Andrea and Maria Louisa Palladino left their home in Naples, Italy, to find a new life in America, settling in Brooklyn, N.Y. with their sons Joe, Andrew and Carmine.
The boys were always helping out in the kitchen, where Joe developed a love of food from the traditional recipes handed down from his parents and ancestors. When he was older, he began to work in some high-end restaurants and eventually moved to Milmay, where he opened his own restaurant.
Eventually joining him in this new venture were brothers Andrew and Carmine, Joe’s wife Lena, her sister Anna and brother-in-law Andy Vourvahis. Desiring a farm like the one he grew up on in Naples, their father bought the property next door and began growing fresh vegetables that were used in the new restaurant.
In 1981, the brothers ventured to Atlantic County and opened A Touch of Italy, to serve traditional Neapolitan family favorite recipes that have been handed down for generations. It became an immediate success in the area. When long lines began to wrap around the building, they knew it was time to expand. A property was available on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township where A Touch of Italy now has a permanent home with a warm friendly atmosphere, complete bar and wine list and live music several nights a week. Private events have also become a specialty.
Unfortunately in 1999, Joe died. Since then, his wife Lena has become an integral part of the business, welcoming customers daily and making everyone feel like they’re a part of the family. The love of the restaurant has also been instilled in their children, who all play an important role in the everyday operations. Chefs Andrew and Carmine are busy keeping the family recipes a consistent favorite while also adding new creations to please their clientele. Chef Andrew personally selects the freshest, wild-caught fish and creates made-to-order daily specials with great attention to detail.
A Touch of Italy, 6629 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, TouchOfItaly.net