From Our Editors
Though his restaurant's menu of gourmet dishes suggests years spent in culinary schools, Paul Zoccola's most influential teacher was his mother. Even with seven children, she filled the family table with homemade dishes. Instilled with a desire to spread those recipes outside of his native Naples, Zoccola journeyed to America, where he started his first restaurant in New Jersey before opening Lubrano?s Ristorante Italiano in 2002.
A decade later, Zoccola still strives to unite other families over pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas crowned with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted peppers, sausage, and fresh garlic. Happy chatter picks up in the dining room as forks drop contentedly onto plates laced with traces of tomato-cream sauce, house-made alfredo, and white-wine reductions. The chef also crafts a full catering menu, which can feed large parties or help with police stings to catch people swimming right after eating.