The tiny town of Hampton, a population of less than 2,000, is home to Hampton Junction Nonna’s Kitchen, where homemade Italian dinners have been served for the last 15 years using old-world family recipes handed down from the previous owner Linda Curcio to the new husband and wife team in place today.
Fresh Gourmet Meals
In January 2022, Steven and Hailie Pikna took ownership of Hampton Junction and have continued the tradition of serving fresh gourmet meals five nights a week, recently adding breakfast and lunch Saturday and Sunday.
Remarkable Culinary Experience
Steve started working in Hampton Junction in 2011, working his way up from dishwasher to chef alongside Curcio. Steve is known for his creativity and the style he imparts in the weekly specials that always satisfy hungry patron’s tastebuds. Hailie started working at Hampton Junction in 2011, helping prepare appetizers and desserts and making pasta. As she stated during my meal, she lends a hand to every aspect of the restaurant to ensure dinners have a remarkable culinary experience.
Five others attended dinner, and it was easy to pick from the streamlined menu, unlike other restaurants where the choice can be difficult. The menu features a few appetizers, a small selection of soups/salads, ten entrees, and specials. It also includes personal pizza, two sandwich choices, and dessert. Finally, the group was ready to treat their hungry stomachs.
First on the table were Mussels Fra Diavolo and fried Calamari, accompanied by garlicky, garlicky homemade garlic knot, something Hampton Junction is famous for. You’ll need mints after dinner. I’ve eaten tons of mussels in my culinary lifetime, but these were undoubtedly the best; each mussel was tender, and the garlic-rich tomato sauce was so incredible I could have drunk it.
The special of the evening was a roasted veal chop, perfectly prepared medium rare, accompanied by grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes. Exquisite is the word for this dish. Next, we consumed a personal pepperoni pizza with a light homemade crust and crispy. Then, right out of the pasta-making machine, the cheese ravioli were filled with a light-as-a-feather ricotta stuffing, ideally seasoned, and served in light oil and garlic with white wine reduction, garnished with broccoli rabe and sundried tomatoes.
Crispy Cannoli Shells
The Chicken parmesan was tender with a light touch of red sauce and grilled mozzarella, served with homemade fettuccine. In addition, we ate broccoli rabe and sausage served over pasta, also in the same sauce as the ravioli. The eggplant parm was magnificent, light, and non-greasy, and the serving size was enough for two hungry adults. The entire meal was flawless, but crispy cannoli shells with fresh piped-in cream were the perfect ending to a superb meal.
Kudos to Steven and Hailie, as well as server Haley Young and her father, Juan Pena, who uses his special cooking skills in the kitchen.
Wednesday Pasta Night
Reservations are required, and you’ll know why after dining at Hampton Junction. The restaurant offers full-service catering, and a party room can accommodate up to 30 guests. The restaurant is B.Y.O.B. Now that the weather is warming up for outdoor dining, Hampton Junction’s patio is a welcoming place to dine and enjoy a memorable meal.
Wednesday night is pasta night, where patrons can enjoy salad, pasta, and dessert for a fixed price.
Hampton Junction, 23 New Street, Hampton, New Jersey 08827. For reservations, call 908-537-2272.
The restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday and breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. Check the website, as dining hours vary.