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Harrison’s Hidden Gem

Photos by Anthony J. Machcinski/ Angelo Freire discusses his cuisine with two patrons. Two dishes, including homemade ravioli (below) and fried calamari

 

Photos by Anthony J. Machcinski

 

Photos by Anthony J. Machcinski

 

By Anthony J. Machcinski

One of the bigger draws to living in our region is our proximity to the luxurious Manhattan life. Unfortunately, the hassle and expense associated with the city takes some of the allure out of the area. But fear not, as La Fiamma Restaurant in Harrison brings the class of New York City to Harrison.
La Fiamma opened six years ago when owner Josepe Freire searched for a new restaurant after formerly owning Amerigo in New York. Now managed by Josepe’s son Angelo, La Fiamma has become a bonafide hidden gem in town.
“We decided to move to Harrison because it has the potential to grow, and we saw the Red Bull Arena was coming and it’s close to NJPAC and all the other establishments in Newark,” explained Freire. “It doesn’t matter where your restaurant is located, it’s the
service you provide.”
Building off of a foundation that his father established, Freire has continued the family
tradition of good service on a par with that of the finest restaurants across the nation.
“Our goal was to please our guests one-hundred-percent and make them feel like when
they come in, they feel at home,” Freire explained.
The restaurant’s name, La Fiamma, “The Flame” in Italian, was chosen because of the
feeling Freire wants customers to have while eating at his restaurant.
“We chose the name because when you come into this place, you really feel a good, warm ambiance,” Freire said proudly.
While the service and environment can help an experience, what really makes the restaurant one of the best in the area is the food.
“Almost everything is homemade,” Freire said, explaining that each item is prepared with the passion of an artist. “We make everything from pastas, ravioli, gnocchi’s, to our own sauces and gravies.”
One dish in particular, Freire’s favorite, easily ranks as one of the top dishes in the
restaurant.
“I think everything is good, but if I had to choose, I would choose the Spaghetti Fruta Di Mare,” Freire said with a smile on his face.
The Spaghetti Fruta Di Mare is homemade spaghetti with fresh clams, calamari, muscles, and shrimp, topped in a light marinara sauce. The dish, served in a bowl, provides a beautiful display of seafood that is delicious and fresh from the first bite to the last.
Given to customers before their first appetizers, is a piece of bruschetta. This one piece
of toasted bread, covered with tomatoes and basil, provides an explosion of flavor that primes your taste buds for the rest of the equally special meal.
While La Fiamma provides New-York-style service and cuisine, it does not leave a
New York-sized hole in your wallet. The Spaghetti Fruta Di Mare can be had for a reasonable $19.
As he walks around, chatting to different customers and getting their input, Freire looks like a proud father.
“This is why I watch the business myself,” Freire explained, saying that it has not only been fiscally successful, but successful in customer satisfaction. “The main thing is to be hospitable and to know our guests are pleased one-hundred-percent.”
La Fiamma is located at 440 Harrison Ave. on the corner of 5th St. in Harrison. To make reservations, call (973)-483-5455 or visit their website at www.lafiammanj.com.

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