February 20, 2013 at 1:34 PM
MADISON, NJ - Madison may be far from Sicily, but stop in at Benissimo and you'll find all the Old World flavors waiting for you.
Benissimo, a new Italian restaurant, prides itself on serving up authentic fare. Owner Nicola Moncada is not new to the restaurant industry, or to Italian food. His story starts in Agrigento, Sicily, where he was born. He was greatly inspired by his mother and father to go into the restaurant business. His father was a fisherman who taught his son how to serve and prepare fish. His mother had taught him many Italian recipes, which are all featured on his special Sunday Menu.
Moncada has been a part of the business for more than 35 years. He opened his first restaurant in Novara, Italy in 1995. Five years later he moved to New Jersey and opened a restaurant called Due Novada in Little Falls. His genuine Tuscan-style food soon became a crowd favorite. In 2010, Moncada decided to sell Due Novada because he was ready for a new challenge in life. He returned to Italy for a little creative rejuvenation, and soon returned to New Jersey to open II Cinghiale in Little Ferry.
Unfortunately, Superstorm Sandy took its toll on the restaurant and they closed their doors. Luckily, Moncada had found a new location in Madison, and Benissimo is allowing him to continue what he loves to do.
When asked what his best advice to someone who wanted to open a restaurant, his response was “Passion. You need to have passion and you need to love what you do.” He also said it's important to make customers feel welcome and comfortable. At Benissimo, which translates to "very nice," he does just that.
Entrees at Benissimo start at $16-$26. They also offer catering for all occasions and offer space for private parties. For more information, visit www.ristorantebenissimo.com.