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Taste of Southern Italian Street Food Comes to Parsippany

PARSIPPANY — Josephina Spinosa and her husband Sergio Capdevielle’s culinary vision to share their love and passion for simple Italian cuisine came to fruition this past April with the opening of their beautiful new restaurant, Lo Sfizio Italian Street Food. The restaurant, which offers a new concept for the local Italian scene, is located at 77 New Road in Parsippany. It allows customers to experience a traditional and authentic touch of Southern Italian street fare, just like Josephina experienced as a child in Naples and later while growing up in her family’s pizzeria. Many of the dishes at Lo Sfizio are based on Josephina’s grandmother’s and mother’s recipes.

Josephina Spinosa, Sergio Capdevielle, and Pat Minutillo are the individuals behind Lo Sfizio, a culinary establishment that takes pride in its ability to satisfy customers' whims with their menu offerings. The name "Lo Sfizio" itself translates to "to satisfy one's whim" or "to indulge one's fancy" in Italian, perfectly capturing the essence of their culinary philosophy.Josephina Spinosa, Sergio Capdevielle and Pat Minutillo
Ofelia, Sergio Capdevielle and Pat Minutillo. This culinary establishment takes pride in satisfying customers’ whims with its menu offerings. The name “Lo Sfizio” itself translates to “to satisfy one’s whim” or “to indulge one’s fancy” in Italian, perfectly capturing the essence of their culinary philosophy.

In Italy, street food is ready-to-eat food sold by vendors or hawkers, particularly in urban areas. Street foods are often simple dishes reinvented using a modern approach, often modifying and enhancing them to elegant simplicity. Lo Sfizio translates as “to satisfy one’s whim,” which is exactly what their menu accomplishes. More about the menu later!

The glass and brick-fronted restaurant stands among a row of other eateries and businesses in a small strip mall off New Road at the intersection of Route 46. Their large, bright white business sign is easy to spot as you pass by, and ample free parking is available.

On entering, if you use your imagination, you will be transported to a bucolic and whimsical setting reminiscent of a small trattoria on a busy street in Naples. The large full glass frontage provides soothing ambient lighting, with bright tile floors, sparsely spaced tables covered with glass over green and white checkered tablecloths, comfortable wooden chairs, walls covered in rustic decorative brick, foliage hanging from the ceiling along with straw covered basket lighting. A lighted accent tree helps to complete a serene, welcoming, relaxed, and cozy atmosphere as soft music plays in the background. The focused design, obviously carefully and painstakingly thought out by Josephina and Sergio, certainly accomplishes its intention and creates a mesmerizing ambiance that perfectly matches Lo Sfizio’s food style.

he large full glass frontage provides soothing ambient lighting, with bright tile floors, sparsely spaced tables covered with glass over green and white checkered tablecloths, comfortable wooden chairs, walls covered in rustic decorative brick, foliage hanging from the ceiling along with straw covered basket lighting.

The canopy-covered open kitchen and host station are also artfully designed to accentuate the dining area. Quite frankly, taking in and enjoying the planning and commitment dedicated to the interior decor of Lo Sfizio alone is worth the visit.

Our friendly hostess, Ofelia, welcomed us immediately on arrival and offered us our choice of seating. Menus arrived quickly, and our wine was uncorked. Yes, Lo Sfizio is BYOB.  As is customary with our group, we took plenty of time to review the menu and banter over our agreed-upon shared appetizers.

Ofelia was more than happy to answer any questions we had. We finally decided on the Arancini Siciliana (Rice balls filled with meat ragu, peas, and cheese), Panzarotti Napoletani (Potato croquettes with mozzarella cheese), Fried Calamari, Polpette E Patatine Fritte (Mini fried meatballs and fries with a side of sauce), and from what I have been told is the house special, Pizzetta Montanara (Fried personal pizza with sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil). Pizzetta Montanara dates way back in time and is believed to have roots in the mountains surrounding Naples.

Via Dei Tribunali

The menu’s Frittura (Fried Food) section included Battered Stuffed Zucchini Flowers, Wurstel E Patatine Fritte, Olive Ascolana, Suppli Romani, and more. However, as tempted as we were to try as much as possible, our entrees still lie ahead.

We know that food can bring people together, and sharing these simple, finger-style foods seem to have been made for that purpose.  In Italian, buono means good, gustoso is tasty, and Saporito means flavorful. All our appetizers easily fit into those categories. Every dish was high-quality, fresh, perfectly made, professionally presented, and quickly devoured.

Pizzetta Montanara (Fried personal pizza with sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil).

The menu consists of Frittura (Fried Food), Italian Sandwiches, Hot Sandwiches, Croissant Sandwiches, Desserts, and Hot and Cold Drinks. Like I said, simple street food, simple menu. Simple, but plenty of delectable selections to satisfy anyone’s taste.

The Hot sandwiches section of the menu offers seven selections, which include Via Veneto (Chopped Flank Steak, Arugula, Mozzarella, Sauteed Onion, Red Roasted Peppers), Via Delle Liberta (Meatballs with sauce, basil, and Mozzarella), Via Rizzoli (Chicken Cutlet Melt with Fresh Mozzarella, Pesto, Sun Dried Tomato Spread), to name a few.  The Italian sandwich section of the menu gives you ten choices, and you get to pick your bread: Piadina, Ciabatta, or Focaccia. Choices include Via Monte Napoleone (Melted Cooked Ham and melted Mozzarella Cheese), Via Della Spiga (Crispy Pancetta, Stracciatella Cheese, and Honey), and Via Polo (Grilled Zucchini, Grilled Eggplant, Red Roasted Peppers, Fresh Mozzarella, Red Onions, Arugula, Pesto) to give you a sampling. There was not one sandwich on the list that I would not be happy with. The remainder of the menu offers a choice of two Croissant Sandwiches, the Via Caprese and the Via Dell’Amore, and assorted desserts: including Nutella Croissant, Pistachio Truffle, Cannoli, Foccaccia with Nutella, Mascarpone, and Strawberries.

Fried Calamari

For their entrée, my group went with the Via Torino (Flank Steak, Fried Onions, Sauce, Provolone Cheese), the Via Mazzini (Salami, Prosciutto di Parma, Sopressata, Fresh Mozzarella, Arugula, Pesto), and the Via Dei Tribunali (Sweet Italian Sausage and spicy Broccoli Rabe). All were pleased with their picks, providing many delicious, savory flavors with high-quality fresh ingredients. Elegant, simple food!

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

As for me, I went with the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, Lo Sfizio Special Pasta of the Week. Gnocchi alla Sorrentina is an Italian grandmother’s common comfort dish in Naples. The ample portion of fresh homemade gnocchi was well made, light, tender, and airy and was presented in a light tomato sauce. With their mild and subtle potato flavor, these soft, fatty, chewy dumplings were a great choice.

Pistachio Truffle

Dessert consisted of a Pistachio Truffle and our customary Cappuccino—a perfect ending to a nice meal and our newest dining adventure.

To sum up, Lo Sfizio is a great new family-owned and operated addition to Parsippany’s diverse culinary scene. If you are looking for traditional, authentic, high quality flavorful, yet simple southern Italian street food made with fresh ingredients and prepared with love and passion, you will want to visit Josephina and Sergio at their stunning new restaurant.

Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Closed Monday). Dine-in – Takeout – No Contact Delivery – Catering. BYOB – Accepts Reservations – Free Off-Street Parking. www.losfizionj.com

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Patrick Minutillo
Patrick Minutillo
Patrick Minutillo is a longtime Parsippany resident covering restaurant reviews for Parsippany Focus and Morris Focus. Reviews will also appear in Parsippany Focus Magazine, Tri-Town Focus Magazine as well as Morris Focus Magazine.
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