—First Watch, which specializes in breakfast, brunch and lunch, opened in Cherry Hill on Monday. The First Watch franchise operates restaurants across the country, but this is the first location to open in New Jersey. Another location is slated for Marlton. First Watch, 1012 Haddonfield Road, Cherry Hill; 856-400-3447
—The daily delivery of Balthazar Viennoisserie (delicious pastry, croissant, rainbow macarons, etc.) is one reason to visit the newly opened Corner Café in Cliffside Park. Another might be the funky interior, with a communal table, hipster knick knacks, and some nice-looking if unexpected clothing retail. The space isn’t too precious—it’s a functional café with cute touches, lots of pastry and coffee, and sandwich options. The Corner Café, 646 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park; 201-943-0434
—Brazilian Spices in Kearny has added a second location just ten or so minutes away in North Arlington. As with the Kearny location, the name of the game here is abundance—whether you go for the “all you can eat” Rodizio barbecue meat option or hop around the lengthy menu, Brazilian Spices is a place to get fed (with, no small thing, incredible, fire-stoked flavor). Brazilian Spices Steakhouse & Pizza, 440 Ridge Road, North Arlington; 201-997-3663
—What’s interesting about the recently opened D’Avant Sushi in Fort Lee isn’t the traditional sushi restaurant fare but the dishes that veer slightly off-book (e.g. Grilled Chicken Salad with a Mango Chia Dressing, Pollock Roe and Avocado Bowl with Sunnyside Up Egg and Dried Seaweed, and definitely the Spicy Cajun Creamy Spaghetti, with “sautéed mushroom, onion, and shrimp in a spicy Cajun cream sauce”). The standard sushi options of the menu will be more familiar, and plentiful. D’Avant Sushi, 1638 Schlosser Street, #D2, Fort Lee; 201-482-0599
In the Works:
—Demetri Malki has been one of the more prolific chefs in northern Jersey, opening three restaurants in Montclair over the span of a decade-plus. The most successful, and only remaining open, restaurant is De Novo in Upper Montclair, and now it’s getting a second location in Edgewater. The self-described European pub will be doing a similar menu in the new space (former home of Le Jardin), with more of its seriously sophisticated next-level gastropub fare. No word on opening date, but we’ll keep an eye out. De Novo, 1257 River Road, Edgewater; no phone yet.
—Tommy’s Tavern & Tap is opening its third location in Freehold, in the former home of a TGI Friday’s (in the Chains vs. Local Restaurant battle, this round goes to the little guy). After restoring a former late 1800s Sea Bright building to some of its former glory with the first Tommy’s in 2014, Monmouth County’s “#1 Sports Bar” opened its second location in the Staten Island Mall. With its third spot, Tommy’s plans on expanding the former space to incorporate outdoor dining and a garden area. No word on whether they’ll repeat the “whiskey room” of the Sea Bright location. Tommy’s Tavern & Tap, 3492, Route 9, Freehold; no phone yet.
—Robert Cho of Kimchi Smoke fame in Westwood is bringing the beautiful, easy alchemy of his Korean and traditional American barbecue to the Market Eatery in the H-Mart in Little Ferry. The new location will repeat some of the hits of Cho’s original menu, with additions like Korean Corn Dogs, Texas Duk Bokki (spicy, chewy rice cakes), and LA Street Tacos. Kimchi Smoke KTX, H-Mart, 260 Bergen Turnpike, Little Ferry; no phone yet.
—The Tavern at Ash Brook looks to be hiring for a restaurant concept in the works with “new American comfort food with elevated technique and ingredients.” The restaurant, which will be located on the ninth green of the Ash Brook golf course in Scotch Plains, is still hiring major positions (like executive sous chef). Ash Brook Golf Course, 1210 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains; no phone yet.
—Peachwave Frozen Yogurt is slated to open an outpost of the swirly stuff in Larchmont Center in Mount Laurel this spring, just in time for (we hope?) warmer temperatures. A recent Facebook post said “we look forward to seeing everyone in the coming weeks,” so get your toppings preferences in order. Peachwave Frozen Yogurt, 127 Arch Road, Mount Laurel; 609-975-9890
—Kress Wine in Cherry Hill lasted for over 50 years, no small feat for a small business. But as of just a few days ago, the wine and liquor store known and loved by area residents closed its doors for good. The phone line is now disconnected, though they did leave a spirited farewell sign: “Dear Loyal Friends of Kress Wine, Thank you for your support of our Small Business. Farewell, The Kress Krew. Shop Local!” Kress Wine, 1 Haddonfield Berlin Road, Cherry Hill; phone disconnected.Click here to leave a comment