This Mother’s Day at Il Vecchio Cafe article is sponsored by Calandra’s Bakery and Restaurants.
If you’ve been wondering just where to head for Mother’s Day this year, look no further. Caldwell’s Il Vecchio Café boasts a menu filled with finely-tuned family recipes that have kept guests coming back for decades. What began as a small bakery in 1962 has continued to grow and thrive. Today, it is a New Jersey staple with three locations. Now, they’re ready to welcome you in for Mother’s Day.
“We’re a family-friendly restaurant. Come on in with the kids, schedule a date (we dim the lights for a romantic feel) or book a private party, we do it all here,” shared Chef Francesco.
Known for its homemade pastas and pizzas, Il Vecchio Café is of course excited to invite guests old and new to its bountiful Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet taking place on Sunday, May 13.
Mother’s Day seating starts at 11:30 am. Moreover, the buffet costs just $40.00 per adult and $19.95 for children ages 4 -12, with children 3 and under eating free of charge.
Menu items include French toast, Danish pastries, muffins, croissants, salads, pastas dishes and more.
If you’re looking to celebrate later in the day, Il Vecchio is also offering lunch and dinner seatings. They will be at 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm, respectively. (Dinner prices are $49.00 per adult, $24.95 per child aged 4-12 and free for children 3 and under.)
The Man Behind the Menu
With fresh pasta being churned out on a daily basis in the upstairs area, Il Vecchio boasts room for up to 180 guests in the restaurants itself. Additionally, 80 guests can enjoy the outdoor seating area and 85 guests in the attached La Taverna bar. Chef Francesco is also in charge of the small bites menu at this spot.
When asked what inspired him to be a chef, Chef Francesco shared his Italian roots.
“I usually step into this question traditionally, the same old ‘my mother was a cook and I wanted to be a cook’,” Chef Francesco explained. “I know from experience that not all Italians can cook, but if they’re nurtured into this lifestyle from the land, then they get a stronger sense of direction that way.”
“My mother’s family grew up in Calabria on a farm in southern Italy. Everything they ate was from their own property,” he shared.
“From the bread, to the olive oil, to the produce, it all came from her land and farm. So being brought up on that, and being artistic, brought me down the path to become a chef.”
Chef Francesco attended The Culinary Institute of America, before working at multiple high-end restaurants in New York City.
The Top of the (Culinary) Mountain
Now, he holds the position of head Chef at Il Vecchio Café. Here, he continues to serve up perfectly crafted dishes to hungry guests.
If your Mother’s Day plans are already set, Il Vecchio is also a great option any day of the week. Stop by for a meal, dessert (from Calandra’s Bakery) or even a wine tasting.
In addition to its regular menu (which will be updated with seasonal options this week), Il Vecchio also offers gluten free and vegan options.
Reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling 973-226-8889.
All Photos: © Deanna Marcelli / Best of NJ