HAWORTH, N.J. – Todd Ledo has been cooking since he was a kid and he's brought his love of food to Haworth, too.
A homey experience at Terrace Street Cafe is what Todd hopes to provide customers with most — and a whole lot of good food.
"I like to make people feel comfortable," he said. "Everyone tells me they feel very at home there."
He and his wife, Dina, who live in Elmwood Park, have been translating his experience and creativity into their own concept for nearly two years.
Terrace Street Cafe is his first restaurant, but he's has worked in the food industry for 25 years at "too many restaurants in Bergen to list."
April 13 will be the cafe's two-year anniversary.
The chef learned a lot over the years, "but working for someone else, you don't get to do what you want to do, in terms of creativity."
The restaurant scores a perfect 5.0 out of five stars on its 65 Yelp reviews, which Todd says "of lot of (his) buddies in this business" are jealous of, thinking it's hard to do.
He says he doesn't have any magic tricks, just tries not to let anyone leave unhappy.
He also serves up made-to-order meals, like for his 96-year-old customer who's on a low-sodium diet.
The restaurant also focuses on freshness. Todd said he doesn't buy anything pre-made, and he even makes their mozzarella and focaccia.
Dina doesn't come from a restaurant background. Her prior gig was working for a container leasing company, in fact. But she's become a quite an asset to the cafe.
"I'd never done the restaurant thing," she said. "He taught me a lot."
She assists with some cooking, but she's mostly out front with the customers and handles the logistics of the cafe's catering side.
"I couldn't do it without her," Todd was quick to add.
The cafe is located at 149 Terrace St. It's open Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.