Mary Reyes enlisted the help of her son Dan when she started Assaggio!

Assaggio! on the White Horse Pike in Egg Harbor City is truly a family affair. Owner and operator Mary Reyes emigrated from Cuba as a child in 1962, winding up in North Jersey, then Hawaii and finally settling in South Jersey in 1983, where she worked for a local contracting company for 30 years.

When the owner of Tre Figlio, a popular dining spot at the time, decided to retire, Reyes took the opportunity to embark on a new career. Acting upon the advice of a longtime friend, Reyes acquired the property and promptly enlisted her son Dan pictured right to join her in her new venture.

Reyes and her staff have built a loyal following in the five years that Assaggio! has been open, and she feels fortunate to have Chef Jorge Barreto in the kitchen. Barreto, who has won numerous awards for his culinary skills, constantly updates the menu to keep the fare interesting and appealing to Assaggio’s customer base. He makes everything from scratch, with fresh pastas made daily, and his list of gluten-free items keeps growing, and now includes gluten-free pasta. Reyes considers Barreto a real part of the family.

Dan manages and works the bar, where his quick and quirky humor has made Assaggio!’s happy hour — named Critics’ Choice Best Happy Hour at Atlantic City Weekly’s 2017 Nightlife Awards — an enjoyable way to end the work day or begin a tasty dinner.

Reyes’ niece Katie assists Dan at the bar, while granddaughters Ashlyn and Brianna serve as hostesses.

The rest of the staff feels like family, as well.

Other accolades garnered by Assaggio! are Best Meatballs at Resorts’ Italian Festival, Open Table’s Choice Award and Trip Advisor’s Bravo Award. All proof that Assaggio! is no longer a neighborhood secret — it is a well-known South Jersey favorite.

Assaggio! 500 W. White Horse Pike, Galloway;

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