LIVINGSTON, NJ — With permission from neighboring businesses to utilize their outdoor space and a brand new, award-winning chef who has developed a unique menu of fine Italian dishes, Cocco Bello Café at 155 South Livingston Avenue has quickly become one of the most popular dining establishments in the area in the weeks since New Jersey eateries were permitted open for outdoor dining.

Now open on site for lunch and dinner in addition to offering curbside takeout, Cocco Bello recently welcomed Giuseppe De Falco, a renowned chef from Avellino, Italy, to help create a fresh new menu for the 17-year-old Livingston restaurant.

Since joining the establishment last month, owner Antonio Poto said De Falco has been regularly coming up with unique specials that are not included on the everyday menu. Some recent favorites among patrons have been the Buffala Mozzarella with Fresh Fig, Scallops Giambotta, Papardella Porcini Mushrooms, Veal Tagliata and Busta di Mare.

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“Giuseppe brings a real rustic, classic Italian to the menu,” said Robert Formato, a partner at Cocco Bello. “That’s his forte, but he’s also very creative. Tonight he might turn around and throw three more specials at the staff.”

In addition to the new menu and the “bring-your-own” availability at Cocco Bello Café, patrons from Livingston and beyond have also been drawn to the restaurant in recent weeks due to the safe outdoor-dining atmosphere that the owners have established.

“We’ve been getting terrific reviews from people on the fact that our spacing is more than six feet in every case,” said Formato. “They feel safe, the staff is masked and gloved, and we have protective tents for the foul weather. That’s the first thing people say to us besides that the food is outstanding—they really feel comfortable here, which is important.”

Although the owners are looking forward to getting back indoors and resuming some of their other offerings, such as hosting private parties on Sundays upon request, Formato said Cocco Bello is thrilled to have the team back in. He also expressed pride in the work ethic among staff members over the past few weeks, stating that the servers have been taking up to 25,000 steps per day walking in and out of the restaurant while dutifully wearing their protective gear.

Cocco Bello is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, although reservations are encouraged on Friday and Saturday evenings. The restaurant also offers a 10-percent discount for cash payments.

Diners are urged to let their server know of any dietary restrictions. According to the owners, the chef will make every effort to accommodate special requests.

Lunch and dinner menus can be found below or by visiting https://www.coccobellocafe.com/.  Call the restaurant at 973-992-1999 for more information or to make a reservation.

COCCO BELLO CAFÉ DINNER MENU

 

Appetizers

Sicilian Rice Balls (Beef and Pork, Mozzarella, Peas) … $8

Antipasto Cocco Bello (Prosciutto di Parma, Salami, Parmesan, Zucchini, Grilled Eggplant, Caprese with Pesto Sauce) ... $18

Burrata, Arugula, Cherry Tomato, EVOO … $14

Garlic Shrimp … $12

Mussels & Clams (Hot or Sweet) … $16

Fried Calamari … $14

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio (Capers, Cherry Tomato, Fennel, Arugula, Lemon Vinaigrette) … $14

 

Soup of the Day

Bowl … $7

 

Salads

Arugula Salad (Arugula, Cherry Tomato, Parmesan, Italian Dressing) … $11

Spinach Salad (Spinach, Red Onion, Blue Cheese, Cherry Tomato, Bacon, Lemon Dressing) … $12

Mixed Green Salad (Mixed Greens, Green Apple, Goat Cheese, Roasted Peppers, Avocado, Balsamic Dressing) … $12

Caesar Salad (Romaine, Crouton, Parmesan) … $12

Antonio Salad (Mixed Seasonal Fruit, Organic Baby Greens, Walnuts, Goat Cheese, Avocado, Lime Dressing) … $14

Add Ons

Salmon … $9  Shrimp … $9  Grilled Chicken … $6

 

Children’s Menu

Spaghetti, Penne, Ravioli (Pomodoro or Butter) … $9

Fried Chicken Strips with French Fries … $11

 

Pasta

Rigatoni Bolognese (Meat Sauce, Beef and Pork, Onion, Celery, Carrot) … $18

Lasagna with Bolognese Sauce … $20

Vegetarian Lasagna (Eggplant, Ricotta, Parmesan, Tomato) … $20

Truffle Ravioli (Cream Sauce, Shredded Parmesan, Truffle) … $24

Spaghetti Pomodoro (with Fresh Tomato) … $16

Linguine with Clams Aioli … $22

Chitarra, Frutti di Mare over Spaghetti (Clams, Mussels, Calamari, Shrimp, Scallops, Fresh Cherry Tomato) … $28

**Gluten Free Options Available

 

 

Entrées

Grilled Salmon (Spinach and Roasted Potatoes) … $24

Suppa di Pesce (Clams, Mussels, Calamari, Shrimp, Scallops, Halibut, Fresh Tomato) … $34

Halibut (Breaded, Baked with Spinach & Mushroom, Fennel, Sun Dried Tomato, EVOO) … $29

Eggplant Parmesan (Eggplant, Marinara, Fresh Mozzarella, Parmesan) … $16

Veal Milanese (Mixed Green Salad over Fried Veal Cutlet) … $29

Pork Loin (Broccoli Rabe, Roasted Potatoes with Date and Balsamic Reduction Sauce) … $26

Chicken Milanese (Mixed Green Salad over Fried Chicken Breast) … $21

Chicken Balsamico (Chicken Breast in Balsamic Sauce, Roasted Garlic, Carrots, Zucchini, Broccoli, Side of Roasted Potatoes) … $22

Chicken Boscovino (Chicken Breast, Mushrooms, Onions, Sun Dried Tomato, Zucchini, Carrots, Broccoli, Side of Roasted Potatoes) … $22

 

 

COCCO BELLO CAFÉ LUNCH MENU

 

Appetizers

Antipasto Cocco Bello (Prosciutto di Parma, Salami, Ham, Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Red Peppers) … $18

Sicilian Rice Balls (Mixed Beef and Pork, Mozzarella, Peas, Breading) … $8

Insalata Caprese (Mozzarella, Tomato Arugula) … $12

Burrata, Arugula, Cherry Tomato, EVOO … $12

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio (Capers, Cherry Tomato, Fennel, Arugula, Lemon Vinaigrette) … $14

 

Salads

Antonio Salad (Mixed Seasonal Fruit, Organic Baby Greens, Walnuts, Goat Cheese, Avocado, Lime Dressing) … $14

Della Nonna (Fresh Greens, Cucumbers, Tomato) … $11

Della Casa (Mixed Greens, Artichoke Hearts, Black Olives, Hearts of Palm, Roasted Peppers, Fresh Mozzarella, Balsamic Vinaigrette) … $11

Avocado Salad (Avocado, Hard Boiled Egg, Cherry Tomato, Onions, Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Dressing) … $11

Quinoa Salad (Organic Field Greens, Quinoa, Avocado, Mango, Tomato, Asiago Cheese, Sweet & Sour Dressing) … $11

Tuna “Our Way” (Crisp and Crunchy Greens, Albacore Tuna, Light Dressing) … $11

Caesar Salad (Romaine, Crouton, Parmesan) … $11

Add Ons

Salmon … $9  Shrimp … $9  Grilled Chicken … $6  Albacore Tuna … $5

 

Soup of the Day

Bowl … $7

 

Pasta

Spaghetti Pomodoro with Fresh Tomato … $12

Lasagna with Meat Sauce (Mixed Beef and Pork) … $14

Vegetarian Lasagna (Eggplant, Ricotta, Parmesan, Tomato) … $14

Ravioli Pomodoro … $14

Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce … $14

**Gluten Free Options Available

 

Meals

Eggplant Parmesan … $12

Chicken & Rice (Grilled Chicken, Vegetables, Peas, Rice) … $12

Chicken Milanese (Mixed Green Salad over Fried Chicken Breast) … $14

Grilled Salmon with Broccoli Rabe … $18

 

Sandwiches

Giovanni (Prosciutto di Parma, Mozzarella, Parmesan with side salad of mixed greens) … $12

Roberto (Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese) … $12

Lioni (Sausage & Broccoli Rabe) … $12

Piadina Romagnola (Prosciutto di Parma, Brie Cheese, Arugula, Tomato) … $12

Emiliano (Caprese, Mozzarella, Tomato, Arugula, Olive Oil) … $11

Giuseppe (Smoked Salmon, Tomato, Arugula, Lemon Dressing) … $12

Carmela (Prosciutto di Parma, Brie Cheese, Arugula, Truffle Oil) … $12

 

Panini

Milano (Breaded Chicken Cutlet, Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Balsamic Aioli) … $10

Toscana (Grilled Chicken, Pesto, Mozzarella, Tomato) … $10

Roma (Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Plum) … $10

 

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