This Italian gem is tucked away on the west side in the shadow of the viaduct. On beautiful summer evenings you can sit outside and watch the passing parade. We went on a Friday evening, so there were business people celebrating the start of the weekend, parents with strollers, and plenty of parking for folks who stop by after driving to work.
It’s a popular spot, as we quickly found out. Pretty soon, we had to give up the extra table we were using for photo shoots. The interior is warm and pleasant, with muted yellow walls, paintings with Italian scenes, and Frank Sinatra singing “Summer Wind” in the background.
San Giuseppe is noted for its “coal-fired” pizza, made by owner Joe Russo himself. So, no matter what else you might be tempted to order, get a pizza for your table. From a selection of nine “signature” pies, we chose the “Quattro Stagioni,” with roasted artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, roasted crimini mushrooms, prosciutto di parma, and fresh mozzarella. Superb!
But I get ahead of myself. The first thing that comes to the table is a basket of focaccia, oven-baked Italian bread topped with herbs. Our waiter, Yari, couldn’t have been more helpful and hospitable, suggesting, explaining, and helping us make room for picture-taking.
We did not order an appetizer, for fear we would not have room for what was to follow. But they have a good selection—everything from Burrata, roasted vegetables, and chicken wings to an assortment of imported cheeses and artisanal Italian cured meats. And, get this, in January San Giuseppe was awarded the “Best Chicken Wings in Hoboken” at the first annual “A Wing and a Prayer” cook-off, hosted by the St. Frances Helpers of the Elks Lodge.
But we started with a healthy and colorful Tuscan salad, a wonderful combination of chick peas, cannellini beans, onions, cherry tomatoes, gaeta olives, parmigiano reggiano shavings, extra virgin olive oil, and lemon dressing on Romaine lettuce. The cheese is more generous than just “shavings,” and the tomatoes were really fresh and sweet.
Other salads include tri-colored, baby spinach, and baby arugula.
We followed this with a pasta dish—Farfalle Mari e Monti—sauteed shrimps, crimini mushrooms, peas, plum tomato, and fresh basil in white wine sauce, served over bowtie pasta. Yari was very generous with the fresh parmesan, which she sprinkled liberally over the top.
This was one of the restaurant’s six “signature” pasta dishes. The “family favorite” is Sugo Delle Nonna, a mélange of meatballs, raisins, pignoli nuts, and fenel sausage over penne.
And what’s an Italian restaurant noted for its pizza without a dessert that looks suspiciously like pizza? Our “sweet pizza” was topped with chocolate, strawberries, and confectionary sugar. You guessed it—we tried one delicious slice and took the rest home.—Kate Rounds
1320 Adams St.