Fans of the Real Housewives of New Jersey will see several New Jersey sites during Season 11 of the Bravo reality show.
The new season will feature scenes filmed at the summer home of Joe and Melissa Gorga on the Barnegat Bay as well as a cast dinner that was shot at the Italian restaurant La Mondina in Brielle, New Jersey, according to North Jersey.com.
But first, they all had to get through a birthday dinner.
In the season 11 premiere, the ladies were seen gathering at a restaurant to celebrate the birthday of Jackie Goldschneider’s husband Evan. There was a party planner, a sweet spread, and plenty of drinks flowing, but during the outdoor get-together, Teresa Giudice dropped a bomb to some of the party guests and began to spread rumors that Evan has been cheating.
So where did this potentially explosive birthday bash take place?
The Setting for the RHONJ Season 1 Premiere Is at Axia Taverna Restaurant in Tenafly, New Jersey
All of the Real Housewives drama takes place at a longtime Tenafly, New Jersey restaurant Axia Taverna. The restaurant is prominently featured in the RHONJ premiere, including scenes filmed in the tented outdoor area and another scene in the bathroom as Margaret Josephs and Melissa Gorga attempt to digest the information that Teresa has dropped.
The restaurant is described as “Tenafly’s one and only authentic, traditional Greek dining experience built around a hospitable staff and elegant atmosphere,” per the eatery’s Instagram page.
According to the Axia Taverna website, the restaurant was established in 2006 by longtime Tenafly resident Michael F. Parlamis, who built the establishment for his wife. The site notes that he chose the name “Axia,” which means “worthy” in Greek, because he felt his wife was the “most worthy.”
A 2015 New York Times review touted the eatery’s 360-bottle wine list, of which nearly a third were Greek varieties. The review named shrimp saganaki, grilled branzino, pan-roasted salmon, and the baklava ice cream sandwich as some of the menu highlights at the time. The write-up also offered praise for the generous portions perfect for family-style sharing.
It’s no surprise that the RHONJ party was held at Axia. The contemporary Greek fare and sleek ambiance make it a hotspot, and the large outdoor area was perfect for filming during the pandemic.
The Season 11 Filming Wasn’t the First Time a RHONJ Star Was Spotted at Axia Taverna
While Real Housewives fans got an extended look at Axia on the RHONJ Season 11 premiere, it’s not the first time a star from the show has been spotted at the restaurant. In 2020, both Jackie Goldschneider and Margaret Josephs shared identical photos after they ran into one another at the Tenafly dinner spot.
Margaret shared the pic of the two posing together with another friend, with the caption, “Saturday night and look who we ran into!” She also described her co-star as “the finest piece of gold in town.”
Jackie also shared the snap with her followers.
“What’s the chances we’d be sitting at the table next to each other??? Loved running into my girls at dinner tonight!” Jackie wrote on Instagram.