LiBretti's in Orange, New Jersey: Really Good!
Monday, October 22, 2012 • 7:06am
To celebrate my Cousin Elliott’s birthday, we decided to return to Libretti’s Restaurant and Bar in Orange. After so many years, it was a pleasure to be pleased. Portions are generous. The waitstaff is gracious, and everyone agreed they had a really delicious meal.
Proprietor Danny Lazzara and his family, (including restaurant manager, Uncle George), really care about their clientele, and it’s quite evident.
Maybe, check-it out?
What: Libretti's Restaurant
554 Nassau Street, Orange
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Noon to 10:30 p.m. Friday. 1 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday
What You Need to Know: Smart Casual dress. Weekend reservations suggested. Stunning on-premise banquet facilities. Monitored parking lots. Handicap accessible. Offering Take-out and Catering. Banquet Facilities available. Lively Karaoke Lounge/Bar every Friday and Saturday night. Check the website for all pertinent information.
Libretti’s Restaurant has been an Essex County mainstay for more than sixty-two years. Because I’d not been there for many, many years, the restaurant was hardly on my radar screen. For sure, I had no idea what to expect, and was kind of looking forward to what I’d discover. Certainly an easy ride over Scotland Road to Orange, we arrived in no time, parked our car in a guarded lot, and walked into a really comfortable bar.
To the sounds of Frank Sinatra backed by the music of Nelson Riddle, I was immediately loving the space.
Yes, folks were sipping drinks and munching appetizers, as we entered a spacious dining room, and were seated at a lovely round table. Our vivacious server Joanne took orders for drinks. A basket of bread arrived with a crock of “real” butter, delicious oil, and a platter of seasoned cannelloni beans on crusty bread. We were having fun!
After perusing the menu, guests chose Mussels Libretti with sweet peppers in a light marinara sauce,($9.95), Clams Oreganata on the half shell with seasoned bread crumbs, olive oil, and garlic, ($9.95), Fried Calamari, with a sweet Marinara sauce, ($9.95), and Libretti’s version of a Caesar salad chock full of garlic croutons, ($8.95).
Entrees, included: Chicken Scarpariello with potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, onions and peppers in a brown sauce, $16.95), Veal and Peppers, diced veal with hot peppers, served in a marinara sauce, ($18.95), Veal Saltimbocca. egg battered, mozzarella and prosciutto over escarole, served in a brown sauce with a hard boiled egg, Shrimp Scampi, butter, lemon and garlic in a white wine sauce, ($20), Shrimp Marinara over linguine, ($20).
Each entree appeared as if it were especially prepared for very special guests. Each of the accompanying pasta dishes arrived steaming. With bread to soak-up the gravy, and lots of fine wine, we all agreed, Libretti’s had not lost a bit of it’s charm.
But, it’s not just about the food. Proprietor Danny Lazzara, who lives in Marlboro and commutes to his second home in Orange, has owned Libretti's’ for fifteen years. As the fourth owner, Lazzara honed his skills at the New York Restaurant Culinary School and worked at Cascabel, a dining establishment owned by the late Geraldine Ferrraro.
When the family decided to takeover Libretti’s, Lazzara used his creative skills to design a comfortable dining room replete with solid oak molding, table cloths, subdued lighting, man-size drinks, and the sound of Sinatra. In truth, you almost feel as if you are dining out in Bay Ridge.
Lazzara is also proud of his well-trained, enthusiastic staff. Our server Joanne could easily become your best friend. She not only urges you to try whatever dish is featured on the menu, she’s quick to insist, ‘If you’re not able to finish your dinner, take it home, and enjoy it tomorrow!”
Do ask Danny to take you on a tour of his two ballrooms. Yes, there are actually two huge rooms designed for larger parties, corporate affairs, or friendly gatherings. Set apart from the dining room and bar, they are easily accessed through an entirely separate entrance.
“We have a lot of customers who come from all over New Jersey,” said Lazzara. “Once they find us, they do return.
I almost believe you will too.
YUM! Eddie Levy of Deli King of Linden sent me a delicious recipe for matzoh balls. If you have a special recipe you’d like to share, do send it to me.
Would also like to report that Fanwood’s Original Pour House will be opening soon on South Avenue in Fanwood.
Please stay in touch! Kindly let me know if you’ve discovered an exciting restaurant, bar, cafe, or bakery!
Email me: Mkbrody@aol.com
The best to you, always,
Millicent K. Brody is an award-winning writer and photographer and a resident of Westfield, New Jersey. Contact her at Mkbrody@aol.com
The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.