Where couples receive royal treatment

Newly married northern New Jersey-ans are lucky in that respect, because the area is home to several top restaurants that specialize in hosting wedding receptions to suit every preference, from ultra-formal to friendly.

For example, in Orange, The Appian Way, named for the famous road in ancient Rome, offers couples a family like atmosphere in a newly refurbished setting. The Restaurant has been family-owned and operated for the last 26 years by Bruno La Banca, his son and now-partner Bob La Banca and daughter Brianna.

The staff is part of the extended family as well: Chef Jamie Rey has been overseeing the menu for more than 20 years. Recent renovations, including a recently remodeled front entrance and new outside gazebo, are particularly suited for weddings, as is the grand ballroom complete with crystal chandeliers.

But it may be the legendary cocktail hour at The Appian Way that makes the restaurant a favorite for wedding parties for 20 to 300 guests.

“People have their weddings here and 10 years later, they are still talking about it,” says Banquet Manager Bobby La Banca. The bounty includes hot and cold antipasto; appetizers such as clams casino, shrimp cocktail, stuffed mushroom caps and stuffed hearts of artichoke; and fresh mozzarella and roasted peppers.

When it comes to entrees, the resturant is known for its hearty portions and its veal and seafood dishes. For example, Veal Chops Appian Way features veal sauted with mushrooms and garlic served over escarole with a white wine and demi-glaced sauce. Zuppa Del Pescatore Alla Marechiara features lobster tail, shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops and calamari in a tomato basil and garlic sauce served over angel hair pasta. Elegance with a splash of royal treatment head to The Appian Way. 

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