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Category: Business Review

Sushi Samba is worth the trip to the West Village

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By Kevin Canessa Jr.

Observer Correspondent 

NEW YORK CITY – 

If you’re a fan of sushi — but don’t like being limited to just sushi when you go out to eat — Sushi Samba in New York City’s West Village is the place to go. Better yet, if you like a mix of Brazilian and Peruvian food, you’re going to fall in love with Sushi Samba quicker than you could imagine.

The first Sushi Samba opened in New York City in 2000, when one of the owners, a frequent visitor to Sao Paolo, Brazil learned that Sao Paolo had the largest concentration of Japanese people outside Japan, according to the restaurant’s general manager Joe Ofmani. Back then, the owner decided he wanted to fuse a love for sushi with the incredible cuisines of Brazil and Peru.

And from there, things took off.

There are now other locations in London, Las Vegas, South Beach Miami and Coral Gables, Fla. (home to the University of Miami).

Dining at any of the locations, but most notably in New York, is like nothing you’ll experience elsewhere, Ofmani says.

 

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“And that’s because we like people to really enjoy the whole experience at Sushi Samba,” Ofmani said. “We want our guests to experience the menu and the atmosphere. We ask our guests what they like and don’t like. So what ultimately happens is our diners will enjoy sushi and hot food together.”

Ofmani says the concept at Sushi Samba is to “share a little of a lot of food.”

“It’s family style,” he said. “And our patrons really enjoy it that way.”

But it’s hardly just the food that contributes to the whole experience at Sushi Samba. Every Friday and Saturday night, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., there’s a DJ on hand to play what Ofmani calls “Samba House” music.

“There’s a lot of drum and bass sounds,” Ofmani said. “It really contributes to a great atmosphere.”

That atmosphere is spread over two entire floors, as well.

There’s a huge dining area that includes an incredibly big bar (see above photos). And, the second floor includes a completely outdoor dining experience with New York City views.

“If the weather is good, it’s a great way to experience Sushi Samba,” Ofmani said.

Ofmani says there are two happy hours at Sushi Samba every day of the week except Saturdays. The first is from 4 to 7 p.m., and the second is from 11 p.m. until closing. There are a lot of drink specials — and that includes the city’s largest selection of the Japanese drink sake.

Sake is made from fermented rice, Ofmani says, and its creation process is similar to the preparation of beer.

“We pair it with the types of food people decide to order,” Ofmani said. “It’s a lot like how wine is paired with different foods. There are many kinds to choose from.”

So just how good is Sushi Samba?

Lots of celebrities have dined there over the years.

You never know if you’ll bump into former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, or Jamie Foxx, Alyssa Milano, Willow Smith, Lindsay Lohan — or a host of others who have repeatedly returned to the restaurant.

And, not too long ago, chefs from the restaurant appeared on “Good Day New York” with Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto.

So if you’re looking for a great meal and want the entire New York City experience, give Sushi Samba a try. Chances are by the time you get home, you’ll be stuffed and planning another visit to the place in the not-too-distant future.

In this economy, local businesses need advertising to survive

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By Ryan Sloan 

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

Some economic experts say we’re well on the road to recovering from the Great Recession of a few years ago. Others say we’re nowhere near recovered.

Regardless, one thing has stood the test of time for more than 125 years — through the Great Depression, numerous recessions and all sorts of other economic issues — and that is The Observer newspaper as a place where local business owners can showcase themselves to attract maximum exposure and the clientele needed for survival.

The Observer newspaper boasts a robust print circulation of more than 30,000 newspapers a week with around 100,000 estimated readers in West Hudson, South Bergen and part of Essex County.

But the newspaper’s reach goes well beyond the tri-county area with our e-Edition, which is an exact replica of the print edition — and with www.TheObserver.com.

The website is read, each week, on average, by some 30,000 people not just locally, but in Jersey City, Newark, New York City, many cities in Florida (where locals have gone to retire) other places in North America — and across the globe, with heavy readership in England, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil and other countries in Europe and South America.

And for our advertisers, the e-Edition is an added bonus. Each week, an estimated 12,000 people across the country and globe read the e-Edition. And what’s more, there is no additional charge for ads bring run in the e-Edition.

Businesses that advertise with The Observer — especially new businesses — are more likely to succeed in the long run, according to Bob Pezzolla, who has been The Observer’s general manager since 2002. In his experience, he says ones that commit succeed — and ones that don’t are much less likely to succeed.

To achieve that success, Pezzolla estimates that new business must budget at least 10% of start-up capital for advertising.

“Too many times over the years, I’ve seen so many great people start a business that folds after six months,” Pezzolla said. “What happens is they have great intentions, have a few customers, but don’t understand that, without getting the word out that they’re there, they’re likely not going to succeed. So I’d definitely say 10% of the kick-off capital has to be for advertising.”

Meanwhile, business can opt to advertise on www.TheObserver. com alone. Presently, attorney Anthony Riposta, Better Homes and Gardens | Coccia Realty, Mid-Realty, Brady, Brady & Reilly and the Kearny Family Health Center all have prominent ads on The Observer’s website.

Each ad includes a direct link to each business’ website.

“While many other publications have refused to embrace the online versions of newspapers, we’ve embraced it,” Pezzolla said. “And considering how many people visit our site each week, our advertisers are able to showcase their businesses not just locally, but across the country and the globe. There aren’t many weekly newspapers that can boast that as we can.”

Lastly, businesses that have remained with The Observer for a long period of time are featured in this space regularly — The Business Review section. It’s here that a member of the newspaper’s staff writes a complete, one-page review on the advertisers. Additionally, a banner ad is placed along with the editorial. It’s one of many ways The Observer gives back to those who have been loyal.

And of course, if you’re a new business owner — or have never advertised before — The Observer’s professional art staff will create and design an ad for you, completely as you want it to appear.

So what are you waiting for? Contact a member of the sales staff today by calling 201-991-1600, by sending an email to advertising@theobserver. com or by stopping by our office at 39 Seeley Ave., Kearny, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. As The Observer continues to grow, let us help your business grow with us.

Make the call today!

Keypoint Mortgage eases process of getting a mortgage, refinancing

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By Ryan Sloan

Observer Correspondent 

NORTH ARLINGTON — 

Though the rules have significantly changed since the sub-prime loan crisis of 2009, one thing has remained consistent: Keypoint Mortgage is still there for mortgage-seekers, or for those seeking to refinance, without the hassle of having to deal with largescale banks.

And perhaps best of all, Keypoint deals with more than 20 different lenders throughout the country, so the chances of successfully securing a loan are much greater with Keypoint than they are with a single bank, thanks to the variety of choices out there.

Mortgage broker Rob Pezzolla has owned and operated Keypoint Mortgage since 2003. When he first opened the business in North Arlington — there’s now also a branch office in Summit — he did so to make the home-loan process easier for clients.

“When you deal with a bank, you’re dealt with what they have to offer,” Pezzolla said. “When you’re with us, we make the process painless and have considerably more options when it comes to potential lenders.”

Indeed, Keypoint does.

But because of the changes to borrowing guidelines that were instituted after the subprime crisis five years ago, while it’s still easier and more convenient to get a mortgage through his Mortgage Broker, it might not be as easy as it was before the crisis hit.

“That’s because there was a time where people were getting mortgages without any documentation,” Pezzolla said. “Places were approving mortgages without a paystub, or without any paperwork, from borrowers. It doesn’t work that way anymore, but as a broker, we offer the flexibility that a large bank can’t offer.

“We deal with 20 or so banks, they underwrite the file and we present the best deal offered.”

Perhaps the best part of dealing with a broker like Pezzolla — there’s no upfront cost to the consumer. Now, just because the rules have changed, that doesn’t mean people aren’t getting decent mortgages anymore. That’s where Keypoint comes in.

Before contacting any lenders, Pezzolla and Keypoint work with individual clients to set reasonable expectations. He’ll conduct what’s called pre-purchase counseling with anyone seeking a mortgage — where he offers sound advice based on the consumer’s income, assets and equity.

If a customer has no shot at a mortgage, he’ll let the person know.

If he can pull off a spectacularly low interest rate, he’ll let the customer know.

You still may be able to refinance a high rate mortgage.

Saving a bad mortgage

One of the most critical things Pezzolla wants people to know about what he does as a broker actually concerns the refinancing of what might be considered predatory loans.

He says to this very day — and this could very well include you — there are 800,000 Americans who have loans with interest rates at 6% or more that can still be refinanced based on the 2009 market meltdown.

There are two main requirements: The loan had to be issued on or before May 31, 2009 — and the loan has to have come from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

“Not only can mortgage holders refinance under those circumstances, we can often get them from interest rates at 6% or more down to as low as 4.25%,” Pezzolla said. “There’s a myth out there that if you’ve got one of these loans, you’re stuck with it and can’t refinance. That’s not the case at all, and I hope people do realize if they’re in this category, not only can we help, we can make it happen.

“And it doesn’t matter if the consumer is under water. It doesn’t matter if the home’s value has dropped. Regardless of equity, the opportunity is there — and we hope more people will take advantage of the opportunities we can offer them.”

The bottom line, however, in dealing with Keypoint is simple. If you want a mortgage or to refinance — and you qualify — the convenience of Keypoint will truly make what could otherwise be an awful process a much easier and comfortable one.

“We’re the neighborhood guys,” Pezzolla said. “We’re not the ‘no-face banks’ people often deal with. We’re not the correspondent lender in Illinois where you’ll never meet the people in person you’re dealing with. We’re local, we give our clients the time and attention they deserve. And we’ll always be honest and up-front right from the beginning.

“You just don’t get that with large-scale banks, and never will.”

Think you might want to refinance a higher rate mortgage? Looking for a new mortgage? Contact Pezzolla by calling him on his mobile phone at 201-805-4999, by sending him an email to rob@keypointmortgage.com or by visiting www.keypointmortgage.com online.

Schuyler Savings Bank: big-time banking in an intimate setting

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By Ryan Sloan

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY –

If you’re looking for big time banking, but in a smaller setting — where everyone gets to know your name and your needs (go ahead, break into song with the theme to “Cheers”) — you needn’t look further than right here in West Hudson at Schuyler Savings Bank.

That’s because for decades, they’ve been offering customers all the amenities large-scale banks offer and then some without the hassle of having to deal with a huge corporation and the red tape that often comes with it.

The main Kearny office at 24 Davis Ave. first opened in 1924 — and just a few years ago, Schuyler Savings opened a branch office at 203-205 Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard in Harrison. In all those years, the bank’s President and CEO George Halski says one thing has never changed: a commitment to offering personal service to every single customer.

“What sets us apart, as well, is that we have had generations of customers,” Halski said. “We have customers whose grandparent and parents were also customers — and now their own children are our customers. We’re able to bring that personal touch and service in ways bigger banks just cannot.”

So how does Schuyler Savings achieve that?

It’s pretty simple, Halski says.

“What you’ll find here, year after year, is that it’s the same people behind the window or at the counter who offer that personal touch,” Halski said. “We rarely have turnover here. So our customers take pride in coming in and seeing the same people week after week after week.

“Our employees take pride in developing relationships with the customers, and we know the customers appreciate that as well.”

Halski says it’s never more evident than when customers pop into the bank having no business to conduct.

“Occasionally, people will come in to share stories … how their vacation was … or they’ll want to know how one of our vacations went,” he said. “That rarely happens in larger-scale facilities.”

Halski also says referral business has kept Schuyler Savings competitive in a fierce banking market.

“We pride ourselves on that. Our customers love to refer new business to us,” Halski said. “There have been so many instances where our customers have told family friends to go see so and so — he’ll take good care of you. That’s unbeatable.”

Indeed it is.

And remember, just because Schuyler Savings is smaller in size, it doesn’t mean the perks of big-time banking aren’t there, either.

The bank offers all of the usual banking services — from mortgages, to auto loans, to checking and savings accounts with debit cards and more. And they do so with a modern flare. Electronic banking is available, as is phone banking. So if it’s 2 a.m. and you need to check your account balance, you can do so with ease with the company’s modern platforms.

“The younger people often prefer to do their banking at 11 p.m. in their pajamas in front of the computer screen,” Halski said. “And that’s just fine — we offer all the tools to do just that.”

Lastly, Halski says he takes pride that Schuyler Savings is consistently rated a five-star bank by Bauer Financial, a financial-services industryrating organization.

“Their rating lets our customers know we’re one of the strongest banks in the country,” Halski said. “We’ve been able to, over the years, keep that rating because we treat the money we have with respect. I personally would never do anything with anyone else’s money that I wouldn’t do with my own.

“That philosophy, along with our strong board of directors, has kept us successful, even in the years when the economy wasn’t strong.”

To contact Schuyler Savings Bank, call 201-991-0001 or visit www.schuylersavings.com to find out all of the services the bank offers beyond what’s already been mentioned.

The Harrison branch can be reached at 973-412-1266.

Hours of operation at both offices are:

Banking: Monday to Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Loan-Department: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those who need the loan department after 6 p.m. may call 201-991-6078 to schedule an after-hours appointment.

Walk-up window: Monday to Saturday, 8 to 9 a.m.; and Monday to Wednesday, 3 to 6 p.m.

Drive-through: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

EcuAmerica Car Service will get you where you need to go

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By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 

NEWARK – At one point or another in your life, you’ve probably needed to hire a car service, whether it’s to get you to an important meeting, or to Newark Liberty International Airport — or various other locations.

But it’s never an easy process deciding which service to use.

You want the best price and the best service, but with so many choices out there, it’s almost impossible to make the final decision on which company to use. But that decision shouldn’t be so hard anymore, because EcuAmerica Car Service, located in the Ironbound section of Newark, is ready to take you wherever you’ve got to go at the most reasonable prices in the area.

The company has been in its current setup since 2011, but has served the area much longer than that under different management and ownership. Now, they have a fleet of 70 cars, ranging from Lincoln Town Cars to Crown Victorias to minivans to Toyotas that will take you anywhere in the country.

They’ll pick you up at home and take you to any airport — including Newark- Liberty, LaGuardia and JFK. They’ll take you anywhere you might need to go in the tri-state area. And they’ll go well beyond that, according to EcuAmerica’s Business Manager Jajaira Colon.

“We do service the entire tri-state area, but that’s not all,” Colon said. “We’ve taken people to many different places — and had a trip recently to Massachusetts. So if you need to get somewhere, we’ll get you there.”

And while there are, indeed, many choices locally for car service, Colon says there are a few reasons why EcuAmerica stands out above the competition. First, she says, are EcuAmerica’s rates.

“You will find that our rates are the best out there,” Colon said. “Few, if any, can top what we offer price-wise.”

If you book with EcuAmerica, you won’t need cash, necessarily, either. The company accepts all major credit cards for payment before making a trip. They also offer corporate monthly accounts for customers who rely on car service for more than just a trip or two.

“We have numerous accounts for customers or corporations that use us on a regular basis,” Colon said. “And the best part is we’ll work with everyone on the rates and payment arrangements. We want the overall experience to be a positive one.”

To ensure that positive experience, Colon says customers will find the entire process for hiring a car a pleasant one, from the initial reservation phone call to the actual journey itself.

“We pride ourselves on making the entire experience a good one,” Colon said. “Whether it’s when one of the ladies who answer the phones to take the initial reservation — or with the driver — it’s always enjoyable. We ensure everyone pays close attention to the needs of the customers, whether it’s taking baggage and putting it into the car for them, or anything else. Our goal is to help the customers because we want them to come back.”

And it appears they do come back.

Many of the customers serviced by EcuAmerica are repeats, so their customer service model appears to be paying off.

“That’s why we’re here,” Colon said. “We know we have to do what’s best for the customers. We’re here to serve them — and that’s just one of the reasons why we are as successful as we are.”

To make a reservation, or for a price quote, call EcuAmerica at 973-344-0555 or visit www.ecuamericataxinj.com. Reservations and car services are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, including all major holidays. Most office workers and most drivers speak or understand Portuguese as well as English.

High-quality, bilingual talent at Coccia

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By Kevin Canessa Jr.

Observer Correspondent 

KEARNY – 

If you’ve driven along Kearny Ave., you’ve no doubt seen the Coccia Realty office. And no matter where you go in town, you’ve seen its neat-looking signs on lawns of homes for sale.

And it’s not just in Kearny. There’s a big reason why Coccia signs are seen so often — it’s because for more than 50 years, since 1961, when Joseph Coccia Jr. first opened the agency to this day under the ownership and leadership of John “Jan” Kwapniewski — Coccia has always represented the very best there is in real estate.

Kwapniewski first got his real-estate license in 1985 — and then, just four short years later, he bought Coccia Realty and became its president.

Since that time, he’s opened four more offices — in Lyndhurst, Rutherford, Madison and Montville — and has expanded what was once a single-office entity into a real-estate powerhouse that employs more than 100 agents. And, by April 2015, there will be two more offices: one in Secaucus and another in Clifton.

Many of the agents speak more than one language, too, and that’s critical in today’s world. Speakers of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Polish will find an agent who can speak in their native tongue to make the home buying or selling process that much easier.

So just what is it that makes Coccia stand out from the rest? Well, for starters, Kwapniewski has never forgotten what it’s like to be new to the business, and as such, he imparts his experience and knowledge to his team as a mentor and coach. He does everything in his power to ensure all of his employees are the best-trained and most knowledgeable in the industry.

And because of Coccia’s connection to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, that training is the best in the business, he says.

“The training Better Homes and Gardens offers is outstanding,” Kwapniewski said. “And it’s constant. They offer our agents live training, live webinars, pre-recorded seminars and weekly training on issues in the industry that are that are critical.”

Because of his style of leadership, and because of the topnotch training available to his agents, Kwapniewski says he’s always been able to attract the highest-quality talent to come to work for him.

“My goal always has been and always will be not to have the largest quantity of agents, but the strongest quality,” he said. “I don’t just hire anyone — and I am not afraid to let someone go if they’re not willing to work with our standards. But when there are people who can focus on our mission — people who are committed to learning, those are the people I want working with us.”

Kwapniewski says it’s also important to note that some of the best agents are those who have been well mentored. He says each new agent is managed and mentored by a superior.

“To be really good agent, you’ve got to mentored and nurtured,” he said. “And it takes about two years, in reality, for that mentorship to develop into something special.”

Why hook up with Better Homes?

While Kwapniewski has the statistics to prove he’s got the most sales and volume in our readership area, he says he wanted something more for the business. He really didn’t need to rebrand Coccia as most already know the Coccia brand and name. But he opted to rebrand to reinvent what he’s already succeeded at.

“They were after me for at least three years,” Kwapniewski said of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “Their business model was fresh and put together by some of the brightest minds in the industry. And with the power and support of their branding, overall, it’s better for the consumer — and a win-win for the agents because of the aforementioned training.”

In-house marketing and advertising

One of the other major areas where Kwapniewski says Coccia is different from the rest is that agents are not asked to perform social media or advertising on their own. He’s got a full-time social media expert on staff who does all the Tweeting and Facebook work. And, the company pays for all advertising.

Many other agencies demand agents pay for their own advertising and require them to do their own social media branding.

“Not with us,” Kwapniewski said. “Our agents’ job is customer service and to negotiate deals. We’ve got our own back office that does the brokerage, marketing, advertising and promotion. We don’t ask our agents to spend their own money. Others do, and in many cases, the agents don’t have the money to be spending. If it’s between putting food on the table or marketing your house, you know the choices they have to make.

“That is never the case with us. We do it all for them. And it benefits our people and our consumers.”

To get in touch with Kwapniewski, call him at Coccia’s Kearny office at 201-997-7000 or stop in at 636 Kearny Ave., or visit www.cocciarealty.com.

Have a workers’ comp case? John Pinho’s the man you want representing you

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By Kevin Canessa Jr.
Observer Correspondent 

HARRISON – 

If there’s one thing that makes our area special, it’s that there are numerous attorneys you can turn to for whatever the reason. And when it comes to workers’ compensation cases, right in our backyards is one of the state’s most noted workers comp attorneys.

John Pinho has had a presence in West Hudson for 17 years. During that time, he specialized in many different kinds of cases, including municipal court matters and much more.

But now, after operating a private practice in Harrison, Pinho has moved on to where it all began for him before he opened his practice — at the law firm of Javerbaum, Wurgaft, Hicks, Kahn, Wikstrom & Sinins, which has five offices in New Jersey — in Springfield, Newark, Freehold, Jersey City and Elizabeth — and one in New York City.

So why did Pinho opt to return to the first firm he’d ever worked for after 17 highly successful years in private practice, where he was his own boss?

It was an easy choice, he says. Read more »

Business Review: New practice, same personality for Lyndhurst doctor

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By Anthony Machchinski
Observer Correspondent

In April 2012, The Observer featured an article about Dr. Maria Domingues, a young and energetic optometrist beginning her practice at Lyndhurst, her second office.

Nearly two years later, the ever-jovial and kind-hearted Domingues continues to expand her business while still maintaining her attentiveness towards each individual patient.

“I want to be able to still offer that one-to-one service (to my patients) and have the ability to talk with them on a personal level,” Domingues said.

While Domingues is passionate about her career, her path to optometry was not conventional. Read more »

Have a wedding, lunch or dinner at one of Bergen County’s best, Il Villaggio

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By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 

CARLSTADT – 

For years, it’s been known as one of the finest Italian restaurants in all of Bergen County. But there’s a little-known secret that Il Villaggio has also sported a banquet hall for weddings and special events for the last six years.

And owner Ralph Magliocchetti hopes people realize that whether it’s a fine lunch, dinner or special event — it can all happen at the ristorante he’s owned for the last 35 years.

“We do lunch during the week and dinner every night but Sunday,” he said.

So what sets him apart from other Italian restaurants? It’s the service and his staff he says.

“I have some waiters who have been with me for 25 … 30 years,” he said. “I have bartenders who have been with me 25 to 30 years. So when people come here, they know the people who will serve them. And the service is unmatched anywhere.”

That in and of itself is quite extraordinary, considering how in so many other establishments, there’s immense turnover. But there’s even more, he says.

“We’re most noted for our fish,” he said. “We use only the freshest and top-quality ingredients — and that certainly sets us apart from the rest.”

Beyond lunch, served weekdays from 11:30 a.m., and dinner, served weeknights from 3:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m., Il Villaggio’s banquet halls, which opened six years ago, offer the perfect spot for a wedding, a prom, corporate events or any other type of large-scale event requiring catering.

There are rooms of varying sizes, including one that can hold more than 200 people. There are special packages for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and sweet 16s. There is a buffet menu — or there is a five- and six-course menu to choose from.

The buffet can include anything from a fruit display to a salad station to a carving station with London broil, Vermont turkey, glazed honey ham, boneless loin of pork to a pasta station with penne ala vodka, prosciutto and fennel, tortellini alla panna, cavatelli with broccoli, garlic and oil or farfalle pasta primavera. And then some.

There are also assorted veal and chicken dishes and an assortment of desserts.

All of these offerings are also available at the restaurant, also.

So if you’re looking for a spot for a wedding, a religious event, a corporate event — or if you’re simply craving a fine Italian meal without having to travel into Manhattan, give Il Villaggio a try — you simply won’t be disappointed.

“We were there just a few weeks and had a spectacular dinner,” said Ceil Cologne, 62, of Belleville, who dined at Il Villaggio with her husband and two dear friends last month. “And we just cannot wait to go back. Everything was tremendous from the start of the meal to the very end. And the atmosphere — oh, the elegance is just wonderful. We just love it there. “

And the best part is it’s all in our backyard — we don’t have to go all the way to the city for a classy dinner.”

Il Villaggio is located at 651 Rt. 17 N., Carlstadt. For additional information, call 201-935-7733 or visit www.ilvillaggio.com where you’ll find more photos and menus and where you’ll also be able to make a reservation.

Breathtaking Manhattan views prevail at Battello Restaurant & Catering

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By Kevin Canessa Jr. 

Observer Correspondent 

JERSEY CITY – 

The views at Battello are stunning. In fact, on three sides of the restaurant, you’ll have a direct look at the New York City skyline, including the soon-to-be-completed 1 World Trade Center (formerly known as the Freedom Tower). You’ll also be surrounded by some of the most beautiful yachts and boats you’ll ever see.

And if you’re looking for a great meal — or a venue for a wedding or corporate event … or even a prom — it’s tough to look at Battello and think of anywhere else, frankly.

It’s been open since April.

And General Manager Fia Berisha says business has taken off beyond what anyone, including owner Cory Checket, could have dreamed.

“It’s been just amazing so far,” Berisha said. “Our owner lives in Jersey City and owns another bar in Hoboken. One day, he saw what was going on here and he wanted to buy it immediately. He fell in love with the space, found investors — and did just that – he bought it. And it’s been wonderful since.”

Indeed it has.

Two weekends ago, Battello hosted its first-ever wedding.

“Imagine having a wedding with a view of the Freedom Tower?” Berisha said. “It just never gets old. We have about eight more weddings booked the rest of the year, and we’re hoping to be able to book even more as we get closer to 2015.”

What separates Battello from other restaurants, Berisha says, is the staff, the menu and the location. Almost everyone on staff is younger than 35, the head chef is a top-25 rated chef in New Jersey and the overall team works brilliantly together.

“We’re open seven days a week, and we’re doing about 300 dinners a night and 200 lunches or brunches a day,” Berisha said. “We spent a lot of time putting the menu and cocktail list together. We actually used a mixologist for the cocktails and the offerings are amazing.”

Since the Newport section of Jersey City continues to grow as a hotspot — especially for young professionals — Berisha says she hopes, one day soon, the area is seen as similar to what’s happening in parts of Brooklyn.

“And we hope to attract tourists,” she said. “With the Westin and Marriot hotels so close, we want them here. We want the Montclair foodies to come here as they would elsewhere. And we’re certain they’ll like what they see.”

The menu at Battello is mostly Italian with a seafood flare. But there are also daily specials that allow the chefs to “think outside the box,” Berisha says.

“It’s another thing that helps us to stand apart from the rest,” she said. “Each day, we give the chefs a chance to come with something new, something different. And they appreciate being able to prepare outside the box. Not every restaurant gives that opportunity to its chefs. We do.”

Aside from an outstanding menu, which you can find at www.battellojc.com, there’s an acoustic happy hour every Thursday from 5 p.m. on. The music is mellow enough that bar-goers enjoy it — as do those who are dining.

And then, Berisha says, every Friday and Saturday, the lounge stays open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

“And we hope more and more people come to eat first, and then make their way to the lounge,” she said. “We’ve got live music — and I hope we’re soon able to bring in more bands for the weekends.

“We really want to have a City Winery feel — and I think we’ve accomplished that on this side of the river. And in the future, we hope to include more dinner and a show events other nights of the week. We’re truly doing our best to show that we are, indeed, the best.”

Battello is located at 502 Washington Boulevard, in the Newport section of Jersey City on the Hudson River waterfront. Visit them online at www.battellojc.com for hours of operation, to make reservations or to see photos of the facilities. Call 201-798-1798.