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Best "Casual" ITALIAN in Toms River please.......

Tapas52 Aug 4, 2008 06:27 PM

Can someone point me in the right direction to having a decent meal at a good casual Italian restaurant in the Toms River area..........since moving here I've had nothing but less enjoyable dinners at a few different places so far without naming them here...ranging from just ok to horrible. So far I've had uncooked pasta, tasteless stewed tomato watery sauces, terrible service, .........I know there are some expensive so called fine dining places like Villa Amalfi, Villa Vittoria, etc etc but I am just looking for a good every day type place with some good red sauce dishes, etc ... Any suggestions are appreciated....thank you.

  1. c
    cling0017 Feb 2, 2009 01:13 PM

    Johnny G's on Hooper Ave in Toms River .. it's very casual, takeout or eat in, and their sauce is amazing.


    5 Replies
    1. re: cling0017
      big1515 Feb 10, 2009 12:00 PM

      Luigi's just out side TR in Manchester ,Is excellent ,consistant and reasonable ..This combination is hard to beat .There soups and seafood are outstanding .

      1. re: big1515
        AC Captain Feb 10, 2009 12:21 PM

        Big is Luigi's on rt 37?

        1. re: AC Captain
          Tapas52 Feb 10, 2009 12:26 PM

          Luigis is in downtown

          21 Union Ave, Lakehurst - (732) 657-7000

          1. re: Tapas52
            AC Captain Feb 10, 2009 01:01 PM

            Thanks Tapas

            1. re: AC Captain
              Tapas52 Feb 10, 2009 03:25 PM

              Enjoy & report back to us.

    2. njfreqflyer Jan 23, 2009 10:45 AM

      Hi Tapas (and others!) --

      Any updates on results from the quest for a decent meal of Italian food last summer? I'm soon going to be shopping for a caterer (Italian food dinner of seafood, chicken/veal, and pasta entrees) and wondering which places I should put on my short-list.


      2 Replies
      1. re: njfreqflyer
        Babs16 Jan 23, 2009 02:12 PM

        I have used Jacques Caterers in Hazlet and was not dissapointed by any means. I ordered rolled eggplant parm., beef bourguignon, penne in vodka sauce just to name a few things. All 60 of the my guests raved about the food.

        You can also hire a waitress or bartender through them. They will bring everything that you will need for your party.


        Joe Leones in PT. Pleasant is also a place to look into.

        1. re: njfreqflyer
          HelenB Feb 10, 2009 11:50 AM


          Thanks for your pointers in the topic for DDC! You seem to be an active member here and I read some of your posts, and figure that our tastes can be quite similar. If you are looking at catering in Toms River, you may want to check out Toscano. Got their link attached here for you.


          We have tried their food, they are quite tasty! The side dishes are wonderful! They have a sauce called Sunday Gravy and it just tastes like the sauce that my husband's grandmother(Italian old timer...everything is made from scratch!)

        2. katydid13 Aug 16, 2008 08:17 AM

          I've had great pizza and some good red-sauce dishes (esp. stuffed eggplant) at Shady Rest in Bayville, just south of Toms River on Route 9.

          6 Replies
          1. re: katydid13
            Tapas52 Aug 16, 2008 03:14 PM

            Katy thanx thats not to far from us ....we'll check it out. address?

            1. re: Tapas52
              katydid13 Aug 17, 2008 01:20 PM

              I know it's on Route 9 but don't know the exact number. I'm sure it's listed. I think the full name is something like Shady Rest Pizza Parlor.

              1. re: katydid13
                Tapas52 Aug 17, 2008 09:00 PM

                Shady Rest Restaurant
                796 Us Highway 9
                Bayville, NJ 08721

                1. re: Tapas52
                  johnandlisa Aug 18, 2008 10:20 AM

                  Yes, Shady Rest does have good pizza. We recently tried them because we had heard about their pizza. Worth the trip.


                  1. re: johnandlisa
                    AC Captain Aug 20, 2008 10:18 PM

                    Shady's great!
                    Best eggplant parm I know of.

                    1. re: AC Captain
                      Tapas52 Aug 21, 2008 08:00 AM

                      Thanx Shady Rest is on our list.....we also hit Capones In Toms River Yesterday & enjoyed the Brick oven pizza we'll be back for dinner....

          2. AC Captain Aug 7, 2008 07:25 AM

            Try the Hot Tomato on Fishcer. I have not been there in a year or so but always have had a very good casual Italian dinner there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: AC Captain
              Tapas52 Aug 7, 2008 10:55 AM

              Last time I was at RIVOLIS on Fisher Blvd......I saw Hot Tomato.....Ive heard good things about them but have yet to try it.....maybe soon ....


              1. re: Tapas52
                Tapas52 Aug 9, 2008 12:48 PM

                We felt like some Pizza for lunch today thought since I haven't tried Capones in TR yet I'd try it on good recommendations for lunch....disappointed it was closed for some reason....so ended up in Palumbos in the Office Lounge shopping center.....that was a bigger disappointment Ho hum dried out pizza with no taste Argggg! Looks like I'll have to hit Lenny's in Lavellette or Marucas in Seaside but the crowds now & parking is atrocious....but closer in town there aint much...or is there? As far as Dinner regarding the topic title I'll be hitting these places soon also on your recommendations Thanx....

                BTW what about Atillios pizza across from the Old Time Tavern?

            2. j
              johnandlisa Aug 5, 2008 01:36 PM

              Lisa and I share your pain. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I'll mention the same place I mentioned for pizza in the TR area: Capone's on Washington Street. Give them a try. 17 Washington St. 732.473.1777.

              Hope this helps.


              3 Replies
              1. re: johnandlisa
                Tapas52 Aug 5, 2008 03:07 PM

                John we actually went to Capones one night but to our dismay it was closed.....must have been too late.......its is on our list for sure also. Its all about the sauce for us.

                1. re: Tapas52
                  TedyB Aug 7, 2008 06:30 AM

                  Capones is a good solid choice for casual Italian. They make great Ravioli's there and have a good vodka sauce as well. Should be right up your alley.

                  I also here On Top of Spaghetti is good in Seaside Heights but I have never been there.

                  1. re: TedyB
                    emilyb27 Aug 19, 2008 07:25 AM

                    On Top of Spaghetti in Seaside is good solid italian food. In the winter some of the meals were less than stellar, but recently the food has been above par as far as "shore italian food". The staff there is what makes us keep on going back.

              2. a
                Anne Aug 5, 2008 07:10 AM

                Lenny's in Lavalette. They've been there for over 20 years and have only gotten better each year. Everything---from their pasta dishes to their pizza to their seafood specials---is delicious. And yes, it's worth the drive.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Anne
                  Tapas52 Aug 5, 2008 09:55 AM

                  Anne yes Lenny's pizza is super & now as per your suggestions will try dinner there asap also....but as a local we try to stay away from the shore until the B.E.N.N.I.E.S. go home after labor day weekend.....its just too crowded there at this time, parking etc etc ...


                  1. re: Tapas52
                    Anne Aug 5, 2008 12:32 PM

                    Yes, I understand---although I haven't heard them called B.E.N.N.I.E.S. in years LOL! Try going Tuesday through Thursday. The crowds aren't as bad. Besides, once you have the rolled eggplant (with the proscuitto) you'll forget any inconvenience. Lenny's will be our first stop when we get out there 11 days from now. Can't wait! By the way, here's a link to their menu:

                    1. re: Anne
                      vealstew42 Aug 6, 2008 09:46 PM

                      hi Anne,

                      I just checked out Lenny's Pizza website.
                      Very Nice.

                      One thing bothers me. not with only this website but most Pizza Places.
                      Why is it that Veal, whether it be Parmigiano, Marsala, Pizziaola, Francese, Picatta is only $17.00. ?
                      Then you have Chicken dishes served the same styles as the veal for $16.00 ..

                      There has been discussion many times on these boards about this practice.

                      We all Know the Veal is in most cases is at least 5 times more expensive than chicken breast. This is a modest number(5 Times).

                      average chicken cutlet= $1.50 per pound
                      average Veal for scallopine $8 to $ 15 per pound(depends on which cut these places purchase)

                      Here comes tha age old discussion.
                      How can these places possibly charge only $17 for VEAL?
                      and yet get $16 for Chicken?

                      I am afraid that some pizza restaurants think it is OK to serve some sort of Pork Loin in place of that ever so covetted Veal.

                      I am not saying that Lenny's does this( I hope and think not), I just happened to see their menu ( website ) on this forum,
                      I have never been to Lenny's and I am sure it is Excellent.

                      Just think about all the places that charge the same price for a product that actually costs at least 5 times more.. How is this feasible or practical???

                      I am afraid to tell you all that Yes, unfortunatly when you order veal in many a Pizza Parlor, you are in FACT eating PORK LOIN that costs a whopping $1.99 per pound........
                      There is nothing wrong in my mind about Pork Parmigiano, in fact I really enjoy it.....
                      But please Restaurant owners who practice this dreadful business, Come clean......Youy Know Who You ARE>>>>>

                      Thank you.


                      1. re: vealstew42
                        Anne Aug 7, 2008 12:13 PM

                        Can't say I've ever noticed this as I'm not a big fan of veal. However, my brother LOVES veal and ALWAYS orders veal parmigiano whenever he is in an Italian restaurant. He's always been extremely pleased with the veal parm. he's gotten at Lenny's. And my brother is the type that wouldn't think twice about complaining---LOUDLY in a crowded restaurant---if he thought they were pulling a fast one on him.

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