21 South Orange Ave, South Orange
Hours: Mon-Fri, 11 am–10 pm; Sat, 11 am–11 pm; Sun, noon-10 pm.
Style: With its patterned-tin ceiling, giant retro South Orange photographs, walk-up counter, and twenty or so tables, Village Trattoria has the feel of the comfortable neighborhood hangout.
Don’t Miss: The mussels, served in hot or sweet sauce, are a popular starter ($6.95). All of the traditional favorites are here—chicken parmigiana ($12.95), meat or vegetable lasagna ($11.95), shrimp scampi ($15.95). For something a little spicier, try the Tex-Mex calzone stuffed with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, green and hot peppers, and tomato ($7.95). The specialty pizzas are the menu highlight ($7.95, $12.95, or $15.95). Pizza varieties include buffalo wing, farmer’s (with grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and honey mustard), tortellini alfredo, and five cheese (Monterey Jack, cheddar, ricotta, provolone, and mozzarella). Or order by the slice ($1.69–$2.35) and enjoy a sampling of the more than two dozen options.
Heads Up: The warm, fresh bread brought to every table is particularly worthy of pre-meal snacking. Try to resist filling up.
The Scoop: This newest location for Village Trattoria (which also has storefronts in Summit and Maplewood) occupies the space that used to house the beloved Dancing Goat coffeehouse. Based on the regular crowd since the restaurant’s autumn opening, this downtown corner hasn’t skipped a beat in its popularity.Click here to leave a comment
What's a Quick Bite? Short takes on casual, affordable dining.