A year ago, after being delayed by a storm named Sandy, Vintage Italian Restaurant had its Grand Opening on November 19th. Now, with a little more than 365 days under her belt and with Thanksgiving here, Vintage owner Clelia ‘Claire’ Morabito is thankful to the community for its patronage. She stated, while taking a break from being hands on for a dinner party, “As you can see, I’m everywhere and always tending to whatever our guests needs, be they one person or a large party.”
Claire was also getting the final touches on the Thanksgiving menu for Thursday when the restaurant will be open from 1 p.m. till 7 at night. The menu will have 10 hot dishes and 10 cold dishes which includes turkey, all the trimmings, veal, and even some other dishes for those in the mood for Italian flare – all for $20 per person.
Along the way since last November, Vintage has expanded what it has to offer, keeping in line with listening to their clientele; everything from having live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights and Karaoke on Thursday nights to introducing new dishes such as Chicken a la Claire, Veal a la Claire, Chicken Royale, as well As Pasta Pistachio to the return of Ossobuco to the menu. Additionally, $20 four-course family style dinners, which were very popular for fundraisers, are now a daily staple. And for those who enjoy the take out meals at Vintage Express, an early bird special for $9.95 that includes a soup or salad, a main course, and a side dish will be available from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 pm. on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. By popular demand, Claire has also opened Vintage on Sundays starting at 1 p.m. for families who like to enjoy a meal after attending church.
“Not to worry though, we still have all the traditional, authentic, and original seasonal favorites that everyone loves,” Claire stated about their signature dishes, adding that Vintage still prepares gluten-free meals for those who request it.
Off premise catering – which needs as little as one day notice – has also grown as Vintage delivers meals that arrive hot to locations all throughout the state from Lakewood to Bridgewater to Linden and even Roselle Park. Different packages from $10 and up can be accommodated. She commented, “From Veteran Halls to Knight Of Columbus banquet halls to people’s homes, our food doesn’t arrive cold and then is heated up, we used transportation with heating bins to keep the food hot when it arrives. Trust me, there’s a difference in the flavor. It’s like having fresh food versus leftovers.”
Now gearing up for all the holiday parties that are being booked from now till the end of the year, Claire said that parties of any size can be arranged for $19.95 per person with a menu of 20 items, “We continue to bring the combination of great food and a good time for families and friends to get together.”
As a way to give back to the community, Vintage takes part in Dining To Donate – just recently for the Church of the Assumption – and participates in town events such as donating a trophy for the Cruising Night Car Show, Sandy Relief, and preparing food for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and local churches.
Looking into the near future, not only will there be a Christmas Eve dinner and a New Year’s Eve Party, but starting in January, open mic will be held starting on January 14, 2014. For those interested, New Year’s Eve will be $75 per person and include food, drinks, entertainment, tax, and gratuity.
A senior couple who were dining next to us commented while we were waiting for Claire to return from addressing a question from the staff that they come to Vintage once a week and enjoy the authentic Italian cuisine; this week they came twice.
Another diner, Bonnie, stated, “This is like Nonna’s food. I can tell my Nonna that she doesn’t have to cook anymore.”
As the conversation ended with Claire, she stated that she wished us and everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Holiday season, adding, “It’s not only good to be part of Roselle Park, a town that is in my heart, but it’s such a wonderful thing to be able to give back to a community that has given so much to me and my family.
Vintage Italian Restaurant is located at 9 West Westfield Avenue and is opened from Tuesday to Thursday 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with the bar closing at 11 p.m. during the week and 2 a.m. on the weekend. They are opened on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Their phone number is (908) 445-4520 and their website is vintageitalianrestaurant.net. Vintage Express, which specializes in take-out and informal dining is located next door at 7 West Westfield Avenue and their number is (908) 445-8235.