Friday, October 22, 2010

Eating out in Long Valley: The Cozy Cafe

There's no better way to describe the Cozy Cafe in Long Valley than by repeating part of its name: Cozy.

"I wanted to open up a place, but I didn't want a typical storefront or strip mall," says owner Diane Lomocano. "I was looking for something like this. It has little rooms, and it's like a little house."

She isn't kidding. When entering The Cozy Cafe, you might think you've just stepped into somebody's home — but it's purely intentional.

"I want them to feel at home," Lomocano says. "I want an at-home atmosphere. Something cozy, something you want to come to."

And people will definitely want to come here, especially with such a delectable menu. The menu says, "A little taste of Brooklyn," and Lomocano, a Brooklyn native, wants to bring you the kind of food that will make you come back for more.

"I love cooking for people," says Lomocano, who doesn't have formal cooking experience other than what she learned from her Italian-American family when she was a child. "I don't want to cook for me. I want to cook for you."

Some of the items Lomocano and her gang would be happy to cook for you are breakfast, which is served all day, as well as paninis, wraps and sandwiches, making for a well-rounded menu.

"Right now, we have three popular paninis," Lomocano says. "The first one, which we've had on our menu from the beginning, is the ham and grilled pear with Wisconsin cheddar cheese. It's a big seller. A new item we added on is the Gobbler, which is turkey, apple and brie, with our Cozy secret cranberry."

Another new addition is the Italian sausage, another big seller.

"It's sausage, sauteed broccoli rabe and roasted red peppers, with mozzarella and roasted garlic olive oil," Lomocano says.

The Cozy Cafe also has excellent wraps, such as the turkey, avocado BLT with chipotle mayo, and sandwiches, including the Cozy Sandwich, which contains grilled portobello mushroom with caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers and balsamic vinaigrette.

The best meal at the restaurant, though, might be on the breakfast. It's the Flaming Burrito — scrambled eggs and jalapeno peppers with Monterrey Jack cheese. It's a nice melding of flavors, and it's little wonder why it's probably the best-selling item on the menu. And would you believe it's healthy?

"My menu is really based around healthy, good foods," Lomocano says. "We don't fry, and we don't do pub food like wings and burgers."

The Cozy Cafe currently offers Thursday night dinners, when they serve pasta and the like.

"We did it in June, and then we stopped at the end of the month, because then it was summer," Lomocano says. "Now we're doing it again."

As for the future of the Thursday night dinners, it depends on the response of the guests.

"We'll see how it goes," Lomocano says.

WHERE: 16 Schooleys Mountain Road, Long Valley
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 908-867-7179
HOURS: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
CUISINE: Breakfast, sandwiches and more
PAYMENT: Cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard
PRICE RANGE: Omelets, $4.25 to $5.25; sandwiches, $4.95 to $6.75; wraps, $5.95 to $6.25; paninis, $6.95; deserts, $1.75 to $3.95.
DRESS: Casual
DELIVERY: To nearby businesses
THE SCENE: This small shop sure packs a lot of punch. Come inside and see how cozy it is. It's a great place to relax and enjoy a coffee or a beverage
OWNER: Diane Lomocano
ATMOSPHERE: Lomocano and her crew are very kind and do their best to make sure you have a happy stay
PARKING: In the lot in back

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