We are happy to report on several openings—and one reopening—happening this month in the Garden State. Congratulations to the comeback kids at ESO Artisanal Pasta Co. for their reopening after a successful GoFundMe campaign. Read on to learn more about their inspiring journey and all of the new dining spots to enjoy this month, and follow each of them on social media for updates and continued announcements!
Berg’s Smoked Meat & Poutine, Belmar
Berg’s prides itself on selling authentic Montréal smoked meats, plus the Canadian favorite, poutine. On December 1, the eatery opened a pop-up shop in place of Steak Stand (a seasonal spot that will reopen next summer). Owner Kevin Newburg’s menu features Montréal-style meat (a type of cured beef brisket) in the form of sandwiches including Reubens and the Black Russians. The restaurant also serves varieties of poutine, French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.
Cree Wine Company, Hampton
Cree Wine Company is not your average wine spot. Owner Chris Cree will open the wine bar and event space inside the historic Perryville Inn, and it will feature far more than just a few wines. Customers can sample hundreds of different types by the bottle, which come from around the world. Tastes, glasses, and flights are available, too. Visitors can also indulge in light fare, including charcuterie, as part of a frequently changing menu from executive chef AJ Sankofa.
Maximus Polish Cuisine Empire, Lawrence
Coming soon. this new Polish restaurant in Lawrence will be located in the space formerly held by Mehek Indian restaurant. No exact date has been announced, but the team is aiming for a January opening.
Maximus Polish Cuisine Empire
2495 Brunswick Pike
Valley Street Eatery, Maplewood
Valley Street Eatery considers itself the type of place where “we cook what we want, when we want.” The restaurant serves fresh, high-quality food, and its social media has promoted items such as a Taylor ham, egg, and cheese sandwich, as well as the “VSE” version of a Cuban sandwich. The spot also serves salads and soups, vegetarian options, and iced coffee.
Valley Street Eatery
530 Valley Street
Jayce Baudry French Pastry, Montclair
On Church Street in downtown Montclair, pastry chef Jayce Baudry offers the best of French desserts, including elegant individual sweets and custom cakes. Customers can indulge in macarons, chocolates, and hot drinks. Baudry, who hails from Bordeaux, France, also takes wholesale orders and even ships his treats nationwide. The shop does custom consulting for restaurants or hotels looking to upgrade their dessert programs as well.
Mochinut, Montclair and Summit
Mochinut started as a venture in Hawaii, and it has since expanded across the United States. The concept unites Japanese mochi (a soft rice bun) with a typical donut. The shop offers flavored mochi donuts, aka Mochinuts, and customers can enjoy options such as strawberry funnel, churro, and pistachio, among dozens of others. New Jersey is home to five locations, with the newest in Summit and Montclair. Mochinut’s website suggests a location in Princeton is coming soon.
427 Springfield Avenue
349 Bloomfield Avenue
ESO Artisanal Pasta, Morristown
After announcing its closure via social media in September, much to the disappointment of numerous patrons, Morristown’s ESO Artisanal Pasta will reopen December 7, all thanks to an outpouring of community support.
ESO’s Executive Chef AJ Sankofa launched a GoFundMe fundraiser in late October. He wrote, “After two months of fighting for everything that we’ve worked so hard for, we were able to get our baby back, now we can’t wait to watch it grow!”
Chef AJ also shared a heartfelt thanks to the community: “Since day one, our community has been the driving force behind our success through showing unprecedented amounts of love and support in every way imaginable.” Indeed, the community contributed over $12,000 in anticipation of the beloved restaurant’s reopening.
The White Owl Restaurant, Point Pleasant
The White Owl officially opened on December 1, in the location known as Captain Ed’s for many years. The restaurant plans to be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Menu items include everything from waffles and egg platters to short-rib burgers, and entrees like NY strip steak and honey-glazed salmon.
Song E Napule Pizzeria & Trattoria
Song E Napule, one of the most famous and loved pizzerias in New York
City, has chosen Rutherford, New Jersey for its first opening outside of New York City.
The restaurant, created by the Neapolitan food entrepreneur Ciro Iovine, will serve its famous pizza, along with some of the most authentic and traditional Italian dishes.