New Restaurant Adds to River Road District’s Reputation as Fair Lawn’s Top Dining Destination

Chris Bernardo
By Chris Bernardo June 11, 2014 18:28

New Restaurant Adds to River Road District’s Reputation  as Fair Lawn’s Top Dining Destination

While other towns may get more recognition for their restaurant scenes, Fair Lawn’s River Road District is quietly becoming one of Bergen County’s most excitingly diverse dining destinations. The recent opening of Casa de La Trova ((12-56 River Road), featuring authentic Cuban cuisine, adds another dimension to a wide-ranging collection of restaurants, specialty food stores and markets with lots to offer local shoppers and out-of-town foodies.

John Ayala, the Cuban-born owner of Casa de La Trova, is a graduate of Miami University’s Culinary School and previously owned the well-regarded Cuban Flavor in Hawthorne. In a comfortable, yet stylish location (the former home of Crème de la Crepes) Casa de La Trova is offering Cuban classics plus many dishes that feature the creativity of chef-owner Ayala. “I noticed there were lots of food places in this area but also an opportunity for our cuisine,” he stated. “People love the flavors of Cuban classics like our pernil asado (tender slow-roasted pork) and rabo encendio (oxtail stew) and we serve the freshest seafood, including red snapper prepared several different ways.  We also offer twists on other classics, like serving guava ice cream along with our house-made guava and cheese empanadas. Everything is prepared to order from top quality ingredients.“

Casa de La Trova joins longtime area favorites like the Empress Diner (13-48 River Road), River Road Hot Bagels (13-30 River Road), Davia (6-09 Fair Lawn Avenue) and Rivara’s (6-18 Maple Avenue). The River Road District also features intriguing ethnic cuisines like Eastern European and Russian delicacies at B&B International Foods (12-17 River Road), Middle Eastern favorites at Perfect Pita (13-22 River Road), even Kosher pizza at Benji’s (12-46 River Road). Lucky’s Steak Plate (18-50 River Road) serves some of the area’s finest cheese steaks.

A wide selection of cookies and other freshly baked treats are on display at Z-licious (12-56 River Road). In addition to a long list of other restaurants serving everything from Italian favorites to healthy wraps and breakfast sandwiches, the River Road District also boasts several markets ranging from ShopRite (17-17 River Road) to Akbar Market (13-20 River Road) and Amira Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (12-64 River Road).

“Bergen County residents are sophisticated diners who know and appreciate great food,” noted Bob Landzettel, President of the River Road Improvement Corporation (RRIC). “They also appreciate the convenience our friendly, neighborhood business district provides in terms of easy access and lots of free parking. Restaurants and specialty food stores help attract both local residents and visitors, generating foot traffic and exposure for other businesses nearby, so we are pleased to welcome Casa de La Trova and the many other new businesses that have opened recently in the River Road District.”

Visit for up-to-date directories of restaurants and businesses in the River Road District as well as information about the programs and services provided by the River Road Improvement Corporation. You can also follow Fair Lawn’s River Road on Facebook at

Chris Bernardo
By Chris Bernardo June 11, 2014 18:28

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