"Get your farm-to-table fix at hip café Louisa's.."

"That night we had dinner at local favorite Louisa's, a cozy little bistro with nautical deco, Brenton shirt-clad wait staff, and a spot-on farm-to-table menu..."

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Will Riccio’s first job was as a dishwasher at this popular 20-seat restaurant, where he worked for several years. Now, as the new owner, the 32-year-old Cape May local is keeping the rotating chalkboard menu and B.Y.O.B. tradition while renewing an emphasis on local seafood and farm-to-table fare.

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“My list of the top 7 essential summer restaurants on the Jersey Shore..” - Craig LaBan

“This cozy gingerbread bungalow off the Washington Street Mall helped establish Cape May’s reputation as a culinary destination when it opened in 1981 with a long waits and a funky Restaurant Renaissance-era aesthetic. But former employee Will Riccio who bought this yellow clapboard gem five years ago , has preserved that quirky charm with fresh flowers and a chalkboard menu. Look for retro plates built on fresh local seafood, from bronzed bluefish to seared Cape May scallops, classic crab cakes, and smoked salmon rillettes.” - Craig LaBan

 
 
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July 1, 2014

July 1, 2014

 

2018 WINNER of The Garden State Culinary Arts Award - Best Neighborhood Food Establishment

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When Will Riccio and his sister Honna hit the flavor sweet spot, they do a little celebratory dance. In the kitchen of Louisa’s in Cape May, the pair has turned the classic duo of eggplant and tomatoes into a dance-worthy salad that is a hit with their customers and satisfies the siblings’ desire for their food to be both beautiful and delicious. . . 

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The Seafood Dishes You Absolutely Need to Eat This Summer

"Dubbed as the first farm-to-table resto in Cape May, the menu at Louisa’s is ever-changing, but one thing remains the same: their flounder with dill horseradish sauce. The simply prepared meal highlights the fresh fish flavor and shines a light on Jersey waters in a new way."

 

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What happens in Cape May, stays in Cape May. Sometimes, what happens in Cape May brings former residents back home to fulfill their dreams.

Will Riccio, 32, was born and raised in Cape May. His first job at 13 was working at Louisa’s Cafe as a dishwasher. He then worked the appetizer station, desserts, waited on tables and then started cooking. All in all, his tenure lasted on and off for seven years, even throughout college.

All of that training would serve him well later on in his career. After college, seeking employment with an interior design firm in New York, Riccio left town for a while. Then it hit him. . . 

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Louisa Hull and Doug Dietsch were two of the original pioneers I mentioned earlier — they opened Louisa’s in 1980 with an artisanal, farm-to-table philosophy that was 30 years ahead of its time. Now they’re handing over the reins to a guy who waited tables and cooked at Louisa’s for seven years. Will is a good friend of mine and I couldn’t be more excited for him, or for Cape May. I’m excited that an energetic young guy who’s full of ideas is going to be running one of the city’s most beloved restaurants, with the help of his younger sister, Honna Riccio (great news that she’s returned to town) and Karen Roth, who has been a mainstay at Louisa’s for years. . .

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