Hot From The Kettle December 2011

The holidays are a busy time and the Montclair restaurant scene is as busy as ever!  Let’s begin with the latest news! The acclaimed Bloomfield Avenue restaurant, Blu, along with its sister property, Next Door, home of New Jersey’s best burger, will be closed for the next two months as chef/owner, Zod Arifai, the self-taught, “Wizard of Zod,” is focusing on re-opening daryl, the sleek restaurant located at The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick on December 11.

If you’re looking for a beercentric pub with healthy menu options, it’s time to visit  (or re-visit) The Office. This past June, Villa Enterprises, which operates George + Martha’s, the Black Horse Tavern, Black Horse Pub, and MacKenzie’s, among other eateries, acquired all of The Office locations from CB Holdings (Charlie Brown’s). The Office is reintroducing itself to the community with an updated interior and, most importantly, a revamped menu that’s fresher and lighter than most pubs. Want to know more about the new menu? Click here.

Last month saw the opening of two new Montclair eateries, True North Osteria and Acappello Ristorante.  Don’t let the name fool you, True North Osteria, is not an Italian restaurant serving Northern Italian fare.  True North, though it is an osteria – a small, informal restaurant – is the dream restaurant of husband and wife team Leah and Dave Moon.  True North is as artisanal as its gets; with the exception of hot sauce and mustard; the Moons are making and baking everything!  On my first visit to True North, Leah greeted me at the counter.  In the kitchen, Dave’s hands were immersed in a bowl of steamy water making fresh mozzarella, freshly baked loaves of bread were cooling on racks, and a roughly hewn chunk of Parmigianino Reggiano lay on a cutting board next to a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.  Quite the foodie scene! Visit Hot From The Kettle for more about True North Osteria.

Acappello is owned by the same family who has operated Cara Mia (Millburn), La Campagna (Morristown) and La Catena (Bridgewater).   Needless to say – they have plenty of restaurant experience. General manager, Ben Husenaj, and his two brothers, Sal and Robert, along with their two cousins, Naz Husenaj and Dardan Mati, have used their vision and experience to work an aesthetic wonder in the space formerly occupied by Sesame.

Nothing makes a certified curry junkie happier than learning about a new curry house!  Our friends at Brick Lane Curry House recently opened a new location in Ridgewood, NJ, located at 34 Franklin Ave.

Hot From The Kettle dined at Leone’s following its culinary makeover via celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay.  Wondering how the food and atmosphere has changed? Read Elizabeth Starnes’ review here.

Melody Kettle, owner and executive editor of Hot From The Kettle LLC, currently resides in Montclair with her husband and two children. She grew up in Bergen county, and spent most of her time beside her grandmother in the kitchen, where she developed a love for cooking, food, and entertaining.  After receiving a B.A. in English from Rutgers University, Melody attended Rutgers Law School where she earned a Juris Doctorate. In 2010 Melody began blogging and “vlogging” (video blogging), and in March of 2011she launched Hot From The Kettle®, One Steamy Wine & Food Destination.  Hot From The Kettle has established itself as the definitive on-line source for restaurant news and reviews in Montclair and surrounding areas.  Hot From The Kettle also publishes content such as culinary demonstrations, recipes, and methods that have attracted national and international interest.