I have recently moved to Brooklyn, and found this site while searching local joints. I used to live upstate NY, and would make the trek to Rudy's in Closter, NJ, anytime I could. I have stopped there on my motorcycle, and taken to-go home to Brooklyn.
It is old-school Italian, everything is very fresh, they offer 1/2 portions if you eat normal amounts of food, and they are always busy. They are open long hours, and I typically go there later (say, 9:00pm) to avoid the big dinner rush.
Atmosphere is very, very casual. Wooden chairs, linoleum floor, plastic tablecloths, paper place mats, sodas served in cans....
But the food....is to die for. I have had many of their dishes, but I keep coming back for Penne alla Fiore (sundried tomatoes, chunks of fresh mozzarella, course chopped garlic pieces)...it is just fantasic. Also, try the Rudy's special salad. Really good.
Rudy's is in the Kmart shopping center (which probably has a different name, like Closter Plaza).
You will not be disappointed.
Drop a note if you want more details.