Restaurant Review

Il Vecchio Cafe & La Taverna Bar & Lounge

With so many menu choices at this Italian joint, you can't go wrong!

234 Bloomfield Avenue

Hours: Mon–Fri, 11:30 am–10 pm; Sat and Sun, 11:30 am–1 am.

Price: $$

Style: The restaurant, part of Calandra’s Italian Village, shares its Italianate design—stone facades, slate floors, arched doorways—with generously spaced tables and outdoor dining when weather permits.

Don’t Miss: Crusty bread, olive oil and grated parmesan, all delicious, come to the table when you are seated. Go easy. The menu is large and so are the portions. The excellent wedge salad ($13.49) is made with romaine, bacon, tomatoes and bleu cheese dressing. A popular starter here is eggplant rollatini ($13.59) layered with ricotta and marinara topped with melted mozzarella. Then choose from a variety of semolina thin-crust pizzas ($13.49–$16.99), stuffed calzones ($14.59–$15.59) and flatbreads ($15.49). The gorgonzola, fig jam and prosciutto flatbread was terrific. Pastas, made in house, come in more than a dozen guises, from Nonna Ortenzia’s lasagna of the day to whole-wheat fettuccini with chicken ($19.59). Entrées include blackened salmon with broccoli rabe ($28.89), veal scaloppine with spinach, prosciutto and mozzarella ($25.79) and burgers made with beef ground in the kitchen, served with hand-cut fries ($13.99). Desserts come from Calandra’s adjoining bakery—voted Best Bakery, North, in NJM’s 2014 Jersey Choice readers’ poll.

Heads up: La Taverna, which shares Il Vecchio’s menu, also has a bar menu of lighter fare including several salads. During Happy Hour at La Taverna— Monday 4:30 to 10 pm, Tuesday through Friday, 4:30 to 6:30 pm—draft beers, house wines and house cocktails are half price.

The Scoop: Calandra’s grew from a Newark bakery, founded in 1962 and still open, into a mini-empire with a Fairfield bakery and restaurant and the several establishments in its Italian Village in Caldwell.

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Restaurant Details

  • Cuisine Type:
    European - Italian
  • Price Range:
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