Cafe Amici, located at 32 Church St., will soon become Albert's Montclair. The change is largely inspired by the new chef heading up the kitchen at Cafe Amici, acclaimed Patrick Pierre-Jerome.
If Chef Pierre's name rings a bell, it should. Chef Pierre was the owner/chef of Yves in Montclair for five years. Yves had the distinguishing honor of garnering not one 4-star review from the Star-Ledger, but two 4-star reviews from the Ledger in a single year! That's quite an achievement!
Chef Pierre's bio goes on. A native of Haiti, Chef Pierre is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. Following a time training in France, he made desserts at the Ryland Inn, then was a chef at Stage Left, and Hat City Kitchen.
Cafe Amici will not be abandoning its Italian cuisine. Instead, Chef Pierre will be integrating new American cuisine into the Cafe Amici/Albert's Montclair menu. Several of the upcoming menu items are currently appearing as specials, like the inventive Red Snapper with lemongrass and coconut sauce accompanied by lobster ravioli ($26).
According to the owner of Cafe Amici/Albert's Montclair, Albert Franco, he felt compelled to change the name of the restaurant to better suit it's personality. "The name, Cafe Amici, is suggestive of a particular type of experience and cuisine." The new name will be more reflective of the new American cuisine.
It is yet undetermined when the new awnings reading "Albert's Montclair" will appear. Albert believes that incorporating his name into the restaurant, "adds a level of intimacy between the restaurant, himself, and the community. It gives the restaurant more of an identity."
If you haven't been to Cafe Amici/Albert's Montclair recently, the addition of Chef Pierre, to the already attentive service, is a great reason to go. My suggestion: order whatever is on special!
The menu at Albert's Montclair will remain broad enough suit every palate, including options for children and sophisticated diners alike.
Cafe Amici/Albert's Montclair is open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner from 11:30 - close, and offers weekend brunch from 11 -3:30, followed by dinner service. While I was chatting with Albert and Chef Pierre, I learned, much to my surprise, that Cafe Amici offers take out.
Stay tuned to Hot From The Kettle for an in depth tasting of Chef Pierre's cuisine.