The former River Palm Terrace was sold and transformed to RP Prime in the Spring of last year.
Those who have dined at the novel seafood and steakhouse, RP Prime can attest to the restaurant’s exquisite menu, unique flare and what some boast as the “best steakhouse in Bergen County.” The reputation of the steakhouse is an extension of the former River Palm Terrace, which occupied the Mahwah, New Jersey location before current proprietors Patriot Gjonbalaj and Frank Gashi purchased the restaurant in April 2019. No strangers to the high-end dining scene, Gjonbalaj and Gashi previously managed Manhattan’s infamous Il Mulino Prime Restaurant and Scalinatella Restaurant where they were manager and head captain.
Despite the global pandemic shutting down many of the facility’s six dining rooms, RP Prime is still one of the most sought-after steakhouses in the region. Bielat Santore & Company recently sat down with Gjonbalaj and Gashi for an exclusive interview detailing how they have managed to maintain their upscale operation.
How is RP Prime quickly becoming a staple in Bergen County?
“We will continue what has made this great restaurant immensely popular. Our dedication centers on consistent exceptionalism. Our staff are outstanding career professionals, highly skilled in hospitality, whose abilities have been sharpened in the most demanding dining venues of New York City. They compliment our demand for exceptionalism and consistency. Our customers are the lifeline of our business and the job security of our staff.”
What do you like about this location the most?
“Mahwah covers the largest area of any municipality in Bergen County at 26.19 square miles with a population of close to 30,000 people. It is an incredibly special place with a strong business sector and a wonderful family town, that we decided early on to incorporate a business lunch menu and a children’s menu.”
What makes RP Prime extra special?
“It has always been the delicious food, the service, the cleanliness, and ambiance. However, our Mahwah location has become a regional location while maintaining localized warmth. We have customers coming from as far as New York City, Connecticut, The Adirondacks, and Pennsylvania. The accessibility via major highways and being located on a main local road provides us with a great clientele mix. Ultimately, RP Prime is extra special simply by our dedicated team of professionals working in unison to provide an exceptional experience. The size of the restaurant does help as well. We have six private rooms with nature views and ample parking.”
How did RP Prime adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic?
“At RP Prime, we are committed to the safety, health, and well-being of our dining guests who we consider our friends and family. We have taken every precaution to maintain the dining and surrounding areas to be clean and disinfected. We are following a very extensive disinfecting protocol where staff members are responsible on a rotating basis for wiping and cleaning surfaces consistently throughout the day. Our staff members have been asked to stay home if they are not feeling well. We believe that each day that we open our doors to our dining guests is a blessing and a privilege. Each day we focus on our unwavering goal of providing you, our dining guests, with an unforgettable dining experience in an environment where you feel safe and know you’re well-being is of the utmost importance.”
Is RP Prime delivering within Bergen County?
“Yes, complimentary delivery within five miles. We would not deliver any further in fear of neglecting the quality of our delicious food.”
Are you looking to expand RP Prime in the future?
“Yes, we are currently looking into other markets for potential expansion. We estimate to have new openings in the near future.”
Do you miss New York City?
“Yes, but where our business is, is home. My work brought me to Mahwah and my wife and kids have fallen in love with Mahwah’s special charm. New York has an incredible special place in our hearts. We are indebted to New York City, it welcomed us with open arms when we first arrived from Europe. We feel right at home in New Jersey. It truly lives up to its Garden State slogan with its natural beauty. It is picturesque and a great place for family.”
RP Prime is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Weekdays, lunch is served from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and until 9:00 pm on Sundays. Takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery is also available. Visit the restaurant’s website to view their complete menu at https://rpprime.com/.