Our story begins in the late 1960’s – when Caterina and Giovanni (otherwise known affectionately as Mom and Pop) traveled to America. This would set the course for them to meet, fall in love, and begin a family. Their three sons, Vito, Ralph, and Mike, grew up in a house full of love for family and of course, food! In 1970, we opened Mr Assantes in Green Brook, NJ. That restaurant continues to run today, and is owned and run by another family member – which makes us very proud!
Mr. Assante’s was just the beginning. Our family continued to evolve within the restaurant business, which eventually brought us to Hunterdon County in 1989. That year, Marinelli’s was opened. Then in 1995, Maria Rosa opened its doors. Our fondest memories of opening these restaurants was the process of taking a building that was outdated and dilapidated, and updating it to feel warm and welcoming for the families who wanted to share a great meal, together.
In 2006, Pop decided to hang up his apron. Vito had taken over Marinelli’s, so Ralph and Mike took ownership of Maria Rosa. By keeping Maria Rosa within our family, we continue to promote the love of food with friends and family. From the quaint outdoor patio, adorned with a pond Pop made himself, to whatever is in season in his vast garden, a good meal with welcoming surroundings and fresh, delicious ingredients are a guarantee. Don’t be surprised if you see Mom and Pop at a table next to you – and do say hello! Hope to see you in soon, and don’t be surprised when you feel like part of the family!