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May 5, 2013 11:40 PM

Best Italian in or near Fort Lee?


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  1. How far are you willing to stray from Fort Lee?

    David's (Ciffside Park), Baci (Westwood), Savini (Allendale), Velo (Nyack), La Vera Cucina (Suffern), Vespa's (Edgewater), are a few you might want to consider.

    From all the above -- my favorites are Savini and La Vera Cucina. Savini is probably a 20-25 minute drive or so from Fort Lee. Excellent food -- fine dining, very good taste, flavor, etc. The offerings range from the traditional Italian to more creative. Every time I've been there, the food has always been very good and I've enjoyed the experience.

    La Vera Cucina is a hidden gem IMO. Excellent food, and a non-traditional flair/twist on many of the dishes. Not as "fine dining" as Savini, but in the dining room you'll see people from being nicely dressed in jeans to wearing jacket and slacks. There are tables around the bar as well, more casual, etc. and you can eat at the bar also. Same as Savini -- every time, excellent.

    1. Also, Di Palma Brothers (North Bergen). Not too far from Fort Lee. If you are looking to go "all out" check out LuNello (Cedar Grove).


      4 Replies
      1. re: ELA

        You cannot go wrong with these two recommendations, both sold choices and two of my favorites.

        If you are going to add Hudson County to your options for Old School type places.....then consider GP's and Augustino's

        1. re: fourunder

          Agreed...can't go wrong with either...

          Can you comment on GP's and Augustino's? Thank you in advance.

          1. re: ELA

            With regards to GP's, I've never been to either restaurant they have, but my friends who have said it's your typical Red sauce place with Giambotta, Pizzaiola, Marsala, Piccata and Francese. Their Jersey City Location is a little more creative and has a larger seafood offering.

            As for Augustino's, it's a quirky place which some describe as the Rao's of New Jersey. If you have ever been to Chef Vola's in Atlantic City, it's similar. ....very tough to get a reservation. This is not a place that tries reinvent the wheel, but rather they just take traditional dishes and elevate it a notch above others. They are known for their Chicken Parm , Pork Chops and Veal Raviolis. Using their Pork chop as an example, instead of serving you two small thin sliced Loin chops....they serve you a nice thick double/ triple cut/2-Bone Rib Chop. I'm fortunate that my son is friends with extended family of the owners so I do not experience the complaint others do....but I find their food well worth a few service issues. I like when they have the Veal Chop on the specials list stuffed with Spinach, Prosciutto and Cheese. For pastas, I like the Linguini with Clams...or with Shrimp and Crab.

            Another restaurant I very much like along these lines is Laico's in Jersey City.

            1. re: fourunder

              Thank you very much. Sounds like Augustino's is on my to do list, LOL.

              In Jersey City, I used to be a fan of Casa Dante.

              Thanks again.

      2. Anthony David's In Hoboken is very good.

        Dimora in Norwood is one of my favorites

        La Famiglia in Bogota is very good not expensive and BYO and not far from Fort Lee.

        Villa Almalfi in Cliffside is also very good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NJfoodLover

          Haven't been to AD's in Hoboken. I hear people talk about La Famiglia. Haven't asked specific chefs, friends, people whose opinion I respect, but I'll give it a shot. LOL. I might be more inclined to go a bit further and go to Di Palma's, but I like to try new places.

          Dimora is good and I've been trying to get back there for quite some time now. I had a chef friend of mine tell me about it and a few friends had said they enjoyed it. When I went I enjoyed it as well.

          I haven't been to Villa Amalfi in many years. I lived across the street and ended up going there with friends, for a drink, etc. It has had a reputation for a long time and has stood the test of time as far as restaurants go. I don't know how it is today, but for my tastes it was always so-so. Nice time with reliable food.

          I always found it "OK" or "safe" so to speak. The food was reliable, and "good" I guess -- and the service and ambiance was always very good. I always had mixed feelings about the place. I never got excited about going there, but always knew I'd have an "OK" meal.


        2. La Sorrentina, on Bergenline Ave in North Bergen, just at the Fairview border. From Ft Lee take River road to Bull's Ferry Rd. About 8 minutes away.

          Best food of its ilk (Ital-American) I've had in NJ. Forget DiPalma. Go here.

          Featured food is the Mussel Appetizer (Very big) as well as excellent salads and pastas. Fish of the day is FRESH. Kitchen is open, right in the middle of the restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lemarais

            La Sicilia will be disappointed to hear this.

          2. Is Jersey City near Fort Lee? You're missing out by ignoring the rec for La Sorrentina, less than 10 mins from Ft lee.

            If one was thinking to trek to JC from Bergen, they'd be much better suited to head into NYC! (Believe it or not, parking is easier in NY than JC!)

            Molto grazie.

            4 Replies
            1. re: lemarais

              It's closer than Belleville is to Paramus.


              As for the parking issue, I would disagree since Casa Dante and Rita & Joe's has their own parking lots and Laico's has plenty of street parking available since it's in a residential neighborhood (and a small on site driveway if you are lucky enough to grab spot)....And they don't serve those big portions you are always complaining about, but apparently like and recommend.

              1. re: fourunder

                That's a pizza thread, BTW. I think I did mention the long distance from Paramus.

                Mouth is watering thinking about the Cozze at La Sorentina.

                But, wait! What about DiNallo's?

                Mille grazie.

                1. re: lemarais

                  You can go to La Sorrentina and I'll go to Dinallo and DiPalma Brothers.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    They have Cozze at those places?

                    Tough on weekends, they don't take reservations. Weekdays are a better chance, though they can be packed even on a weekday!