Living in Montclair, which I believe to be the best New Jersey food town hands down, we may be unwilling to venture out to eat, but sometimes a restaurant is worth the trip. And Cielo in Fairfield is.
Anthony Pucciarello, chef and owner of Cielo, honors his Italian grandma by serving Italian comfort food with a twist. That “twist” is a lighter, fresher take on Italian-American cuisine using fresh ingredients and herb and vegetables from the restaurant’s 300-yard-long garden.
Born and raised in Belleville, NJ, Pucciarello worked at Papillion Restaurant in Nutley until 2003, then as the executive chef at Luce Restaurant in Caldwell for nine years, before opening Cielo.
Things we liked:
- Pucciarello’s Inside Outside Meatball. A huge meatball stuffed with spaghetti covered in a fresh marinara sauce.
- The antipasti of Salumi, Italian cured meats.
- The ricotta stuffed fig and light green salad topped with crispy pork jowl served with ricotta gnocchi.
- The veal tenderloin cooked perfectly in a delicious sauce.
- A Lemon Charlotte Tiramisu. I was a bit wary to try a Tiramisu without espresso, but this lighter version had just the right amount of lemon which made it a nice finish.
- The Tartufo, because who doesn’t love ice cream covered in chocolate?
168 Passaic Avenue, Fairfield, NJ