—From Montclair natives Michael and Zina Floyd comes Café Moso (“Montclair South”), an eclectic, warm neighborhood restaurant with accents of rich pit-cooking and fresh seasonal ingredients. Chef David Ilmojahid is a pit-master with Memphis roots, though the menu reads like an eclectic modern American seasonal menu that just so happens to be anchored by hickory- and applewood-smoked meats. The restaurant’s still in its early days—it’s been open a bit more than a month and a half—but we’re interested to see what fall brings, when Café Moso plans to host a “Chef’s Corner” pop-up, with different chefs coming in to cook a special menu on the last Monday of every month. Between old school pit-smoked meats and polished seasonality, the place certainly has some legs. Café Moso, 307 Orange Road, Montclair; 973-860-7400
—De Novo (Latin for “the Beginning”) is open on River Road in Edgewater. The restaurant is the second De Novo from restaurateur Demetri Malki, who had previously opened his own spots, D’Metri’s and Table 8 in Montclair. Like the first De Novo in Montclair, the new Edgewater location will do “European pub” style food—think continental polish in familiar proportions. Chef Adolfo Marisi oversees the menu as executive chef. And while it’s early days into judging the food (De Novo opened in late June), it’s almost immediately apparent is the ambitious, genuinely stunning design by Chris Kofitsas of New World Design Builders; anyone who’s been to ABC Kitchen will recognize the natural tones, clean lines, abundant light, and romantic splashes of greenery. Throw in the relatively stunning view of the river and the George Washington Bridge and you’ve got a new date night spot all lined up and ready to go. De Novo European Pub, 1257 River Road, Edgewater; 201-496-6161
Chef on the Move:
—Former chef and owner of Tre Amici in Long Branch, Matthew Zappoli, is joining David Burke’s restaurant group as corporate chef. Zappoli got his start under another prolific restaurateur, Charlie Palmer; after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1998, Zappoli began working for Palmer at Aureole in New York’s Theater District. Zappoli worked his way across the country under Palmer, another reason he’ll be a natural fit in the Burke empire, which spans a few states and incorporates a variety of culinary concepts. Most recently, Zappoli was working as the executive chef of the Rez Grill, a high-volume outlet under the umbrella of major gaming outfit, the Seminole Tribe of Florida. As he begins to take the reigns as corporate chef within Burke’s group, Zappoli will transition from working largely at DRIFTHOUSE by David Burke and Nauti Bar (where he’s been spending most of the off-season) to working at various Burke properties through the course of a given week. Various Locations.
In the Works:
—There’s a Bareburger coming to Morristown this fall. Still a very rough timeline and no word yet on the exact location, but this will be the farthest south (and west) the chain will have come into the state (it has six other locations, including Montclair, Ridgewood, Closter, and Edgewater). Bareburger, Morristown.
—Hobby’s Delicatessen & Restaurant (which was just featured in the background of the upcoming prequel to “The Sopranos”) was damaged in a fire on Monday afternoon. Employees and diners were in the restaurant at the time of the July 1 fire, which is believed to have been electrical in nature; nobody was harmed, but portions of the restaurant interior were damaged and the iconic neon “Hobby’s Delicatessen” sign was damaged beyond repair. The plan at the time being is to close indefinitely, though only temporarily, with more updates as they’re able to assess the extent of the damage and thus the length of time for all necessary repairs. The delicatessen, which sits at the corner of Branford and Halsey, has been in operation under the Brummer family since 1962. Hobby’s Delicatessen & Restaurant, 2723, 32 Branford Place, Newark; 973-623-0410
—After making news as the “last one in the entire chain” still in existence, the Don Pablo’s Mexican Kitchen at the Deptford Mall finally closed its doors a couple weeks ago, shuttering the Tex Mex chain’s fairly successful, 120 restaurant strong, run. The chain had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016; it was founded in Texas in 1985. Don Pablo’s Mexican Kitchen, 1860 Deptford Center, Woodbury.Click here to leave a comment