|The owner, Gabriella with mother Lee in the background. More pictures to follow including|
Most businesses are successful if they make money and many do not really care how they do it. This includes restaurants. It was therefore such a delightful experience to be lucky enough to schedule my birthday party at Gabriella’s Place in the unlikely town of Nutley, New Jersey on October 8th, 2016 where my family, coming from parts of New York and New Jersey and I converged to experience not only wonderful food that was plentiful and beautifully presented, great and caring service that was from the heart, an amazingly beautiful and skillful belly dancer that captured everyone’s attention including my invigorated and lustful eyes, all packaged in a small family run Lebanese restaurant that was bright, charming, clean and perfect for the just under 30 people that came for this momentous 70th birthday celebration.
To be sure, my 70th birthday comes on November 18th, but I wanted to celebrate this milestone with my sisters who I infrequently see living some 6,000 miles away. And I was planning a cruise to Canada and had a few days in New York before it started. So, with prompting from my sister, Sue who did much of the planning and hounded and reminded my family on several occasions about the event, we decided to find a restaurant and meet half way between my two family cohorts. This was no small chore for me having to work this from my home in Honolulu. So it was a bit of an experiment and I talked to several restaurants before settling on Gabriella’s Place. There was truly no comparison between the warmth and customer service that was afforded me; it almost seemed too easy and I was beginning to wonder. The restaurant would be closed to other patrons and I guaranteed a party of at least 30 people. I made the deal without the need for deposit, the cost was all inclusive of tax and tip and the food selection was decided including several courses of appetizers followed by dinner selections and dessert. Without a liquor license, I was able to bring wine and beer to the restaurant without having to resort to the usual large restaurant markup which undoubtedly saved me hundreds of dollars in costs.
While I’m not quite the middle eastern restaurant connoisseur, I did think the food was really delicious. More importantly, my fussy older sisters, who are expert cooks and very discerning in their appreciation for middle eastern cooking – also agreed with my assessment. Indeed, everyone there was fabulously content with the quality, quantify and diversity of the cuisine being served. I’ll spare you the details of the selections; everything we had was wonderful. You can’t go wrong with any selection on the menu.
I think there were only four of the Gabriella’s Place family members scurrying around attending to the guests but they were all wonderful, responsive and patient with the numerous requests. I remembered to corner Gabriella and her mother Lee and snapped a few pictures of them to preserve my memory. Service was warm and friendly, and I think they truly enjoyed serving us and participating in the event. I certainly appreciated everything about that night and I thank you Gabriella and Lee and family for making this truly a special occasion.
What a perfect place for a private party. I think they can handle as many as 40 people but it was perfect for my party at just less than 30. There was room for the belly dancer to dance, for the guests to mingle and for me to dance around like a teenager.
At one point in the evening, I was playing with my iPhone and a glass splinter pierced my finger bringing me an unexpected jolt of pain. Noticing this moment of discomfort, after the splinter was removed and without prompting, Gabriella went back into the restaurant to retrieve some rubbing alcohol and some bandages for me to cleanse and cover my wound. Where else in the world would you get such caring attentive service?
I can only recommend Gabriella’s Place with the highest enthusiasm. And if you are contemplating a private party affair with around 30-40 people, I’m certain you will be just as happy as I am. And you will thank me for my review and post one yourself.