Di Palma Brothers Restaurant
8728 Kennedy Blvd, North Bergen, NJ
For North Jersey residents, Italian food is something of a paradox. Certainly, when you think of this state and the ethnic makeup of the area, especially if you aren’t from around here, one would think there were a ton of quality Italian and Italian-American restaurants (especially if you watch The Sopranos).
The the reality is that while there are many, many Italian eateries in Jersey, most of them serve the same sort of mediocre Italian American red sauce cuisine using canned goods and SYSCO-type ingredients. Italian cuisine as represented in most of our restaurants is plentiful, but it sure isn’t good. Many North Jersey residents looking for the real deal are often made to head into the Bronx or Manhattan if they want a quality Italian dining experience.
One place that is the exception to this rule is Di Palma Brothers, in North Bergen. The family has been running the restaurant out of this location for a very long time, and the building was established as a business by the family since 1907. The atmosphere is unique — the entire place is plastered with antiques (all of which are for sale) and curios, so you are literally eating in an antique store.
The cuisine, while heavily focused on red sauce Italian American, is the finest example of its type. Di Palma is using top quality imported ingredients and cooking just about everything from scratch. The portions are also very large — your average couple would do fine with sharing an entree and an appetizer, otherwise you’ll find yourself taking a lot of food home.
Storefront on Kennedy Blvd.
Antique vanity in the entrance which divides the main dining room.
A view of the right side of the main dining room
The menu which changes fairly frequently.
Everyone gets this complimentary salad — there is no salad on the menu.
Complimentary Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Garlic as well.
Stuffed Pepper appetizer, with sausage, cheese and pasta.
Arancini, rice balls made out of risotto.
Seafood Pasta a la Cartoccio. Seafood was cooked perfectly and the sauce had a nice spicy bite to it.
Spinach Fagottini, a type of fresh stuffed pasta crepe similar to a Manicotti.
The restaurant is BYOB but I thought I would show you how nice the wine is presented.
Chicken Parmigiana, plated
The non-pasta dishes all come with full plates of pasta.
Italian Meatloaf, Stuffed with Cheese and Mushrooms
Italian Meatloaf, Plated
The left side of the main dining room, as seen from the rear by the restrooms.
Honey Pecan Zeppoles, which was served complimentary that evening. This went great with the perfectly made Illy Espresso.
The restrooms are also decked out in antiques.