Horse with a Good Name
For nearly 15 years, Cavallino Nero has been doing Italian right.
Cavallino Nero restaurant owner is Vito Cassara.
Years ago, this unusual building on the Black Horse Pike in Mays Landing was insulated from the heavy passing Shore traffic. However, with the growth in Atlantic County, Cavallino Nero is now on the edge of the population explosion springing up around its site.
Cavallino Nero means "the Little Black Horse" in Italian, appropriately named for its location on the Pike. The simple venue serves solid home-style Italian food. Cavallino Nero opened in 1992, when Vito and Kathleen Cassara renovated the building and began serving familiar Italian dishes, many from Vito's native Italy.
Diners walk through a large patio with outdoor furniture to enter. The "café" sits right at the parking lot rather than off to the side or in the back. Entering Cavallino Nero is like going into two diverse establishments. To the right is the large rectangular bar, with all the trappings of a real taproom. There is a large television at the front and a jukebox, amusement games and a countertop video trivia machine.
To the left is the dining room, which has a bust of a horse's head at the entryway. The dining room is simple, but with a homey feeling. The walls are paneled halfway up from the floor, and a gold finish is painted on the upper walls.
The drapes are a muted gold and maroon fabric. The tables are covered with white tablecloths complemented by maroon napkins spread out on top for contrasting color. Sliding glass partition windows separate the two rooms, presumably a holdover from the prior days when it was used to block the barroom smoke and noise.
Cavallino Nero a Mays Landing Italian Restaurant, has an appetizer choice for everyone. The list of at least two dozen items also includes a few soups. Appetizers range from $3 to $8.95. There are also some standard salad listings, but because each entree comes with a tossed salad, there is no reason to order an extra. There is a reasonably priced antipasto for two at $7.95 ($11.95 for four). Enjoy a great meal in South Jersey at a comfy, relaxed Italian Restaurant.
The entree menu lists several varieties of chicken, veal, pork, Italian favorites and seafood.
"Al Mare," or seafood entrees, emphasize shrimp, clams and mussels. Flounder and salmon are also available. The fish and seafood entrees range from $13.95 to $26.
Excluding the Italian Favorites, all dishes are served with pasta, baked potato or vegetable and the portions are ample. The standard red sauce may be upgraded. Adding sausage, mushrooms, clams and meatballs will cost another $1 to $3.50. I requested a mushroom marinara sauce, which, for me, was a little on the spicy side.
We offer such dishes as homemade Eggplant Parmesan, lightly breaded, piping hot and smothered in melted mozzarella cheese. All Italian favorites, including lasagna, gnocchi, manicotti, ravioli and stuffed shells, are priced from $11.95 to $19.95.
Something sweet is always in order after eating Italian food. Cavallino Nero has a limited dessert menu.
Major credit cards accepted. Free parking on the lot. Open daily at 11am. Entire menu is available for takeout. We also offer in house or off site catering.