Chef Robbie Felice’s New Restaurant, Osteria Crescendo, Opens Next Week

Plus: Other restaurant and brewery openings in Haddon Township, Marlboro, Somers Point and beyond.

—Osteria Crescendo is finally holding its grand opening on Tuesday, April 9. The second restaurant from chef Robbie Felice (the other is Viaggio in Wayne), Osteria Crescendo aims to deliver a sort of polished rusticity—tradition-steeped modern Italian cuisine that highlights peak seasonality and locally-sourced product. A solid beverage program rounds things out, anchored by a craft cocktails menu showcasing some serious chops from seasoned beverage director Joshua Strauss. Buzz has been near nonstop, so make reservations ASAP if you’re looking to get in to the Westwood hot spot soon. Osteria Crescendo, 36 Jefferson Avenue, Westwood; 201-722-1900

—A far cry from Italian hot spot, maybe, but generating buzz among pickle enthusiasts (and sandwich lovers generally), Elsie’s is close to two months in operation since it’s February 15 grand opening in Haddon Township. Heads up to the Keto-dieting and carb-conscious, Elsie’s really delivers on its “Peace, love, and pickles”: every sandwich is made with a sliced Elsie’s pickle subbing, so to speak, for bread. (Same goes for the wrap-like “rolls,” with pickle slices instead of halves.) Fillings are more traditional—think corned beef, swiss, Italian cold cuts, even a vegetarian Hummus option. For the serious pickle fanatic in your life: Elsie’s also caters. Elsie’s, 803 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township; 856-858-7041

Il Nido has been open just about one month now at the Willow Point Shopping Center in Marlboro. The restaurant does “Rustic Italian, Responsibly Sourced,” and the chef is Joseph Voller, formerly of Eno Terra in Princeton and Le Virtù in Philadelphia. Between Voller’s experience and recent (enticing) dish pics on Instagram, keep an eye out for hyper-seasonal ingredients and upscale twists (e.g. Bottarga butter, Local 130 sea scallops, pork ragu made with local Green Flash Farm Tamworth-Mangalitsa pigs). The interior is subdued but chic, with brick walls, warm open lighting, and sturdy black leather chairs. Il Nido, 184 Route 9, Marlboro; 732-851-6347

—South Jersey has a new contender for homestyle Latin American cuisine—it’s just harder to find than most places. Criollo’s Latin Cuisine in Millville is located inside the EZ-Mart, but since its recent opening day, it’s maintained a steady stream of customers. Owner and head chef Scott Guzman cooks alongside his wife Elsie, with an emphasis on specialties from their native Puerto Rico (garlicky, porky-sweet mofongo fans need look no further). Criollo’s Latin Cuisine, 811 West Main Street, Millville; 856-818-3888

—After a couple hiccups (non-beer related), Somers Point Brewing Company will finally open its doors to the thirsty public on Thursday, April 11. The seven-barrel “small batch” Jersey shore brewery focuses on craft recipes, with a tasting room, growlers to go, and even takeout and delivery menus from local spots for your noshing-while-sipping needs (like many breweries, they can’t serve food, so this is their compromise). If output is relatively small, beer recipes look highly thought-out and balanced (no dizzingly high ABVs or hop overkill). Somers Point Brewing Co. also distributes to local area restaurants. Somers Point Brewing Company, 705 West New York Avenue, Somers Point; 609-778-0767

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