There’s really nothing better than some old school Italian comfort food. The Belmont Tavern in New Jersey is just about the most comfortable comfort food you can find this side of Naples. What appears to be a quiet nondescript local bar in Belleville, NJ opens up into a bustling restaurant, with families and couples warming themselves over a plates of macaroni in a dimly lit wood-paneled nooks. There’s a gruff but very friendly staff, and a cast of characters at the bar directly out of “The Sopranos.” Shoot.. I even saw Furio’s signed headshot on the wall.
What to get: The Belmont Tavern is a family style restaurant with big bowls to share for the whole table. Start with a carafe of wine, the shrimp “Beeps” (fried shrimp in spicy marinara sauce) and the clams oreganto; then the cavatelli with “Pot Cheese” and an order of the dangerously spicy sautéed hot peppers. Finish with the Chicken Savoy and some espressos. Bread and escarole salad for the table is included.
Clockwise: Chicken Savoy, Shrimp “Beeps,” Clams Oreganto, and Cavatelli with Pot cheese.
Pro Tip: Get there early on the weekend! There will be a crowd. Please note: special thanks for the tip Paulie G!
Belmont Tavern, 12 Bloomfield Ave, Belleville, NJ 07109