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Permanently Closed - Trattoria Bel Paese

3.6
61 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. Permanently Closed - Trattoria "Bel Paese" is a neighborhood Italian restaurant where an unforgettable meal will transport you to Italy. Experience old fashioned
Sicilian dishes and Italian specialties exactly as made back home for generations. We offer only Fresh Homemade and Handmade Pasta!!! Try our Lobster Ravioli, Gnocchi Sorrentina, Grandma Lasagna and more!!!
We hope to see you soon!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:00pm - 9:00 pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm,
Sunday - closed
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Phone number
(908) 276-3336
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Neighborhood
Additional
BYO Liquor, Gluten-free Menu, Takeout, Wheelchair Access
What 61 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.6based on all time ratings
3.9
food
3.8
service
2.9
ambience
3.0
value
Noise · Moderate
74% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on April 30, 2016

Food was delicious..staff was friendly..and its a bring your own beverage!!

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3.0Dined on November 14, 2015

Well prepared food in a casual atmosphere- but not one I want t to spend 3 hours in. Our server was sweet but confused. Wrong appetizer brought, VERY long wait for food, then one dinner brought at a time, with a long gap between the first and fourth plate served.

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4.0Dined on October 30, 2015

We liked it! The food was good, and our server Patrick was phenomenal. Additionally, two of us are gluten-free, and the chef was extremely accommodating, offering to adapt whatever dish we chose for our needs. We will definitely return.

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4.0Dined on October 22, 2015

It was surprising to see that there had been a remodel- it has been a really long time since our last visit. The fried calamari was done nicely and not over fried however my husband stuffed artichoke was bland and a little undercooked. The entrees- zuppa de pesche and the shrimp alla puttanesca were very good. The fresh made pasta really brings something special. Overall a great dining experience- Byob!!! Just pull back a bit on the garlic. We will be back.

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4.0Dined on October 17, 2015

Te restaurant is very informal -- we totally enjoyed our meals. Everything was perfectly prepared from the soup to entrees. Definitely will be back.

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5.0Dined on September 26, 2015

This was my second visit to Bel Paese. I was hoping that the lobster ravioli was on the menu again and it was. It is the most delicious lobster ravioli that I have ever eaten. The staff is very friendly. Also the garlic bread is delicious. Love that it is BYO.

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3.0Dined on July 17, 2015

It was a bit of a surprise to walk into the restaurant only to find that some type of cooking class was about to take place within 5 feet of our table. The class had approximately 10 people seated in the center of the restaurant while the diners were in booths on the perimeter. It was a bit distracting but not horrible. The food was good, nothing great. Our server was very attentive and the overall experience wa good. Next time, I think it will be more fun to be part of the cooking class!

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2.0Dined on March 10, 2015

First time here. Picked this place since it was a good midway point to meet up with some friends for dinner on a Tuesday night . We probably should have left and found another place to eat as soon as we walked in and saw the dining room was set up for a cooking class with about 25 people. It was actually in progress when we sat down. Our mistake - we don't know the area that well and it was raining. We were the only patrons there for dinner that night. The class was such a distraction (it's a relatively small place) between the chef giving the instruction, the interaction of the class and the meals being prepared right out in the dining area. The food was just ok - nothing extraordinary. Our waiter was attentive and very friendly. Clearly, some of this is just bad timing on out part but the owners really should not take dining reservations when the cooking classes are scheduled. Their website indicates that the classes are ongoing . I can't see us going back . Too many other places to try.

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1.0Dined on February 14, 2015

We went here for date night on Valentines Day. The had a prefixed menu which we were both fine with ordering off of for our date night. We each had great appetizers followed by a nice salad. This is where the evening went wrong! After we finished our salad the bus person cleared the table and we then waited for our dinner to be served. We waited 15 minutes and still nothing. When then waited another 15 Minutes and nothing. We asked the bus person to send over the waiter and he went and spoke to the hostess she looked over and realized we hadn't been served. Yet no one came over to see us to let us know what was going on with our meal. When them waited another 10 minutes and the bus person came over and cleared our bread plates and tried taking the bread basket when we explained to him that we had not gotten our dinner he went back over to the hostess and once again she glanced our way and yet again no one came over to our table. What is funny is the table next us had been seated 20 Minutes earlier and the were just getting there dinner surprisingly it was the same items my wife and I had ordered. 15 minutes had gone by since the glance and finally the hostess came over to apologize for the mishap we gladly asked her to box our meals so that we could take them home with us as well as the desserts. Another 10 minutes goes by and the server brings our food out to our table after we asked them to box them so we could take them home. We have frequented many restaurants in our area as well as in NYC and without a doubt this comes as the worst service I have ever received in a restaurant. A limited menu on a holiday is much easier. Lack of communication and concern on the part of management has ruined this restaurant. It doesn't matter how good the food is if the service is below standard. It was the worst $100.00 I have ever spent on a meal. I did not expect to have this kind of night.

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2.0Dined on January 17, 2015

service was beyond poor. dinner for two (with no coffee or dessert) took over two hours. a party 0f 8 seated well after us was served before we were. our soup was given to another table, of course seated after us. we requested an empty booth but were told it was being held for a reservation (we had a reservation) the booth remained empty for two hours! can not imagine ever going back for this kind of service.

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2015

This is definitely a neighborhood gem and we are working our way through the entire menu. Very wonderful staff and an amazing Italian menu!!

Wonderful and try it

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5.0Dined on January 1, 2015

Our new Favorite Restaurant ! Every dish is fresh and amazing tastes! My only complaint is that my Lamb dish didn't come with a vegetable, but the tender lamb, delicious vodka sauce, even the garlic bread was awesome! George makes sure everyone is happy! My family and I are looking forward to our next meal!

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3.0Dined on December 31, 2014

I didn't expect a limited menu that night so the selection was not what I was expecting, neither were the portions . I will still go back , just not on a holiday

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5.0Dined on December 30, 2014

Chef was superb and came out to meet and greet. Great attention to detail

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4.0Dined on December 13, 2014

Food was excellent, as was the service. Atmosphere was casual. We had a group of 8 and everyone was satisfied.

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4.0Dined on October 18, 2014

the food is very good, parking lot very close by, byob, and the service is fine. only problem is the restaurant is small and if it gets too crowded it can become uncomfortable.

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4.0Dined on September 6, 2014

We went there on a whim without hearing anything about it. The food was excellent, even compared to all the good italian restaurants in New Jersey. The "Bel Pease" is absolutely the dish to get. The owner walked around and was very personable and attentive. Will be returning soon.

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5.0Dined on August 23, 2014

Awesome Food at a affordable price. The service was top notch and I have no complaints whatsoever. A great Find a real keeper

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2.0Dined on August 16, 2014

Quality of food has seriously gone down hill. Example: frozen commercially prepared calimari. Very disappointing as this restaurant was previously exceptionally good.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2014

I wrote this review before and not sure why you did not receive it. This place is wonderful. Service is great and they are very attentive. Nice crowd and they do not rush you.

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3.0Dined on July 12, 2014

We enjoy coming here for a good meal at a reasonable cost . It is BYOB, which we also like .
We have tried several things on the menu and have never been disappointed. The owner is very friendly and usually comes by the table to check on the food & service. It is very casual , nothing fancy .

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3.0Dined on May 11, 2014

TBP has been under new ownership for over a year. Many of the dishes are the same and the quality is very good. Rollatini still among the best I have had. The stuffed artichoke was huge, but a little bland. The Paella was a big portion, the seafood fresh. The fettucine bolognese was excellent, the sauce not overpowering, the pasta al dente perfect. The prices are very affordable and the restaurant continues to stand the test of time, as others have not. Still recommended!

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4.0Dined on April 27, 2014

On the recommendation of a friend, we visited Trattoria Bel Paese on a Sunday evening. Located in the heart of Cranford, it now occupies the space formerlly owned by The Pink Submarine. While there is some minimal Italian decor, it is all about the food: a huge portion of lasagna generously covered with meat, penne pasta tossed with peas and ham and grilled eggplant and mozarella. Everyone took half their dinner home to savor on another day. Expresso and a mixed berry tart followed. A perfect evening. We will be back.

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4.0Dined on April 26, 2014

The first time we went there it was a Groupon gift . We liked it very much & we have been going back ever since . It's small , but very convenirent ,and good parking as well. The food is very good . There is not much atmosphere, but if the food is good & the prices are reasonable who needs atmosphere ? It has become very popular & now I always make a reservation ahead.

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3.0Dined on April 19, 2014

Appetizer of clams and mussels was very scimpi. I've had better at other restaurants. Pasta ala Norma which is what I ordered which is pasta with eggplant was tasty but the eggplant was almost non existent, should have definitely had more eggplant.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2014

nicely served meal which was well prepared abd reasonably priced. Always a nice place to eat

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2014

Very nice little place. Good food, nice people.

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4.0Dined on March 29, 2014

Go for the food, it is a wonderful experience of fresh made pasta and all other other fresh ingredients. The decor is terrible. Very dated with lighting that I am sure was out of somebody's basement or garage sale. Not sure if they are trying to "set a mood" but with weird lamps and even a spotlight, they only mood is rummage sale. However, the food is good enough to overlook the decor disaster. I will go back- often but, I will never book a party or bring anyone to impress there. I will keep it as my neighborhood gem- for the food.

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2.0Dined on March 16, 2014

The chicken cutlet was extremely tough and had to be returned. The sauce was salty and the vegetables were overcooked,

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4.0Dined on March 8, 2014

I was reluctant to go to this restaurant because some reviews criticized the service. We had an excellent meal on a Saturday evening. The place was packed but we had excellent service and a very good meal. The staff helped one another so our order was taken promptly, our dinners arrived in a reasonable and we were visited often by staff who asked if we needed anything. I would definitely go again and recommend this restaurant.

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5.0Dined on March 1, 2014

My wife and I took my parents this past Saturday night and they really enjoyed the food. My father was very impressed!

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2.0Dined on February 21, 2014

Food was average. Looked & tasted like parsley instead of basil on my appetizer & entree. Felt like we were imposing by asking for a booth rather than the small table we were being seated at, even though we were the only patrons @ the time. Was told Groupon was usually not honored on the nights that they had their cooking class, but they would make an exception for us. Again, we felt like we were imposing. We are usually no too critical about food & places, but something felt off about the whole experience.

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1.0Dined on February 14, 2014

It Was My First Time Going with my fiance for VDay and we was hoping for a good night but got the complete opposite. First let me say the food was great, but horrible service. We had to ask for water as our server did not offer. And not once did she ever check on us since she was too busy on her iPhone. It took her a half hour for us to get dessert after eating our entrées. A family that came received everything faster than us which was unacceptable. I do not plan on returning back to this place anytime soon.

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3.0Dined on February 9, 2014

And we sort of did. The food was okay, not great but very expensive for what you get.
There seems to be a lack of seasoning.
The place is horrible to look at but the service is GREAT.
We were there on a Sunday night and we were the ONLY ones in the restaurant.
I suppose we didn't mind it because we used a Groupon.
I would definitely go back with a Groupon and would
recommend it to others with a coupon, but not at full price.

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5.0Dined on February 6, 2014

The food and service was amazing. Can't wait to go back!!!

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4.0Dined on January 26, 2014

The service was very good at the restaurant. The waitress was attentive and very friendly and quick.
The food was very good. Very tasty and nice size portions. My wife and i would definitely come back here again.
Oh, and you can bring your own wine, which was a plus.

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2.0Dined on January 18, 2014

My wife and I have two young kids so just the two of us going out is a big treat. We made reservations, but when we showed up, on time, we were seated in from of the door, which in Winter '14 was pretty uncomfortable. We ordered, enjoyed the food very much but we were abandoned by the wait staff after each course. We decide to bag having desert we had to wait so long. We noted other diners having similar experiences of less than good service. We'll not be back.

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5.0Dined on January 11, 2014

Really great food, casual ambiance

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2013

My friend and I had New Years Eve dinner here. The food and service were wonderful. I've also eaten here on a non holiday and had the same, great experience.

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5.0Dined on December 26, 2013

A friend and I came here for dinner last week and were blown away by the charm of this cozy Cranford restaurant. Definite pluses were the friendly and attentive service, relaxed casual atmosphere (byob), and fresh seafood dishes. Chef George also struck up a conversation with us after dinner that made us feel like repeat guests and not the first timers that we were. Another selling point for me was the fact that we didn't arrive until almost 9:30 but not once did we feel rushed to leave as the restaurant was closing up. This is a DEFINITE must-try restaurant if you are in the market for fresh (and affordable!) Italian dishes. We will definitely be returning in the future, and hope to check out some of their cooking classes as well.

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