Italian Served Simply
While some restaurants cater to diners in a hurry to pop in and grab a fast meal, thankfully, Ridgewood’s From Scratch is not one of them. A small space which seats just 25, chef and co-owner Claudia Rovegno and her husband, Roberto Santagati, both Italian natives, have created a casual dining experience that takes time to unfold, so be prepared for an evening of authentic and outstanding Italian dining. From Mozzarella con Zucchine Grigliate (fresh mozzarella wrapped with grilled zucchini) to Fettuccine al Ragù Saporito (homemade fettuccine with a prime beef ragù) to desserts prepared fresh daily, all meals are cooked to order and well worth the wait.
Claudia and Roberto moved to Ridgewood from Rome several years ago, opening From Scratch in 2015.
“I had a catering business before that, but our dream was always to have our own restaurant,” Claudia says.
She learned what she knows about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother who was from Liguria, on the northwest coast of Italy.
“I don’t remember a time growing up when I wasn’t by her side cooking,” Claudia says. “She allowed me to get my hands into everything. All I have learned about making homemade pastas and sauces and baking cakes and desserts comes from her. I still have her notebook filled with recipes and continue to use it for inspiration.”
Simple but powerfully flavorful dishes made with the highest quality ingredients are staples on the menu with entree selections that change weekly.
“I learned early on that the best dishes are made with just three ingredients, and I do my best to stick to that rule,” she says. “That way, every flavor has a chance to shine and be amazing.”
From the North to the South, each region of Italy is represented on the menu. The North is known for its cheeses—“The milk from there just produces a different taste,” Claudia says—and the zdouth is where tomato sauces and fish reign.
“I love to cook everything from my country,” she says. “The flavors in every region are so distinctive.”
And that creamy mozzarella that spills out of her appetizers and entrees? If you’re there on a Wednesday night, you might be lucky enough to see it being delivered directly from Salerno, Italy.
“Every week delivery people come into the restaurant with boxes of mozzarella on their shoulders, and customers get so excited,” Claudia says. “We hear them saying, ‘It’s here. It’s here!'”
Freshness is what they have come to expect, and the chef won’t disappoint.
“I know we can find some of these ingredients here in the States, but it just doesn’t taste the same,” she says.
And when the fresh mozzarella runs out, it’s off the menu until the next delivery.
“Our diners expect the best quality from us, and we are happy to bring it to them,” she says.
The desserts, prepared by Claudia daily, are simple but always tasty, like the Torta Caprese flourless chocolate cake with organic ingredients and almonds imported from Sicily, or her Crostata, a crusty dough with organic jam mixed with dark Belgian chocolate.
At the bottom of the menu, it reads: “All of our menu items are cooked to order, please be patient.”
“I cook in my restaurant like I cook at home for my own family. I won’t be rushed, and our customers value that,” she says.
Patience is a virtue when dining at From Scratch, and it will be well rewarded with every delizioso bite.
44 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood, New Jersey, 201.857.5188, FromScratchRidgewood.com