BLOOMFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- The cheesecake is a big reason people come to Anthony's Cheesecake Cafe in Bloomfield, but aside from the sweets, there's the savory. And there's the camaraderie.
Anthony Lauro and Phil Byrne opened the spot nine years ago in a stretch of Bloomfield on Washington Street that has since been revitalized -- and their cafe is a big part of that.
There are 30 kinds of cheesecake and they ship around the country. The menu features items that range from healthy -- like roasted spaghetti squash -- to more decadent like the ricotta pie.
But the fact that Anthony and Phil know their customers by name is perhaps the biggest draw.
Get the recipe for Anthony's Ricotta Pie:
Yields two 9" pies
-Your favorite pie crust recipe or a frozen 9" pie
-2 pounds ricotta cheese
-6 large eggs
-2 links hot and 3 links sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed and sausage cooked throughout
-1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese, (set cup aside for final step)
-1 head broccoli rabe, sauteed
-kosher salt and pepper to taste
-2 roasted yellow peppers, sliced into strips
-2 onions, caramelized
-2 balls of burrata (or fresh mozzarella)
-2 tsp flat leaf parsley chopped
-6 basil leaves julienned
-Mix the eggs, ricotta, salt, pepper, cooked sausage, cup pecorino, parsley and basil in a bowl and pour into pie crust
-Layer with onions, broccoli rabe, and sliced burrata
-Sprinkle with of the remaining pecorino Romano cheese and some pepper
-Bake at 325 for approx 30 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
Serve warm and dust with more pecorino cheese.