When you step into Felina, you immediately feel immersed in a sense of well-being.
You could attribute it to the farm-to-table atmosphere or to the menu, which is updated every few days with fresh, seasonable offerings. Or it could be the positivity of nourishing your body and soul with good friends and thoughtfully sourced and prepared food.
Felina is the newest addition to the Landmark Hospitality collection, which now holds 13 venues around New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It’s one of a few restaurants in the group that features special event space in a reimagined bank on Ridgewood Avenue. After its banking life took its final withdrawal, the building morphed into a unique dining space. The expansive ceilings and original Moser safe are reminiscent of the days when banks were considered permanent and unchanging institutions, and they'll surely lend grace and vintage character to any special event.
Felina’s reigns are in the capable hands of Anthony Bucco, co-owner and executive chef, alongside his right-hand chef de cuisine, Martyna Krowicka.
“I define Felina as modern Italian with a lot of local farm influence,” Anthony says. “We focus on sustainability with no hormones and no antibiotics. We are hyper-seasonal, something that is important to us.”
The bar plays a big part of their identity, Anthony explains. During the early seatings, you will see a family dynamic, especially on Sundays. But any other evening after 7 p.m. you’ll find an energetic vibe of friends enjoying sharable plates, craft cocktails and a lighthearted, interactive scene complementing a night out on the town.
“There is healthy energy in this space—it’s a very social setting,” Anthony says.
The environment is contemporary, engaging, and it features the positive buzz of the community, although they also draw guests from areas like Princeton, Montclair and Morristown.
“The experience Martyna brings to the table allowed our reputation to precede us in our entrance into Bergen County, so we have been able to diversify our audience from different areas of the state,” he explains. “We’ve had very well-lauded restaurants from a critical standpoint. Our other restaurants have had the highest rates from The New York Times and The Star-Ledger, and Felina is really no different.”
Martyna has been a key player in elevating the humble elements of Italian flavor with modern refinements and innovative nuances. Having been instilled with a love of cooking since childhood, she began her career alongside Anthony 10 years ago.
“I think we mirror the cosmopolitan feel, but I do not want to be compared to restaurants in New York City. This is a fun environment, and it is appropriate for where we live. We support New Jersey-based operators and farms. Does it have a metro, urban feel? Yes. And that’s great.”
54 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood