Every wonder where the name Stingers comes from?
It was named by the original owner Ed Ravettine over a cocktail,
and the name of that cocktail was a Stinger.

A “Stinger” is an excellent after dinner drink and combines brandy
or cognac with white crème de menthe.


Reprinted from the Leader Newspapers

Stingers is back,
just the way everyone remembers it

By Cindy Capitani
Editor-in-Chief

WALLINGTON (Nov. 8, 2007) — Stingers is back to the way it used to be, with new owners who returned to the original 1990 playbook started by founders Eddie and Patti Ravettine. Now a combination of old-time favorites with some innovation thrown in, the happening restaurant-style bar and grill features classic favorites.

Rutherford residents Mark Vogel and A.J. Lemaire Jr. bought the popular family grill after another partnership failed to recraft the Paterson Avenue corner eatery as a gourmet restaurant with more select menu options. Now, the old favorites are back, highlighted by daily specials that combine traditional choices with creative flair. The place bustles nightly with community events (fundraisers take place regularly), the happy hour crowd and family dinners. Community sports teams stop in for snacks and brews, and weekends bring game nights, karaoke and other special events.

“This place is ‘Cheers,’ ” said Vogel, referring to the popular 1982-1993 television series. “I have a job where I make sure all my friends are happy; it’s a great job. About 75 percent of the customers I know, and the rest I get to know.”

As an old customer of Stingers when the Ravettines owned it, and as a bartender and manager under the owners after them, the decision to become part of the business was a no-brainer. “I love this place; it was an easy decision. This place is like home to me.”

A.J. Lemaire couldn’t agree more. “It’s a great place to be. I do a little bit of everything. In the kitchen, the bar, on the floor, everything. I love it. Really, everyone loves it here; people eat and hang out and have a good time.”

Vogel said everyone was excited when they heard he and A.J. were taking over and that the former chef, Schirripa, was coming back. “Once people heard Anthony (Schirripa) was back, they came back,” Vogel said. Schirripa is assisted by recent New York City Culinary Arts Institute graduate Chris Boyce of Rutherford.

Eddie Ravettine has been a big help, Lemaire said. “He wants to see us succeed.”

Back on the menu from Ravettine’s days is the ever-popular Ray’s Spicy Shrimp (crispy shrimp with spicy szechuan sauce), a must-have dish that has a to-die-for sauce that’s great for bread-dipping. It was named for deceased Wallington fireman Ray Milne; many of the dishes were named for customers during Ravettines’ days. The Open Sliced Filet Mignon (served on toast points with herb better and seasoned fries) is also back, and is consistently fab, as is Stingers Classic Chicken Prinzi (chicken tenders sautéed with fresh herbs and lemon served on angel hair), and Brother Lou’s Calamari (fried calamari served in a light herb broth with toasted garlic, tossed with linguini and Romano cheese). Other popular classics include Rigatoni Ray (bite-sized pieces of chicken with roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic and hot Italian peppers tossed with rigatoni and Romano cheese), Bernie’s Clams (Littleneck clams in oil and sliced garlic sauce tossed with linguini and Romano cheese) and Stingers Classic Passion Pie (homemade meatballs, ricotta, sauce and mozzarella).

“Many of the dishes were created and named because people requested them a certain way,” said Vogel.

Schirripa said it’s the fun menu that enticed him to return to Stinger’s kitchen. “I started cooking in Manhattan. … I learned from some great chefs. This menu drew me back. Our goal is to satisfy every customer. If we have the ingredients, we’ll make it.”

Boyce agrees. “This is a great place, the people are great, it’s like a real ‘Cheers’; it’s the most comfortable place I’ve ever worked,” Boyce said. “Everybody knows everybody; it’s cool.”

Drawing on the successes of the past and embracing the community with lots of open arms has made the new Stingers an old success story. “We’re busier than I expected, right from the start,” said Vogel, who noted their kick-off was Mother’s Day. “It’s been word of mouth, and we couldn’t be happier.”

 

 

 

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