Homemade Pasta and More at Joe Italiano’s Maplewood, Moorestown Mall
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Joe Italiano’s Maplewood provided my family with a meal in exchange for this post and my honest feedback and opinions. The opinions I share about Joe Italiano’s Maplewood are my own, and Joe Italiano’s Maplewood did not tell me what to say or how to say it.
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Our South Jersey Family-Friendly Dining Series continues with Joe Italiano’s Maplewood restaurant at the Moorestown Mall. Although this locally-owned restaurant has had other locations in New Jersey for about 75 years, this location, at the Moorestown Mall, just opened earlier this year. I’d heard such great things about the menu, including homemade pasta (!!), so I knew that I had to try them out! The kicker, though? I’d heard of people going there for dates, but not as a family with small children. Since we pretty much only eat out with the boys (date nights don’t happen much over here), I wanted to see how Joe Italiano’s Maplewood would be for family dining. You guys, just a teaser here…we were not disappointed.
We made a reservation for a Thursday night at 6:30 pm. Reservations certainly are not required, but, since I knew this was a pretty popular “new” location, I figured we were better safe than sorry. It was pretty easy to find a decent parking spot in the mall parking lot and, once we got out of the car, we could smell the aromas of italian food. YUM! Definitely a good sign! Since we were a little early, the boys and I walked around the mall while we waited for The Mister to arrive (he was coming straight from work). We showed up to the restaurant a few minutes early and were quickly greeted at the check-in area and shown to our seats. The boys were so happy that they had crayons and a kids placemat/activity mat for them to color on!
As we were walked back to our booth, I took the opportunity to take in all the decor. One of my favorite pieces was a HUGE glass partition that housed bottles of wine. I was not drinking that night, but it was so nice to see such an assortment of wine available to diners and I loved that it was being displayed in such a neat way. Most of the decor was pretty dark, but it did not feel dark inside – does that make sense? It was cozy inside – perfect for an Italian restaurant!
Our waitress came to see us pretty quickly and took our drink and appetizer/meal orders. Chocolate milk and lemonade for the boys (separate drinks of course because…if they were together, ew!) and The Mister and I got water. Calamari is one of my favorite appetizers, so we ordered a plate of that as well. We also ordered our meals – Mac & Cheese for Little Dude, Spaghetti & Meatballs for Big Dude, Cousins Special for me, and Potato Gnocchi with Meatballs for The Mister. I couldn’t wait to try their homemade pasta and enjoy a delicious meal! Now, I need to mention this – Joe Italiano’s Maplewood does NOT have a specific kids meal menu. When I asked the waitress what to do with the kids, she said they can make any of the pasta dishes in kid-sized portions and also had mac & cheese and chicken fingers & fries. (UPDATE: since original publishing date, I have learned that Joe Italiano’s Maplewood is in the process of having a kids-specific menu made!)Moorestown Mall South Jersey family friendly dining dinner moorestown burlington county italian food in south jersey
When the drinks were brought back, we ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the kids cups! Really – they are genius! I had NEVER seen kids cups like this at a restaurant. They were disposable plastic cups (that part is typical), but the lid was similar to that of a sippy cup! It actually had a spout like a sippy cup so that kids could drink out of it with a straw or straight from the spout. I’m telling you, I get a kick out of the “little things” in life and this certainly was one of them. The boys opted to drink out of the cups with their super bendy straws.
Along with drinks, the waitress brought our appetizer as well! Calamari was served with a marinara sauce *and* we got complimentary breads and salad. The boys gobbled that bread down like there was no tomorrow and, not gonna lie, The Mister and I did as well! Now, parents especially will appreciate that Joe Italiano’s Maplewood served two types of bread – one was a loaf (yes, a full loaf!) of fresh bread served with a dish of butter and the other was slices of garlic bread. I loved that there were both crunchy and soft bread options because I’ve got one kid that refuses to eat crunchy bread (what the what?!). THANK YOU, Joe Italiano’s Maplewood for having two options! The complimentary salad was delicious as well and reminded me of the salad served at other italian restaurants. Moorestown Mall South Jersey family friendly dining dinner moorestown burlington county italian food in south jersey
Now, the calamari. THE CALAMARI. Such a simple dish, but I feel like it can either be delicious or horrible. Just like how crab cakes are one of my test dishes for restaurants (check out Our Delicious Brunch at Roots Cafe in Maple Shade, NJ), Calamari is one of my test appetizers. Let me tell you, Joe Italiano’s Maplewood calamari did NOT disappoint. Served with marinara dipping sauce, the breading was light and crispy and the meat was tender. How many times have I had rubbery calamari?! Countless. I was so happy to have had delicious, tender calamari for dinner that night. In addition to the calamari, there were pieces of hot pepper that were battered as well. The Mister first tried a piece of green pepper and said it was hot (he loves hot & spicy dishes). I then decided to try one of the red peppers to see if it was sweet or hot. It was hot! So, if you do not like hot peppers, don’t eat the peppers that are served with the calamari.
While the boys were gobbling their bread, I need to mention their paper placemats. You know how most placemats usually have some fun images to color and maybe a few tic-tac-toe lines for kids to enjoy? You guys…this place had an educational placemat! There was a graphic to practice multiplication, a word find, and tic-tac-toe. As a veteran teacher, I absolutely love that they found a way to encourage education at the dinner table. It was pretty neat to experience Little Dude (5 years old) start to learn his multiplication facts at dinner.
Our plates were taken away and dinner was brought soon after. Little Dude’s mac & cheese was orange and just how he liked it. Big Dude’s spaghetti and meatball dish was lovely – a big meatball sat atop a bed of fresh pasta and sauce. The Mister’s gnocchi and meatballs was served with sauce as well. The three of them got pretty typical (in my opinion – and definitely not a bad thing!) dishes, but I decided to get something out of the ordinary. The Cousins Special is fresh pasta in a white or red sauce (I got white) served with lobster and crab. Right?! It looked, smalled, TASTED amazing. The lobster and crab were good size pieces and I totally appreciated that. Many times, restaurants will serve little flakes of lobster and crab with their dishes – still tasty, but there’s something special about being able to take a bite right out of a piece of lobster. And the pasta?! Homemade and absolutely perfect. Delicious!
We pretty much ate our meal in silence which, in my experience, is the sign of delicious food. Our bellies were full and happy and then…and then…our waitress asked us if we’d like dessert. I was totally prepared to skip dessert, but the boys ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the thought of a sweet treat to finish off their meal. We opted to get one order of the cannolis for all of us to share. It came with 2 cannolis – perfect for splitting in half so each of us could have a bite. They were pretty tasty. The shells weren’t as crispy as I thought they’d be, but we still enjoyed them! The boys especially loved that they were served on a dish with “fancy swirls” of chocolate and raspberry sauce. If we let them, the boys probably would’ve licked that plate clean.
To say we enjoyed our meal at Joe Italiano’s Maplewood at the Moorestown Mall would be a total understatement. If you’re looking for an amazing meal out with family, I totally recommend them! The Mister and I are already planning on going back again for one of our rare date nights, so that means a lot. Thank you, Joe Italiano’s Maplewood, for having my family and me for dinner! We truly appreciate being able to enjoy a family night out with quality meals!
If you will be dining with small children, Joe Italiano’s Maplewood does have high chairs and booster seats – just request one when making your reservation or when checking in at the front desk. As I mentioned before, reservations are not required, but, if they’re available, might as well make one! Moorestown Mall South Jersey family friendly dining dinner moorestown burlington county italian food in south jersey
Here’s some helpful information for you!
Contact Info for all three of their locations including Google Map directions
Menu for all three of their locations
Have you been to a Joe Italiano’s Maplewood location before? If so, what did you get to eat?
Want to read more about family-friendly dining in South Jersey? Check out our reviews here!