Change is Constant at Local Westwood Restaurant

John Vitale, chef/owner of Caffe Anello (Website) in Westwood, is aiming to be a part of shepherding in a new era.

He’s running for New Jersey State Assembly in District 39 (Website) this November and Anello has also welcomed new Executive Chef Alex Alcarraz in recent months.

It is John’s first involvement in politics and says he’s approaching it the way he did the restaurant industry — he had to “learn a lot quickly” and “there are no substitutes for attitude or effort”.


On the dining side, Vitale describes Alcarraz as “inspiring and extremely creative” and is “taking Caffe Anello in a fun, more family-oriented direction” — Vitale is excited as the restaurant continues to recover like many small businesses in Bergen County post COVID.

Vitale and his family were recipients of “Citizen of the Year” awarded by the Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce for preparing and distributing over 90,000 meals during the pandemic. In addition, they were recognized as hometown heroes by Josh Gottheimer and congress for The Anello Feeds First Initiative, the name given to their COVID-19 efforts.

The reason for the political run is that Vitale says he’s “tired of the divisive political environment we are living in” and sees “Democrats and Republicans breaking bread” nightly at his restaurant.


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