Privito’s To Go owner Mark Privito has worked in the restaurant business his whole career.
His resume includes the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City, Carmen’s in Ventor, La Cucina in Center City, the Cherry Hill Hyatt, Chateau Savannah and La Posata in Marlton, and, of course, the 19-year-old Privito’s To Go in the Laurel Hill Plaza on College Drive.
When Privito imagined going out on his own, he first thought of an upscale, dine-in restaurant. But then his thinking shifted and after years of working late nights, Privito wanted to do something lighter.
Privito decided on a new concept: Upscale take-out, an Italian delicatezza that served local favorites like hoagies and cheesesteaks alongside gourmet specialities like whole-baked artichokes with seasoned bread crumbs, cheese and olive oil, or homemade chicken chicken cutlets and sautéed broccoli rabe.
Privito’s opened in 1994 and with an enormous, varied menu, there is something for every taste and price range.
“It seems like people cannot live without a hoagie or a cheesesteak, so we have those,” said Privito.
The menu also includes about 20 different variations of a chicken cutlet sandwich, including the owner’s favorite—a chicken cutlet with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone.
The cutlets are never deep fried; instead they are sautéed individually, so the cutlet retains its own flavor, versus being flavored by oil used for a variety of dishes.
Also on the menu are specialities you can find at fine-dining establishments.
“So much of our menu are items I would feature at one of my restaurants,” said Privito.
Seafood is another speciality, with blackened and grilled salmon, crab cakes, cod, mahi mahi and flounder on the menu. The restaurant has a small dining area that seats about 25 and runs daily lunch specials, including a homemade soup, until 3 p.m. Every afternoon there is a steady stream of customers picking up something to serve for dinner—sausage and peppers, homemade gnocchi, eggplant parmesan or another mouth-watering speciality.
The restaurant also does catering for events of all sizes including personal events like communions and christenings as well as corporate events throughout the area. There is a catering menu and Privito will help customers choose the right amount of food for any size party and any size budget. Privito’s will also customize a dinner menu with their gourmet catering menu, which includes stuffed veal chops, osso buco and lobster fra diavolo.
Privito, a 1973 graduate of Highland High School, is a lifelong area resident. He employs a local staff of about six people, and the core customer base, while wide ranging, is mostly local. The regulars include officers from area police departments and employees from Gloucester Township's schools and local businesses.
While the holiday season will get busy for catering, Privito always tries to accommodate last-minute orders, but suggests ordering a week in advance.
The store is open Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Sunday, Privito’s is open for catering orders only.