Whenever I see an obvious click-bait headline like "Best Italian Restaurant in Each State," I can't resist to see what they chose for New Jersey. We have no idea if the writer went to each state or did a Facebook poll, or went on Yelp and poked around. Was there a panel of distinguished judges from around the state or from every region of Italy? Probably not. Whatever the methodology you can bet there are dozens of people in each of these states that are calling it "fake news" if their favorite wasn't on top of the list.

I had to chuckle at some of the selections from states like Arkansas, Wyoming or Alabama. Just as they wouldn't trust a New Jersey restaurant to make the 'best grits' list anywhere. Yes, here in The Garden State we are Italian food experts, if not outright snobs. We deserve to be, because even if you're not of Italian ancestry, growing up here you've been exposed to more great Italian food than anywhere outside of 'The Old County'. That's just a fact. Fuggetaboutit!

So as I clicked through the list after a few snickers past Montana and Mississippi, I couldn't wait to see the selection from more than likely and old established legendary joint somewhere in the northern half of the state. To my shock and delight Taste of Home selected a place that I've actually been to in my hometown of Medford NJ. They selected(drumroll please)……..ITA101 20 S. Main St. Medford NJ 08055

I have eaten there not long after they opened over a year ago and it is impressive. The attention to detail, fresh ingredients and an ever changing creative, yet authentic menu and execution is worth the price and the drive from anywhere. It's not your father's spaghetti and meatball joint. A bit upscale but casual, BYOB and friendly staff and delicious food. We're so happy they got national recognition however they were chosen, in a state where there is a LOT to choose from.

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