Update (20070509): Earth has closed. An update can be found here (CLICK).
Update (20070731): Chef Lo Pinto can now be found at CRAVE in Fairfield. More info here (click).
Chef Lo Pinto earned my admiration and got my attention several years ago during my first visit to Fortunato, the Italian restaurant in Lyndhurst where he manned the stoves for a while. A friend and I sat at the bar for an impromptu dinner. Chef Lo Pinto was very pleased that we were interested in the restaurant and his menu, and graciously offered to prepare a multi-course tasting menu. We accepted.
Chef Lo Pinto is no dummy, and has the good sense to focus on customer service. This business isn't just about putting food in front of people, and he knows it. Too few owners realize this somewhat basic fact.
After seeing the Lo Pinto news on NJ Monthly magazine's Table Hopping with Rosie,
I spoke* with the clearly excited and energetic Chef today at his new restaurant in Totowa,
where he gave me a tour of the kitchen, and shared some insight into
his new baby.