"I'll meet you anytime you want in our Italian Restaurant." - Billy Joel
On the city bus from Manhattan to my house in Northern New Jersey, I once distracted myself from the uncomfortable ride by counting every pizza or Italian restaurant we passed, not including national chains. I lost count at about 32, and it's a 30 minute ride. Directly across the street from our apartment alone are three small, privately owned Italian restaurants.
As a Nebraska girl, good Italian to me was delivered to my front door by Pizza Hut in 30 minutes or less. But since I've lived here in Bergen County, I've discovered a whole new taste and selection of Italian food. Chicken parmigiana, eggplant rollatini, chicken scarpariello, and a plethora of fettuccine, tortellini, ravioli, and ziti, all covered with marinara, garlic, or alfredo sauce and sauteed to perfection. And I admit, I've become a pasta-holic.
After an excruciatingly long day in the freezing cold city, suffering through crowded subways, and bumpy bus rides, one of my favorite things to do is call La Bella Napoli (number 6 on my speed dial) when I'm 15 minutes away from my final stop. I get off the bus, cross the street to the restaurant, and pick up my hot, steamy order. Then I walk back across the street and enjoy its Heavenly goodness in my warm, cozy home, cuddled up with Eddie and a movie. As home is where the heart is, and our home has moved throughout several different states and will no doubt change again, this will be a lasting memory for years to come of "home."