Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Nov 25, 2011 08:48 PM

Cafe Spezia in Manalapan

[NOTE: we've moved this discussion from the thread at


I miss Wing Daddy too. Great wings.

New place is "Cafe Spezia" .. got an advertising postcard in the mail today, buy 1 get 1 half price on various items. And yes, it's Italian (of course!), plus steak and seafood. Could not find it through Google, but of course I didn't try the obvious:

Website not completed yet. Postcard said "Coming Soon" so I have no idea when they'll be open.

So in the space of about a year and a half, 3 restaurants in that one spot. I just don't think it's a good location. You don't see it until you're right on top of it, and by that time it's too late to turn in.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Maybe it is me, but those prices seem kind of high for the area and for what it is.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Angelina

          And just in case you think we don't have enough Italian restaurants in the area, a new Italian/pizza place is being built on the site of the former Le Peep in Manalapan (Rt. 9 South), plus a new Italian chain is being constructed from the ground up next to PF Chang's at the Freehold Raceway Mall.

          Most of Cafe Spezia's prices, to me, seem to be in line with other places. Some of them seem a little high, though.

          1. re: MarlboroMan

            What is it with the influx of Italian American restaurants....??? yuck! SO sick of it! What makes them think they are better than the restaurant 2 doors down from them anyway??

            1. re: MarlboroMan

              Veal, chicken, or shrimp Francese over -- gulp -- mashed potatoes?! They can't be serious! And four other main courses include mashed potatoes. Then there are four main courses served over vegetable risotto. Spare me!


              1. re: RGR

                This place must be good, I just read a raving review in the "Shop-a-holic" magazine... :-)

                  1. re: yCf

                    Guess who owns the Shop-a-holic? Same people who own Cafe Spezia, Paco's Taco's, and the Philly Cheesesteak Factory.

                    I actually had decent steak fajitas the other night at Paco's. Tender skirt steak, guac was freshly made, too.

                    But anyway.. that explains the slew of ads when Paco's Taco's was "coming" a few years ago.

                    1. re: MarlboroMan

                      That is interesting information. MM. So, now we're getting the onslaught of ads, special offers, etc., for Spezia.


                1. re: MarlboroMan

                  I think the prices are pretty reasonable based on the menu online. Given, I haven't seen the portions... It's much cheaper than Nonna's Citi Cucina down the street in Marlboro.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. Thanks for the Wing Daddy shout out. You nailed it on the head about the location. I wish the new guys well.