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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.

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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