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Rita & Joe's in Jersey City

ChefJune May 17, 2010 11:55 AM

We had dinner at Rita & Joe's in Jersey City for the 2nd time Saturday night. It's not a new place, by any means. They clearly know what they're doing with fish. We both had fish or seafood dishes last time we were there, as well. Everything around us looked equally delicious.

Food is well prepared, fresh and delicious. Excellent service also. and the prices were very reasonable.

We were pleased to see they had at least a few half-bottles of wine on their list.

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  1. jnk May 17, 2010 02:19 PM

    We haven't been there in 20 years and your review would have been accurate then too.

    1. ttoommyy May 18, 2010 07:22 AM

      I currently have lived in Hoboken for 16 years and have never once been to this place despite driving by it all the time! How old is this place by the way? I grew up in JC in the 60s and 70s, but don't remember it back then.

      1. f
        fourunder May 18, 2010 08:10 AM

        The following is coped and pasted from a previous thread I made in response to .......re: michele cindy last year in June 2009.

        Michele,

        sorry to say I have never been to, or have heard of Peppe's. For Jersey City, the two "Old School" places I use as standbys are Laico's and Rita & Joe's. Overall, I prefer Laico's for their menu, but the specials and special requests are handled better at R & J's. To this day, one of the best specials I have ever seen in a restaurant was a Cowboy Rib Eye Steak Stuffed with Sausage at R & J's. I took a client their once and he ordered it......he still talks about it to this day and I am still jealous I did not order it myself. The other item R & J's will always make special fresh for me is their Seafood Salad. made with Calamari, Scungilli , celery, red onion and Olive Oil only, no acid. Lemon wedges on the side. They will also include and honor my request for their largest shrimp on hand (U-8,10 or 12's) , as well and the dish is always served warm and never cold. Personally, I cannot stand any seafood salad pre-made with vinegar and sitting in a refrigerator for any amount of time.

        In upper Hudson County just over the Bergen County border, I really like Di Palma Brothers in North Bergen. It's the only BYOB I will recommend.

        http://www.rita-joes.com/

        http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/?s...

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623699

        -----
        Laico's
        67 Terhune Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07305

        Di Palma Brothers
        8728 Kennedy Blvd, North Bergen, NJ 07047

        5 Replies
        1. re: fourunder
          ChefJune May 19, 2010 08:38 AM

          I'm guessing it's been a while since you've eaten in Jersey City, fourunder.

          imho the best BYO in Jersey City is Madame Claude. and in Maplewood, there's the fabulous Lorena's. Altho Maplewood is not in Hudson County.

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          Madame Claude Cafe
          364 1/2 4th St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

          1. re: ChefJune
            f
            fourunder May 19, 2010 09:13 AM

            You would be correct about me eating anywhere in Jersey City recently, as I reside in Bergen County......., but outside of the ones I mentioned, I have been to both The Lighthorse Tavern and Komegashi Too a few times in the past year. I'm looking forward to trying Zeppelin Hall in the near future if possible. I don't believe they will have great food, but I'm curious to see the 144 beers on tap.

            As for the BYO issue.....if you research my history, I do not frequent them for the most part. I prefer a full service restaurant.....but that's not to say I do not believe there are a few great BYOBs out there......which include the ones you recommend.

            1. re: fourunder
              r
              RayP May 29, 2010 12:50 PM

              fourunder..I havent been to Zepp yet but I believe they have 144 taps not 144 different types of beer...there may be 20 or 30 different beers...

              1. re: RayP
                f
                fourunder May 30, 2010 05:25 AM

                Thanks for that clarification.....I would still imagine it could be an interesting experience sampling some different beers not normally available in most bars. Enjoy the weekend,

            2. re: ChefJune
              a
              asianjkun Feb 24, 2011 01:54 PM

              ChefJune, I agree. My wife and I celebrated our anniversary at Madame Claude last week. We had a great meal with personal service and a nice quaint French bistro atmosphere. We both had an appetizer, main dish, dessert and expressos. With 20% tip the total cost was $93. And we brought a fabulous bottle of wine to enjoy over dinner - no corkage charge! The neighborhood is pretty sketchy but the inside the bistro is a pleasant surprise!

              -----
              Madame Claude Cafe
              364 1/2 4th St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

          2. l
            Liz1226 May 24, 2010 06:16 PM

            FYI...
            I just got a $25 off coupon for Rita and Joe's from restaurant.com. We'll be there tomorrow!
            Love that place and go every few months!

            1. ttoommyy May 27, 2010 05:32 PM

              Just made a reservation for Saturday night. I can't tell from their web site, do they serve wine? Liquor?

              3 Replies
              1. re: ttoommyy
                f
                fourunder May 28, 2010 04:37 AM

                Sorry to say I cannot help you with the Wine List.....but yes, they have wine and full bar service.

                1. re: fourunder
                  ttoommyy May 28, 2010 05:42 AM

                  Thanks, that all I needed to know. I appreciate your answer...have a great Memorial Day weekend!

                  1. re: ttoommyy
                    f
                    fourunder May 28, 2010 06:09 AM

                    If you look at the photo album in the link, there's a quick shot of the small bar when you first enter the restaurant. There are some seats if you want to get there early for a cocktail or two......enjoy your meal.

              2. ttoommyy May 30, 2010 07:38 AM

                So, we went last night. The food was par for the course for an Italian-American joint. We all pretty much enjoyed what we had. I'd go back, but it's nothing to write home about, as they say.

                1. ChefJune Feb 14, 2012 12:44 PM

                  In the interim, since the last posts on Rita and Joes, Rita has passed away, and the restaurant was subsequently sold. New management wants you to think nothing has changed, but reality rears its ugly head as it pertains to both food and service.

                  Probably not the worst Italian-American place in Hudson county, but no longer anywhere close to the best. So sad.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ChefJune
                    f
                    fourunder Feb 14, 2012 04:31 PM

                    Sorry to hear the sad news....Thanks for the update.....and condolences to the family should they read this.

                    1. re: ChefJune
                      r
                      Reyes1310 Oct 14, 2013 12:45 AM

                      I don't know where you got this info Chef June, but miss Rita is very much alive. I work at the restaurant, and she still runs the show. Her daughter in law is in charge of management and most of the decision making as far as I am aware, but mama Rita is there every day making the cookies and making sure we keep the place running smoothly. Maybe you meant to say that her husband passed away, who I did not have the pleasure to meet. Either way, the restaurant is still the same it has always been, at least to my knowledge since I have not worked there very long.

                      I just wanted to clear that up :) hope all is well and have a good night.

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