Growing up in an Italian household, standard Italian fare, like pasta or baked dishes, has become my favorite comfort food. Unfortunately, Italian food from chain restaurants like Olive Garden or Carrabba’s doesn’t hold the same appeal. Luckily, there is a perfect small traditional Italian restaurant right in scenic Spotswood: Gennaro’s Restaurant. 

Located at 100 Summerhill Road, this small locale is best known for its pizza. Toppings like  penne vodka pasta or eggplant rollatini make this dish unique while still retaining a classic Italian flair. 

My personal favorite is the Old World pizza, a thin crust pizza topped with chopped tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella. A personal pie costs about $10, while a large pie is $17.95. 

Although pizza is the most popular dish at Gennaro’s, they also offer hot and cold subs. I would recommend the Eggplant Parmigiana sub, but most of my family swears by the Chicken Italiano, a sub with grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and the house dressing. These subs range from $7 to $10. 

Gennaro’s menu also includes entrees and pasta dishes. My favorite is the Penne Primavera, fresh vegetables in pink, cream or garlic and oil sauce. Full entrée dishes can cost up to $16, but Gennaro’s offers a lunch size until 3 p.m. for as little as $7. 

Beyond their lunch and dinner specials, the restaurant also offers a dessert menu complete with classic Italian staples, like tiramisu and tartufo, an Italian ice cream dish. 

I wouldn’t recommend indoor dining now, but Gennaro’s is still open for seated meals at a reduced capacity. The staff is working around the clock to disinfect the restaurant and provide a safe visit for all customers. 

If you decide to dine in, the atmosphere at Gennaro’s is fantastic. The stacks of brown and white cardboard pizza boxes and bright soda coolers invoke the ambience of an old Brooklyn pizzeria. The marble countertops decked with dishes full of pizza remind me of countless meals with my family and some of my fondest memories. Nonetheless, I’ll be sticking to takeout for now.

Luckily, Gennaro’s delivers and they are punctual. I’ve rarely had to wait more than a half-hour  for even the largest orders. On multiple occasions, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my food had been delivered in less than 20 minutes. The delivery drivers, like most of the staff at Gennaro’s, are efficient and polite. 

I would recommend Gennaro’s Restaurant to anyone looking for a good meal. This small hole in the wall restaurant offers several different dishes, any of which could become your new favorite. Whether you choose to dine in or take out, rest assured that Gennaro’s has something for you. 

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