Friday, October 30, 2009

Marzullo’s Restaurant and Cafe: The Place to Go When You Really Want to Eat

By Millicent K. Brody

For the longest time, we’ve been hearing about this great place in Montclair called Marzullo's. Coming from Westfield, where we’re actually steps away from the next restaurant, we seemed to come up with a dozen excuses, “Sure, we’ll get there. Someday soon. Maybe next month,” and on and on...until we decided to meet friends from around the area and just go.

It turned out to be a nice surprise. Of course, not really knowing where Grove Street was, we used our friendly GPS to guide us. Lo and behold, we reached our destination...a railroad track. But don’t despair. Just a few blocks down is a sprawling specialty shop/restaurant featuring pizza and huge portions of whatever it is you want to eat, plus specialty desserts.

We were there on a Saturday night, and loved Marzullo’s busy, bustling atmosphere. The place was jumping.

“It reminds me of my old neighborhood,” one of our friends commented after ordering the osso buco, ($23.95). “It’s like Brooklyn in the olden days. Imagine, being “Brooklynized” in New Jersey?”

Our other friend ordered the grilled salmon over tricolor salad with aged balsamic vinegar ($19.95). “The salmon was delicious,” she said.

I had my usual chicken parm, ($19.95), and my husband, Monty, enjoyed his veal parm, ($18.95).

The restaurant has been around for 27 years, according to Raffaele Marzullo who, with his brother and executive baker Mimmo, owns the restaurant, cafe, deli, sandwich shop, and catering establishment. Heading the kitchen is executive chef Andres Perez, who has been with the Marzullo’s since 2002.

“All of our dishes are prepared to order” he says. “Our seafood is delivered fresh daily We use a selection of private purveyors who deliver our meat, poultry, and dairy products. We are extremely particular about the quality of our food. It has to be the best.”

Do plan to visit during ‘Recession Relief Days’ on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. That’s when you’re able to take advantage of ‘Half-Price’ pasta dishes. Be assured that whichever dish strikes your fancy, you will have more than enough to eat for two or three meals. You might enjoy Fettuccini with Grilled Chicken and Mushrooms in an Alfredo sauce, ($16.95), Cavatelli with Ricotta cheese served with fresh tomato sauce, ($14.95), or Paglia e’ Fieno with asparagus, salmon, arugula, and diced tomatoes in a pink champagne sauce, ($18.95).

Milanese fans will enjoy a breaded veal cutlet with chopped greens, tomatoes, onions, and balsamic vinegar, served with a side of pasta, ($18.95). Veal Classico offers a choice of Marsala, Francaise, Piccata, or Parmigiana. Along with veal dishes there’s a full selection of chicken, steaks, chops, and seafood that include shrimp francaise, scampi, and marinara. All entrees are served with potatoes and vegetables and your choice of pasta or salad.

You can find a spot on the deli side of the restaurant, which is usually reserved for families with small children, take a seat in the main dining room, or arrange a party in their party room, which seats 60 people.

Wherever you choose to sit, do not leave without a slice of their special cheesecake, an assortment of their house-prepared biscotti, or a dish of their signature gelato.

Marzullo’s Restaurant and Cafe, 117 Grove St., Montclair
Call: 973.744.6663
Hours: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday. 10 a.m. to midnight Friday.
9 a.m. to midnight Saturday. 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
FYI: Reservations for 6 or more. Five course Dinner Special Thursday Nights, $24.95. For directions: Ample parking onsite. Handicap accessible.


Anonymous said...

I would come to Marzullo's with my parents when I was kid, and now my kids love it too!!! Marzullo's is still one of my favorite restaurants. They are a family run business for over 27 years!!! I work in Manhattan, live in NJ, and when we go out to dinner, this is where we choose to go. LOVE IT!!!

Joe said...

When we visit Montclair from our home in Michigan, we try to make it a point to go to Marzullo's. It's a great place. Having grown up in an Italian household, with parents from Italy, I enjoy Marzullo's because it is authentic Italian food. Would recommend to any one.


Giuseppe Dravasio said...

Whenever I'm in NYC, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and certainly NJ I make enough time to go to Marzulollo's Brothers by train, plane or automobile!!

The menu is complete with everything I grew up with in an Italian family. Every entire on the entire menu is expertly prepared! If you ever wondered what it was to have a Home Cooked Italian meal Marzullo's will set you straight.

After a meal at Marzullo's you'll realize Olive Garden and Macaroni Grill are poor imitations of the genuine article.

When you go tell him Giusep sent ya!!