A celebration of Italian culinary traditions with a touch of artful modernity comes together in Wayne, New Jersey.
Robbie Felice – Chef/Partner
The word Viaggio in Italian translates to “travel” or “the journey”. Robbie Felice’s journey started in high school when he got accepted into the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
When it came time for Felice to externship, he wanted to work for none other than Mario Batali at his flagship restaurant, Babbo, in New York City. Felice learned and worked under Chef Frank Langello, who became a culinary mentor to Felice.
After graduating culinary school, Felice worked at the Highlawn Pavilion and The Manor in New Jersey. In 2011 he was given the opportunity to participate in the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. Felice then relocated to Vail, Colorado where he would spend the next eight months working under various chefs.
After his time in Colorado, Felice moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and rejoined the Batali Bastianich Hospitality Group at B&B Ristorante. While working under Chef Matthew Harbin and alongside culinary director Jason Neve, Felice was promoted to sous chef while running the salume program. In 2015, Felice left Las Vegas to travel Europe, gaining knowledge from the different culinary aspects of other countries. Upon arriving in Holland, Felice staged with Sergio Herman, working at his one Michelin star restaurant, Pure C.
This experience put the culinary industry into a whole new perspective for him. After some time with Pure C, Felice was offered to go to Antwerp Belgium and stage at Herman’s newest restaurant, The Jane. This is where Felice had the opportunity to work directly under Chef Sergio Herman and Chef Nick Bril, which was a life changing experience for him. Felice then went on to spend time at the De Kromme Watergang, a two Michelin star restaurant located in the Netherlands.
From there he traveled to London, Belgium, Italy and Spain, where he would do various day stages. After Europe, Felice landed back New York City staging at restaurants such as Del Posto and Gabriel Kreuther, before joining the two Michelin star restaurant, The Modern. Felice spent the next four months learning and drawing inspiration from Chef Tom Allen and Chef Abram Bissell.
Following his time at The Modern, Felice decided to work with a long time culinary mentor of his, Chef Ryan DePersio at Fascino in Montclair, New Jersey. During this period, Felice and his father decided to open their own restaurant together, which is when Viaggio Ristorante was born. Felice incorporates everything he has learned along his journey into traditional Italian food with its own concept.
Joe Felice – Proprietor
Originally from Wayne, New Jersey, Joe Felice has owned celebrated restaurants since the age of twenty two. Starting in 1992, he opened The Gourmet Café in Parsippany which delivered savory and creative Italian cuisine for fifteen years. He also owned Casa Di Amici where he provided customers with the same high quality food and service. Felice’s current establishment, Good Food Café, has been creating and selling homemade sandwiches, soups and salads for the last ten years. His restaurants have received excellent reviews from multiple magazines and newspapers. In 2016, Joe will be setting new standards for Italian classics with his son, Chef Robbie Felice at their new restaurant, Viaggio.
Jin Lee – General Manager
General Manager, Jin Lee, has spent his entire career working with some of the top companies in the hospitality industry. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Lee moved to Las Vegas to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas for Hospitality Management.
Upon graduating in 2011, Lee was accepted into the Management Associate Program with MGM Resorts International. During his time in the M.A.P program, he worked in every aspect of the food and beverage industry. Lee was then offered a job with Monte Carlo Resort and Casino as the Café and In-room dining manager.
Two years later, Lee became a fine dining manager at the Stratosphere Hotel’s, “Top of the World Restaurant”. Then in 2014, Lee moved on to one of the most prestigious names in the culinary industry and joined the Batali Bastianich Hospitality Group.
While working at B&B Ristorante and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, Lee was promoted to Assistant General Manager at B&B Ristorante. This is where he met former sous chef, Robbie Felice, with whom he would help open and operate Viaggio Ristorante in 2016.