Jersey Spin - December, 2011

NJ Food Reviews - IL Vecchio Cafe - Calandra's Italian Village in Caldwell, NJ And Caldwell Diner in Caldwell, NJ



IL Vecchio Cafe - Calandra's Italian Village - What better place to put an Italian Village than right where Tony Soprano lived in Caldwell, NJ?  Well... The Soprano's have come and gone but the legacy of great Italian food in all of Essex County has been here well before "T" and his gang of misfits blazed their way onto HBO, and it will be here for ever in all likelihood.  This part of New Jersey is arguably home to the finest Italian food in the United States, so what better place than Caldwell for an Italian Village.

Calandra's has been an area mainstay for years with its fine baked goods and superior restaurants.  Every time a new restaurant opens, reputations are put on the line and it's always an even greater one with an established brand.  The restaurant here is big, open and airy with a massive floor to ceiling expanse, yet warm and cozy.  The kitchen can be viewed from the dining room which is a mark of professionalism and confidence.

The menu is large with many interesting selections and the prices are far from cheap, so plan on spending a few bucks to dine here.  I went with the Polo Scarpariello with homemade sausage, hot cherry peppers, garlic and mushrooms in a white wine reduction.  The dish was absolutely delicious especially the sausage which can be purchased in their "village" at the adjacent store.

My guest had the Polo Rustica which was grilled chicken and cannellini beans with sauteed garlic spinach and was raved about.   A word about the wait staff - superior in every way.  I've eaten at Calandra's many times and every time the experience has exceeded my expectations.  I will definitely be stopping by the village again for some of their home-made Italian sausage.  
- Jersey Shadow -

IL Vecchio Cafe - Calandra's Italian Village
234 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, New Jersey 07006
Phone: 973-461-1325

Credit Cards Accepted - Full Bar








Caldwell Diner - Diner's in New Jersey are often a great local place to eat good food and reasonable prices and the Caldwell Diner may be just the place for you when in town.  Located on historic Bloomfield Avenue this updated diner serves up some great deals with great food.  Where else can you get a full meal of Ribs for eleven dollars?

The included salad bar with my Ribs on this night was stocked with very fresh produce and even some Arugula which can be expensive.  The salad bar was small and set up a bit backwards with the dressing on the left but it was just perfect to make a quick delicious salad.

My guest had the Cheddar and Ham Omelet which I tasted and it was exceptionally good.  I've never seen Granite for a diner booth table before, and it had a very clean upscale feeling somehow making it feel a little less like a diner.  The Caldwell Diner formula is a solid foundation for success and they should do very well based on the people coming through the door and a good dining experience this particular evening.

There is parking in the back, so by all means pull into the lot to avoid fighting for a space on the Avenue... yet another great reason to like the Caldwell Diner.
- Jersey Shadow - 

Caldwell Diner
322 Bloomfield Avenue
Caldwell, NJ 07066
Phone 973-228-2855

Credit Cards Accepted



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