DeVito’s Restaurant opened in Harrison in 1986 under the leadership of Jim DeVito, a retired U.S. Army veteran and fourth-generation Italian cook, and his wife, Mary Alice. Today, three of their four sons, Steve, Chris, and Joe, continue the family legacy of ensuring enjoyment for each visitor.
The restaurant is a modern, tastefully designed two-story building, nestled among the natural terrain and gorgeous trees. Entering the restaurant to the sound of an on-site waterfall created an immediate feeling of relaxation. This feeling continued as I was warmly greeted by members of the DeVito family and the wonderful staff.
The family operates a trout farm across the street from the restaurant, the source of DeVito’s many fresh trout offerings. DeVito’s still allows visitors to fish at the trout farm by appointment and will process, pack on ice, or cook the trout during operating hours.
Beyond trout, the menu features more than 15 Italian selections and steaks. The family serves only the freshest, finest foods available. The team grinds its pasta-dish meats and encases the made-in-house sausages to ensure quality. The bread is prepared in-house as are the ravioli.
My dining experience began with the famous Trout Fingers appetizer. While appreciating the peaceful view of the trout farm and remembering family fishing experiences from my youth, the wonderful aroma of the trout fingers superseded their delivery. These golden-brown, lightly breaded strips of fresh fish are a must-try.
I continued my dining experience with the Charbroiled Trout. This popular entrée featured beautifully chargrilled, boneless, butterflied trout enhanced by secret seasoning. Each forkful delivered an urge to try another bite.
Next, the Homestyle Fried Trout was on my list. This trophy catch featured a whole fish (with bones) that was lightly breaded with seasoned cornmeal and fried to perfection. The naturally sweet taste of the fish really stood out in this menu option.
To sample several Italian selections, I opted for the DeVito’s Combo. This appetizing platter included a generous portion of angel hair pasta, four homemade ravioli, one freshly made meatball, and a link of house-made Italian sausage. The pastas were covered with the famous, authentic red marinara sauce with just enough spice. Each component of the platter was delicious, with my favorites being the ravioli and sausage.
The DeVito’s team suggested that I sample the Seafood Fettucine. The pleasing and filling dish included a large portion of egg noodles with a buttery cream sauce, cheese, sautéed shrimp, imitation crab, and broccoli. Homemade desserts include LJ’s Apple Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, Baked Fudge, Grandma Steve’s Chocolate Layer Cake, and a cheesecake of the day. The apple pie is based on an apple strudel recipe that Jim DeVito acquired while serving in the military during World War II in Germany.
“It is important to carry on our legacy that ‘Quality Comes First’ at DeVito’s,” Joe DeVito said. “Dad had a dream of opening a restaurant for many years. He finally opened in 1986 with all four of us brothers (Steve, Chris, John, and Joe) as partners. We continue to do things the same way Dad always told us was the right way. We keep the DeVito’s name held high.”