One of our favorite foodie holidays is here! The options of where to spend your Independence Day weekend are abundant in our town of Montclair, but the ones below are our favorites!
1. Turtle + The Wolf: This is one of our favorite spots of all time and they will be closed for dine-in on July 3rd & 4th, but they are offering a BBQ Meal Kit that feeds 6-8 people. You can place orders [email protected] or text 201.509.6854!
2. Samba: We will continue to recommend this place to you until the end of time! It’s perfect for a July 4th weekend because you can bring a large group of friends, there are options on the menu for everyone, and it’s a great place to host a celebration. The food is always consistently delicious, the ambiance is on point, and passion is one of the main ingredients in the dishes; we’ll keep coming back over and over again.
3. Raymonds: The extensive brunch/lunch menu here, which’s filled with pancakes and eggs and biscuits and all different kinds of yummy creations, is perfect for July 4th. Whatever your free, hungry heart desires, you can find it here.
Photo credit: @brunch.with.bri
4. Mikki & Al’s Noshery: How about inviting all your friends over to your house and serving up some delicious and perfectly cooked chicken dinner? Grab all the side salads, open up some beers, cheers to life and our freedom, and enjoy!
5. Faubourg: If you’re feeling fancy and want to celebrate the beautiful life you have here in this country, spend it at the just as beautiful Faubourg. The ambiance here is unmatched, drinks are always 10/10 and the food never disappoints. Skip washing the dishes and cleaning up at home, treat yourself to a date with friends at Faubourg!
These are our favorite spots to spend the 4th of July weekend in Montclair. We hope you enjoy yourself this weekend and celebrate the free, beautiful life you have!
The tiny kitchen named Cucina98 on Walnut Street is one of our FAVORITE spots in Montclair. It is a bakery but they also serve lunch sandwiches, pasta, raviolis, soups, and little snacks.
Cucina98 is family owned and was once connected to the restaurant Corso98. Sadly, this extension of their deliciousness is permanently closed, but maybe we will see a reopening in the future! Atleast we hope 🙂
We stop into Cucina98 more than we’d like to admit… actually who cares, we’ll tell ya we grab, specifically, their lavender brownies at least once a week. When you walk in you’ll most likely be greeted by Bailey, the sweet daughter and baker of Cucina. Make sure you tell her Montclair Foodie sent you 🙂
Let’s jump into the deliciousness, shall we? This first picture here has the lavender brownie at the top, moving downard we have a pistachio cookie, then a pistachio-lemon loaf (our next favorite after the brownie), then to the right we have their adorable cupcakes, and lastly a peanut butter chocolate bite (also incredible).
We’ll move into more detail on these sweet goodies but let’s show you what they have for lunch.
Here we have the Chicken Milanese sandwich. Before we get into the details, it’s important to note that the bread they use has the perfect bite, crunch and taste! Inside the sandwich is a breaded pan fried chicken with their house made chipotle mayo, mozzarella, long hot peppers and caramelized onions. YUM!
For our vegetarians and vegans, the grilled veggie sandwich is your option! Once again we have the delicious bread with grilled eggplant, carrots, zucchini, onion, arugula on the inside. Then you can choose to add hummus or goat cheese if you’re not vegan!
They also have a spinach and artichoke grilled cheese that we are DYING to try! If you’ve had it before, leave a comment and tell us how much you loved it (because we know it’s delicious even without trying it, like we said- everything that comes out of this kitchen is so good and perfect!)
Ok, back to the sweets! 🙂
How cute are these cupcakes?! The perfect bite size topped with frosting, sprinkles and little pearls. These are great for parties, as a gift, or for treating yourself!
Now onto the brownies. Our absolute favorite! These brownies ARE vegan which is just a huge perk but you would never guess that they were vegan. They are the perfect consistency and texture, with a bit of a crunch and bite from the outer layer but gooey and DELICIOUS on the inside. These are specifically lavender brownies and we have never had a more perfect combination than this. Chocolate and lavender just makes so much sense and we truly mean it when we say this is one of our favorite brownies to ever touch our taste buds.
There are so many options to choose from at Cucina 98. Stop into the store and pick out a bunch! We’re sure you’ll love everything.
Another favorite item of ours is the peanut butter bite. This little goodie is really clean, meaning the ingredients are great for a post-workout and mid-afternoon snack.
We love to enjoy this chocolate and peanut butter flavor with some coffee though. It’s the perfect treat!
Here is the pistachio loaf we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post. In the second picture you can see the texture of this cakey-yummy-loaf. It pairs perfectly with coffee in the morning, but we have to warn you: don’t start eating until you tell yourself to have some control. Because if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to eat the entire thing! You’ll just keep going back for another, and then another, and another bite! So delicious, we can’t recommend bringing one of these treats home.
It’s that time again Montclair, reservations are being called in as we speak, even though it feels like we were just celebrating NYE! The ball dropped, we blinked, next thing you know the Eagles won the Super Bowl and it’s Valentine’s Day Montclair! We figured we’d help you out with the 411 on some of our current favorite spots in and around town that are doing a little something special for this Valentine’s Day! If you haven’t already made your reservations, hurry up!
Pig & Prince
For starter’s being the loving man that he is, Chef Mike Carrino decided to launch his new Winter menu just this last Tuesday putting Pig & Prince high on our list of must haves asap! If you’ve dined at Pig & Prince before you know Chef does not skimp and is not afraid to push the envelope (or plate in his case!) This new winter menu will be an experience for sure with new menu items that include Ostrich and Monkfish, you can’t go wrong!
Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas
Equally romantic (especially if you can snag a booth for 2) & bonus, they’ve got an extensive wine list; Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas (70 Kingsland Road, Clifton) will offer a 5-Course Prix Fixe menu from February 9 through February 17. Enjoy a tasting menu with optional wine pairing. Reservations can be made online or at 973.661.2435. If you end up here PLEASE don’t skip dessert!! Ciambelle (extra nutella for dipping please!) and Cinnamon Spice Cake!!
Plum on Park
We also LOVE the new relaxed romantic vibe at Plum on Park (which reopened this past Friday, February 2nd after a renovation and is looking AMAZING). Plum will offer a 3-course prix fixe menu (the entire week of Valentine’s Day for dinner) in addition to their regular menu.
Fresco da Franco
Then of course there is Fresco da Franco (15 Church Street, Montclair) will offer dinner with live jazz entertainment with a limited a la carte menu which we of course are hoping includes Mama’s meatballs. Reservations can be made through Opentable or at 347.974.2420.
Turtle and The Wolf Turtle and The Wolf won’t feature a prix fixe menu but please trust us when we tell you EVERYTHING on their menu is special and so worth it! And you can be sure Chef Lauren will have a few tricks up his sleeves as he always does and NEVER disappoints.
The intimate sizes of most of these restaurants paired with the amazing food and service is truly what we love the most! But please don’t forget the wine!! Remember most of the above are BYOB but don’t fret, impress your date by giving AmantiVino a call and having wine delivered straight to your dinner table! Let’s just all be happy Vday falls on a Wednesday so MAYBE we’ll actually be able to get a table somewhere this Vday! #FoodiestrugglesonValentinesDay
Already have plans for Valentine’s Day in Montclair? Tell us your favorite romantic place to dine in and around town! Don’t forget to tell them #MontclairFoodieSentMe when making your reservations! @MontclairFoodie You never know Valentine’s Day Dinner might just be on us 😉
Hello everyone, we are Montclair Foodie! Your guide to everything Food and Wine related. Whether you want to know about new restaurants, brunch hot spots (and hidden gems), summer hours, or who is open on Mondays, we are here for you! Who has what specials going on for Brunch AND Dinner. What Festivals with Yummy bites are going on when. We’ll do the leg work for you! It’s kind of our guilty pleasure 😉 We’ll also give you the inside scoop on Pairing Dinners, wine classes, Montclair Food & Wine events, Taste of Montclair, restaurant week, and how to get into them all! At our core we are Foodies!! Most importantly, you can find the 411 on new menus, and dining options in and around Montclair. We have our favorites but we intend on trying them all! What better way to try multiple restaurants then a foodie crawl!!
I don’t know about you guys but we must admit, we were pretty bummed when HLS Juice Bar and Grill closed their doors back in 2014 (although you can still find them in Maplewood, NJ) and were almost skeptic to try Vital at all. BUT that all changed when we finally tried a bite of this amazing sweet plantain and pulled pork teaser at this years Taste of Montclair 2016 held at The Manor in West Orange NJ and presented by the Montclair Rotary Club.
Now having tried them for both brunch and lunch, we must say… it’s a shame Vital only does Brunch on Sunday’s (finger’s crossed that changes soon). You can immediately tell the ingredients Executive Chef Kwame Williams uses at Vital Dining are the freshest and best in season. I don’t know about you but, with suns out guns out season upon us, eating waffles isn’t typically the “healthiest” option for someone to choose, but these banana waffles were so light! We left 387 Bloomfield Ave in Montclair, NJ NOT feeling guilty about a single thing we had just consumed 🙂 and it was ALL so good (we are foodies after all and although they say you should eat for fuel and not because something tastes good… isn’t it just heavenly when you can have the best of both worlds)!!!
Vital also has amazing juices!! I like to believe we went uber healthy (although pretty much every juice seems amazing for the body from what we can tell) we went with the Detox (pictured below) and the Orange Zinger (hint in case the name isn’t telling enough, this drink was a zinger with a healthy dose of ginger)
Here is yet another great Montclair Chef who adapts his cooking and menu with the season. Can’t wait to see what new dishes the Chef introduces for these beautiful summer months that are finally here!
A Brunch that could satisfy a Wolf, or at least my husband! LOL! So, we have become something of regulars for brunch at Turtle and the Wolf. If you are at all familiar with Montclair Center and the brunch seen in Northern NJ at all, you know that for quality eats, especially as the days thankfully get warmer, there typically are lengthy waits for a really good brunch. Being the foodie aficionada that I am and given that I married a man who hates waiting for food ESPECIALLY when he’s hungry, a concept I unfortunately can’t totally disagree with, I began searching for a new go to brunch location. I should also preface this by saying that my husband also doesn’t like trying new restaurants. He has his favorites and if he’s really hungry he doesn’t want to risk having a good meal. Also fair. So strolling down Valley Road in Montclair, NJ on our way to grab our Starbucks trying to decide where to go for brunch one late Saturday morning I finally convinced him to try Turtle and the Wolf since we were so close. To our delightful surprise (especially his), we were seated as soon as we walked in. What’s funny, having been there for brunch almost every weekend since our discovery, is we often see folks peering in through the glass door to get an idea of what’s going on inside. But the same way you can’t judge a book by its cover, you should ABSOLUTELY not judge T + W brunch by the number of filled tables. In fact, for now anyway, brunch at Turtle and Wolf is a hidden gem! No waits, amazing selection from French toast, Cheddar grits, No Ham Madame Croque, Eggs Florentine, HOMEMADE sausages, we can go on and on because yes we’ve had the entire menu by now (remember we’ve been there countless times)! But we must warn you, the menu changes with the season! Which is a great thing! We can’t wait what Chef Lauren will cook up with summer vegetables!!
Next time you are looking for a Brunch place and its 11am on a Sunday and you are dreading the wait at pretty much every establishment in Montclair Center, take a 5 minute drive, take advantage of the parking right behind them and venture into Upper Montclair for an amazing treat at Turtle and Wolf. Tell Chef Lauren #MONTCLAIRFOODIESENTME!! And then, go back for Dinner!!!