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Food Network to Feature Chatham Deli

Marie's Italian Specialties will be included on upcoming episode of 'Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.'

For the second time, Guy Fieri stopped by Marie's Italian Specialties in Chatham Township recently. This time, he brought a film crew with him.

Marie's will be featured on an episode of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," hosted by Fieri. The episode will air at 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21.

"We filmed in October," owner Marie Riccio said. "We had a lot of fun, and the customers really liked it."

Riccio and her husband, Carl Ruiz, told some of their most loyal customers the film crew would be coming. "Everyone who came that day was a hard-core regular," Riccio said.

The show profiles popular restaurants, usually independent or small ones, and the owners or head chefs take Fieri through how they prepare their most popular dishes. For Marie's, these dishes include the brick chicken entree and the sacred swine sandwich.

The sacred swine sandwhich is "slow roasted for 12 hours," Riccio said. "The bones just come right out." It's served with polenta and vodka sauce, "messy but definitely worth it," she said.

The brick chicken is so popular, it has been permanently added to the menu. "We actually have it as a salad now too," Riccio said, due to its popularity.

The episode is named "Hometown Haunts," and Riccio hopes their appearance on the show will spread the word about the restaurant. Marie's is well into their second year in business, yet Riccio estimates "only 80 percent of Chatham knows we exist."

The eatery has nine tables and can seat 34 patrons when at full capacity—and it is often at full capacity.

Ruiz Riccio opened Marie's Italian Specialties on Oct. 10, 2011. That November .

"Guy comes to visit and it was freakishly busy, so he started working making sandwiches," Ruiz said. "All these kids were like, 'I can't believe Guy Fieri's making my lunch!' It was surreal."

Fieri left his signature, and a message to his friends, on the restaurant wall where patrons can still see it today.

mike d January 23, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Sandwiches are GREAT!! Best bread around
RR January 23, 2013 at 06:57 PM
I've only been living in Chatham for 15 months or so, but there is a major lack of decent restraurants in the area (I admit I can be a food snob). Marie's was a very welcome addition as it is easily some of the best restaurant food that I have found in the area. Even though these are totally different categories, this is the best I have found aside from Scallini Fedeli and maybe Huntley Tavern. I didn't think the prices were that bad, but maybe because you get a ton of food and there are always plenty of leftovers.
ABChatham January 24, 2013 at 03:51 AM
If you're looking for a great local Italian "joint," this is your place. Nothing fancy in terms of decor or presentation but if you're a fan of homestyle Italian food with a creative twist and two really nice owners, ya gotta go here. Totally casual, homestyle food served by Marie and Carl who aim to please. Yeah, some of the entrees are heavy but, for you, try one of the excellent salads.
RIchard Milito January 26, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Guy came to our Kraft Headquarters in East Hanover a year or so ago and did a cooking demo and hung out for a bit, His friend Carl assisted him during the cooking demo. Guy spoke about the restraurant and Carl and Marie and I know that a few of the Kraft (now Mondelez) folks have eaten there and loved it.
Todd January 31, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Who is the guy in the episode with the American flag jacket? He looks so familiar to me and I can't figure it out!

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