—Main Street Gourmet Deli has opened in the former Tommy’s Deli space in downtown Somerville. Chef-owner Kevin Trimarchi, who also owns 22 West Tap & Grill in Bound Brook, noticed a lack of quality delis in the area and opened Main Street Gourmet to fill the void. The menu plays with deli standards, including gourmet sandwiches named after Somerville streets. Trimarchi also does catering from the location. Main Street Gourmet Deli, 63 West Main Street, Somerville; 908-864-4277
—Soup’s on Main opened last month with the motto “Farm to Ladle, Pot to Table.” A bright, airy space with communal and individual tables and a window facing Main Street, the interior comes off as a sort of farmhouse-café with quaint décor to match. Ingredients are local and organic, and soup options are plentiful (they also do salads, a couple sandwiches, and even pet food). Good news if you fall for a particular soup (the Vegan Loaded Potato Soup sounds pretty good): They sell frozen soups, so you can store them away for a literal rainy day. Soup’s on Main, 199 Main Street, Hackettstown; 908-736-6004
—Aumm Aumm Pizzeria and Wine Bar held the soft opening for its new Englewood location three weeks ago and they’ve been humming along smoothly since. It’s early to tell but the second location looks eager to live up to expectations set by their original restaurant in North Bergen (think succulent octopus, airy fried calzones, toothsome pasta, so very much pizza, etc.). One thing we do know: the wine list is ample. Aumm Aumm Pizzeria and Wine Bar at the Brownstone, 17 Nordhoff Place, Englewood; 201-408-5488
—Soul food chef (and trained nutritionist) Nancy Miller recently closed Ms. Nancy’s Place in Merchantville after opening her second restaurant, Taste of SOUL by Ms. Nancy in Burlington. The new restaurant is in a larger location that’s seen multiple businesses come and go (one of the space’s original occupants, Taste of Creole, was helmed by the first African American woman to own a restaurant in the city). In addition to soul food classics and some twists (sweet potato waffles to go with fried chicken), Miller uses her nutritionist training to keep the menu entirely sugar- and butter-free. Taste of SOUL by Ms. Nancy, 345 High Street, Burlington; 609-531-2451
In the Works:
—Bubbakoo’s Burritos began in Point Pleasant in 2008, and while the roots of the mini-empire are firmly planted in the “skater and Shore scene,” that won’t stop them from expanding slightly inland to Parsippany, likely to open by the end of the month after some significant construction delays. They have three other locations opening soon in Belmar, Morris Plains, and Freehold. Bubbakoo’s Burritos, Morris Hills Shopping Center, Route 46, Parsippany. No phone yet.
—Kosher brewery Seven Sons Brewing is set to open on in the Ideal Plaza on Route 9 in Howell sometime in the coming weeks. The brewery is taking over the space of a former nail salon, with massive construction and renovation beginning late spring/early summer 2018. A more recent Instagram update on February 21 showed serious progress on the interior, but from the looks of it there’s still a ways to go. As for the beer program itself, they’re sharing some experiments (a Bitter Ale, their first Belgian White). Other than that, we only know it’s Kosher, which might mean the beers will be Kosher-certified and/or certain fining agents or additives won’t be used. Seven Sons Brewing, 2202 Route 9, Howell; no phone yet.
—Ambeli Greek Tavern in Westfield has closed (the owner is focusing on running the original location in Cranford). The venue won’t be empty for long: Spice Bazaar will be relocating from its home at 114 Quimby Street to the larger Ambeli location. 38 Elm Street, Westfield.
—Another longstanding Westfield restaurant is closing. Theresa’s has been serving casually refined Italian to Westfield locals for over a quarter of a century now, but owner and executive chef Robert Scalera announced plans to move on earlier this month. The restaurant had previously closed for two weeks last summer for an interior renovation. Theresa’s, 47 Elm Street, Westfield.Click here to leave a comment