Finca Restaurant in Ridgewood New Jersey

Restaurants  / 

It’s said lightning never strikes the same place twice, but don’t tell that to owner, Marcelo Czernizer. After launching Cravings Tapas Bistro in Ridgewood last year, he’s hedging his bets with the opening of Finca, a sister site to his wildly popular nibble nook, in the same area.

Dubbing itself “The Estate of Small Plates,” Finca is similar in many ways to Cravings—think super-sharable small plates influenced by Spanish and European flavors—but expands that restaurant’s successful concept, not only menu-wise (they offer a small selection of sushi rolls and Asian-inspired appetizers) but also in terms of grander space (no need to squeeze into your seat!).

Housed in the former Stable location, Finca’s candle-lit dining room has a fantastic vibe, with reclaimed wood walls and welcoming round tables. For solo diners, there’s also a bar-like setting by the window that’s perfect for people watching. My husband and I couldn’t wait to dive in to the menu. Again, everything here is meant to be shared, so we ordered up several dishes, starting with Garden Empanadas ($2.50 each) stuffed with sautéed spinach and queso fresca and Cubano Empanadas ($3 each) stuffed with roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles and served with a trio of dipping sauces.

Next was the Tarte Flambé, which turned out to be one of our favorites. It was more like a thin-crust pizza with caramelized onions, bacon lardoons, and crème fraiche. Deliciousness in every bite. What might have been even better was the Charred Octopus ($13) served with crisp potatoes, salsa verde, and roasted tomatoes. Although the outside of the octopus had a decent char, the moist inside was a wonderful surprise.

A friend at another table suggested we order the Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts ($8), which was paired with raisins and walnuts and tossed with a saffron-tomato emulsion, and we were happy we did. The highlight of our meal, however, was definitely the Ricotta Gnocchi ($12), which was topped with a lamb ragout and tossed with cauliflower cream, peas, and Parmesan. I still have no idea where they found fresh peas this time of year, but they were so fresh, they practically popped in our mouths on their own!

I don’t know, the whole experience really had me rethinking this whole tapas thing. I get that you’re supposed to share, but when the food is this good, it makes you realize there are some things worth hoarding.

Carla Sullivan is the dining editor for Bergen Mama and the founder of, a dining guide for families in NYC. She is also a mom of three living in Ridgewood.

20 East Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

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