champagne Sauce.
Salads include Arugola with Baby Beets & Goat Cheese, Sherry Vinaigrette; Grilled Asparagus with Mixed Greens Shaved Pecorino Fresco, Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil; La Reggia Salad, Field Greens with Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Portobello Mushroom, Sundried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts & Balsamic Vinaigrette; and Poached Pear Salad, Mixed Greens, Candied Walnuts & Gorgonzola Cheese in a Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Pasta dishes include Veal Cannelloni, Homemade Crepe Stuffed with Braised Veal & Spinach, Besciamella Sauce & Fresh Tomato; Penne Arrabbiata, Pancetta, Shallots, Italian Hot Peppers & Plum Tomato; Rigatoni Bolognese, Classic Meat Sauce; Linguine Alle Vongole, Classic White or Red Clam Sauce; Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo; and Linguine Nero with Calamari, Clams, Mussels, Arugola & Light Tomato Sauce.
Entrees feature Veal A Piacere, Francese, Picatta, Marsala or Parmigiano; Grilled Veal Paillard with Escarole & Wild Mushroom Saute; Pork Tenderloin with Sun Dried Cherries, Port Wine Sauce served with Risotto; Pork Chop Valdostano stuffed with Prosciutto & Fontina Cheese in a Porcini Mushroom Sauce; 20 oz. Black Angus Rib Eye Steak Arrabbiata sauté with Italian Hot Peppers, Shitake Mushrooms, Madeira Sauce; Poached Salmon with Julienne Vegetables, Tomato/Thyme Beurre Blanc; and, Herb Crusted Chilean Sea Bass with Orange Scented Tomato Broth served with Ginger Risotto.
There are daily Chef’s Specials, too, like the Gamberi con Orance e Finocchio, Shrimp with Orange & Fennel appetizer; and Risotto alla Pescatore, Shrimp, Scallop, Calamari, Clams, and Mussels entree. For dessert, you might want to try the Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream.
Mondays through Fridays La Reggia serves an extensive lunch buffet and whether you want to eat light or hearty, there’s something for everyone. It features Antipasto Italiano; Soup, Pizza, Frittata, Garlic Bread, Grilled Vegetables, Salad, Six Hot Chafing Dishes brimming with Meatballs, Chicken and other hearty fare; a Pasta station, Fresh Fruit, and Dessert Table. On a recent Monday, the Chicken Soup was soup of the day and it was divine – hearty pieces of chicken in a delicious, lightly seasoned broth. The salads and vegetables were fresh and flavorful and the balsamic vinaigrette dressed the salad with just the right zing.
La Reggia is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it offers on-site catering for special events like weddings, baby and bridal showers, class reunions, Quinceanera or Sweet 16 parties, engagements, christenings, anniversaries and birthdays. La Reggia also caters corporate functions and meetings.
Whether you’re an out-of-towner staying at the Meadowlands Plaza Hotel in Secaucus or a Hudson resident looking for fine Italian dining, a trip to La Reggia is like a feast for the soul.
If you go:
La Reggia Restaurant, Banquets & Lounge40 Wood Ave Secaucus, NJ 07094
Open 7 days a week
Breakfast: Mon-Sun, 7 am-10:30 am
Lunch: Mon-Fri, 11:30 am-3 pm
Dinner: Mon-Thurs, 4 pm-10 pm
Fri, 4 pm-11 pm
Sat, 1 pm-11 pm
Sun, 3 pm-9 pm