The aptly named Di Sopra, which means upstairs in Italian is located on the second floor, above a store. We felt at home at this newly opened restaurant not only because of the friendly service but the restaurant is uniquely located in what was once an apartment. Separate rooms, one with French doors, crisp white tablecloths and napkins as well as modern paintings all create an intimate space.
With so many Italian restaurants in New Jersey, chefs need to differentiate themselves and we felt that the menu needed more than the usual Italian favorites. Perhaps daily specials will make the menu more exciting? There were three chicken entrees, one fish of the day, a salmon choice as well as one shrimp entrée and nothing screamed “try me.”
The soft-baked garlic sitting in a pool of olive oil, which accompanied the warm bread, impressed us. An exemplary fried polenta topped with a thick and rich beef short rib, pork ragu and shaved Parmesan had various tastes and textures from the slightly spicy sauce, bits of meat and crunchy polenta. Not as successful was a pork chop stuffed with spinach and Gouda, which had a disconcerting smoky taste that overwhelmed the dish. Orechiette with broccoli rabe, Italian sausage and cannellini beans was well executed but we would have preferred chunks, rather than thin slices of sausage. The only dessert made in house was a cannoli, which we bypassed and keeping with the season ordered a pre-made pumpkin cheesecake that the waiter told us came from Restaurant Depot. It was much better than we expected.
Open for lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday.
373 Bloomfield Ave 2nd Floor
Caldwell, New Jersey
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Orechiette with broccoli rabe, Italian sausage and cannellini beans.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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