Nicola Moncada says the food at his new Italian restaurant on Park Avenue in Madison is best described as "authentic."
Moncada grew up in Italy with a fisherman father who loved cooking seafood and a mother who taught him many recipes, his website says. After stops in Florence, London, Paris and New York, he opened his first restaurant in Novara, Italy, in 1995.
He came to New Jersey and, in 2000, opened a restaurant in Little Falls, Due Nicola, which he sold 10 years later. He returned to Italy for several months and then, about two years ago, opened Il Cinghiale in Little Ferry.
That restaurant flooded during Superstorm Sandy, and Moncada found the location for his new restaurant in Madison in a space that formerly was home to the Indian restaurant Chutney. The space essentially was move-in ready, Moncada said.
Dinner seafood, meat and pasta entrees range in price from $16 to $26, and a menu is on the restaurant's website.
Moncada owns the restaurant with Bob Fischetta. Benissimo is BYOB, has Wi-Fi and features live jazz on Wednesdays. "Benissimo" translates to "very nice."