Openings and Closings

Rosie has the latest on the newly opened Anthony Marra’s in Livingston and information on restaurant openings and closings.

Stretches in Livingston, which closed in 2013, offered some items that were also on the menu at the popular Belmont Tavern in Belleville, such as chicken savoy and cavatelli with pot cheese. The former Stretches is now the location of the recently opened Anthony Marra’s, which is also offering some of the Belmont Tavern’s favorite dishes. This reasonably priced, old-school casual Italian restaurant provides another local dining option for the Safersteins.

Slightly cooked slices of vibrant orange carrots, a bottle of water and bread were placed on the table when we were seated. Ask for the herbed olive oil, which we found much more interesting than the butter.

We shared an appetizer of perfectly prepared broccoli rabe, charred sweet sausage and fresh slices of garlic. Entrees included a steaming bowl of cavatelli with pot cheese (which we finished off the next night) and a very acceptable double-cut pork chop giambotta. An abundance of fried potatoes, fresh, red-and-green peppers and onions covered the large piece of meat, and for $26—while it was not as tender as a Berkshire pork chop—the price, large portion, and accompaniments, made this an impressive dish. Except for house-made tiramisu served in a glass coffee cup, all desserts are from Nasto’s in Newark. Salads, pizza, daily specials are available, and we are looking forward to working our way through the menu. Make a reservation if you plan on dining here on a weekend, and be forewarned that the restaurant can get uncomfortably noisy when just half full.

Pork chop giambotta.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Anthony Marra’s
18 E Mount Pleasant Avenue

Follow the smoke to Big Harlie’s Barbecue who used to sell at festivals, and now has opened a restaurant at 506 Raritan St, Sayreville offering chicken, ribs, beef, sandwiches, salad and seafood. Sides include mac and cheese, dirty rice with sausage, collard greens and more. (732-727-1110)

Vietnamese food is offered at Bo Ne, 547 N Broad St, Woodbury (856-848-5738).

A family-run business that cooks from scratch has opened at Brooklyn Bistro—Authentic Italian Restaurant & Caterers, 44 Washington St, Toms River (732-244-2122). Along with pizzettes, signature dishes include slow-braised beef osso buco, Ahi tuna steak, veal chop Milanese and pastas. Brooklyn Bistro also has custom cheesecakes that need to be ordered 24 hours in advance.

CoolVines has opened at 255 Grove St, if you find yourself in Jersey City and need wine, liquor or beer (201-448-8657).

Classic (black bean and corn) special (butternut risotto) and seasonal (blueberries and peach cream) are a few of the many flavors featured at the newly opened Empanada Mama’s, 600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May, (609-972-3977)

Fogo Tapas Bar has opened at 10 Park Ave, Montclair offering Spanish and Portuguese tapas, such as grilled octopus; charcuterie board; egg, onion and potato omelet; cod cakes; chorizo; short-rib tacos; hangar steak; rice pudding and tres leches cake (973-744-3255); BYO.

Il Sogno, offering pizza, soups, sandwiches, entrees and catering, has opened at 840 Franklin Avenue, Franklin Lakes (201-560-0023); BYO.

Jersey Mike’s Subs, 2143 Rt 35, Holmdel (732-847-3381), creates subs made Mike’s Way® with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a signature olive oil blend, vinegar and spices using only private-labeled meats and cheeses, sliced fresh for each sub sandwich and piled high on bread baked in-store. Started in 1956, Jersey Mike’s now has 1,300 restaurants open or under development nationwide. The restaurant’s hours are 10 AM to 9 PM, daily. Website:

Olive Greek Restaurant has opened at 13 W Main St, Freehold, offering traditional meat and fish Greek dishes, burgers, paninis, wraps, vegetarian dishes at lunch and dinner, daily (732-543-4412); BYO.

Panera Bread, a casual café/bakery, has opened at 392 Rt 130, East Windsor (609-371-8371).

Looking for a healthy meal? Salad Works has opened at 749 Bloomfield Ave, West Caldwell (973-403-6790).

Bring your growler to The Thirsty Quaker for a fill up. Thirsty Quaker sells homebrew supplies, craft beers, wines and spirits at 492 Monmouth St, Jersey City (201-659-2304).


Frattelli’s, Sandyston

Galileo’s Restaurant in New Providence, which had its grand opening in April of 2013, has closed.

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to [email protected].

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