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'Sogno' Serves Fresh Coffee, Crepes in Westwood

The newly-opened Sogno Coffeehouse on Broadway roasts their own coffee and makes their own crepes from traditional Parisian recipes.

A new European-style coffee bar in Westwood is offering freshly-roasted coffee and crepes prepared from traditional Parisian recipes.

Sogno Coffeehouse opened last week under the direction of husband-wife team John and Alissa Vitale. The coffeehouse has a variety of moderately priced options — a crepe with coffee runs between $6 and $8.25 — in a setting inspired by traditional European coffeehouses and creperies.

Opening a coffeehouse was a dream for Sogno co-owner Alissa Vitale and coffee/culinary expert John Vitale from the time they met. After the couple got married last year, the components of what would become Sogno — Italian for "dream" — began to come together when they went on their honeymoon in Paris and Tuscany.

"Now we're living our dream," Alissa Vitale said.

It ended up taking nine months from the time Sogno got the lease for their Broadway location — the old site of Goldberg's Bagels — and when they opened because of extensive renovations and other work done to prepare for the opening.

Sogno's one-of-a-kind coffee roaster, hand-built by the same father-and-son team of steel workers who built separation systems for Starbucks, also took some time to prepare. The roaster is prominently displayed in the front of the shop, where John Vitale prepares the beans they pick up weekly at the port.

"We're one of the very few places that, when you drink it, it's coming directly from country to cup," John Vitale said. "There's no other person in between."

Coffee has been a lifelong passion of John's, who said he first learned the smell of roasting coffee from his father when he was young. In some places, coffee beans end up sitting for months on shelves because of the high rate of production — coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world — and people often don't know what good coffee should even smell or taste like, he said.

"It's crazy how little people know about what's they're drinking," Vitale said.

The Vitales also want to do crepes with as much attention to detail as they give coffee. They use traditional recipes from the "mecca of all creperies" in Paris, according to Vitale.

The location in Westwood seemed ideal because it's at a cross roads of surrounding towns and because the town is so welcoming to small businesses, Alissa Vitale said. Sogno is already a member of the Westwood Chamber of Commerce.

"It's a great community," Vitale said. "This town loves small, family-owned businesses." 

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Barry Black November 13, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I wish them well, but that is a hard-luck location.
Ouija November 13, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Not for Goldberg's but...yeah, that whole corner is always changing (except for Lisa's). It's really a convenience/commuter corner...stuff you can grab and go and not have to find a parking space. I'm amazed - and happy - that the Look Sharp Barbershop is still open! Anyone remember the gluten free store? Or the White Toque? And why on earth would someone open up yet another sushi place? The last one went broke...their space is still not rented.
Lisa Bontemps November 13, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I had a cup of medium roast coffee there other day and I have to say it was by far the BEST cup of coffee I had EVER tasted! I hope the Vitales become a permanent fixture in Westwood because they put all other barristas (esp SB) to shame. If you love coffee, you have to try Sogno. And no, I am not a paid spokesperson. Just a Westwood mom who enjoys a good cup of coffee! Can't wait to try the crepes at my next visit. :)
Lisa Bontemps November 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Well my son and I tried the breakfast crepes this morning and they more than lived up to our expectations. Thanks John and Alissa!
Ouija November 14, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Good to know...I'll definitely check it out.
viorica cifelli November 14, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I have to agree we have a group of moms that have breakfast a few times a month we like to try new places, but parking in westwood is always difficult, especially at that corner. I do wish them well..and we will try it next week for our coffee clutch.....
Greg Keller November 15, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Their coffee blows away anything in town. They've turned me into an everyday (sometimes twice a day) coffee drinker. The crepes are also great. Just an all around good place run by awesome people.
Marisa VO November 15, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Walking into this new coffeehouse reminds me of life simple pleasures. Its so incredibly rare to find a warm, welcoming place where you feel like part of the neigborhood. The owners know my name and take the time to see how im doing. Its a nice change of pace. Besides, the crepes are out of this world. I had a smores crepe and i loved it! Savor every bite. Regardless, go try this place you will not be let down. Trust me
George November 16, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Nice place, great coffee. Best of Luck
Kellie Fonzarelli Fitzgerald November 23, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Great coffee and delicious coffee cake.
diana February 12, 2013 at 06:38 PM
just had a cup this morning at the NYSC and it really was the BEST coffee i ever tasted. Good luck to the owners Diana
CosmoNut February 12, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Songa should be in Patch's Dining section and all of these great comments would be in the records for a long time. Personally, I enjoy their crepes and coffee, and even bring some home to grind. A great addition to town.
ShirleyEichner March 19, 2013 at 08:15 PM
My husband and I visited Sogno coffee house in Westwood NJ a couple of days ago. The place is cute,friendly and the aroma of fresh ground coffee beans and the smell of crepes cooking made us want to try out the menu,my husband ordered their bold coffee as I did, also I ordered the Westwood Crepe which was ssooo delicious. As for The coffee, it was smooth and with no bitter after taste that I actually drink my coffee black which I never do. My husband Mickey has always said if you are drinking a good Coffee,it will taste great black, now I finally agree with Him!!!!

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