When it comes to a venue that packs a pleasurable punch as the host site of a picturesque outdoor wedding ceremony, a fairy-tale-like reception, and a banquet hall for any occasion that delivers – from its stately entertainment space down to its top-grade cuisine – one name is perched high on our list of exquisite locales that reign supreme: The Terrace (293 Paramus Road, Paramus; 201.652.7900;}

For the past 33 years, the Perides family has given Bergen County a slice of quality hospitality with Biagio’s Ristorante {299 Paramus Road; 201.652.0201;}, a lauded restaurant and banquet hall that is equal parts low-key bar and upscale dining. A place where regulars come with comrades to kick back and imbibe glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon enjoyed with a hearty, scratch-made Italian meal compliments of Chef Jimmy, who attributes his cooking chops to having worked under the great Mario Batali. For the past seven, its majestic companion, The Terrace – which together comprise 30,000 square feet – has served as a premier wedding and special occasions destination that architect Tommy Perides — Jimmy’s brother, a University of Pennsylvania alum who runs the restaurant and bar — designed with his father Teddy’s vision in mind for epicureans alike. 

Because the venue specializes in I-Dos, it’s only fitting we start at the top. Color-lit waterfalls grace the entrance to a stone-walled rooftop overlooking splendid views of the pristine Paramus Golf Course setting the mood for a serene, intimate ceremony and photo opportunities. Inside, a cocktail room serving up top-shelf liquor awaits, and a charming bridal suite that is as restful as it is beautiful. In the palatial grand ballroom that beams with colored spotlights, state-of-the-art chandeliers dispense from coiffed ceilings above a bride and groom table and a spacious dance floor made of Italian marble — a space that can accommodate weddings of at least 600 guests. Each round table is adorned with fresh floral arrangements, glasses of chilled sparkling rosé, and dishes with à la carte-like-quality served white glove butler-style.  

At cocktail hour, a bevy of seasonal hot and cold hors d’oeuvres for refined palates abound from Maryland Crab Cakes, to scallops wrapped in bacon and petite Beef Wellington; fresh tomato bruschetta garnished with fresh basil, and imported prosciutto, sopressata, capacolla, mortadella and genoa salami. Impressive stations span international cheese and wine, steakhouse, pasta, Italian, Wok ‘n Roll (assorted sushi and sashimi rolls), and a standout seafood extravaganza display complete with an ice carving: a seasonal array of fresh and raw seafood shucked to order. Wedding guests have a generous selection of entrées from meat, poultry and seafood from which to choose, from a Roasted Tenderloin of Beef Chateaubriand served with caramelized onion port wine sauce to Slow Roasted Organic Half Chicken with a wild mushroom demi glaze, to a Filet of Halibut with lobster sherry cream sauce. For those with dietary restrictions, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available upon request.  

Flambé Fire Show

While the highlight of any wedding may be the bride and groom’s first dance as husband and wife, no lavish feast at a wedding hosted by the Perides family is complete without a red-hot Viennese Extravaganza. Chef Jimmy wows guests with a Grand Finale Flambé Fire Show to commence the dessert portion of the evening complete with a custom tiered wedding cake and all the Italian pastries, cookies, tarts, mousses and fresh fruit stomachs can handle. 

During the state-imposed lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic this past year, The Terrace was one of the only restaurants in the region able to take full advantage of their spacious outdoor patio complete with an outdoor kitchen and barbecue pit when outdoor dining was permitted again last summer. The Perides family and their staff safely served many happy guests longing for a taste of normalcy.  

Hospitality, A Lifestyle Rooted in Tradition 

Chinese Philosopher Confucius once said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” The same rings true for the Perides clan, who treat their business as any cultured family would: as a lifestyle. In the fashion of all epic success stories, the Perides family built a strong foundation that launched a rich history in hospitality. Before the elder Teddy Perides and his brother Jimmy Perides (now retired) took over Biagio’s in 1988, their roots in the food industry date back to 1971 when they emigrated to the United States from Rhodes, Greece. The island paradise is considered the largest of the European country’s Dodecanese islands (also known for its ancient ruins), which was overtaken by Italians. After Teddy served a stint in the military, the brothers settled in Hoboken. Teddy started out like any young man hungry to work in hospitality sans a formal education — washing dishes and dutifully working his way up to a cook.  

“He was not the best at following orders, he always wanted to lead,” explains Tommy Perides, Teddy’s son. Two years into working odd jobs in kitchens in Hudson County, Teddy opened a string of restaurants throughout the 1970s: Rodos Luncheonette in Hackensack; the Rochelle Park Diner; The Penguins in Wayne; and The Royal Village, a banquet hall, in Rochelle Park in 1982 before running Biagio’s later that decade. The space was likened to a dive bar before the Perides family transformed it into the fine dining establishment it is today. Complete with two open kitchens, seven catering rooms, and a courteous wait staff, the highest quality Italian fare is infused with a Greek freshness. 

Served up in generous portions, the food is nothing short of gustatory satisfaction. The chicken parmesan — a thickly-fried breaded cutlet wrapped in melted mozzarella and drenched in the perfect amount of basil and marinara — is served with scratch-made pasta cooked al dente. The succulent filet mignon marinated in port wine bursts with flavor and is complemented with a side of savory carrots and mushrooms. The Veal Saltimbocca is another palate pleaser made with prosciutto, spinach, sage and mozzarella and served with mashed potatoes dispensed from a pastry bag. For first-time guests with a hankering for seafood, Perides recommends taking a deep dive into the Seafood Pescatore: shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, calamari, lobster in a plum tomato sauce served over a bed of linguine. To uphold his promise of infusing a “Greek freshness” into every dish, the family is partners with Harvest Drop, a South Jersey-based food products supplier that works with quality-driven farms in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to ensure that the freshest product is delivered directly to the participating restaurant.  

“It’s satisfying when people are coming here to eat the food that you created,” says chef Jimmy. “It’s a pleasure. It adapts to the way people eat now. They don’t like anything heavy and saucy. “They want to be able to eat something and not feel full.”   

Jimmy Perides has served as the head chef for Biagio’s and The Terrace since he earned his bachelor’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson and Wales in 2002. It was during his time at the university where he unearthed an affinity to European-style cooking. One of his first real-world experiences in world-class kitchens was working under Master Chef Nino D’Ursa at the distinguished Capriccio Restaurant in downtown Providence, Rhode Island where waiters dressed in tuxedos. At Babbo in Greenwich Village in New York City, Perides learned the fine art of pasta-making under its previous owner Mario Batali.     

“The way he commands a brigade — he was the head chef, he also had sous chefs under him — so how this trickles down about what the expectations are … side by side with him cooking they were his recipes and how he controls how a kitchen runs was a pretty cool experience,” recalls Perides. “You learn something from everybody there. My first month I was making pastas and raviolis and using his recipes. It was something that I brought here to the restaurant: to make fresh pasta.” 

Perides’ time in high-pressure kitchens like Babbo and abroad under Chef Ricardo at Tre Fonti, a quaint eatery in Asiago, Italy, prepared him for his current enterprise helming the kitchens seven days a week.  

“Being in the family business, you have work every weekend,” said Perides. “The experience working in New York City alone is completely different. [Babbo] was a very high-demand restaurant. It didn’t matter if it was a Monday or a Saturday, you [served] the same amount of people. It took a month to get a reservation there.”  

Perides’ aplomb in the kitchens of his own restaurants speaks for itself. For more than 15 years, chef Jimmy and his team of cooks have crafted dinners for the New York, New Jersey Port Authority for their annual 911 fundraiser and congressmen, among other dignitaries. Biagio’s boasts two dining rooms (for formal and informal dining) on the first floor and event-appropriate party rooms on the second that have served the most distinguished guests from real estate developers to senators. There is a ballroom for a fundraiser; a banquet room for a Sweet Sixteen (or 15) birthday party with ample space for a DJ and dancing; a conference room for a work lunch or Christmas party; and the fireplace room for a baby or bridal shower. Wine aficionados can mix and mingle in their wine room whose walls are lined with an expansive collection of international bottles. Party throwers can drop a line to Athena Perides, the affable wife of Tommy Perides, who works diligently behind the scenes as the director of sales and catering manager who books all events.    

Apart from its momentous fêtes, Biagio’s is also well-established for its off-premise catering services. Its meaty catering brochure offers a variety of imaginative hors d’oeuvres down to desserts from grilled filet of beef tenderloin and pineapple with Asian Teriyaki to filo dough stuffed with spinach and feta. There’s also a lengthy list of gourmet sandwiches, wraps and salads. Entrees include all Italian classics from Cavatappi with grilled chicken and sun-dried tomato and basil, to Tender Braised Beef Brisket in a red wine reduction, and Baked Sea Bass with lobster sherry cream sauce. Desserts include chocolate-dipped strawberries, tiramisu, apple cobbler, cookie platters, red velvet cupcakes, and freshly baked brownies (we recommend the Rocky Road or Peanut Butter Swirl).  

As far as special occasions go, the parties don’t stop there. Biagio’s is also host site to its Annual Gentleman’s Night. The occasion, which takes place outdoors, features a chef-tended BBQ grill for a pig roast, open bar and cigar roller. During the restaurant’s weekly Wine Down Wednesdays, all wine bottles (both regular and cellar selection, which includes a lengthy list of reds, whites and Italian) are half off.  

While their tradition of culinary excellence continues in the kitchen, expansion plans at The Terrace are underway. Construction on the addition of a second floor to the existing ballroom and a one-level parking deck with 90 additional parking spaces over its existing 200-stall parking lot is expected at year’s end and slated for completion in 2021.