Downtown Cranford is becoming quite the culinary destination. Romola’s Seafood & Grille has joined the ranks of high-end gems like Pairings and A Toute Heure (Centennial Village area). The restaurant is the joint effort of Sonny Gjuvakj and Mike Ventura, and it’s named after Mike’s mother. Sonny and Mike have collaborated together before in this area and they felt Cranford was the perfect fit for their new seafood restaurant. The menu offers a number of options for seafood lovers. Appetizers include shrimp cocktail, grilled calamari, tuna tartar and grilled octopus. Some entree options include monkfish, red snapper, shrimp and scallops and fresh Maine lobster. Romola’s has options for meat lovers, too, like rack of lamb, surf and turf and osso bucco.
The restaurant seats 50, and is open from Tuesday through Sunday, from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended, so call ahead or check them out on OpenTable. Romola’s is BYOB, however, they also offer a wine list, provided by their neighbor, NJ Wine Seller. They have a sommelier who can help you pair the wines listed with your meal and offer a number of low- and high- end options. If you choose a wine off the list, the store will deliver it. (Delivery from the store to Romola’s is free.)
Sonny and Mike are intent on providing guests with a special experience and they hope their customers will find that both the food and service exceed expectations. Romola’s chef has experience cooking Mediterranean cuisine and personally selects the seafood they use. Their high standards mean that the menu can change frequently so they can provide customers with the best product they can offer. Romola’s is a welcome addition to downtown Cranford, not to mention New Jersey.
Michelle Stavrou, the Union County regional editor, grew up in Bergen County, then moved to Hoboken (after a stop over in Queens) before finally settling in Cranford where she lives with her husband and daughter. Michelle was amazed to discover all of the delicious food in the Cranford area, which she documents on her blog, What’s Cooking In (& Around) Cranford.