Esteemed Chef Dennis Foy Opens Café Loret in Red Bank

Plus: Other openings in Collingswood, Clifton, Atlantic City and beyond.

Openings:

*New Jersey culinary exemplar Dennis Foy is adding to his legacy with the opening of Café Loret in Red Bank. Foy got his start in the 1970s and continued with near-uninterrupted successes that included opening Tarragon Tree in Chatham, Dennis Foy in Tribeca (Manhattan) and d’floret in Lambertville. Now with his self-styled “modern American brasserie” Café Loret, a reinvigorated Foy continues to nimbly chase seasonal influence with the textural, colorful curiosity of an artist (Foy is also an avid painter). The summer menu features a list of local farm sources for dishes such as the Sautéed Halibut with confit tomato and mango; Summer Pea Soup with ginger and mint; and a Warm Goat Cheese Tart with tomato confit and chive oil. The intimate, airy space seats 42, with patio seating for 40. Café Loret, 128 Broad Street, Red Bank; 732-430-2250

*Since specialty bakery Sweet Freedom closed its doors in Collingswood in February, the question loomed as to who could fill the space—and not just because Sweet Freedom was adored. The bakery lacked an exhaust hood for stove-top cooking. That didn’t stop Chris Reuss from opening Macona BBQ, a barbecue joint blending Southern roots with global flavors that the 20-year Johnson and Wales trained chef runs with his wife and fellow industry veteran Natalie. Based on the regular “Sold Out” signs on their Facebook page, the restaurant’s doing fine without a stove, anchoring its menu to a few kitchen gadgets and a 500-pound Southern Pride smoker. Staple proteins like brisket, ribs, and smoked chicken are balanced with options like summer kale salad and a vegan Seitan BBQ platter. Macona BBQ, 57 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood; 856-858-8719

*Ted Sakellaris continues the family restaurant legacy behind the Lyndhurst Diner and Rutt’s Hut in Clifton with the opening of the Maple Valley Diner. There’s an official grand opening in September, but they’re already quietly churning out reliable standards like all-day breakfast, burgers, loaded French fries, and “hand-spun” milkshakes, with the classic Jersey diner mix of Mediterranean and Latin touches throughout. Maple Valley Diner, 116 Route 46, Clifton; 973-473-6444

*No fewer than 16 dining options are up and running since June 28 at the newly-opened Ocean Resort and Casino in Atlantic City. Restaurants span the gamut from fine dining at Dolce Mare and American Cut Steakhouse to Zhen Bang Noodle & Sushi (with pan-Asian flavors and an impressive sake list), and casual options including the nostalgia of something called Cereal Town. Ocean Resort and Casino, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City

Coming Soon:

*Dava Latin Fusion in Union is coming soon. 1020 Stuyvesant Avenue, Union; 908-364-6330

*“European influence” of hand-crafted cocktails and small plates, plus a promised rooftop bar, are still presumably in the works for The Atlantic House. When we reached out, the restaurant replied they don’t have a set opening date, which raises doubts as to whether they’ll open before the season’s over. The Atlantic House, 67 First Ave, Atlantic Highlands; 732-865-9400

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