Montclair has a new intimate spot for Italian dining and we started swooning over after our first bite.
Palato Caffe & Cucina opened July 1 at 377 Bloomfield Avenue, across the street from Two South Willow.
What we love about Palato is the incredibly delicious food (more on that) and the concept of continuous dining. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. on Sunday). This means you can go for lunch or dinner, or drop by for an afternoon snack, or a late night bite. Or for that matter, drop by just to score a scoop of incredible gelato or an espresso with something dolci.
There are tables outdoors; inside the restaurant seats about 20, with four seats at the bar. The menu has everything you need for a full dinner (BYOB) or lighter fare, if you want to drop by for coffee and a sandwich or something sweet.
Don’t try to call and make a reservation – it’s not that kind of place – but get there soon to have a memorable meal.
Co-owners Massimo Apicella and chef Stefano Bosetti created a mix of tempting Northern and Southern Italian dishes that are everything you might crave and pair beautifully together.
The menu at Palato offers so many delicious options and combinations.
Here is an amazing meal we recently shared:
Siciliana salad ($12.95): fennel, orange segment, black olives, red onion and lemon dressing.
Grilled polenta crostini ($12.95) with mixed mushrooms, melted fontina and truffle oil
Orecchiette with olive oil, cherry tomato, shrimp, zucchini, saffron and garlic (this was a special that day; pasta dishes run from $13.95-$22.95).
Besides traditional meals, there is everything from pizza and paninis to panzerotti (half-moon-shaped pocket of dough, stuffed with savory fillings, wrapped and then gently fried). Bring your favorite wine to pair with a plate of taglieri – incredible selections of finely sliced meats and cheese, charcuterie style.
Palato offers a feast for the eyes as well. Charming wood details at the open bar and a cut out window to the kitchen make the space open, airy and welcoming. The kind of place you would want to linger over a glass of wine or Palato’s excellent espresso.
See more on Palato’s Instagram (beware if you are hungry!)
Palato Caffe and Cucina, (377 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair) is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Sunday and anything you like in between. Closed Monday. 973-509-0416