By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
Albert Franco owns and operates Cafe Amici, which has locations in Ho-Ho-Kus and Wyckoff, New Jersey. This review focuses specifically on the Sycamore Avenue location in Ho-Ho-Kus.
The food at Cafe Amici is, arguably, Americana meets Italian. The dinner menu features a plethora of pasta options (Tagliatelle Bolognese, capellini with shrimp and arugula, and Rigatoni Arrabiatta, to name a few), as well as pizza and burgers. The restaurant is also open during lunch hours and offers a separate lunch menu.
Entrees include Blackened Wild King Salmon: Cajun crusted king salmon, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocado, haricot vert, and mixed greens with a lime cilantro vinaigrette; Beef Short Rib: braised boneless beef, red wine demi glace, pan roasted potato gnocchi, and braised leeks; and Chicken Milanese: breaded chicken cutlet, baby arugula, radicchio, cherry tomatoes, fresh lemon, and extra virgin olive oil.
My table and I shared the oysters on the half-shell special to start. The oysters were far from the best quality, but the special was also on the cheap side for this delicacy. Sometimes you get exactly what you paid for. After the oysters, I ordered the Grilled Hangar Steak entree: sliced angus hangar steak with baby arugula, cherry tomatoes, and lemon vinaigrette. The steak also came with truffle Parmigiano fries topped with shaved Parmigiano cheese.
The steak was cooked perfectly, the arugula was fresh, and the truffle fries were nearly drenched in truffle oil. In fact, it was, dare I say, almost too much truffle oil, but I would prefer too much than not enough.
Cafe Amici is a BYO establishment, as most restaurants are in New Jersey thanks to liquor licensing. The restaurant does offer a variety of soft drinks.
The restaurant is located on the edge of downtown Ho-Ho-Kus on a shady corner, which makes for a great sidewalk outdoor seating area. Cafe Amici also boasts a large indoor space that is both comfy and open at once.
The wait staff is quite friendly and knowledgeable. Our waitress accidentally gave us the specials menu for the night previous, but when we pointed it out she immediately apologized for the small mistake and replaced them. Certainly, this is no big deal and I’ll be glad to return to Cafe Amici in the near future.