Here in the Garden State, we have some incredible, mind-blowing restaurants.

Of course, the Italian restaurants that you can find here are nothing short of amazing -- I mean, what's better than sitting down in an old-school restaurant that's been owned by the same family for generations, right?

With that said, allow me to share a true hidden gem in New Jersey's culinary world.

If you live in or visit Atlantic City consider this: not many towns with less than 40,000 residents have world-class restaurants.

Restaurant table - Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash
Restaurant table - Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash

The casinos offer no shortage of celebrity-chef-driven eateries and then there's the not-much-of-a-secret Chef Vola's right off of Pacific Avenue.

This hidden gem is neither of those places.

When you think of great restaurants in Atlantic City, popular names like The Knife and Fork, Dock's Oyster House, Café 2825, and Angelo's all come to mind.

Chris Coleman
Chris Coleman

And, yes, White House (we still miss the old neon sign).

True Hidden Gem

What's not often mentioned though is Scannicchio’s and Lefty’s at the corner of Fairmount and North California Avenues, right on the other side of the bay from Bader Field.

On their menu are any number of traditional Italian dishes -- Broccoli di Rabe Salsicce, Cozze e Vongole Poisitano, lobster ravioli -- plus steaks, seafood dishes, and pork chops that have earned this restaurant a 4.6 / 5.0 rating on Google.

Scannicchio’s in Atlantic City NJ - Photo: Google Maps
Scannicchio’s in Atlantic City NJ - Photo: Google Maps

Now, Lefty's is a traditional corner bar -- but inside Lefty's is Scannicchio’s.

So what do people have to say about it?

Started off with escargot which were tasty especially with the Italian bread and butter. Got the special Veal Chop Parmesan which was probably the best parmesan dish I've ever had and the chicken saltimbocca, excellent as well.

Outstanding Italian 'old school' menu. Came out piping hot and you could tell it was fresh.

This is a cool, intimate little restaurant. The food is fantastic. Fresh, flavorful, and nice portions. With a party of 4 the appetizers, main course and dessert was very easy on the wallet. We frequent Atlantic City often and we will be back again.

Best we can tell, Scannicchio’s is growing in popularity because one person tells another person who then tells another person. That's how we found out about it.

While a "hidden gem," they show their hand on their website where they offer pictures of just about everything on their menu so you'll have a good idea of what you'll be devouring.

Go Hungry, Leave Full

As of this writing, they are open for lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 4 PM.

If you're interested in checking out this growing restaurant, set your GPS for 2647 Fairmount Ave. and go hungry. You will not leave feeling the same way!

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