Since 1941, Jim and Pete’s, located at 7806 W. North Ave. in Elmwood Park, has been serving up old-world favorites with a modern twist. Current owner Michael Bucchianeri worked as a busboy at Jim and Pete’s as a teenager and subsequently filled every role imaginable at the restaurant before taking an ownership role in 1999.
Since then Bucchianeri has been fiercely committed to honoring the legacy of the 78-year-old restaurant. Expanding on the shared vision of former owners Jim Sorce Jr. and Vito Brunetti, the enthusiastic owner completed an extensive remodel of Jim and Pete’s in 2017, making the well-appointed restaurant a stand-out on Restaurant Row in Elmwood Park.
The remodeled space has a warm ambience and fine finishes including exposed brick walls and a covered multiseason patio. The resulting space is suitable for both casual family dinners and special occasion celebrations.
“We want our guests to feel at home at Jim and Pete’s,” says Bucchianeri. “We appeal to couples looking for a date night, businesses looking to host a meeting, and people looking to host baby showers and birthday celebrations.”
A reliable arsenal of traditional Italian dishes like bruschetta, chicken Parmigiano, and linguini with clam sauce keep regulars coming back to Jim and Pete’s, while specialty menu items like giant house-made rigatoni with pine nuts, spinach and ricotta, and Italian Pork Chops with peppers and potatoes make a unique splash on the thoughtful menu. Cooks in Jim and Pete’s kitchen even whip up a memorable meatloaf, while their salmon salad, a new menu item, is born out of personal preferences.
“I would sit at the bar eating a salmon salad and customers would keep asking me about it,” says Bucchianeri, “so I decided to put it on the menu; it’s been a hit ever since.”
The hearty salad features fresh mixed greens topped with grilled salmon and garnished with red onion, tomato, olives, Fontinella cheese, fresh mozzarella and a savory Italian-style vinaigrette.
Longtime servers have made all the difference at Jim and Pete’s. Some employees have worked in the restaurant for more than 15 years, and Bucchianeri is quick to point out many diners make a request to sit in a certain server’s section.
“Our staff makes all the difference at Jim and Pete’s and we make a great team,” he says proudly. “The restaurant expansion has been as wonderful for our staff as it has been for our customers.”
Jim and Pete’s is a proud member of the Elmwood Park culinary community. While their expansion increased their visibility on North Avenue, Bucchianeri is quick to acknowledge all the village of Elmwood Park has done to support their local restaurants.
“Skip and others from the village are regulars here and I consider them friends,” he says. “I can say their efforts have changed the restaurant landscape in Elmwood Park for the better.”
Hot Holiday Tip: Jim and Pete’s offers full-service catering for onsite or offsite events in Elmwood Park and the surrounding communities. They are still booking events for the 2019 holiday season.