6 JANUARY 21, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Rolo’s, a new restaurant, cafe and
grocery shop, opens in Ridgewood
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
Rolo’s, a new restaurant, cafe
and grocery shop, is open for
business in Ridgewood.
The new eatery, located at 853 Onderdonk
Ave., opened on Wednesday,
Jan. 13. The owners, chef trio
Howard Kalachnikoff, Rafiq Salim
and Paul Wetzel — alums of the
popular Gramercy Tavern — decided
to focus on cooking with simple,
When asked why they chose
Ridgewood for Rolo’s, Kalachnikoff
told QNS that two of the three owners
live and are raising their families
in the neighborhood.
“We love its extremely welcoming
sense of community, which is
exactly the vibe we’re looking to
create at Rolo’s — cozy, welcoming
and homey,” said Kalachnikoff, who
was most recently the chef de cuisine
at Gramercy Tavern.
Even their name has a connection
to the neighborhood.
“Our designer and contractor,
Kermit Westergaard, is a longtime
Ridgewood resident,” said Kalachnikoff.
“His dog, Rolo, is a neighborhood
favorite — so we decided to
make Rolo our namesake!”
Rolo’s is open for takeout and
delivery with a rotating pre-set
weekly dinner menu, alongside a
la carte options for lunch and dinner.
Operation hours are from 11
a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through
The delivery and takeout menu
features a la carte dinner including
wood-fired half chicken served
with garlic confit in chili oil and cucumber
kohlrabi; grilled meatballs
with a spicy tomato sauce; grilled
greens with garlic confit and lemons;
and braised butter beans with
salsa verde. They also offer lunch
sandwiches with their house-made
ciabatta bread for options such
as their smoked turkey sandwich
(made with turkey smoked in-house),
as well as vegetarian options like
their Health Sandwich.
For dessert, they’ll have a rotating
selection of mini pies and freshly
They also have a $17 per person
pre-set weekly dinner package that
will typically feature items like
grilled porchetta, sofrito fried rice
and kale caesar salad.
Rolo’s plans to open for indoor
and outdoor dining with an expanded
menu later this year.
They have an extensive beverage
program that includes to-go
Rolo’s restaurant, cafe and grocery store recently opened in Ridgewood. Photo by Adam Friedlander
cocktails, liquor, wine and beer, all
curated by their beverage director
Ben Howell. Howell will also oversee
all front-of-house operations.
His batched cocktails, for instance,
are riffs on classics and are available
in small and large serving sizes,
including the apple cardamom Old-
Fashioned with Laird’s Applejack
brandy, cardamom, herbsaint and
angostura bitters, and the spicy
mezcal punch with chili-infused
mezcal, silver tequila, dry orange
curaçao and cranberry-hibiscus
Their cafe and grocery shop offers
a selection of house-made baked
goods, sandwiches and grab-and-go
salads, as well as fresh pastas, sauces,
condiments, dips, meats butchered
in-house and locally sourced
produce, among other items.
They are also making and packaging
their own ice cream, with
f lavors like mint stracciatella,
malted chocolate cookie dough,
grapefruit sherbet and caramelized
banana. Delivery and takeout
options are also available.
The 2,400-square-foot space was
designed in collaboration with the
owners and Kermit Westergaard.
Guests will enter through the front
bar room in the daytime hours, with
floor-to-ceiling windows that create
a bright atmosphere.
When the restaurant can open for
indoor dining, the cafe will transform
into a bar with banquette and
table seating. The main dining room
toward the back of the space is anchored
with a large wood-burning
stove and a cook’s kitchen. They
will also have a private dining room
with a separate entrance that will be
able to accommodate up to 24 people
when restrictions are lifted.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic,
Rolo’s adopted a vigorous
safety approach, including an air
filtration and purification system
by Scientific Fire (the same system
is used at the United Nations and the
Mayo Clinic) as well as regular staff
wellness checks, contact tracing,
and strict hand washing protocols.
For more information about the
restaurant’s hours and online orders,
Photo by Bex Finch