In honor of the township’s first-ever Restaurant Week, Bloomfield Patch will be publishing profiles of participating restaurants. From March 4-10, twenty-four participating restaurants are offering special prix-fixe menus.
Anthony and Ryan DePersio, owners of Bar Cara, told Patch that the Restaurant Week menu would end on Thursday. On Friday the restaurant will begin serving their standard weekend menu.
Bar Cara: 1099 Broad Street
About the Owners: The New York Times called the DePersio family an “Italian-American family of uncommonly capable cooks from Nutley.” After owning and operating the extremely successful Fascino restaurant in Montclair nine years ago, the family opened Bar Cara in Bloomfield two years ago. A third restaurant venture, Nico, launched in Newark just this week.
“It’s in our blood,” says Anthony DePersio Jr., who runs Bar Cara and Fascino with brother Ryan, who is also the restaurant’s chef. “My mom was the kind of mom who wanted us to experience fine dining from an early age. As soon as my brother and I turned 17 and started to drive, we bought a copy of Zagat’s.”
Ryan, the chef of Bar Cara and Fascino, has appeared numerous times as a guest chef on the Today Show.
“My brother has my mother’s cooking talent,” says Anthony. “Ryan graduated from New York Restaurant School and started working in new York with some of New York’s top chefs. He lived and worked in Florence at a 3-star Michelin restaurant.”
Restaurant Week 3-Course Dinner Menu -- $30:
Choice of appetizer: Tri-colore salad with goat cheese, red shallot-honey vinaigrette, Caesar salad or Margherita pizza.
Choice of Entrée: Penne vodka with English peas, pancetta and tomato cream sauce, eggplant parmigiano or chicken marsala with barley mushroom marsala
Choice of Dessert: Rice pudding or 2-scoop sundae
Best thing about Bar Cara: “We serve Italian food with a little influence of French and Asian. Our raw seafood selection of the day is reminiscent of sushi.
Another Great Thing about Bar Cara: “Some restaurants save money by using frozen products. We use fresh meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables. It’s more expensive to do that but there’s a difference.”
What you may not know about Bar Cara: The restaurant’s name, Cara, means “dear” in Italian. The name is also an acronym, using the first letter in every DePersio family member’s name: Cynthia (mom), Anthony Sr. (dad) and brothers Ryan and Anthony Jr.
Something else to know: “We wanted to go with a more traditional style of Italian food than at Fascino. But we put our own eclectic twist on traditional favorites.”
People come back for: Crudo of the Day (a regular menu item at Bar Cara.) "This week it’s black sea bass with avocado cream and thin slices of serrano pepper on top."
1099 Broad Street
Lunch hours: Mon - Fri, 11:30am - 2:30pm. Dinner hours: Tue - Thu, 5pm - 9:30pm; Fri, Sat, 5pm - 10:30pm; 3pm - 8pm.