Jersey Fresh

Rooftop at Exchange Place

A host of new and notable NJ restaurants make their menu debuts.
(RoofTop at Exchange Place pictured above)

There is no shortage of buzz-worthy restaurant openings in the metropolitan area featuring some of the best hospitality talent in the nation. New Jersey has recently enjoyed new restaurant additions with celebrity chefs at the helm. Here are a few must-visits...

 

CAFÉ LORET
128 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ

Café Loret is renowned Chef Dennis Foy and his partner Es- tella Quinones-Foy’s new venture in downtown Red Bank. One of the pioneers of the farm-to-fine-dining movement, Chef Foy sources the finest ingredients to craft dishes with French, American and Mediterranean influences.

Popular starters at the modern American brasserie are the sautéed gnocchi with mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano and chives, and the sautéed tian of crab with thyme. Stand-out entrées are the gâteau of langoustine with mushroom, English peas and crème de homard and the whole roasted Amish chicken for two served with pomme purée and roasted vegetables.

Foy demonstrates his passion for food and art in a dining room accented in the style of mid-century architect Richard Neutra, with a panoramic window treatment, clean sight lines and modern lighting fixtures. The sleek dining space, its walls adorned with Foy’s own paintings, seats 42 and a private room seats 20. During warm months, an outdoor patio can accommodate 40 additional diners.

Sautéed gnocchi, mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano and chives from Café Loret.

 

MARCUS B&P
56 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ

Marcus B&P is award-winning celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s new 2,250-square-foot venture in Newark. Paying homage to a historically rich city, the restaurant is housed in the redeveloped Hahne & Co building near NJPAC.

Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised Samuelsson had many non-believers when he opened his now-famed Red Rooster in Harlem in 2010, and entrusting his new project to Newark is a significant win for a city reinventing itself. Eighty percent of his staff is from Newark, and the remainder is from elsewhere in New Jersey.

The space, designed by Inglese Architecture, takes care to preserve such features as the grand staircases and elaborate wrought-iron banisters. Marcus B&P features a rotating selection of art from New Jersey artists.

Executive Chef James Bowen, a Red Rooster alumni, creates food that showcases flavors true to Newark’s Italian, Portuguese and soul-food roots. Fried chicken and waffles is a must-try dish that Samuelsson perfected at Red Rooster. The Nine-Seven-3 Pizza, named after Newark’s area code, is a tribute to Jersey’s beloved taylor ham, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich, with provolone cheese, a soft-boiled Goffle Road Farm egg and taylor ham.

For those on the go, enticing takeout lunch and dinner items have proved appealing to employees of local businesses such as Audible and Prudential.

Roasted Chatham cod, Doro Wat rigatoni and shrimp and House P&G dishes from Marcus B&P.

 

MONTCLAIR SOCIAL CLUB
499 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ

Montclair Social Club endeavors to take customers on a journey through the grand history of downtown Montclair, home of bustling nightlife, first-class restaurants and imaginative design.

The 14,000-square-foot space, with its 120-seat restaurant and 22-seat bar, offers a sexy vibe and retro yet modern décor. Chef/Partner Michael Merida has created an inventive global American menu inspired by his experiences at some of the most prestigious kitchens in the world, including these three-Michelin-star restaurants: the Fat Duck (U.K.), El Bulli (Spain), Le Bernardin (NYC) and Nihonryori RyuGin (Tokyo). The à la carte and prix-fixe dining showcases items ranging from “nibbles” (Parker House Rolls anyone?) to “social bites” (Peking duck buns) to “grand fare” dishes (Faroe Island salmon and sushi grade tuna).

The interior bar at Montclair Social Club

 

ROOFTOP AT EXCHANGE PLACE
1 Exchange Place, Jersey City, NJ

The RoofTop at Exchange Place is a 10,000-square-foot open-air venue with breathtaking views of the Hudson River, the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and beyond. The multilevel indoor and outdoor space, with lounge seating, bars, cabanas and a fire pit, features a retractable glass roof and walls that provide a perfect setting for food and drinks year round. The space exudes a hip yet casual vibe and is becoming a top Jersey City destination.

The creative menu, crafted by Chef Dongil Cha, features locally inspired/sourced food, including 10 sharable dishes ranging from charcuterie plates to hummus to Korean chicken wings to flatbreads. In keeping with the casual-food theme are burgers, sandwiches and great salads. The tantalizing cocktails are all priced under $15 and use premium liquor, fruit juices and bitters. For groups, an extensive bottle service menu offers favorites and difficult-to-find options.

RoofTop is open for lunch, happy hour and dinner and transforms itself into a day and night hotspot with live DJs on weekends.

 

STONE & RAIL
175 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ

Stone & Rail is a craft beer–focused gastropub with award-winning Executive Chef Adam Weiss heading the kitchen.

Situated adjacent to the Glen Rock train station, Stone & Rail pays tribute to trains and the railroad with exposed brick, track rails and reclaimed wood. The restaurant attracts hungry train commuters and local residents with its curated offering of more than 20 craft beers on tap and Chef Weiss’ acclaimed casual yet refined food.

Popular small-plate options are the avocado toast and crispy potato skins, while fish and chips and grilled pork chops are large-plate winners.

Grilled salmon with baby kale, chickpeas, cauliflower and quinoa, sesame-ginger tomato vinaigrette from Stone & Rail.

 

THE HILL
52 Schraalenburgh Road, Closter, NJ

The Hill, boasting Michelin-starred Chef Ben Pollinger at the helm, showcases seasonal new American dishes with global touches.

The popular 80-seat restaurant has a farmhouse feel with a beautiful beamed ceiling and a wood-burning fireplace. In warmer weather, outdoor seating around a fire pit is perfect for al fresco dining.

The food is categorized as “course 1, course 2 and course 3.” Enticing options are the orecchiette pasta with rabbit, the Barnegat scallops à la plancha and the roast Goffle Road Farm chicken breast.

Duroc pork rib chop with miso glaze, shiitake mushrooms and eggplant from The Hill.