One of my favorite restaurants, Porcini in Highlands, NJ, is celebrating 8 years of great food, service, and community involvement.

Porcini owners Chris and Alexandria Atamian worked for my good friend and extraordinary chef Joe Romanowski who owned Bay Avenue Trattoria down the street in Highlands, NJ.

Joe was a great chef who ended up mentoring many of the best chefs here in New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy and medical issues which led to the heartbreaking passing of Joe closed Bay Avenue Trattoria forever. Stepping up was Chris and Alex and down Bay Avenue they went and opened Porcini.

This restaurant works! It is a BYOB in a cozy setting that is well-appointed. Chris, who leads an amazing kitchen staff, is one of the best chefs I know. He constantly comes up with incredibly good dishes that I enjoy including his crab cake, and wild mushroom tart to begin your meal are a must try. I like his bucatini pasta with white clams as a pasta course and I remain a big fan of his scallops for dinner, they are very good.

Save room for dessert, unbelievably I’m not a big dessert guy, but you can bet I am when I have dinner at Porcini.

This restaurant works, Alexandria runs the front of the house and does all the marketing very efficiently. I have hosted tables of 8 and just a small table for 2. I have never been disappointed and felt the need to share my experience with you.

Congratulations to Chris and Alex and the staff of Porcini for celebrating 8 years and weathering COVID and fighting hard to keep those doors open. We are all incredibly lucky that you did. Next time you pay a visit to the Jersey Shore, make Porcini one of your dining experiences.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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