Cooler temps and back-to-school vibes always get me in the mood for breaking away from the grill and roaming the state for new culinary adventures. Here are some exciting new places to check out as we approach fall. From Fort Lee to AC, and many towns in between, the Garden State has so many new spots to discover. Let us know if you’ve uncovered a new gem we should experience!
Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen Restaurant, Atlantic City
The Atlantic City collection of Chef Gordon Ramsay continues to grow. The renowned chef already has two restaurants in Harrah’s and Caesar’s, and he’s now opening a third, modeled after the iconic Hell’s Kitchen set. Located within Caesar’s, the restaurant will pay homage to the show with its red and blue color scheme, plus Gordon Ramsay’s classic dishes, such as beef Wellington.
Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen
801 Craft Kitchen & Spirits, Belmar
Conveniently located on the corner of 8th Avenue and Main Street in downtown Belmar, this casual-yet-elegant restaurant offers contemporary American fare and an exciting beer and cocktail program. Chef Rob Tuzeneu delivers a menu featuring light shareable appetizers, seasonally sourced mains, and delectable desserts. The eatery shares the second floor with Beach Haus Brewery and enjoys the benefits of having some of the area’s best craft beer available for pairing with every dish. While craft beer is a big part of 801’s beverage offerings, the cocktail program featuring local spirits is also impressive. Enjoy the lively bar scene while taking in the hustle and bustle of the open kitchen. Or truly immerse yourself in the theater of the kitchen at the Chef’s Table!
801 Craft Kitchen & Spirits
801 Main Street
Essie’s Restaurant & Lounge, Clementon
Soulful vibes arrive in small-town Clementon via Essie’s Restaurant & Lounge. With a focus on comfort food, the restaurant serves small plates and tapas. Options include hush puppies, colossal shrimp, and marinated alligator bites. Large plates include seafood gumbo, blackened salmon, and etouffée with chicken and shrimp. While they’re at Essie’s, guests can enjoy a variety of nightly entertainment, from karaoke night to “wine-down” Wednesdays.
Essie’s Restaurant & Lounge
1 Garfield Avenue
Antioch Cuisine, Englewood
Turkish and Mediterranean dishes are the stars of Englewood’s Antioch, a restaurant that aims to provide its customers with a sense of warmth and family. Executive Chef Nick Akdas prepares meals like lamb chops, Turkish meatballs, and chicken adana (spicy chicken skewers). Antioch also offers a full catering menu.
35 W. Palisade Avenue
Thumbs Up Ramen, Fort Lee
This new ramen spot just opened in Fort Lee’s Oak Tree Center. The menu includes the restaurant’s special “bubble ramen,” named for its bubby broth. There are eight ramen items to choose from, all of which are customizable. Tsukemen (Japanese noodles) is available as well, plus appetizers such as gyoza and pork buns.
Thumbs Up Ramen
2024 Center Avenue
Dixie Lee Bakery, Keansburg
David Burke has gone back to his pastry roots with his recent purchase and refresh of Keansburg’s iconic bakery. Burke, who trained at the French École Lenôtre Pastry School, announced back in May that he’d purchased the 85-year-old bake shop. Dixie Lee serves everything from black-and-white cookies to doughnuts and cannoli. The bakery marks Burke’s eighth New Jersey eatery.
Dixie Lee Bakery
303 Main Street
Charlie’s of Lincroft, Lincroft
In the very near future, Charlie’s of Bay Head will have a Lincroft location. The restaurant will offer contemporary American cuisine in the form of appetizers like shrimp cocktail and braised pork belly; plus raw bar options, pizzas, and entrees like aged ribeye and fish & chips. Cocktails and a lengthy wine list are available as well, and reservations can be made online. Check the website for the opening date!
700 Newman Springs Road
Cinnaholic first made waves when its founders appeared on Shark Tank, and now it’s adding another New Jersey location, in Metuchen. The bakery’s main event is cinnamon rolls, with a twist: They’re kosher, vegan, dairy free, lactose free, cholesterol free, and egg free. Create your own cinnamon roll, or choose from plenty of options, including the Cookie Monster roll or the caramel apple pie roll.
33 New Street
Chutzpah Kitchen, Westfield
About to open a second location in Westfield, this Maplewood favorite considers itself an “elevated, fast-casual spot.” Chutzpah Kitchen’s specialty is Middle Eastern cuisine, including falafel and kufta (minced lamb and beef patties with plenty of extras). Though the restaurant does not have an official opening date, customers should keep an eye out on Instagram.
138 East Broad Street