An interview with John Procaccini, founder of the Gretalia Hospitality Group

John, you look incredible! What is your secret?

I’ve changed the way I live and eat. And now I want to bring what I’ve learned to my customers.

What should customers expect from you now?

The mission of Gretalia Hospitality Group across our family of restaurants is simple: to create homemade dishes that are all natural, from the freshest ingredients and to honor the long tradition of our family’s recipes. Everything we do comes from our family’s love of Italian traditions and specialties, and each of our unique dishes reflects our admiration for true artisan techniques.

We are always looking for more opportunities to share our family’s traditions with your family. So we hope you enjoy our newest creation —Trattoria Procaccini — to give you a taste of our passion for great food that is healthful.

Where is the new Trattoria Procaccini?

Look for us in the spot North End Bistro used, conveniently located at the corner of Nassau and Harrison streets. There’s plenty of free parking — a rarity in Princeton, as you know.

What kinds of dishes will you serve?

Trattoria Procaccini will be an authentic Italian trattoria: a wider selection than an osteria, but not as formal as a ristorante. A menu with perennial favorites like our Mamma’s meatballs, fettuccine con vongole (clams), healthful but flavorful chicken dishes, the freshest salads, and personal pizzas from our terra cotta oven imported from Modena.

We have included dishes for our vegetarian and gluten-free friends. And the lunch menu will include a dynamic mix-and-match pasta and sauce feature for only $10! It’s the best, most delicious bargain in town! Plus we have a kids’ menu. And of course seasonal specialties, reflecting what we grow in our gardens and what the fresh markets offer our chef. So you’ll enjoy variety when you return often.

It’s a BYOB with a unique twist! We’re partnering with Princeton’s well-loved CoolVines shop to offer our diners craft beers and wine pairings. Now you can reserve on — so convenient — and then click over to CoolVines to order beverages we’ll have ready for you when you arrive for dinner. How cool is that?!

How would you describe the vibe?

A friendly, colorful place you can eat any day or night of the week and also use for special events and date nights. Gather the whole family! In this past year, I’ve become more focused on eating healthfully and this will be a “Natural Italian Kitchen” with farm-to-table offerings so you know your family is getting food that is safe and delicious. Life is too short for anything less!

Trattoria Procaccini, 354 Nassau Street, Princeton. 609-683-9700. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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