Behind stone countertops lit by orange pendant lights, staff members slice up thin-crust pizza, fill plates with pasta, and pile Angus beef burgers with toppings and condiments. Chefs slide over plates of Italian specialties such as veal parmigiana and penne alfredo as well as American-style fare such as wraps and chicken wings. Soft drinks from the soda fountain splash into ice-filled cups to accompany dinners, and the restaurant's BYOB policy encourages diners to bring in a bottle of their favorite libation, such as red wine or smoothies made from bottled ships, to accompany all-you-can eat pasta and signature angel pizza with fresh greens and bruschetta tomatoes. For offsite events, the catering menu offers trays of chicken parmigiana, baked ziti, and antipasto to fuel holiday parties and family gatherings.
Chef Bruno LaMarca began his culinary career at a ski resort in the mountains of Abruzzo before traveling to Burlington County, where he spent the next few decades working in the pizzeria business. Though he briefly flirted with the idea of opening restaurants elsewhere, LaMarca ultimately decided to stick around, saying “I always wanted to stay local and give my friends, family and neighbors a nice restaurant.” So, he purchased a local ice-cream shop, remodeled it to look like a Tuscan villa, and opened Casamari Restaurant.
Today, Chef LaMarca cooks up homestyle Italian favorites such as lobster manicotti, veal saltimbocca, and Italian-style crab cakes filled with lump crab meat, zucchini, and fresh herbs. Since his restaurant is BYOB, diners can pair their dishes with a bottle of wine or really old grape juice from home.
Amid the verdant, golf-cart-traversed grounds of Indian Spring Country Club and Pennsauken Country Club, executive chef Dean Marco blends herbs with Maryland crab meat to make his broiled jumbo lump crab cakes. The crisp yet creamy morsels, which are Marco’s signature dish, are properly placed near the top of the menu at Marco’s Restaurant, above succulent meats such as filet mignon, Atlantic salmon, and whole crabs with authentic New England accents. Given both locations’ proximity to the links, each kitchen also sates golfers’ appetites with Angus burgers and sandwich baskets that come with optional sides such as lobster-and-shrimp bisque.
At La Posata Ristorante, guests are welcome to bring their dates, families, and bottles of wine to dinner. The family-owned BYOB hosts lunch and dinner menus with homemade pastas as the foundation for entrees of grilled eggplant with sundried tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella or lobster with sweet peas and roasted red peppers. Homemade tiramisu or crème brulee add finishing touches to meals unless diners request showers of confetti.
At Apollo’s casual eatery, cooks layer freshly baked Italian rolls with a variety of deli meats and cheeses and top from-scratch pizza dough with herbs, sauce, and a house-blended mix of cheeses. When they’re not hand-tossing dough or stuffing strombolis with custom ingredients, they’re crafting homemade meat lasagna, sausage-stuffed pasta shells, and seafood plates such as fillet of flounder. They also prepare hoagies, burgers, and a sextet of salads made with garden-fresh veggies.
Michael Scotto draws on his native Italian heritage and knowledge of traditional recipes at Jester’s Cafe’s, which serves classic Italian dishes crafted to pair with a deep, international-wine menu. Italian and Australian varietals of red and white complement high-grade poultry and filet mignon delivered fresh daily, creating worldly meals without the pulpy aftertaste left after chewing through a road atlas. The eatery fosters a cheerful ambiance with a wide array of specialty cocktails mixed with top-shelf vodkas, rum, and even champagne. Jester’s Cafe also provides a semisecluded back room for private parties as well as off-premises catering services for wedding parties and postdivorce luaus.