Reviews / Awards

Alfie’s Ristorante-Italiano, reviewed and honored by accredited sources: 

Courier News - Saturday Night

May 5, 2007
by Mr. Robert Baker.
Your guide to enjoying the best night of the week


Alfie's in Warren knows what it's all about...

Tucked away in a shopping center on a side street in the steep hills of Warren is a gem of a restaurant called Alfie's Ristorante Italiano.  With its beautiful brick exterior, it says elegance from the moment you pull into the parking lot.  This impression is solidly reinforced by its gold interior walls, lace curtains and white linen tablecloths and napkins.

The food lives up to the impression created by the decor.  Warm, crusty, freshly baked bread is presented with medium-dark olive oil (dark means it contains a higher level of antioxidants, reportedly effective in preventing cancer), a definite plus in my book.  We decided to share an appetizer called Combinazion Fredda ($14.95), shrimp cocktail and jumbo lump Maryland crab meat with cocktail and scallion horseradish sauce.  It was a delight to be able to switch back and forth between bites of crab and shrimp, and the sauce had a very nice 'zing' to it that complemented both perfectly.  Several other interesting selections included Carpaccio di Manzo ($10.95), thin slices of prime aged Black Angus served over arugula with shredded parmesan cheese and truffle oil, and Calamari Franceso ($9.95), fried calamari sautéed in a balsamic reduction with hot cherry peppers and hot Italian Sausage.

For my entree, I selected from the regular menu Costoletta di Vitello Parmigiana ($27.95), prime veal cop butterflied in a marinara sauce  and baked with mozzarella cheese.  It was melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious.  Alfie's is definitely the place for veal lovers, offering other selections such as Fettine di Vitello Jessica ($19.95), veal scaloppini sautéed in a port wine sauce with tips of asparagus and sundried tomatoes, and Fettine di Vitello Alba ($19.95), veal scaloppini with brand, chestnuts and wild mushrooms.

My dining companion was delighted to find that one of her very favorites, Chicken Francaise ($18.95), was on the list of nightly specials.  She, of course, ordered it and declared it to be the best she had ever tasted.  For dessert, I couldn't resist the offering of Zabaglione ($5.95), an Italian version of whipped cream containing egg whites and Marsala wine, over various mixed fruits, which was delightful.

Where:  101 Town Center Drive, Warren, NJ 07059 (908-412-1555)

When:  11:30am-10pm M-F, 4-10pm Sat., & 4-9pm Sunday

Type of Food:  Classic Italian

Liquor:  BYOB

Methods of Payment:  American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Reservations:  Recommended on Weekends

Handicap Access:  Yes

Dress:  Business Casual

The Scene:  Families of all ages

Atmosphere:  Relaxed and friendly

Service:  Friendly and efficient

Value:  Very Good

Perfect repast:  Combinazion Fredda, Costoletta di Vitello Parmigiana, Zabaglione

Courier News - Eating Out

February 1, 2007, by Lois Mattson, Correspondent

Alfie's in Warren surprises with a delightful Italian Aura...

Because my friends, Barbara and Jim, were so excited about this restaurant, I had to see what Alfie's was all about.  And so, on a cold weeknight, my dining companion, Tony, and I joined them there for dinner.

I was surprised at how busy it was.  I was told this is normal (so make reservations).  This is not your average BYO.  It is sleek and sophisticated with huge windows, a nice bar area and white-clothed tables.

The menu is extensive and offers interesting choices.  We started with a refreshingly new take on calamari, served with cherry peppers and Italian hot sausage in a balsamic reduction.  Beef Carpaccio was perfect with truffle oil and shaved parmesan cheese.  We also enjoyed the baked little neck clams.  I think of all the entrees, my favorite was Jim's linguine with white clam sauce. 

I normally would not be inclined to order this dish, but when i go back, it will be my first choice.  The sauce is thick and rich and benefited from a liberal sprinkling of pepper.  The whole marinated free-range chicken is flattened and grilled and makes a very nice presentation, not to mention great flavor.  Alfie's is co-owned by the former manager and chef of Sestri's in Gillette.  This new venue is perfect to continue his tried-and-true tradition of great food and service.


Where:  101 Town Center Drive, Warren, NJ 07059 (908-412-1555)

When:  11:30am-10pm M-F, 4-10pm Sat., & 4-9pm Sunday

Payment:  All major credit cards

Reservations:  Recommended

Handicap Access:  Yes

Dress:  Casual

Atmosphere:  Sleek

Service:  Very professional

Value:  Moderate to expensive

Food:  Italian BYO

Parking:  Yes

Courier News - Local - Eating Out

November 10, 2006, by Millicent K. Brody, Correspondent

It's all good at Alfie's in Warren...

It's word of mouth that brings people to Alfie's Ristorante in Warren.  The restaurant, owned by Alfie Afrim and executive Chef Francesco Spataro, opened Oct. 7, 2006.

"Folks are coming for lunch and dinner," Afrim said.  "We are already booking parties and catered events."

Central Jersey residents will remember Afrim and Spataro from Sestri's in Gillette.  At the time, the congenial Afrim was the expert maitre d' and Spataro was executive chef.  They have maintained those roles.  Only now, they are doing it as partners in their own establishment.

"Some things are meant to be," Spataro said.  "It was always our dream to own a restaurant together.  We have to credit our customers for helping us find this wonderful location."

Afrim's restaurant career began 18 years ago when he arrived in America and knew he wanted to work in a restaurant.  His first job was in North Jersey.  From there, he went to Benito's in Union before heading to Somerset County.

"I always look forward to meeting new people,"  Afrim said.  "Our customers are most important to us.  I love offering suggestions from our daily specials and our menu.  I like helping them select a meal they will never forget.  To us, our customers are like our family."

Spataro attended the International Culinary Academy in Summonte, in the province of Avellino, Italy.

"I came to the United States in 1979," he said, "I helped open three restaurants for my family before coming to Sestri's, where I worked for 16 years.  That's where I met Alfie.  Before completing our menu, we took time to consider signature dishes that are favorites with our clientele.  Our menu covers the best of the best from all of the regions in Italy."

Topping the list of appetizers is fried Calamari Francesco, sautéed in a balsamic reduction with hot cherry peppers and Italian sausage.  Other favorites include Gamberoni Mostardo: Jumbo Shrimp in a light mustard sauce, Salome Affumicato: Atlantic Smoked Salmon with capers, onion, olive oil and lemon and Combinzaione Fredda: Shrimp Cocktail and Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Meat with cocktail and scallion horseradish sauce.

Hearty pasta dishes include Cavatelli del Messadro: Homemade Cavatelli, fresh vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes with garlic and oil; and rigatoni pasticcio, or large ribbed pasta in a hearty meat sauce with ground sausage, Costoletta di Vitello Parmigiana appears to be an overall house favorite.  A butterflied Prime Veal Chop arrives in a marinara sauce topped with baked mozzarella cheese.  Other flavorful dishes include Gaberoni Fra Diavolo, sautéed jumbo shrimp, served in a spicy marinara sauce with linguini; and twin lobster tails over linguini garnished with clams and mussels.

"This the fifth time I've been here in nine days," said Amy Wechsler of the Martinsville section of Bridgewater.  "Each time, the dinner is more delicious than before."

The food is delicious.  The portions are great.  The menu is reasonably priced, and the setting is perfect, adds Craig Hyldahl of Hunderton County.

Desserts also are wonderful.  Homemade Tiramisu flavored with Amaretto, a rich chocolate mousse cake and an Italian ricotta cheese cake with mascarpone top the list.  At Alfie's Restaurant, its all about warmth and hospitality.

If you go.....

Location:  101 Town Center Drive, Warren, NJ 07059 (908-412-1555)

Hours:  11:30am-10pm M-F, 4-10pm Sat., & 4-9pm Sunday

Description:  The atmosphere at Alfie's Ristorante is calm and soothing.  Designed and decorated by Julia Afrim, stunning oak chairs with leather seating set the stage for tables set with lovely flowers and white dinnerware.  If you're stopping for lunch, you may dine and sip at a comfortable service bar or head for a table in the bright and airy dining.

FYI:  Major credit cards accepted.  BYOB.  Gift certificates available.  Accepts reservations.  Open for parties and special events Saturday and Sunday morning and afternoon.  Alfie will accommodate a small party for business event during the week.  Accepting reservations for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  Smart casual dress.  Wheelchair accessible.  Parking on the premises.

Dinner for two:  $65 (excluding tax and tip)