Michael Mechetti Jr., owner of Connie’s Kitchen & Delicatessen, is paying homage to the old but is shaking things up a bit and adding his own personal signature to the menu.
Patrons of the longtime Globe Delicatessen will be happy to know that Mechetti is intent on serving the most delicious food at reasonable prices. And he wants to do it with new choices and other innovations.
Since opening in early April, Connie’s has seen a steady increase in customers, likely due to the daily and weekly specials, as well as the deli staples.
On a recent day, specials included a fried flounder sandwich, eggplant rollantini, macaroni and cheese, and Ovengold roasted turkey and smoked Gouda on a roll. All were quick and easy and none cost more than $7.
Other daily specials include bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Cajun chicken salad, barbecue beef brisket, and custom-carved roast pork.
Customers can also choose from among Connie’s new specialty sandwiches; “The Globe,” pastrami, Swiss, sauerkraut, and Globe sauce; the “Bayonne Bridge,” chicken Francaise on garlic bread; or the “Connie,” cappicola, soppressata, provolone, and roasted peppers, as well as many others.
Hot choices include chicken or eggplant parmigiana, Philly cheese steak, hamburgers, or hot dogs.
The meatball parmigiana sandwich was tasty, with homemade meatballs, a well-made red sauce, and not too much cheese. You could taste the meat, unlike meatballs with a lot of breading or filler. The sandwich was served hot but not burn-your-tongue hot.
“The Godfather,” a personal sandwich favorite, was made from prosciutto, soppressata, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, and balsamic dressing. The mozzarella was homemade, and the dressing added flavor without overpowering the sandwich.
The homemade red-skinned potato salad was made with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, and cumin—a perfect combo that brought out the flavor of the potatoes.
The macaroni and cheese, made with Ronzoni cavatappi, which is sold in the store, is made by Chef Dave Riccardi, featuring a melt-in-the-mouth breadcrumb topping.
Mechetti changed careers during the recession, trying his hand at the deli business after serving as an assistant vice president of operations for American International Group, at the time the world’s largest insurer, before he was downsized.
“I thought what am I going to do? So I said ‘Let’s open a deli,’” he said with a laugh.
He’d worked for a small meat market while growing up in the Bronx, so he had at least some deli skills.
He named the deli after his mom.
Bayonne residents will feel at home at Connie’s. It’s spacious, with seven tables and 20 seats. A large mural-like photograph of the Bayonne Bridge, beautifully illuminated at night, is on display over the coffee-and-donut area.
On the opposite wall is a long montage with characters from the Hollywood and TV classics, “The Godfather,” “Good Fellas,” “Scarface,” and “The Sopranos.”
The walls were recently painted light blue, and the floors were redone with a marble-like motif.
Connie’s Kitchen is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sundays. Cash, debit, and credit cards are accepted.
For more information, visit connieskitchennj.com or call (201) 455-2955.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at: JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.