—It’s been a few months since NoHu Rooftop Bar & Restaurant officially opened on top of the EnVue Marriott in Weehawken, but we’re guessing early 2020 especially might be an interesting time to check out the restaurant. Granted, there isn’t much to enjoy of a waterfront rooftop experience from January through March, but the views (from inside) are said to be stunning and it’s just about the right time—after holidays and opening chaos both settle—to come see what the restaurant’s going to make of itself in earnest. Ideally you’ll find some retooling of service and menu, especially interested to see what Chef Rocco Russo continues to do and whether the bar builds a cocktail program deserving of the (admittedly) epic NYC skyline view. NoHu Rooftop Bar & Kitchen, EnVue Marriott, 550 at Port Imperial, 6th Floor, Weehawken; 201-758-7920.
—BAM Desserts, opened by three friends almost two and a half years ago in Franklin Township, reopened the weekend of December 13 in a new, larger location on Easton Avenue in Somerset. The bakery is continuing the formula that got it this far (think creative flavors and pretty-meets-quirky cakes), but the new location also has an open kitchen, a private event space, and more seating. BAM Desserts, 1830 Easton Avenue, Somerset; 732-325-0315.
In the works:
—Yes, the holidays are over, but there are still things to look forward to in January. For instance, The Bagel Nook in Freehold—where your bagel order can include beautiful words like “Dorito” and “Cooking Dough”—is opening a second location (its first franchise) on North Harrison Street in Princeton early in the new year. Bagel Nook made the announcement via Instagram early in December, and so far haven’t announced any delays, so chances are residents of Princeton will be standing in line, mulling “micro-batch cream cheese” flavors like Espresso Fudge, Bacon Cheddar, and Ghost Pepper in no time. (Fans of more traditional bagelry, take heart, they have an “O.G.” bagel menu, not to mention lunch salads, wraps, and sandwiches). The Bagel Nook, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton; no phone yet.
—Just in time for New Year’s Resolution season, we hear news that the uber-popular salad chain Sweetgreen is bringing its special brand of plant-based chic to New Jersey. The first Garden State Sweetgreen location will be at 90 Hudson Street, a couple blocks from the Exchange Place PATH station. The chain has locations across the country, but they do focus on regional seasonal menus—see the New York area’s fall/winter menu for example. The JC location won’t be opening until sometime in the spring of 2020 (by which time resolutions might be a thing of the past), but once they open, the Jersey City crowd especially should keep the staff and their salad tongs plenty busy. Sweetgreen, 90 Hudson Street, Jersey City; no phone yet.
—If March seems far away, remember it’s already 2020—time has a way of flying. Fortunately that also means highly anticipated restaurant and food concept openings tend to get here a little quicker, including what’s like to be among the more gustatorily gratifying concepts at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford. Called Grisini (Food Hall, Market, Coffee & More), and helmed by none other than Landmarc chef and “Chopped” nice guy regular Marc Murphy, the place isn’t a restaurant but a food hall, market, coffee shop, even online retail store. But the heart of Grisini is the food hall component, with Murphy overseeing a roster of no fewer than 24 Mediterranean/Euro-centric culinary concepts. There will also be stand-alone coffee shops (on the first and second floor of the mall) doing what appears to be an ambitious, similarly worldly coffee program as well as a large market space, which will do everything from gourmet retail to high-gloss grab-and-go foods to chef-prepared meals you can eat right there. Which is ideal if you consider just how overwhelming the mall is likely to be. Projected opening in March of 2020 (there are Grisinis planned for metropolitan New York as well). Grisini Food Hall, 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford; no phone yet.Click here to leave a comment