Sometimes you just get that craving after 8 pm. You need a bite to eat. We love a late-night snack and some of the best late-night food spots in NJ are in our Montclair & North Jersey area.
Chit Chat Diner (closes 12 am, West Orange): The decor of this place is magical & too fun. How else would you want to enjoy yourself eating some of the best diner food in the area? French toast, huge sandwiches, pie, milkshakes, salads & more, everything you want to eat & enjoy is here.
Just Jakes (closes 1 am M, T, W, 2 am TH, F, Sat & 12 am on Sundays, Montclair): This special spot has served the Montclair community for over 24 years! Wings, fries, a beer, all of your late-night specialties are here.
CARS: Sandwiches & Shakes (closes 11 pm, closed on Sundays, Montclair): CARS creates food to satisfy your cravings. You can count on a big, filling, delicious bite here, every time! Whatever your heart desires or choose from one of their awesome menu items!
Tick Tock Diner (closes 10 pm, Clifton): This place opened its doors in 1948! Can you believe it?! This spot is a staple in North Jersey and you can eat whatever you want, at any time, no judgments, all goodness!
Halycon (closes 10 pm, closed on Sundays): If you want something more upscale for your late-night adventure, Halycon is a great choice for fresh food, refreshing drinks & the best atmosphere.
The phrase al fresco composed of two words is borrowed from Spanish for “in the cool /fresh [air].” This is our favorite kind of drinking atmosphere and a great cocktail enjoyed with a summer breeze is our version of heaven. As you might know, most of Montclair is BYOB, so this list is important to us because sometimes (most times) we just want to sit and be served a perfect cocktail!
This blog post will cover all the spots you can enjoy a margarita or a specialty cocktail outdoors around Montclair, NJ!
Faubourg: You should’ve expected this one to come first. This is our top Al Fresco spot. They have spicy pineapple margaritas, fancy (and delicious) cocktails with an oasis of an atmosphere. Make sure you book a reservation!
Halcyon: The Halcyon Brasserie is a favorite neighborhood restaurant offering a raw bar, chef-prepared entrees, and brasserie plates. Ask for an outdoor table, order some food, and pair it with a perfectly crafted cocktail. Enjoy!
Alto Rooftop: An incredible view with an incredible experience enjoying an incredible cocktail. It’s the perfect combo and has our Foodie names written all over it. We enjoy this rooftop with friends and on special dates. The ambiance is great & cocktails are always made perfect.
Egans & Sons: A one-hundred-year-old Montclair family and a Dublin publican walked into a bar and Egan & Sons was born. Egans focus on sourcing from local farms and pastures, their seasonal list of house-brewed ales, the thirty-four classic and craft brews on tap and the list of over one hundred rare and cornerstone beers. Egan & Sons has been voted Best Bar in Northern New Jersey each year since opening for proper reason. Go enjoy a drink on their beauitful outdoor patio!
De Novo: We love this European pub in the heart of Upper Montclair! Great food, every time; classic & creative cocktails on the menu; great outdoor seating – this spot checks all of our needs. Spend your Saturday night at De Novo, you won’t regret it!
Verona Inn: The Verona Inn is now serving its fourth generation of customers and will celebrate its 66th year in the summer of 2021! It’s served so many people over the years, leaving each one with a special story. They have a side alleyway, a back patio, and drinks al fresco! Enjoy your time!
Jose Tejas: Some of the best Tex-Mex, Cajun & Margaritas you’ll have in New Jersey! Enjoy your meal, enjoy the patio – you’re going to have a great time here!
The Barrow House: The Barrow House is a Colonial-Era Farmhouse located in Clifton, NJ with a long beverage list! Sit al fresco, enjoy your company, and sip down on a cocktail!
We had the absolute pleasure of enjoying a meal at Corso 98, the sister restaurant to one of our favorite bakeries in Montclair, Cucina 98. We’re not surprised it was so unbelievably good, anything attached to the Cucina is destined to be delicious. We love how we got to end our dinner with one of our favorite desserts ever: their Lavendar Brownie. Omg.
We are so happy that Corso 98 finally reopened after being closed throughout Covid-19 in Montclair. Beverly is the new chef working with the Suriano family. The new menu is similar to the traditional dishes that made up the old but with a little umami flare added here and there 🙂
Note that all dishes can be made vegan if needed 🙂
We have a lot to munch through, so come along and enjoy a 10/10 meal with us.
We started with the beet salad, pea & ham arancini, and the caramelized onion & pignoli ricotta.
Beet salad: roasted beets, white romesco, beet chips, toasted almonds, ricotta salata, and microgreens
Pea & Ham Arancini: english peas, prociutto and fontina
First of all, the answer to whipped ricotta is always YES. Add in Pignoli and caramelized onions? Even bigger yes. This starter is a must! (You won’t see this plate in the appetizer section though, it is in the “sides” section on their menu.
One of the reasons why we love arancini so much is because every place has its own special recipe. We love this dish because it wasn’t greasy, it has a perfect bite, and even though peas can be a bit bland & boring, in this dish they were crucial and elevated the flavor combination. We love it.
We’re not like many: but we’re obsessed with beets. When a restaurant treats this vegetable as a delicacy and finds innovative ways to enhance its unique flavor & texture, we admire it so much.
If we had enough room in our stomachs we would’ve ordered the arugula salad, artichoke hearts, and warm fresh mozzarella!
Let’s move on to the entrees!
Porcini Pappardelle: wild mushrooms, black garlic, miso and pancetta (right)
Seriously pappardelle is one of the superior pasta shapes! And don’t get us started when it’s HOME-MADE pappardelle… we’re in heaven. Then if you mix in specifically porcini (just like pasta shape, mushroom type is very important) we are happy foodies! Talk about a perfect dish! We love a fresh plate of light pasta. Yum.
And this chicken dish! The cauliflower puree (with more cauliflower on top) might deter some away, but let us tell you it’s less about the vegetable and more about the flavor and texture when you eat it with this crispy chicken. We love that there were two kinds of meat: breast & high, and the extra elements of this dish were absolutely necessary and nothing overwhelming.
Next time we absolutely want to try the Fava bean & Mint Ravioli Cacio e Pepe (I mean come on, just the sound of that…) and we’re interested in their scallops, filet and eggplant piccata.
Meatballs & Grilled Asparagus with Calabrian chili and gochujang
We can’t cook asparagus to save our lives, so we really appreciate a good asparagus side. The Calabrian chili is a fun & unique addition. The meatballs were perfect! The sauce, the taste of the meats, the cheese… we couldn’t ask for anymore more!
Vegan Lavender Brownie with a dark chocolate drizzle and vegan vanilla ice cream on top
We need to take a moment… because we get overwhelmed by how much we love this brownie. Not because it’s vegan or whatever, but because it is hands down one of the best brownies we have EVER had. We genuinely keep 2 in our fridge at all times. The dark chocolate drizzle gives the brownie a bit of a bite, the crust is ideal and the inside is perfectly fudge-y with hints of the lavender flavor. It really is so good, you HAVE to try it!
And that’s it! An absolutely perfect and extremely enjoyable dinner at Corso98. We truly recommend this place for dinner, you will enjoy yourself and eat some of the best food in Montclair. The ambiance is perfect for a double-date, a night out with friends or a family dinner. Bring a bottle of wine and enjoy your time.
If you liked this blog post, please share with someone you want to go to Corso 98 with, and thank you for your constant support!
May is agreeably the best month to come throughout the year, don’t you think?
Flowers, the sun, warmth… we go on walks with our friends and enjoy one of our favorite things: OUTDOOR SEATING. In May, we also celebrate “National Mimosa Day” (May 16th) and Memorial Day Weekend (May 31st)
In this blog post, we will show you the best ways to enjoy May with Mimosas & celebrate MDW in Montclair!
Mimosa Brunch in Montclair, NJ:
– Le Salbuen: Fresh squeezed orange juice plus your favorite champagne, add in your favorite brunch dish from this “always delicious” spot and that equals a perfect way to celebrate Mimosa Day! We love Le Salbuen, we always recommend people to go here and enjoy themselves 🙂
– Faubourg: Of course, this French spot serves mimosas, how could it not?! Every single cocktail drink in their menu is perfect, and we often have hard times deciding which one to order… but not today! We know what we’re ordering this time. Best news is that on Sundays your brunch entree includes one free drink.
– Halycon Brasserie: This place has mimosas right at the top of their brunch menu! Right where you can see them because they know what you came here for 😉 Halycon specializes in seafood, and you won’t be disappointed with the delicious flavor combos that are revealed to you between every bite and sip. Yum!
– Sweet Kitchen: Another byoc (bring your own champagne) spot where all you have to do is ask for some O.J. and you’re all set! Sweet Kitchen presses their orange juice every morning so if you have a great bottle of champagne, you know this drink is about to be BOMB!
– Toast: Pancakes and mimosas… say no more. It’s the perfect combo! Bring your bottle of champagne, order an orange juice, mix and enjoy.
– Sayola: An elegant, post-modern Spanish Restaurant is a treat! So get a little dressed up, bring your champagne, order fresh-pressed O.J. from Le Salbuen, Sweet Kitchen, Jackie’s, or Green Point Juicery (Verona), and enjoy yourself!
If you’re wondering where to eat for MDW in Montclair? Here is your list:
1. Red Eye Cafe: Guys, we loveee this place! Pancakes are always perfect, they have great daily specials and, of course, great coffee. We think a morning-breakfast date over Memorial Day Weekend at Red Eye Cafe is a lovely way to start your day.
photo credit: @sellaeatz
2. Samba: Because MDW is often times spent with family, we’re suggesting Samba because they can cater bigger parties, and it is easier than other restaurants to get larger seatings here. And of course, the food is delicious. If you are Gluten-Free, Samba is also a great option for you as they are the only officially certified GF restaurant in NJ. If you are not gluten-free, don’t worry about the food tasting any different. Take the perspective that Gluten-Free means your food is as clean, unprocessed, and not filled with useless/unnecessary ingredients as possible! We really love Samba so much!
3. Stuffed Grassfed Burgers: What’s a Memorial Day Weekend without a burger? Hmm… probably not the best one. This weekend CALLS for some delicious meat! We loved Stuffed because it is customizable to whatever your heart desires. They also have veggie burgers and milkshakes (dairy and dairy-free) so it’s a one-stop shop for everyone. Don’t forget the fries!!
*Pictured: Two custom-order burgers (both enjoyed bacon, clearly)
4. Raymond’s: Located on Church Street, we love the energy and ambiance of this place! Filling meals that are always great when shared with a friend, Raymond’s is always a solid choice!
photo credit: @repoleanna
5. Jackie’s Grillette: The perfect lunch spot! Grab a juice or a drink, order a big sandwich or a mezze platter. Always consistently delicious & family-owned, Montclair Foodie absolutely loves Jackie’s! Our favorite sandwich from here is the Jackie’s Special: Roast Beef, Swiss, bacon, coleslaw, Russian dressing on a long roll (same kind of bread/roll as the photo below). It just hits the spot everytime. We genuiely crave and enjoy this sandwich.
*Pictured: The ‘Big Bang’— BBQ chicken, bacon & melted mozzarella
6. Mr. Dino’s: Pizza is 100% part of the MDW menu. There are many pizzerias in Montclair, but we have a special place in our pizza heart for this one. Mr. Dino’s has been family-owned & serving the Montclair community for over 40 years.
Montclair! If you love eating along with us, share this article on your socials. Feel free to message us on Instagram to talk about your favorite Montclair spot.
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 😉
We recently had another amazing dining experience at Samba Montclair and we had to share! Samba is located in the middle of Montclair Center right off the intersection of Bloomfield Ave and Park Street and was busier than usual for a Monday night, according to the host, probably because as the days get warmer and longer, more people dine out more often. Unfortunately, not ALL restaurants are open in Montclair,NJ on Monday nights, although more and more are starting to post Summer Hours (are you as excited about that as we are)! In fact We wouldn’t be surprised if as many as half of your favorite restaurants in Montclair are closed on Mondays… but that’s a separate conversation for another post, clearly we LOVE summer hours! 😉
Samba’s ambiance is as delicious as their Brazilian National dish stewed for 24 hrs. Beautiful soft Brazilian music played softly in the background pairing wonderfully with the authentic cuisine.
We had their Salgadinhos sortidos (little pastries filled with chicken, beef, or cheese) and Frango à passarinho (tiny organic chicken cuts on the bone) to start. Followed by the Picanha ao alho (Brazillian cut Top Sirloin Steak served with puréed plantains and vegetables pictured below) and the Feijoada (national dish) we mentioned before.
Portion sizes at Samba Montclair are amazingly filling and since it was only Monday night, we decided to pace ourselves and skip dessert… but we wont next time! Can’t wait to go back!!!
Cake, cake, cake, cake, with so many yummy places to grab sweet treats in Montclair, NJ you can never run out of options!! Montclair Bread Co for your donuts, Plum Bakery for the gluten free lovers, Little Daisy Bakeshop, KakesKimmy, Applegate Farm, Gelotti, the list goes on and on!! But another one of our personal FAVE discoveries at this years Taste of Montclair… Cakeaholic Obsession!!!
So what did we have you ask? Cookies and cream (with an actual cookie at the bottom of the cupcake!), Vanilla Birthday Cake, Chocolate Birthday Cake, Red Velvet, Chunky Monkey, and last but most certainly not least, Banana de leche. Banana de Leche was their flavor at Taste of Montclair although not currently on the menu of selections (although we think it needs to be!) It is hands down our favorite! So we have all these flavored cupcakes and then, we notice the ice cream.
Cakeaholic has homemade ice cream delivered weekly from Upstate New York. They even have custom flavors coming soon such as Lemon Berry, Banana Pudding (#MotherMayI?!?!?!), and Pink Velvet. What did we try? Cinnamon Brown Sugar… thats right I said CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR!!!! Take a drive to the southside of Montclair and allow yourself to… indulge (we did)!!! Veer off of Bloomfield Avenue and find your way to 324 Orange Road in Montclair NJ.
An already award winning bakery, Cakeaholics was just nominated for best bakery in Best of Essex 2016! Cakeaholic not only offers amazing cupcakes and homemade ice cream, they do events to!! Date nights, Girls nights, baking classes for the kids, and more! If you havent already tried Julie’s cupcakes, what are you waiting for??? Ask for the Banana de Leche and thank us later!
Cakeaholics has since closed their location in South Montclair. But are working on a new space coming soon and you can still order yummy cupcakes and treats online!!!
p.s. word on the street is Cakeaholics Obsession will be at this years Montclair Food and Wine BBQ on July 9th if you are planning on attending be sure to stopby their table and tell them MontclairFoodieSentMe!
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?)