From record crowds for the opening of MrBeast Burger at the American Dream mall to quiet soft openings and announcements of soon-to-open spots, we’re all about the exciting new restaurants emerging in New Jersey this season.
bb.q chicken, Bayonne
The new bb.q Chicken, which also opened spots in Neptune and Westwood earlier in 2022, has now set up shop in Bayonne. With a two-day marination and frying process that keeps the chicken extra crispy, even with the sauce, the most popular varieties are the Golden Original, Secret Sauce, and honey garlic. Be sure to try the just-released Maple Crunch variety as well.
Ristorante Lucca & Piano Lounge, Bordentown
Fine Italian cuisine and white-glove service awaits customers at Ristorante Lucca. The eatery will offer seafood, steaks, and pastas made in-house, as well as an extensive wine list featuring high-quality Italian wines. Guests can step into the piano lounge for a sophisticated experience in a dimly lit, luxurious setting. The restaurant is coming soon, though an opening date has not been announced.
Ristorante Lucca & Piano Lounge
Ray’s Roadside Kitchen, Cream Ridge
This Cream Ridge eatery highlights homestyle comfort food in a cozy setting. Owner Ray
Sheehan, who also answers to the name BBQ Buddha, is an award-winning barbecue sauce maker, as well as an author and expert on all things ‘cue. The new restaurant features plenty of comfort food, including crispy fried chicken, pulled pork, beef brisket, and burgers. Try the Pit Life burger, topped with bacon, onion rings, and Kansas City BBQ sauce.
Ray’s Roadside Kitchen
465 Route 539
Flaming Grill Modern Buffet, East Hanover
Flaming Grill isn’t your traditional sit-down restaurant. Rather, the chain, which has just opened its first New Jersey location, offers buffet-style dining, with a range of cuisine. Stations include seafood, American, hibachi, sushi, and Chinese. The eatery is BYOB, so feel free to bring a bottle of your favorite wine.
Flaming Grill & Modern Buffet
240 Route 10 West
MrBeast Burger, East Rutherford
Thousands gathered at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford for the late-summer opening of the new MrBeast Burger, created by YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson. The new space offered a limited, likely-to-expand menu to start. In addition to several burger options, including plant-based options, the menu features grilled cheese and fried chicken, including a Nashville hot chicken sandwich.
Vinoteca, East Rutherford
The American Dream mall has a new wine bar. However, it sets itself apart by offering a self-serve wine experience, where customers can choose from 64 wines and four beer taps, and simply tap the machine to dispense their own beverage. Though the self-serve feature is the primary draw, Vinoteca also offers tasty cheese and charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and panini.
JJ Dak, Fort Lee
Wood-fired, rotisserie chicken takes center stage at this newly opened Korean restaurant in Fort Lee. Open for dinner and drinks, JJ Dak’s wood-fired approach includes the use of oak and cherry wood. The finished product is served on a hot stone with crispy paella. Salads and shareables are available as well, including smoked pork belly and Korean yang-nyum wings.
144 Main Street
Angelico Winery, Lambertville
Owner Ottavio Angelico, a native of Sicily, has brought his family’s craft of creating delicious wines to the United States with Angelico Winery, which opened its doors in late August. Angelico Winery offers guided tastings and wine tours, plus plenty of vino varieties including reds, whites, and rosés. Large groups are encouraged to make reservations.
20 Hamp Road
Dao Madison, Madison
Family-owned Dao Madison offers high-end Chinese cuisine in a quaint, relaxing space. The menu includes classic favorites and traditional dishes, with specialty offerings including Hunan lamb, Peking duck, and plenty of poultry and seafood options. The eatery succeeds in bringing together traditional Chinese elements with a modern touch.
258 Main Street
Prime 259, River Edge
Upscale-casual American fare makes Prime 259 the perfect place for a date night, weekend gathering, or after-work drink. Choose from entrée options including pasta, seafood, and various meats. And be sure to check out the lengthy list of appetizers. During happy hour, enjoy the drink specials and live DJ. From Moscow mules to espresso martinis, you’ll find a cocktail for every palate.
259 Johnson Avenue
Double Dyme Tavern, South Amboy
Owner Michelle Gadaleta introduces her self-proclaimed “dive bar” to South Amboy. The tavern offers elevated cuisine in a warm atmosphere with a seasonal menu. Daily specials and happy hour options add to the variety. Signature cocktails are on the menu as well, including Double Dyme’s spin on a spicy margarita, lemon drop martini, and Tom Collins.
Double Dyme Tavern
528 Ridgeway Avenue
Sáfu Sushi and Raw Bar, Toms River
In the works since March, Toms River’s Sáfu Sushi and Raw Bar finally opened on September 8. The restaurant serves all things sushi, from classic to specialty rolls, as well as traditional Japanese appetizers, including gyoza and shumai. Nearly two dozen specialty rolls are on the menu. Check out the spicy firecracker roll and the vacation roll, made with fresh mango.
Sáfu Sushi and Raw Bar
10 Washington Street