Great Restaurants

Duffenetti’s – Wildwood, NJ. STOP BY!

What’s better than spending some time during the Summer at the Jersey shore? The answer is finding a restaurant at the Jersey shore that’s so good you need to write home about it! That’s what Duffinetti’s is! This restaurant has a rich history and an even richer following! I don’t blame the following that this restaurant gets but that’s only just the start of it!

Duffenetti’s has been making Italian goodies starting in the 1960’s. 1965 to be exact. In the many decades, the restaurant has been an Asselta family staple. In the 70’s and at the moment, the gracious owner is Trish Asselta,  Duffy and Mary Asselta’s daughter. Even after closing for ten years for personal reasons, Trish knew that something was missing and in 2015, Duffenetti’s picked up a new location and has been back in business! Trish is so amazingly gracious, walking into the restaurant truly feels like walking into Nonna’s kitchen; but, that isn’t just Trish’s doing these days. Chef Stephen Quici came to Duffenetti’s in 2018 and if Duffenetti’s didn’t already have a following, Chef Stephen Quici added to it, for sure!

Chef Stephen Quici is out of this world. Culinary-trained, his food is amazing and the amount of love and hard work that he puts into his dishes back in the kitchen is beyond obvious! Quici has only elevated an already solid restaurant. He’s brought some amazing recipes and his dishes really shine.

My family and close friends have visited the restaurant many times already and no one’s stopping anytime soon. I had the pleasure of visiting Duffenetti’s last week and it won’t be my last. Trish does a wonderful time hiring entertainment. During my recent visit, there was a live singer who was singing amazing hits from Sinatra to Neil Diamond. It added to the wonderful atmosphere and delicious food I was about to experience! The ambiance of the room is great and you feel like you’re in an Italian restaurant but definitely still taking part of being at the Jersey Shore! Let me take you on this culinary experience I was able to partake in!

We started with long hots (don’t take the “hots” lightly, they’re insanely hot!). We also had some fresh bruschetta. I could have licked that plate clean! It was served on toasted seasoned semolina bread and also featured some fresh shaved cheese on top. We ordered a round of calamari because I don’t recommend ever going for Italian and skipping out on calamari.

Our waitress also brought us warm bread served with an olive oil filled with fresh herbs and cheese. The bread was so good our table devoured two baskets! To go with our dinner choices, a special house salad was brought out. This dressing is a Balsamic Vinaigrette but it’s a house recipe and so unique! It’s sweeter than what I expected but in a great way! You can take home a bottle while you’re at the restaurant or even order online and I highly suggest it!

As for our dinners, everyone was so happy with our dinners! I ordered chicken marsala and had it served over a bed of angel hair, a favorite Italian dish of mine over my absolute favorite pasta. It was so good that I ate the ENTIRE thing! I ALWAYS bring home leftovers. I try to have some self-control and always look forward to a second helping but, I.JUST.COULDN’T.STOP. I finished it and even wanted more!

My fiance’ had a chef’s special of Eggplant Parm with “the best gravy ever”. He enjoyed it a lot! Gravy is definitely a very subjective topic in Italian families and he had no complaints!

We had a chef’s special bronzino sauteed with escarole, beans, and bruschetta. Another plate-licking dish!

Also at the table was the crab cakes with a side of roasted veggies. The crab cakes are topped with a lobster bisque and had rave reviews!
crab cakes

Last but certainly not least, my father had the seafood pescatore (he’s had it every time he’s gone). It’s served with fresh shrimp, sea scallops, mussels, clams, and topped with a HUGE dungeness crab cluster. It’s sauteed in fresh Italian herbs, garlic, and white wine. It’s not only delicious but a beautiful dish!

Also, I did not have them but I’ve been told by MANY people how amazing Chef Quici’s gnocchis are! They are said to be literally melt in your mouth pillows. Literally, my only regret of the night is not ordering these!

We were so full that there was no room for dessert but I truly believe the food was so amazingly decadent that it wasn’t even missed!

If you’re in Wildwood, or even if you’re not and don’t mind the drive, I’d highly recommend shooting down to Duffenetti’s! It’s not something that you’ll regret. AND Duffenetti’s is NOW OPEN YEAR ROUND! That’s right, you can enjoy Duffenetti’s even during Jersey’s off-season. There’s no excuse not to give it a shot! I promise, it won’t be your last and make sure to tell them I sent ya!

Duffenetti’s can be found at:
Duffinetti’s Restaurant & Lounge
4600 Pacific Ave
Wildwood, NJ 08260
Restaurant: 609-522-0002

Great Reads

Rust and Stardust







Publish Date : 8/7/2018
Author:  T. Greenwood
Started: 9/15/18
Finished: 9/15/18
Pages: 368
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐

I’m a little embarrassed being a town away from Camden and never hearing this story. Camden today is a far cry from Camden in the past. Camden is where my family rooted after moving here from Puerto Rico. It was a nice area to live in during this time. T. Greenwood painted Camden at this time truthfully. As a gang-ridden city today and often labeled America’s most dangerous city now, this story is surprising for the time. Also never read Vladimir Nabokev’s ‘ Lolita which is also based on Sally Horner.

Goodreads Summary:

Camden, NJ, 1948.

When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute—unless she does as he says.

This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.

My Review:

There is nothing but heavy material here. Reaaaalllly heavy material, but the author does a phenomenal job of keeping the read lighter by not going into details and really just skimming the surface of what she believes Sally’s life with her kidnapper was like.

This was a quick read for me, not because I wanted to know what was going to happen (I like most know the conclusion) but because I felt like not reading it was keeping Sally’s story on hold. This is a sad, mainly true, fiction and her story needs to be told.

I had to get past the fact that these situations would not play out like this in today’s world. Our technology such as cameras, and cell phones, and even the internet would add so many different facets to Sally’s story and as our kidnapper (I won’t glorify him by naming him), didn’t seem to have a murderous trait at least for the majority of the book, keeping Sally for so long would have been much more difficult. The time period, an important facet of setting, really makes this crime possible. The trusting factor during this time period was much higher, as I had to keep reminding myself as I was constantly hating Sally’s mother, Ella. She seems to just throw in the towel which was also very hard for me to imagine but again, times have changed that make our society more urgent and able to track information down quickly. I actually feel that had Sally been kidnapped today, her survival factor would have been diminished as her kidnapper would have been tracked easily which may have resulted in using her for a short period of time, killing her, and finding a new hostage. When reading, please keep in mind these time period differences. Sally’s naive nature is also more likely a result of the time period. I think I would have been a much different 11 year old to kidnap and would have been much more clever in an escape long before and also much less naive in believing what was happening but our culture of kids grow up much faster in our day in age so this may just be a facet of the time.

I felt for Susan the entire time of course but so many happenings that would have put this tragedy to an end long before two years made me so much sadder. I kept hoping that she would be found even though I knew she was not going to be yet.

This is not an enjoyable book in the sense of liking what you read but definitely one worth reading. My lower rating is partially because I would have liked some more character depth. I understand this is based on a true story but gaining more insight into the monster himself, or even more of Susan’s hatred towards Ella would have made this an easier 4 because these vague portions of the book left me wanting more for me to understand.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review!