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borough bites | Nunzio’s by Chef Michael DeLone

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Roaming through Collingswood with an empty stomach can best be addressed by an inquiry into one of the most popular Italian restaurants in town—Nunzio’s by Chef Michael DeLone. Earning a 4-star reputation in its 18 years of existence, the prosperous establishment once owned by Nunzio Patruno is under new ownership. Not just any old ownership…but in good hands with former protégée Chef Michael DeLone, who spent most of his career in Philadelphia and has big plans for both the menu and the venue that customers would be delighted to know.

Owning your own business is a dream come true for most. For DeLone, not only did he achieve that dream, but in one of the most unique and opportune ways imagin- able. A call from his mentor Patruno would change the trajectory of his career.

“[Patruno] asked if I knew anyone who wanted to buy a restaurant,” DeLone recalled. “I had the funds and bought it.”

Having worked with his mentor, Patruno, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was an honor for DeLone to acquire his mentor’s business. The newly passed torched motivate DeLone to create a hybrid mold that started by keeping the name of the restaurant and adding to the “refined cooking style” Nunzio’s was known for while putting his unique twist on the popular Italian restaurant.

Nunzio’s by Chef Michael DeLone has a wide variety of classic Italian dishes such as Parmigiana and prosciutto, as well as rabbit, which is one of the most popular items on the menu. Another very popular item happens to be the personal favorite of DeLone—octopus. As tasty as the year-round items are, per- haps the most dynamic dishes can be found during the holidays. Food compliments any holiday and Nunzio’s by Chef Michael DeLone knows how to prepare for such an important occasion. Thanksgiving centers around food and family, which means your family can take advantage of a delicious turkey scallopini dish available for take-out, a special created in 2021. The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a four-course meal that’s only available in-house for $75. Customers can expect to be served this meal during the Christmas holiday, Wednesday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Christmas Eve. If that sounded good, wait—there’s more. On Christmas Day, families will be able to enjoy braised short ribs.

The future of Nunzio’s by Chef Michael DeLone is as important as its past. Big plans are on the horizon, according to the chef, eager to continue the success of his mentor. “I’m a humble servant,” he considers himself regarding his legacy. “I just want to cook good food.”

His goals for the direction of the business are not only ambitious, but immediate. Although the menu is appealing to most, DeLone would like to stir the pot and add much more. “I want it to be more seafood driven,” he proudly declared with seafood being one of his favorite types of food. The change is expected to attract fellow seafood lovers who don’t shy away from exotic dishes like octopus. “I want more cuts of meat and home cooked pastas too,” he says. The big- gest change to come being one that brings on renovations and even a new name in 2023. No name has made the cut yet, but one thing is for certain, Chef Michael DeLone has a lot on his plate and like most things he creates they end up a success loved by many.

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