B2 Bistro + Bar, Toms River
Located directly across from the Ocean County Mall, B2 Bistro + Bar has opened its 5th location near the shore. B2 Bistro will be moving into a space formerly known as Tuscan House and has undergone renovations to include an open kitchen, grill and sushi station, wood-fired pizza oven, plus a private event space. Their menu includes raw bar items like East Coast oysters and clams, wood-fired pizza (including Buffalo chicken and white clam), as well as large plates like baby back ribs, filet mignon, fish and chips, and more. Open Mon–Sat, 11:30 am-10 pm and Sunday 11:30 am-9 pm.
B2 Bistro + Bar, 1250 Hooper Avenue, Toms River; 732-297-3803
Lauren’s Chicken Burger, Fort Lee
Founded by two fathers who are combining “fast” and “casual” dining, Lauren’s Chicken Burger is focused on preparing special chicken recipes for the whole family to enjoy. Their menu includes burgers like the Volcano Hot Burger (chicken breast topped with crunchy coleslaw and something called a “spicy volcano” sauce), chicken qings (tossed in Korean garlic, Buffalo or volcano sauce), and crispy nuggets (with options of fried shrimp and chicken dumplings). Open Monday-Friday 11 am-10 pm and Saturday-Sunday noon-10 pm.
Lauren’s Chicken Burger, 1630 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee; 201-482-0499
Proof Pizzeria, Princeton
This creative pizzeria opened in early fall and uses fresh, local vegetables and herbs. Their pizza menu includes the Breakfast Pie (topped with pork roll, sweet sausage, bacon and eggs), Mustard Pie (with pork roll, spicy brown mustard and tomato sauce), Puglia Pie (broccoli rabe, sausage, chiles, garlic and pecorino cheese), and many more. They also serve salads and an assortment of vegetable-driven bites, including roasted mushrooms, delicata squash rings and cauliflower gnocchi. Open Sunday-Thursday 11 am-9 pm and Friday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm.
Proof Pizzeria, 84 Nassau Street, Princeton; 609-497-7663
Menya Ramen House, Metuchen
Opened in mid-November, Menya Ramen House is serving soup stocks from scratch and puts in 12+ hours to craft weekly ramen options for guests. Their creative menu includes classics like spicy miso tonkotsu and shoyu ramen, as well as weekly specials like vegan kimchi miso (vegetable broth, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoot, and sesame seeds). Their add-ons include a homemade spicy oil, ginseng-marinated chicken, ajitama (seasoned eggs perfect for ramen) and more. Depending on the demand for the bowls, Menya may sell out during the week. Order online or call to pick up.
Menya Ramen House, 399 Main Street, Metuchen; 551-235-4714