Popular with neighborhood folks, professionals and tourists of all ages who crave passion, authenticity, an old world vibe and a welcoming feeling in their dining experience, Da Noi was launched by the Argentinian-Italian American Gomez family in 2000. It now has four locations throughout the greater NYC area - including one in Bayonne, NJ and two in Staten Island. The Gomez family has owned and operated restaurants in the New York area since the mid-80’s era boom, which saw an influx of legendary Italian establishments.
At the core of the intimate dining experience is a menu driven by the culinary creativity of co-owner and executive chef Angelo Rivas, who brings over 30 years of experience to his dynamic role at Da Noi. His “taste of home” menu starts with a wide variety of exquisite, tasty salads and artistic antipasta dishes that incorporate grilled portabello mushrooms, eggplant and eggplant cannelloni, in addition to shrimp, clams and calamari. The pasta dishes include offerings with ground sweet sausage, eggplant, meat trortellini and fresh salmon.
The diverse menu also includes zesty “pesca” dishes with salmon, shrimp, crab and mixed seafood; six festive “pollo” offerings; and signature dishes featuring veal, calve’s liver, scallopini, veal encrusted with parmesan, veal chop, sirloin steak and rack of lamb. In addition to the standard menu listings, Rivas will occasionally introduce fresh items into the mix. True to the Gomez family’s mixed heritage, he enjoys blending Argentine flavors in with his traditional Italian flair. Recent posts on Yelp give special shout outs to their “exquisite tropical salad,” the Crespelle Florentina appetizer, veal encrusted with parmesan, chicken parmigiana with pasta and veal scaloppini in a lemon butter sauce.
The minute patrons walk through the door at Da Noi, they enjoy an atmospheric feast for the eyes with its Cathedral vaulted ceilings, classic movie star paintings of different sizes, tables whose dark wooden chairs are complemented by pure white tablecloths, gentle side and overhead lighting, soft yellow-colored walls and deep red mahogany wainscoting. There are multiple dining levels and a phenomenal outdoor patio area that is perfect for both romantic evenings and corporate mixers.
Like all classic destination Italian restaurants that live and die by their level of service and hospitality, Da Noi thrives because newcomers and longtime patrons alike are treated like family from the moment they walk through the doors. Co-owner and restaurant operator Edward Gomez – who has been in his family restaurant business for 30 years, literally since the age of 12 – studied the art of restaurant hospitality at culinary school and considers hospitality his forte.
“We are here to create an ambience that makes everyone feel like they’re at home as they enjoy family meals or celebrate with parties or special events,” he says. “It’s a comfortable spot at a decent price. The food is always consistent, with great ingredients always served with kindness and smiles. I personally go all out to make sure the customers’ individual needs are met. If that means changing a dish to meet their dietary requirements, we are happy to accommodate them. We like to say, ‘If you want good traditional Italian food and the most intensive customer service experience of your life, please join us.’ In this mobile age where personal communication is not the precious art form it once was, we make talking to each other and making friends a key part of the dining experience.”