Pizza Masters (Renato’s)

renatos pizza masters

I order from Renato’s Pizza Masters in the Heights about every other week. I eat dinner around 10pm (or later), and this place delivers late and quickly.

The funny thing is, I’ve only had pizza here three times. It’s perfectly delicious, don’t get me wrong, but my obsession lies with the fresh calamari salad. I’m apprehensive about buying seafood around here, but PM must get their squid from a great vendor, because this salad always was, and continues to be, magnificent.calamari

This past winter I started ordering soup from there, which is addictive. Pasta faglioli is my fave, but escarole and navy beans a close second.

When you want a really comforting treat-myself meal, get the chicken boscaiola, with portobello mushrooms, prosciutto, shallots, brandy, garlic, and a touch of cream.

I also jones the spicy waffle friesall of the time.

pizza masters waffle fries

What not to get: I’ve ordered zuppida clams. The broth is spot-on, but they always send mussels, which makes me sad. If you like mussels, OK. The caesar salad is over dressed which wilts the lettuce—or the lettuce is wilted anyway, I can’t tell.

All the parm sandwiches are standard, as are the mozzarella sticks, garlic knots, garlic bread with cheese and cold antipasto salad.

Anthony “Rich” De Marchi who currently heads the business alongside his sons Mark and Lorenzo, says the success of the restaurant can be summed up in three words “Quality, Service, and Price. In that order. If you don’t have the quality, you have nothing,” explained Rich. “We started in 1959 so we must be doing something right.”

The thing that many people don’t know about Renato’s, if they’re just walking down Central Avenue, is that it’s not just a pizza joint, which is what it looks like from the street and when you walk in. They have a separate entrance on Cambridge Ave. (with a parking lot) that houses a dimly-lit, fancier back room with a full bar and restaurant service. Totally different feel.PM1

But best of all, over the years Renato’s Restaurant has sponsored numerous little league teams, donated to Jersey City causes, gotten involved with local church functions (i.e. St. Joseph’s, St. Anne’s, and St. Nicholas) and organizations like The Dante Alighieri Society and Police Benevolent Association.

Mangia!
JCG

Click here to see more pictures…

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Jersey Girls Food Tours

alessiajanisjgft

The Jersey City culinary food scene is off the charts, and what better way to experience it than to enjoy a variety of cuisines from different venues—all at one reasonable price, and all in one day or one night?

Jersey Girls Food Tours (JGFT) showcase the gastronomic scene in Jersey City, perfect for locals and non-locals alike. Guests can enjoy YUMzzz from the best eateries in town and get a dose of JC history while walking from spot to spot.

My gals Janis Borroto and Alessia Aron (pictured from left to right, above) of JGFT invited me on a test run of one of their new Jersey City tours, titled “Best of Downtown.”

Click below to read about our day and find out more about the different tours…

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Best Pizza in Jersey City (Heights)

pizza jersey city

I came across this old article and thought it high time I give my opinion: Rizzo’s Bakery (208 Central Ave.) makes the best pizza in Jersey City. I will clarify this by saying “Heights,” as there are tons of pizza places downtown and I have not tried them all yet.

Before you knock me for not saying Pizza Masters or Gino’s (I have plenty of good things to say about them), hear me out on why this is my fave on the cliff:

I’ve eaten pizza at countless places in the metro area. I grew up in northern New Jersey; I lived, went to school and worked  in Manhattan for a long time, and have been to Italy, where they really do make the best pizza in the world. I have yet to have a better slice in Hudson County when it comes to a delivery/take-out spot.

This is one of the best slices you can get, you just need to know what to order.

Instead of going for the regular pie-size slice at the counter (which is the size of 1/3 of a large pie—the pic below doesn’t do it justice; that box is the size of a large 16-inch pie)…

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Order your own fresh pie with vodka sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil (be very specific). The personal size is 12 inches in diameter, so you can definitely share it if you’re not starving. (I’ll get some pics next time I order from there. Or share yours with me at jerseycitygia@gmail.com)

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I think if you order this particular pie, you will change your mind about the other pizza places around here—I also actually believe it may cure hangovers.

My other made-to-order is this sandwich: Prosciutto, mozzarella, soprresatta, hot peppers and balsamic vineagrette. This pic is just a small portion of it (Again, send me a better pic if you have one!) with the house antipasto on the side.

rizzo's sandwich

The Salad al Michelle (shrimp, chicken and romaine dressed in a creamy calorie bomb; ask for the dressing on the side if you need to), Chicken Sorrentino (chicken, veggies and pasta in tomato broth), and the bruschetta are all delish. Try one of my suggestions if you’re going to give it a chance, because everything else isn’t worth it.

Other notes: Buy their dough to make your own pizza or buy their fresh bread. Some ingredient they use makes both addictive. Rizzo’s also has Italian cookies, cannolis and, in the morning, croissants or muffins until they run out…none of which I care about, but that’s just me.

Don’t knock it until you try it—using my ordering suggestions.

 

Buon Appetito!
JCG

 

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Restaurant Week on The Hudson Starts Today

hrweekHudson Restaurant Week is back!

Starting today, July 29th, and continuing until August 9th, get your discounted prix-fixe game on and discover Jersey City restaurants you have yet to try. Here are the Jersey City restaurants participating this time around:

Bistro La Source

Boca Grande

Casa Dante

Cityside Bistro

La Conguita

Edwards Steakhouse

GP’s Restaurant

Hamilton Inn

Komegashi Too

Liberty House

Maritime Parc

Max’s of Manila

The Merchant: My review here.

Michael Anthony’s

Porto Leggero

Port-O Lounge

Satis Bistro

Skylark on the Hudson

Sky Thai

Dig in,
JCG

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Health & Wellness Deals

gym

Now that the unofficial summer season has kicked in, it’s high time we get ourselves looking pretty. Here are local deals for all of you Jersey City rezzies this week. That’s right: I do the research so you don’t have to.

Newport Swim & Fitness (Newport) is offering a two-week gym membership and a personal training session for $39. Details here.

Regenesis Healing and Wellness Medi-Spa (Historic Downtown) is offering half-off for a massage or a couples’ massage. Buy here.

Bally’s (Journal Square)  is offering a 1-month gym membership and four personal training sessions for $29. Additional info here.

Hoboken Wellness Spa (Hoboken) is giving discounts on certain face and body treatments. More info here.

Diva Spa Esthetic Center (North Bergen) is offering deals on its spa packages. Details here.

 

Tweet me and let me know what I’ve missed @jerseycitygia and email me @jerseycitygia@gmail.com if you’d like me to write about your local business.

JCG

 

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