Esposito's (Matawan, NJ)

Apparently there is no dedicated thread for Esposito’s of Matawan, just lots of discussion sprinkled in other threads. Have been there several times, most recently two years ago until tonight. My mom was in the mood for bolognese and insists they have the best, so we headed over. Despite having the award-winning sesame seed pizza crust (which is pretty good), I opted to get a dinner instead. Food was excellent with pics below.

I reviewed them in the past but was very close to updating it to include the downright rude/indifferent service we experienced tonight. The place was far from busy, but our waitress seemed like she wanted to be anywhere else. Waited 15 minutes before she even came over to the table after being seated. When my mom asked if the accompanying salad was Romaine lettuce and was told yes (in a mix), she hesitated in deciding if she wanted it, and was snippily told, “You don’t have to get the salad”. Though the menu said their homemade bread was included with the dinners, we had to ask twice and the second time was met with a response as if we had never asked before, “Oh you want bread? Sure.” When it came, we were halfway done with our meals. Too bad, because it is excellent bread. I rarely remark on service EVER but she rubbed me the wrong way from the start. Any time she was at the table, she tried to remove herself before words could escape our lips. Anyway, food was delicious.

Homemade breadsticks with toasted garlic and seasoning on top. Next to Nonna’s in Englishtown, its the best “freebie” bread of anywhere I can think of.

Buffalo Calamari. Perfectly crispy, right amount of sauce, just spicy enough

My Chicken Sorrentino: topped with thin sliced breaded eggplant, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and a brown sauce over rigatoni

Mom’s rigatoni bolognese. I’m not usually a fan, but tried a little bit and thought it was good. Very creamy.

Justin’s calzone with bacon and black olives. He loved it and I thought it was great and extremely well-made. Lots of bacon, burning hot inside, and gigantic! That’s only a small.


I’m torn on this place. We order pizza a lot from them but yeah service can be spotty. We rarely eat in. I heard they are moving to the former fish place? I can’t remember where I heard about that. Was it you? (Sidebar: how completely unsurprising that the pride of the sea closed?)

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Never enjoyed their dining area layout. Always take out order. My son likes their pizzas.

Yeah it was posted on here somewhere, I can’t remember where but you are correct.

No, it was someone else. Makes sense. Their small dining room is usually crowded. Hopefully they don’t bite off more than they can chew.

Pride of the Sea was a joke. Or a front for something.

Never seen a business operated that way. The area is probably better off without the venom that place spewed.

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See, I thought this too but why would you call so much weird attention to your business if you weren’t on the up and up??

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Correct. If it were a “front” for something there is NO way the owner, manager or anyone would be drawing any attention to themselves. Also if it was a front for “something”, then “something” would already be successful if it required a front, so whatever was behind the front would support it, there is no way they would have just closed.

Not that I know much about this, I was just answering on behalf of a friend.


Guilty conscience? Reverse psychology? Stupidity?

I should stop.


There’s also an Esposito’s in Manasquan. The food is good. It is one of our 2 go-to local pizza joints. I use the term pizza joint, even though we often order their entrees, since that is really what it is and the service level is at that level.

I especially like the #5 Sesame Crust Pizza - Mozzarella, provolone, pesto, roasted pork loin and broccoli rabe - and the Sicilian Calamari - Fried calamari with a spicy pepper and onion relish. If you get the calamari delivered make sure you ask for the relish on the side so the calamari doesn’t get soggy.


The December “Route 34 Shopper” has an ad from Esposito’s on the inside front cover saying, “Watch for Our Grand Opening in Our New Location Formerly Known as Peter’s Fishery”. One can conclude two things from this: 1) They are indeed moving, and 2) Pride of the Sea has become a “non-restaurant” in the great Soviet tradition.


Saw the same as we just had got home from there and had great service and pizza!


There is now a sign up on the new property announcing the move.

And now the old “Pride of the Sea” signs are gone, replaced by signs for Esposito’s. We’re getting closer to it opening, but restaurant openings are notoriously slow.

Esposito’s in Matawan seems to be in their new location (olld Peter’s Fishery and the restaurant whose name we dare not speak)–there are “OPEN” signs up in the lot, etc., but there is noting on their Facebook or website saying so.

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Does anyone know what’s going on at the old location of Esposito’s, or what it will eventually be?

I heard a seafood place called Pride of the Sea II is moving in. Careful though, word on the street is the owner is a bit temperamental.


I thought it was going to be peters house of crabs and steak


I heard that it is going to be a burrito place and they are calling it Espurrito’s. LOL.


They have a liquor license and will only serve Titos