The Shore is welcoming a new fast-casual poke spot, while a restaurant-centric North Jersey ‘burb is toasting a thoroughly modern bar named for a local icon.
Proven Poke Co., located at 644 Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park, is serving lunch and dinner daily (and also serving into the wee hours of the morning on weekends) in fast-casual fashion. Think of it as the Hawaiian seafood trend meets Chipotle counter-culture style, and you’ve got the idea about how Proven Poke works: It’s build-your-own, mixed-to-order bowls, with a strong focus on fish—but there are options for chicken and vegan dishes as well. 732-455-5969; provenpokeco.com.
Pharmacie Liquor Bar, 398 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, is named in honor of the historic Wellmont Pharmacy and located adjacent to the Wellmont Theater. Executive chef is Nick Greiss, who is a native of Nutley and was recently the sous chef at Common Lot, Millburn. Greiss is putting a modern twist on class bar fare with Brussels sprouts flatbread, pork-belly sliders and modern cocktails. Mixologists are Robert Vrancken III and Leah Castellazzo. Open evenings Wednesday through Sunday; brunch planned for Sundays starting in the spring. 973-968-5303; pharmacieliquorbar.com.
Also now open:
* Usta, 601 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park. Turkish. Breakfast, lunch and dinner; BYO. 201-917-5850.
* El Malecon, 1400 Anderson Avenue, Fort Lee. Dominican. Breakfast, lunch and dinner; BYO. 201-944-5400.
* Kinyobi, 838 Main Street, Hackensack. Asian. Lunch and dinner; BYO. 201-646-3267; kinyobinj.com.
* Blended Bowls, 100 East Main Street in Ramsey. Acai bowls. Breakfast and lunch. 201-934-3220.
Somos, 185 River Road, North Arlington, is a Latin-American kitchen and bar under the direction of celebrated chef Juan Placencia, the culinary talent behind the Peruvian BYO Costanera in Montclair. Expect small plates with big tastes, draft wines by the glass and the level of high-quality-meets-high-style that has brought Placencia acclaim. 973-337-8289; somosnj.com.
Coming when the weather warms:
Farmly Neighborhood Kitchen, 2100 Route 35, Sea Girt, is the brainchild of chef James Avery, of Bonney Read in Asbury Park. Avery’s plan here is to offer Jersey-grown produce in fast-casual fare—and expand the Farmly brand elsewhere in the Garden State. 732-912-8236.
Pier 260, a restaurant and bar at 260 Beachway (corner of Raritan Avenue) in Keansburg. Envision a three-story spot offering fine food and drink with a sensational view of the bay and the New York skyline. Just under construction, Pier 260 is expected to kick off a renaissance in this Bayshore town that was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, but is now seeing redevelopment in the form of housing and new businesses.