Each plate of pasta at Theresa's Restaurant is a work of in-house craftsmanship made daily by dedicated chefs. This devotion to fresh ingredients is evident in the ravioli, which changes to suit the season, and in several seafood entrees, which need to be eaten immediately lest sharks track the scent of fish onto land. Meats such as steak and veal headline other main dishes, which waiters set on white tablecloths in a dining room filled with natural light. For dessert, a serving of homemade banana bread pudding—garnished with cinnamon gelato and caramel sauce—pairs well with a hot drink from the cappuccino and espresso bar.
At Nunzio's Pizzeria, pizza experts whip up more than 20 varieties of specialty pizzas with inventive topping combinations such as chicken and alfredo sauce or fresh mussels. In addition to pies, they extend their culinary expertise towards a variety of other pizzeria classics—including hot subs, calzones, and mozzarella sticks—as well as authentic Italian favorites like eggplant rollatini pasta and veal saltimboca. Diners can split these dishes on intimate tabletops in the sunny seating area, or opt for carryout service to enjoy pizza and ill-advised food juggling routines in the privacy of their own homes.
Wall sconces cast an orange glow on Basilico’s exposed-brick walls, creating a soothing atmosphere as guests munch on authentic, lovingly crafted Italian dishes. After graduating from the Hotel Management School in Alassio, Italy, owners Mario DeMarco and Angelo Delbecchi journeyed to Millburn to showcase their culinary prowess and inhuman ability to squeeze wheat flour so hard that it transforms into pasta. Patrons can sample dishes such as hand-tucked ravioli with porcini mushrooms drenched in a walnut-and-white-truffle sauce, and braised veal shank coupled with homemade fettuccine. In warmer months, guests can nosh on freshly handmade pastas or grilled skirt steaks out on the patio.
Richard Castellano had two passions in life: acting and cooking. He pursued the former, taking on the role of Peter Clemenza in The Godfather and earning an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1970 film, Lovers and Other Strangers. Castellano passed away before he could pursue his passion in the kitchen, so his nieces and nephews decided to do so in his honor. The result is La Cucina de Clemenza Ristorante, where chefs prepare Italian fare from fresh ingredients. Grass-fed veal scaloppini, shrimp scampi, and chicken balsalmico emerge from the kitchen alongside hearty pasta dishes, such as the penne alla cinque cinque, which features jumbo shrimp and arugula sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil. Diners twirl their forks and swirl glasses of wine amid decor that makes the restaurant’s silver-screen inspiration known. Alongside portraits of Castellano and quotes from his Godfather alter ego, a pastoral mural depicts the Italian countryside where Don Corleone and Pete Clemenza played hide-and-go-seek in the director’s cut.
Pizzeta Enoteca dishes up Italian fare, but nothing about this eatery is stuffily traditional. Instead, the staff strives to create a fresh, hip atmosphere, one that appeals to New Jersey’s young families. The menu makes the concept clearer with its headlining pizzetas and their unique toppings. The small-serving, thin-crust pies come crowned with everything from buffalo chicken to four-cheese blends to garden vegetables, mozzarella, and garlic to mimic the flavors of caprese salad. Although Millburn-Short Hills Patch says that “pizza is the way to go at Pizzeta,” the menu boasts a slew of tasty antipasti, paninis, and pastas. It also has dessert covered. Ricotta-filled cannoli and espresso-soaked tiramisu end meals more sweetly than a hug from a waiter who happens to be a kitten.