Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant Green Fusion Opens in Ridgewood

Plus: Other openings and restaurants in the works in Morristown, Long Branch, Merchantville and South Orange.

Green Fusion lasagna. Photo courtesy of Green Fusion

Openings:

Green Fusion opened to the public earlier this week in the former home of Indian restaurant Kailash on Oak Street in Ridgewood. Not that all Indian flavors are gone; on its “Soft Opening” dinner menu, the health-conscious, vegetarian/vegan restaurant has entrees like Manhattan Masala Tofu and Tandoori Cauliflower Steak. Italian flavors appear, too, e.g. Burrata Cheese Salad, Green Fusion Lasagna. All flavors appear on the brunch menu alongside everything from General Tso’s Cauliflower to Shakshuka Pizza to tofu-stuffed Naanwich. Green Fusion, 22 Oak Street, Ridgewood; 201-670-7502

–You might have gotten a preview taste at this year’s Taste of Morristown, but Fig and Lily Garden finally opened last Friday on Cattano Avenue. The cuisine is modern Mediterranean, with an eye to seasonality and local sourcing. Hot and cold mezze are more and less familiar—Garden Hummus with mashed chickpeas and fresh parsley, Avocado Ganoush, Pan-seared veal liver with thinly-sliced red onion, parsley, and sumac. Entrees are similar, and highlight the charcoal grill: Charcoal-grilled Lamb Shish (kebabs), Marinated Charcoal-grilled Octopus (with Squid Ink Mashed Potatoes), even charcoal grilled filet mignon. The Ratatouille is oven cooked—and vegetarian. Fig and Lily Garden, 2 Cattano Avenue, Morristown; 973-539-3999

In the Works:

—James Beard Award-winning chef David Burke is expanding his New Jersey empire at the historic Orange Lawn Tennis Club in South Orange. After adding indoor facilities last year, the near 140-year-old club is now year-round, paving the way for David Burke at Orange Lawn, set to open this spring in a freshly revamped dining space. Expect more of chef Burke’s seasonal, refined, Italian-inflected cooking in the main restaurant; Burke will also create menu items for the club’s 40 Love Pub, likely more playful and snackable. There will be extras (cooking classes, special pairing dinners, etc.) and a prominent appearance from Burke’s patented salt-aged beef. The restaurant, FYI, will be open to the public through the Dining Club (a nominal fee on your first visit). As of now, there’s no exact opening date beyond “Spring 2019.” David Burke at Orange Lawn, Orange Lawn Tennis Club, South Orange; 973-552-2280, Ext. 381

–Wave Resort in Long Branch is a major project from the Kushner real estate development empire, set to open on Ocean Avenue either later this spring or summer. Among the amenities at play will be five dining options, developed in conjunction with Apicii hospitality group. The marquee is 100 Ocean, which promises to check all boxes in modern fine dining (seasonal, chef-driven, aspirationally local) with an added emphasis on seafood. Ebb’s Coastal Kitchen will be the resort’s casual spot (think comfort food and beach views). Two fast-casual joints—Orilla’s Tacos and Branch Burger—round out the food and while coffee shop Buzz Bait will supply the resort with a daily jolt of coffee and baked goods. Wave Resort, 100 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch

–Fans of the currently shuttered That’s Amore in Collingswood, take heart. That’s Amore Chef Alfredo Fischioni plans to open a sister restaurant, Amore Mio, in Merchantville in May. The goal is to keep customers happy—and give Fischioni a place to cook—while the fate of the flood-damaged That’s Amore is decided. To that end, he’ll be serving some standbys from That’s Amore (including the DIY pasta option) and adding in a few new things along Italian/European comfort-casual lines. The (slightly smaller) spot is the former home of health-conscious soul food spot Ms. Nancy’s Place. Amore Mio, 177 South Center Street, Merchantville; no phone yet.

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