Drifthouse by David Burke Names Toni Charmello as New Executive Chef

Plus: Restaurant openings in Newton, Paramus and Little Silver.

Toni Charmello, the new executive chef at Drifthouse by David Burke. Photo courtesy of restaurant

Chef on the Move:

Drifthouse by David Burke, Sea Bright

A new chef is stepping into the kitchen at one of David Burke’s restaurants. The coastal Italian-Mediterranean inspired menu will be led by executive chef Toni Charmello, who has previously worked at Burke’s other NJ restaurants. Though favorites like the shaved artichoke salad and Burke’s signature clothesline bacon will remain on the menu, Charmello is excited to introduce charcuterie boards, housemade pastas (like lobster Bolognese), and wines from the Apulia region of Italy near the heel of the boot, most known for its coastline and farmlands. To celebrate the new menu, Drifthouse will offer a Lobster & Oyster Night special every Wednesday, featuring $12 lobster dishes and $1.50 oysters.
Drifthouse by David Burke, 1485 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright; 732-530-9760


The Circle, Newton

A new fine-dining spot is opening March 12 in North Jersey. Experienced chefs Brendan Ullmann and Tyler O’Toole will create the Circle’s ever-changing menu, highlighting local and seasonal ingredients. An á la carte menu will be offered, as well as a six-course chef’s tasting menu. Dishes include pork belly bánh mí (with watermelon radish), bucatini (pasta with crab, lemon beurre fondue and garlic bread crumb), and roasted chicken (with sides of purple potato purée, rainbow Swiss chard and Calabrian chili). The dessert menu holds three options: Doughnut with hazelnut pastry cream, apple tart with buttermilk ice cream, and flourless chocolate cake with raspberry purée. Open Wednesday–Sunday from 5-10 pm, reservations can be made online.
The Circle, 310 Route 94, Newton; 973-862-6410

Duck Donuts, Paramus

This famous southern doughnut chain is coming to Bergen County, officially opening on March 13. New owners and Jersey natives Sanjay Patel and Kaushal Patel will make fresh to order donuts daily,with a variety of toppings. Customers can order specialty doughnuts off the menu (like blueberry cheesecake and cookies and cream) or invent their own by picking a coating (say, cinnamon sugar or chocolate glaze), a topping (including sprinkles and, whoa, chopped bacon), as well as a drizzle on top (like raspberry or salted caramel). On grand-opening day, March 13, the 100th customer will receive a dozen free doughnuts each month for a year. Open from 8 am-5 pm.
Duck Donuts, 556 Route 17 North (Sprout Brook Center), Paramus

Fresh Kitchen, Little Silver

Opening in early April, this eatery will focus on the freshest ingredients. With a menu designed for nutritional value and full flavor, Fresh Kitchen has been serving guests for four years at their Sea Girt location. Dishes include salads like the Beanacado (cauliflower, red pepper farro, tomato, carrots, spaghetti squash and black beans), wraps filled with spring greens, sweet potato mash and bean sprouts (like the Thai Peanut), as well as grain bowls that can be customized to your liking (with options of fresh veggies, proteins and dressings). All food will available for dine-in, takeout and delivery.
Fresh Kitchen, 88 Oceanport Avenue, Little Silver

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