New Restaurant Openings & Sad Closing in Montclair – October 2021

Hey Montclair, here a list of new openings 🙂 and sad closings 🙁 of restaurants in our area! If we forgot any, please just let us know.

1. Zachy Platters & Grill

Zachy’s is a new Mediterranean spot and the food looks incredible! We haven’t had the pleasure of trying this place yet but the photos are telling us the food is delicious!
150 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07042

2. Palato Caffe Cucina

New Caffe Alert! Palato is the cutest new spot here in Montclair. They are open for lunch & dinner, and are always adding special dishes as well as serving their staple plates. It is located at 377 Bloomfield Ave, and you need to check out this spot ASAP!

3. Empire Nutrition 

A new açaí, smoothie, meal prep & nutrition spot opened in Upper Montclair  a few months ago💪 Their walls are STACKED with protein, healthy candies and snacks too! You really have to stop by and check out this place, you won’t be disappointed. Go show them your support, Montclair!
598 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043

4. Il Laboratorio Del Gelato

Montclair we are obsessed with the new gelato spot  😁You can taste the high quality ingredients and flavoring, the gelato has great texture, and we love the cones & cups the ice cream comes in! These guys thought of everything + the ambiance is perfect 👍 make sure you go and treat yourself to some delicious gelato today or this weekend! 😁
598 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043

5. Efi’s Gyro

Guys, we cannot get enough of gyros and the fact that Efi’s opened up right on Bloomfield Ave is making our hearts throb! The have traditional dishes but also some unique and delicious ones as well! Run, don’t walk! to this new Montclair spot.
521 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair New Jersey

6. Sweet T’s Southern Eatery

Absolutely delicious southern comfort food has blessed our Montclair neighborhood! Plus, this spot frequently has live music, fun events and amazing specials. We love the diversity of the food in Montclair but we are extra excited about this cuisine!

Restaurant Closings

1. Villalobos

2. Ariane Kitchen & Bar

3. Vanillamore

We are so sad that three of our absolute favorite spots in our Montclair area have closed. These three restaurants were ones we went to frequently, and honestly, it doesn’t feel the same without them! One slice of good news is that while Villalobos did closed, the owner is not gone for good! He will be opening a new venture very soon! Stay with us for updates!

Cucina98 The Cozy Bakery you have been looking for!

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. 

 

Valentine’s Day in Montclair

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!

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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.

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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 MONTCLAIR!

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!!

Join us! #BuenProvecho #BonAppetit #Cheers

Montclair Foodie Brunch
Where are you having Brunch ?

Dinner at Turtle and The Wolf!

About a year ago the Upper Montclair community welcomed Turtle and The Wolf to Valley Road a not so hidden (although not as popular YET) gem. Valley Road literally has it all; amazing homes, chain stores like Kings, William Sonoma, Starbucks, and quaint little shops like Sweet Home Montclair & Apple Village. And now you can top off a beautiful day about town with Dinner at Turtle and the Wolf!

Turtle and The Wolf is an American (New) Restaurant brought to us by the amazingly talented Chef Lauren Hirschberg. Having spent many years with Craft Restaurant Group, Chef Lauren brings his talents to Montclair, NJ where his culinary skills are displayed wonderfully when southern comfort meets big city dinning.

The dinner scene at Turtle and The Wolf is much different from Brunch with tables reserved 2 to 3 weeks in advance it is difficult to get a walk-in reservation any given weekend. But we finally lucked out! We mistakenly forgot to grab a bottle of wine, but conveniently there is a wine and spirits store right across from Turtle and The Wolf (Angelbeck’s The Wine Store). Saved by the wine store!

We walked into a warm room, dimly lit, filled with lots of chatter, glasses clinking, and laughter all around. There was a family of five out for a Friday night dinner, more than a few couples out on a date night and a handful of ladies in the corner enjoying a girl’s night. If the house made sausage on the brunch menu were any inclination, we should have known dinning at Turtle and Wolf would be nothing less than finger-licking good.

The menu….where to begin, I really really wanted to go for the deviled eggs, but having walked in knowing I was having dessert I opted for the Arugula, radish, cucumber salad. My date for the evening was not as modest, opting to start off with the hot wings. And from the looks of his pile of wipes, or better yet lack thereof, the wings were finger licking good… and we were in public… I can tell you it only got better and more fingers would be licked.

We ordered the roasted 1/2 chicken with red potatoes, fiddlehead, and gremolata and Braised Beef Brisket, Pommel Puree, radish, and Black Garlic Jus…. All I can say is people call things #fingerlickinggood often but this was #lickingyourplate #fingerlicking #pleaseletthisplatebebottomless Amazingly GOOD.

So, you’re probably thinking, salad, wings, chicken AND Brisket no way they had room for dessert (and remember I said Chef Lauren does not skimp on portion sizes)… Nope, you know how when your mom cooks your favorite meal and you know you’re no longer hungry but you could go for seconds, and then she reminds the table there is dessert and you feel like your entire life was just made! OK that feeling right there, enter Maple pôt de crême, Zeppoles, and Vanilla cake with house made whipped cream. I know I know you think every restaurant MUST make their own whipped cream, one taste of this ACTUAL house made whipped cream from T+ W and your night will be made! And yes, I have no shame in saying we ordered all 3 of their dessert items and boy am I glad we did!

It was just two of us, so we unfortunately could not try more from the menu, but never fear we will MOST DEFINITELY be back for more!!!

Tasting menus, Fried chicken, Duck pot pie, deviled eggs, I mean so much to eat (must wear stretchy pants….and maybe make a reservation for 4 next time?)

Who’s coming??

Dinner at Turtle and the Wolf
We were finally able to get reservations for dinner at Turtle and the Wolf last week…mouthwatering& delicious!
Dinner Turtle Wolf
Maple pôt de crême up front (my personal FAVE), Zeppoles, and Vanilla cake with house made whipped cream (Hubby’s FAVE)