First Generation Dinner At Ridgewood’s Felina

by Peter Candia

Felina in Ridgewood, NJ, is renowned for its contemporary takes on classic Italian and Italian-American dishes. With Executive Chef Joe Tartamella at the helm, Felina is boasting a menu that is currently filled to the brim with Italian staples. 

Tartamella is a first-generation Sicilian American, and much of Felina’s menu reflects that. He takes pride in melding classic recipes with contemporary techniques that he has picked up throughout his storied career. Felina will host a First Generation Dinner on Tuesday, December 5. 

Chef Angelo Competiello will join Chef Tartamella for the meal, where the two chefs will put forth a menu filled with many of their family’s staple recipes. 

Diners will enjoy three courses plus dessert. A wine pairing is also included with the meal. The meal will include traditional cold antipasto that features cheese from Marcelli Formaggi, Tartamella’s family recipe for Anelletti Al Forno with mortadella and eggplant ragu, Chef Competiellos famous porchetta, a blood orange olive oil cake and Sicilian cannoli to finish. 

The meal is meant to celebrate Tartamella and Competiello’s heritage, highlighting the foods they grew up eating as First Gen Italian-Americans. Tartamella grew up the son of an immigrant bread baker in Staten Island—he described to me a childhood defined by food. “The Anelletti Al Forno is a dish we celebrated with, a dish we mourned with. It’s just a nostalgic food for me.” Tartamella is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute (now known as the International Culinary Center).

On the other hand, Competiello—who recently won Beat Bobby Flay—grew up in A&S Fine Foods, a pork store in Wyckoff that was owned and operated by his father. He learned the art of butchery early in life and carries it with him today. Additionally, he was named Culinary Ambassador to the city of Genova as a master of both pesto and focaccia Genovese.

Tickets to this exclusive dinner can be bought here.

Landmark Hospitality Members will enjoy discounted tickets as well as early access to the event with an extra course and cocktail. 

About the Author/s

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Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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