—It’s been three years since breaking ground on The MC Hotel in Montclair, but as of August 15, with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Montclair mayor Robert Jackson, both the boutique hotel and its restaurant Allegory are open to the public. Chef Daniel Kill oversees all dining operations at Allegory, The Market (coffee bar and grab-and-go spot), and the rooftop bar Alto (delayed but expected to open in the fall).
Kill, a German native, has experience working in the two-Michelin-starred Tantris restaurant in Munich. Kill also worked under fellow Tantris alum Kurt Gutenbrunner at the European-inflected Wallsé, Viennese-styled Café Sabarsky, and the Upholstery Store Food & Wine in Manhattan. His food at Allegory will be product- and produce-forward, carrying the torch of certain European sensibilities with heavy local sourcing and “coastal Mediterranean flavors” in a “shared-plate, multi-course format.” The dinner menu reads simultaneously delicate and eclectic: Lamb Ribs with Chermoula, Labneh, and Za’atar, Spatzle with Cremini Mushrooms and Quark (soft cheese), proteins like Yellowtail Ceviche with Yuzu Koshu and Porchetta with Chimichurri and Charred Marinated Lettuce. The drinks menu looks worth a stop alone, with creative cocktails showcasing some interesting bottles and flavors, e.g. Aquavit, Nonino, Absinthe, cold brew, even Jersey’s own Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy among them.
The hotel’s food and beverage director is Amin Deroui, a Cornell School of Hotel Administration graduate with experience running food and hospitality services at The Waldorf Astoria and The Plaza in New York City. Reservations at the restaurant—to say nothing of the 159 hotel rooms—are already difficult to snag. The opening of the MC marks the first full-service hotel for Montclair since 1938. Allegory, 690 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair; 844-624-6835
—After just four years in business, Talde in Jersey City announced it was closing last Tuesday, August 13. The closure announcement was so abrupt that some of the staff didn’t even know it was coming. The Jersey City spot was originally opened after the success of chef Dale Talde’s original Park Slope Talde location and a third spot was opened in Miami, but now all three are closed. The restaurant was opened under the auspices of Three Kings Restaurant Group, which has since dissolved, and explanations have it that Talde himself was no longer involved in the day-to-day operations or menu of the restaurant bearing his name in Jersey City. In fact, Talde began a new restaurant group, Food Crush Hospitality, and has been working on a forthcoming Cantonese restaurant project, Goosefeather, in Tarrytown, New York. Meanwhile, in Jersey City, it’s anyone’s guess what’s coming to replace Talde at the corner of Erie and Bay. Hopefully something exciting. Talde, 8 Erie Street, Jersey City.
—Also in Jersey City, Taphaus Biergarten has closed its doors. The closure was also unexpected—the restaurant hadn’t shared any timelines for possible closure on social media (unless their last Instagram post was for a “farewell” kind of Taco Tuesday). But a new restaurant, called Lokal, will be opening in its place. Details on that opening date not yet available. Taphaus Biergarten, 2 Second Street, Jersey City.
—As announced on Instagram, the retail café location of “grainless bakeshop” Squirrel & the Bee closed last Sunday, August 11. The business, however, remains open—shifting to a wholesale model, with products still available online and (eventually) in retail outlets. The bakery is the brainchild of pastry chef Michelle Retik, who found first personal health then professional success a grain-free, gluten-free diet (e.g. no corn, wheat, soy, rice, or potatoes, among others). No word yet on when or where retail options will be available, but online shopping is active, with the option to filter per dietary needs. Squirrel & the Bee, 515 Millburn Avenue, Short Hills.Click here to leave a comment