New Restaurant Serves Up Authentic Italian

Nicola Moncada, whose first restaurant was in Novara, Italy, has opened his latest venture in Madison.

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."

francesca gooby February 15, 2013 at 05:18 PM
We went there for dinner last night. It was a welcome surprise. We have been a bit bored with the restaurants in town...and not happy with anything that has been in that space in years. The staff was lovely, did not rush us even though it was Valentine's and we didn't have a reservation. The food was prepared perfectly, and served as soon as they were done being cooked. I would describe Benissimo as a BYO priced like our local Italian places but a higher quality NON pizza place. Madison has nothing like this in my opinion. We are looking forward to returning...with friends, family and on date night.
Ristorante Benissimo February 15, 2013 at 06:49 PM
The owners and staff at Benissimo's certainly appreciate your kind words. We look forward to seeing you again.
Ristorante Benissimo February 15, 2013 at 06:51 PM
John, Thank you for your best wishes.
Frank Zimmerman June 20, 2013 at 06:32 AM
I was disappointed when I found that Nicola's restaurant in Little Ferry had closed. We had been there several times and loved it. I have been searching to see if Nicola had opened a new restaurant and finally came across this article about his new place. The new reaurant is 36 miles from my home. My friends and I will be making the trip.... I am sure it will be well worth it. Nicola, we cannot wait to have a glass of wine with you. Good luck in your new restaurant.
Ristorante Benissimo June 20, 2013 at 01:38 PM
Frank, thank you for your kind words and loyalty. We look forward to seeing you and enjoying that glass of wine. We are so appreciative of our former patrons coming to see us. So grateful.


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