I wanted to try a new Italian BYOB place in the Parsippany area, so I decided to try Gourmet Cafe Restaurant for 3 main reasons. First, the overall consensus on Trip Advisor was the food was excellent. Secondly, I wanted a good BYOB experience to share with a good friend and colleague from out-of-town. Finally, I was impressed that Owner and Chef Matt had previously responded to a number of the posted reviews, whether good or bad. To me, this demonstrated he is paying attention and cares about his business and service.
Based on other reviews, I made a same day reservation (for a Wednesday evening) and was pleased to be accommodated. I was happy I did this because there are only a few tables and all but 1 became occupied during our experience, another indicator to me that the food must be excellent as it was a blustery mid-week evening. My sense is there were a number of repeat visitors as around 2/3 of the tables had also brought wine for their dinners.
We were seated immediately and our wine was opened quickly. I was also pleased to see there was no corkage fee: they want you to bring a good bottle for a good meal. My friend had a Caesar salad and asked for anchovies which were brought promptly to accompany his salad. I had the Caprese salad which had generous portions of both fresh mozzarella and tomato. We also shared appetizers of broccoli rabe with sweet sausage and a scallop special that were both delightful. My friend had chicken saltimboccca which he declared to be the best he ever had. He shared a taste with me and I found it to be fantastic. I had the homemade cavatelli in the bolognese sauce which I found to be exquisite, maybe one of the better bolognese sauces I have ever had. We topped it with lemon sorbet soaked in limoncello which was both refreshing and delicious.
As our desserts were ordered, Chef Matt greeted us and asked about our experience. I told him it all exceeded our expectations, and I was able to compliment him not only for the food but also for his attentiveness in both service and on social media. In addition to Matt, he had 3 top staff people who worked together and hustled and provided nothing but a relaxed, courteous, and non-rushed experience. To sum up, I was beyond pleased as was my friend and I will definitely return, probably not soon enough!
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