Welcome to Bergen County, critically acclaimed Chef Anthony Bucco.
His gorgeous new Italian restaurant, Felina, part of the Eat-Drink-Celebrate Hospitalities family, opens in Ridgewood on Friday and it's bound to become our (and your!) neighborhood go-to.
Chef Anthony Bucco – whose impressive resume includes stints at the fabled Ryland Inn and Restaurant Latour that resulted in a raft of honors including a 4-star rating from the Star-Ledger, the highest rating (Excellent) from the New York Times and the 4 Diamond award from AAA-- is doing housemade everything here, from the breads to the pastas to the pickled veggies and he’s focusing on sustainable, local, and seasonal ingredients. That means the menu changes often, but expect consistent favorites like burrata, pork loin and other meats (some cooked in their brick oven) and yes, pasta. Plus he’ll be bringing in guest chefs to mix things up and apply their interpretation of the menu philosophy that Felina is "where humble ingredients get ambitious".
The space – an office building adjacent to the historic art deco bank building (which will become Events by Felina launching in March) that was most recently the restaurant Fish – has been completely renovated to stunning status. Think cozy banquettes and lots of woods, warm lighting, an open kitchen, and a groovy communal table in the bank’s old vault for semi-private dining. This is the kind of place you’re going to want to take hubby on date night or go with a group of foodie friends. The soon-to-be-bustling dining room seats 130 and there are multiple event spaces including one on the wraparound mezzanine that can hold hundreds. For a more intimate experience, snag a seat at the eight-person chef’s table and let Chef Bucco whip up what he wants for your crew ... then pair it with some vino from the expansive list or one of the bar’s cool craft cocktails dreamed up by Christopher James, Felina's resident mixologist, renowned for his expert hand creating cocktails that brim with nostalgia and always come with a story.
And speaking of cool, Felina’s absolute coolest feature (aside from being adjacent to one of the most coveted municipal lots in parking-starved Ridgewood) is the one we’ll get to enjoy when the warm weather returns – a rooftop bar flanked by a living wall of greenery that will surely become your favorite summer spot for drinks with the girls.
Basically, if you’re looking for us in 2019, we’ll be at Felina ...