SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Carmen’s Trattoria & Pizza, located in the Oak Park Commons shopping center next to Acme, serves up authentic, homemade Italian cuisine seven days a week. Owned by Sal Scotto-D’Aniello for the past six years, Carmen’s offers catering for all occasions, dine-in and take out, free delivery, daily and weekend specials, and specialty orders.
After purchasing the restaurant in 2008, Sal renovated the shop’s décor, switched to higher-quality products and brought in his father’s authentic pizza sauce recipe. “Carmen’s was here for 18 years, ever since these shops opened. It just needed a little bit of caressing,” said Sal, who looked at several restaurants before settling on the South Plainfield site. “We are definitely not the same old Carmen’s.”
The son of Italian immigrants – both his parents settled in Brooklyn from Naples, Italy – Sal takes pride in offering customers authentic cuisine that is prepared on-site daily. “Here, our customers can expect consistency and quality in their food,” he said, noting that the bread, salad dressings, sauces and desserts are all made fresh each day.
Carmen’s, a B.Y.O.B. establishment, features daily menu items including, but not limited to, pizza, wraps, hot and cold sandwiches, homemade soups, salads, calzones, rolls, Stromboli, and a variety of veal, chicken, fish and pasta dishes along with desserts, cappuccino and espresso. Additionally, the restaurant offers a children’s menu and a gluten-free menu and will accepts special requests.
“Since everything is made to order, we can accommodate a lot of requests and omit things easily,” said Sal, adding, “If is not on the menu and I can do it, I am more than happy to help out. The menu is not set in stone.”
Carmen’s offers several dine-in and take-out options throughout the week: Monday is pasta night and dine-in patrons can enjoy one of 23 dishes with a salad and soda for just $9.95; Tuesday is buy one pizza get one of equal or lesser value for half-price; and Wednesdays those who dine at Carmen’s can enjoy Delmonico steak – a 16-ounce rib-eye cut to order – with roasted potatoes for $12.95. Additionally, on weekdays, Carmen’s offers an express lunch menu and, a dinner-for-four special is available daily.
Dinner-for-four options include a tray of Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Marsala, Chicken Francaise, Chicken Scampi, or Eggplant Parmigiana over pasta as well as Spaghetti with Sausage and Spaghetti with Meatballs, along with a large house salad, homemade bread and an order of mozzarella sticks for $29.99 plus tax.
“I know money is tight and everyone’s schedule is crazy with work, soccer, ballet,” said Sal. “Mom and dad have enough on their plate without having to worry about dinner some nights. If I can help out and offer a complete dinner for four, why not?”
The dinner specials at Carmen’s change daily and during the week includes items such as Chicken Portuguese and Chicken Giambotta, while the weekend special’s range from surf and turf, blacken salmon stuffed with homemade crabmeat, and Pastalaya, to name a few. “All weekday specials change daily and every weekend our specials are different,” said Sal.
Throughout the year, Carmen’s, a B.Y.O.B. establishment, is available for in-house or off-site catering and orders are currently being taken for holiday orders. The restaurant even has an app, ‘Carmen’s Trattoria’ – available from iTunes and Google Play – that features its daily lunch and dinner specials, catering and daily menus, and coupons. Customers who launch the app in the store also have the chance participate in a scratch off-type game for a chance to win free food, including garlic knots or dessert.
Carmen’s is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 9 p.m. The restaurant can accommodate up to 50 people in-house for private events and also offers off-site catering for all occasions. Currently, orders for the upcoming holidays are being accepted and, according to Sal, no order is too big or too small.
Sal said he is happy he selected South Plainfield to own his first restaurant and said the community has been very welcoming. “For us, this isn’t a job; we put a little bit of heart in everything we make and take pride in what we do. Here, our customers are like one big family,” he said, adding, “We hope those who haven’t tried us yet will give us a chance.”
For more information on Carmen’s Trattoria & Pizza, including menu, catering options, and specials, visit CarmensTrattoria.com or call (908) 822-1424.