It’s easy to get overlooked in restaurant-chocked Edgewater, but Vespa’s trattoria attracts customers craving a true Italian meal in a genuine Italian atmosphere — as in: nice-sized portions, plenty of wine to choose from, and a boisterous crowd that keeps the energy level high.
For the jaded diners among us, it’s refreshing not to have to look at black and white photos from “The Godfather,” badly colored reprints from “The Sopranos” or the various horns and other memorabilia that some establishments use to convey “Italian.”
The cozy decor — including plenty of greens, as well as a fish tank that holds seafood big enough to be the day’s catch — tells you right off that the owner isn’t trying to cash in on a stereotype. He’s too busy focusing on your meal.
Vespa’s bread is crispy, as it should be, but not scorching hot. The salads are fresh — an overwhelming choice is the one with apples, bleu cheese and honey mustard.
The test of its mettle comes in Vespa’s fish, which is always up to snuff, particularly the Chilean sea bass with shrimp in ginger sauce. Vespa Chicken is also a big favorite, as is the seafood risotto.
And although you might not expect it, they make a nice-a nice thin crust pizza. (Click here for a copy of Vespa’s menu).
Combinations of various flavors give Vespa its edge. That and an atmosphere in a room just big enough to get the trattoria feel. You might feel a bit overwhelmed at first if you haven’t been in, or spent time with, an Italian family. Before long, though, you’ll be talking to a stranger who’s having just as good a time as you.
One of them might be our own Maryann “Boom Boom” Maisano of Fort Lee, or one of her fellow “Italian Chicks.”
If you want a more tranquil ambiance, Vespa’s has a front room with French doors behind which you can hear your date speak without having shout. There’s an extremely comfortable bar set back from the rest of the restaurant.
Vespa’s also caters to a lunch crowd, with reasonably priced specials. So if you work nearby, it’s worth the try.
AND they deliver!!!
There’s valet parking and, if you’re really nice, Roy will might let you take a spin on his Vespa!
Vespa’s Italian Trattoria
860 River Rd, Edgewater, NJ 07020-1219
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