Caffe Anello in Westwood Brings Tuscany to Northern NJ

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By the looks of the lines that have been forming for the last year, Sogno Coffee House in Westwood appears to have hit the sweet spot with the local community, serving up house-roasted organic coffee and homemade crepes (plus a huge list of pastries, tea drinks, chocolates and more). What do owner’s John and Alissa Vitale and the Napoletano family have planned as an encore? The previously reported Caffe Anello, a reservation-only, traditional Tuscan restaurant and pastaria, which opens directly next door next week.
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John will be the restaurant’s chef, bringing the cuisine and ingredients from his childhood, creating what he believes is exquisite tasting but made using basic ingredients. Recipes that come straight from his parents and grandparents, bringing true Tuscan cuisine to northern New Jersey. Everything served will be completely fresh or made from scratch, including produce sourced from their own farm in Sussex County and locally sourced oils (Olive Branch & Grape Vine) and meats (Westwood Prime Meats) from artisan food purveyors right in town.
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The menu (Caffe Anello menu) has a complete focus on homemade. Fresh pasta using their imported pasta machine, sauces sourced with fresh tomatoes from the Caffe Anello farm and cheeses (mozzarella, ricotta) made on premises daily are some of the highlights according to Vitale. Other dishes will include seafood, steak and chicken options plus a complete raw bar that will change seasonally with weekly specials across the board.
Vitale also explained that much attention to detail has been spent on the layout and feel of the entire restaurant. And because of it’s small size, he believes it is perfect for him to consistently put out quality food and dishes from the kitchen, which will be completely open for diners to see. This he says will give diners trust and confidence in what he and his team (including sous chef Matthew Borgersen) are doing, similar to dining in someone’s home.
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Tuscan cuisine also plays into the layout of the space. Since Tuscany represents a rural side of Italy, the custom woodwork all around the shop is made with Eastern pine, to give the feel like your in the countryside of Italy. A simple, yet romantic space that is never stuffy, but with an inviting ambiance married married to the dining experience. Included is a painted mural on the main dining room wall, featuring six businesses (including Anello and Sogno) in Westwood that have had an impact on the Vitales and their acceptance in the local community.
The restaurant is operating as a BYO restaurant, complete with custom wine lockers for regular customers to store their favorite vintages. They will offer wine by the bottle only from Ventimiglia Vineyards located in Wantage (Sussex County).
Caffe Anello is now accepting reservations by phone only at (201) 786-8137. They are open Tuesdays thru Saturdays with two seatings a night from 6:00pm till 10:00pm. The restaurant is available for private parties and when not operating and will be used as overflow seating for Sogno Coffee House (which already began this past weekend).
Caffe Anello 425 Broadway, Westwood, NJ Website
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