While New Jersey is known for Italian restaurants and pizzerias, Naturale Cucina is a new nearby business that offers a twist on the traditional pizza pie - it’s organic! In fact, everything on Naturale Cucina’s menu is homemade from natural and organic ingredients.
Owned by Henry Beltra of Monroe and Carlos Silberberg of East Brunswick, the restaurant, located at 34 Main St. in Englishtown, brings the concept of health to Italian cuisine.
The entire menu was formulated by Beltra’s and Silberberg’s wives and almost everything is made from scratch in the Naturale Cucina kitchen. Besides pizza, the restaurant offers an array of appetizers, salads, paninis, piadines, and desserts.
What is a piadine? A piadine is like a panini but made with pizza dough rather than a panini bread - and it is not to be missed, Beltra said.
The idea of organic and natural was incredibly important to Beltra. When his mother died two years ago, he said his life completely changed and he decided to become more healthy.
“I eat totally different then I used to,” Beltra said. “I recently lost 20 pounds, my cholesterol is the best it’s ever been ever, I’ve always had cholesterol issues, and for me it was something that I think a lot of people are paying attention to right now.”
The pizza dough used at Naturale Cucina comes from a 100 percent organic dough supplier who offers classic, whole wheat, multigrain, and gluten-free crust options. All of the dough is made with certified organic ingredients and is kosher and vegan. You can have any one of the restaurant’s 11 different kinds of pizza on any type of dough you like at the same price, with the exception of the gluten-free dough, which is an additional $4.
All of the food supplied to the restaurant, from the produce to the cheese, are certified organic and come from reputable organic vendors, according to Beltra.
While the cost of organic is more expensive, Beltra said that the resulting product is more healthy and the entire process has been “truly rewarding”. The feedback has also been extremely positive, Beltra said, with people raving about the food and routinely coming back.
Naturale Cucina was designed to look and feel like a piazza in Italy. Beltra, who is of Spanish and Cuban descent, has travelled to Italy many times, so he said he knew what he wanted the place to look like and what the food should taste like - something which his Italian wife knew a lot about, as well.
Whether you want to come by for lunch or dinner, or just sit and enjoy a homemade dessert and some espresso, the restaurant supplies simple, healthy food in a warm and inviting atmosphere. If you don’t have time to take a break out of your busy lifestyle, Naturale Cucina also offers all menu items as take-out.
Since all of the food is made fresh to order, Beltra said that he does not think the restaurant will ever offer a delivery service, as the quality of an organic pizza will change after being placed in cardboard box for a period of time and not enjoyed right out of the oven, as it is intended.
Besides Naturale Cucina, Beltra and Silberberg also own a natural stone importing and distribution company located in Pittsburgh, Pa. called Pittsburgh Granite and Marble.
Silberberg, an accountant, and his wife had previously run a hotel and are familiar with the hospitality industry and Beltra’s wife is familiar with food and the restaurant business, so it seemed natural to have their newest venture be a restaurant, and within a year they have accomplished just that.
Naturale Cucina quietly opened their doors on May 18, but are planning on holding a more formal grand opening at some point in the near future.
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