The Country Cottage has its Grand Opening

New business fulfills chef's dream of owning restaurant


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  • Mayor Bettina Bieri cuts the ceremonial ribbon for the Country Cottage Restaurant and Bar Monday. With the mayor are owners Steve and Tammy Witte and their children Amanda, Diana, Olivia, Julia, and Kyle and grandparents Earl and Gail Perritt. PHOTO BY ANN GENADER



BY ANN GENADER

The Country Cottage Restaurant and Bar at 1751 Macopin Road in the Township of West Milford is fulfilling the long-time dream of Steve Witte, chef and business owner and his wife Tammy. Some people in the neighborhood are also saying that the the couple’s new enterprise is also fulfilling their own wish for the shuttered building to again be alive.

Mayor Bettina Bieri cut the ceremonial ribbon to announce the official opening of the new business on Monday, Nov. 6. The couple on their web page invited people to stop by and sample their food in a buffet that day. Rave reviews were heard from those who stopped by.

Dinner is served from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The business is closed on Sundays. A reservation can be made by calling 973-506-6161.

If Steve Witte looks familiar to people they could be recognizing him as a long time chef in area restaurants - including Emerald Point at Greenwood Lake NY – or from his day job at the West Milford Post Office.

“Steve has been a chef since the 1980s,” said Tammy. “He has always wanted the experience of having his own restaurant.”

Each day while driving their son to school the couple passed the vacant restaurant building wondering about what the future might hold for it – and possibly them and their family.

“We decided to stop and check it out,” continued Tammy. “At first we decided against starting a business at the site – thinking of the vast amount of work and responsibilities it would involve for us. Then we went back for another look and saw past the work and envisioned what a business in this place could be. And, here we are!”

The Witte family lives in the township’s Newfoundland section. Their children are Amanda, Diana, Olivia, Julia and Kyle. Tammy grew up at Pinecliff Lake. She is the daughter of Earl and Gail Perritt who moved there in 1972. The Perritts were at the Grand Opening of the restaurant.

Lorena Drago said on the business’ website that the restaurant offers comfort and food that soothes the palate and soul.

“The calamari were crisp and tender and void of extra grease – not the rubbery texture that I encounter from time to time,” wrote Drago. “The New England clam chowder was chuck-full of tender clams in a palatable but not overbearing base. The place is buzzing with eager patrons waiting to savor the signature cocktail, “Tammy”, Chef Witte’s ode to his pretty wife.”

Mike Lehansky also gave a review.

“We ate there,” said Lehansky. “The food is amazing! Thank God it (the restaurant) reopened! Always loved that spot.”

Bob Naumann said he had a great dinner. “Lobster Ravioli – Excellent! “King Crab Legs – Excellent! Steak Sandwich – Excellent! Good luck with the new restaurant. Great this far.”

Jean Bachmann, another diner, after having dinner at the restaurant also had praise.

“Everything was great from the waitress to a great meal. I would recommend The Country Cottage to everyone.”

The American Cuisine menu features seafood, steak, burgers, pasta dishes and dinner salads. Appetizers include fried calamari and shrimp cocktail.

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