By Dane Feldman
Photos by Dane Feldman.
The owners of Ferraro’s Ristorante in Westfield, NJ recently opened Anna’s Ristorante in the nearby town of Summit, NJ. The popular Italian spot is located on Union Place directly next door to The Office Beer Bar & Grill.
Anna’s Ristorante serves lunch and dinner and I have been here now twice for dinner. Because I am still on my quest to discover the best penne a la vodka, I ordered it at Anna’s during my first excursion. Theirs is a classic, with baby peas and prosciutto, but the sauce isn’t quite as thick as I’d like. Regardless, it was delicious and I ordered it the second time, too.
Anna’s offers plenty of other classic Italian dishes, as well. Patrons can expect to find linguini in clam sauce, chicken rollatini, veal parmigiana, and flounder francese on the menu. But Anna’s also serves nori tuna (nori sheets, panko, and sesame crusted ahi tuna served over seared spinach with a wasabi Thai glaze), wood burning oven pizza, Cajun calamari, and vegetable spring rolls, for those looking for something a bit different.
There are also a wide variety of salads and appetizers on the menu and Anna’s even offers a separate selection of gluten-free options.
The restaurant offers a large dessert menu that includes pumpkin cognac cheesecake, gelato, red velvet cake, tiramisu, cannoli, and sorbet. During my first visit, my cohort and I ordered the banana crunch: caramelized banana with cinnamon, powdered sugar, caramel, and chocolate sauce over vanilla ice cream. It was quite sweet, but a lovely nightcap after a savory entree.
Anna’s does have a BYO policy, but it also serves reasonably priced wine (including dessert wines) by the bottle or half-bottle, soft drinks, and coffee.
The wait staff at Anna’s Ristorante is friendly, extremely attentive, and professional. The space itself is huge, but even when I was seated in the middle of a room I felt tucked away. It can get a bit noisy, but not overwhelmingly so.
All in all, Anna’s is a solid spot for an affordable, tasty meal. It’s easy to go the plainer route here (I have), but there’s truly no reason to play it safe at a place so well-liked by the locals.