The Showcase Magazine - Salutes




By Erik Slagle


Benny Mavraj is no stranger to the restaurant business. He and his brother Adem have owned and operated popular dining spots across Martinsville, Bridgewater and Peapack for more than 20 years. The business is in Benny’s blood – his parents were restaurateurs in their native Kosovo. And now he’s bringing new life, a new look and fresh new flavor to an old favorite,celebrating therebirth of the MartinsvilleTaverna on Washington Valley Road in Martinsville!

“With such deep roots here in Martinsville, I want to give the people only the best,” Benny says. “The community was so warm in welcoming us back when we returned after moving to Bridgewater a few years ago. I truly appreciate the support everyone has showed us over the years.”

Listening to Benny talk, it’s easy to see how passionate he is about providing the best experience to hisclientele – it starts with the food, of course, and also means you can expect the finest customer service and ambiance when you’re dining at Martinsville Taverna. If it feels like you’re seeing old friends when you step inside, that’s no coincidence – the chefs arelongtimefriends of Benny’s, and that feeling spills over into the dining areas where Benny tries to personally greet each guest who comes in.

The recipe for success at Martinsville Taverna – along with Peapack’s Café Azzurro, which Benny also owns and calls the “sister” restaurant to the Martinsville location – is deceptively simple: serve the best food from the freshest ingredients in a place with its own personality, and treat your guests like family! And when it comes to the food, his guests are in for some exciting selections. The Shrimp Fra Diavolo is a consistent favorite and a popular choice for diners. His friends in the kitchen are always looking for new spins to put on classic seafood, meat and pasta fare, including sweet and spicy calamari, veal scallopini in a brandy cognac sauce, tilapia oreganata, colorful, creative salads, and a lot more.

The restaurant offers a full bar but also offers a BYO win policy; see martinsvilletaverna.com for details.

Enjoy a classic cocktail from the bar with your meal, or bring your favorite bottle of wine to mark the occasion! When it comes to running a restaurant, Benny says, “the most important thing is to keep people happy, to keep yourcustomers returning. You see the same people coming back, pretty soon they’re making friends with each other and coming here to meet.” at, he says, is the most satisfying part of owning a restaurant. And he’s continuing that tradition at Martinsville Taverna!

Martinsville Taverna offers space for your private party, and provides catering for local events of all sizes. You can find them at 1979 Washington Valley Road, home of the former Fratelli’s Bar and Cucina. They’re open until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday) and reservations are encouraged. Call (732) 563-1717 to make a reservation, or come right down and experience it for yourself! In no time Benny and his team will have you feeling like part of the family, too.