PATERSON, N.J. (WABC) --For this week's Neighborhood Eats, we're going old school Italian with a restaurant that has stood the test of time.
E & V Ristorante in Paterson, N.J. first opened in 1967, and it's been going strong ever since.
The owners moved to America from Italy when they were only teenagers.
The food here is authentic.
"We started as a pizzeria then in 1982," says Ralph Federico, co-owner of E & V. "Then we got out of the pizza business and we got into the restaurant. And ever year it just got bigger and bigger and bigger."
So big, actually, that E & V has become a fixture in Paterson.
Elio Federico is the "E" in E & V. He opened the restaurant in 1967 with a friend named Vince, but Elio's brother Ralph took over a short time later. He and Elio have been side by side ever since.
"My mom was the greatest cook," says Ralph. "When we started as a pizzeria, she helped us out. We learned from her."
Their menu has classic recipes-- Marsala, Sausage and Peppers, Spedini, Fruit di Mare and some customer-driven dishes.
"We create things and when they ask for it more than once then we put it on the menu," says Elio.
One example is their pasta hand-made Fettuccini. Federico sauts Prosciutto in butter. He adds two kinds of mushrooms, shrimp and artichokes with some wine and stock. A little marinara finishes it off.
"We made that years ago for Mother's day," Federico says of the Fettuccini dish. "It was called Mother's Day Special, but we just changed the name."
Now it's called the Chef's Special, and the hefty portions they serve comes at a pretty price. It's one of the big draws of the restaurant according to a loyal customer.
"I always take back (home) the food here," says the customer. "It's too much."
"I've been coming here a very long time," says another diner. "And I know Ralph is fantastic and his brother is fantastic. The food is superb."
"Everything is just so fresh when you get it," says a woman whose been coming to the restaurant for almost three decades. "And the portions are quite large. Most of the time I end up taking home part of me dinner. I could never eat the whole thing. Everything that they cook is just so superb."
Serving diners since for over 47 years, Ralph says it's a good feeling being in the business for a "long time."
"We dedicated our lives here," says Elio.
E & V Ristorante located at 320 Chamberlain Ave. in Paterson, N.J.
Recipe for E & V Chef's special
1 lb. Fettuccine
3 TBLS butter
1 dozen Small shrimp (deveined and deshelled)
3 strips prosciutto (diced)
cup artichoke hearts
cup button mushrooms
cup shitake mushrooms
2 leaves fresh basil
1 cup marinara
White wine (for a splash)
Boil fettuccine as directed and drain.
In large saucepan heat butter, add prosciutto. Cook for a minute. Then add mushrooms and shrimp. Cook for 3 minutes. Add splash of white wine, stock and cook down for another minute. Add artichokes and marinara. Continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
Ladle out a half cup of the sauce and place in another large pan. Warm and add the already drained pasta. Toss quickly.
Place that pasta in a very large serving dish and put the contents of the other sauce pan on top. Top with basil. Serves 2-4.