Openings and Closings

Patrons will find Le Malt, Brown Spirits and Wine Lounge to be sexy, smooth, distinguished, rich, and sophisticated. This is not only a description of the 750 rare and varied brown spirits, the craft brews and more than 100 wines by the glass offered, but of the décor and ambiance. Le Malt, which recently opened, is the only establishment of its kind in the tri-state area.

LE MALT, BROWN SPIRITS AND WINE LOUNGE, COLONIA
What is your pleasure? Single malts, blended scotches, Irish, Japanese, Tennessee, Canadian and Indian whiskies, mezcal cognacs, bourbons, rums, tequilas, liqueurs, cordials, vodka, gin, red and white wines, craft beers and ports as well as a decanter of Macallan M, one of only 1,750 in the world that is priced at $12,000, are all exquisitely displayed on illuminated shelves encompassing two walls. There are booths for semi-private larger parties and special Chef’s Tasting dinners, plushy couches, comfy chairs, low tables, subtle lighting (check out the stunning Murano glass chandelier) and two, member only, VIP rooms.


Wall of bottles.

A sophisticated cocktail experience awaited us at a recent gathering for the press. There is no bar, but award-winning general manager and master mixologist Richard Tandoc takes your order and then pulls the bottles off the shelf and brings a rolling cart to where you are seated to theatrically create your cocktail or pour your drink. Baseball shaped ice cube contain fruits, herbs and/or flowers. We were impressed.

Signature seasonal cocktails include the Boardwalk Empire (Maker’s 46 bourbon, infused bacon, house-made aromatic bitters), Royal Sangria (Johnnie Walker Platinum, infused red wine, fresh fruit) and Ferrari Martini (Mango rum, fresh pomegranate puree, edible flower). Prefer a shot? Opt for anything from a $10 shot of Jameson to a $750 glass of Hennessy Richard Cognac. Coming soon is the Billionaire Cocktail (Hennessy Paradis Cognac, Grand Marnier Cuvee 1880, Moet & Chandon Imperial, Moonshine) garnished with edible 23k gold flakes, served in a plaid crystal Tiffany Martini glass for $175. Be forewarned that there is already a waiting list. Also know that even bottles of wine are brought to your seating area and poured in Riedel glasses.

To go with all of these libations, executive chef Duke Estime has a menu of small, sharable finger food, created to pair with the drinks. Recommended dishes include: zucchini stuffed with risotto with butternut squash and black truffle; tuna tartare with coconut milk and Thai basil on wonton chips; seared scallops with lemon preserve horseradish on wonton chips; lamb lollipops topped with a zesty chutney sauce; deviled organic eggs with bacon, shallots, black truffle; Hudson Valley foie gras with figs and dried dates on brioche and ground lamb empanadas. For dessert try the puff pastry with a peach, walnut and cream cheese filling or the Grand Marnier truffles.


Tuna tartare with coconut milk and Thai basil on wonton chips.

Le Malt is open Sunday 3 to 9 PM; Tuesday through Thursday 4 to 11 PM; and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 12 AM.


Master mixologist Richard Tandoc making The Prohibition. This drink features fresh lime, mint, fresh lemon juice, Hennessey Black — and is topped with Champagne.

Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Le Malt, Brown Spirits and Wine Lounge
1021 St Georges Avenue
Colonia
732-510-7700

OTHER OPENINGS
Joseph Cuccia, owner/chef of Joseph Cuccia Catering has opened 17 Summer Restaurant, 17 Summer Street, Lodi (973-928-4780); BYO. Menu items include homemade focaccia; fried cauliflower spiedini; eggs in purgatory; rabbit sugo with pappardelle; striped bass over ratatouille; steak frites; and grilled veal chop with roasted cauliflower, dates and smoked paprika.

The Committed Pig, which offers brunch and dinner daily, has opened at 28 West Park Place, Morristown (862-260-9292); BYO. Along with pancakes, French Taost and eggs, grilled cheese, salads, burgers and dinner entrees are served. Reservations are not accepted.

Hansel n Griddle, 38 W Front Street, Red Bank (732-219-7090) offering breakfast items, paniani, wings, burger, salads, sandwiches and much more has opened. Other locations are in New Brunswick and Somerville.

L’Atelier du Chocolat, with a location in NYC, has been opened by Eric Girerd at 321 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City 201-332-9220.

Fifty selections or organic loose leaf tea are offered at the newly opened Village Tea Shop, 10 S Maple Avenue, Ridgewood (201-857-0230).

CLOSINGS

Ristorante Benissimo, Madison

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

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    • Rosie

      Thank you for the update. Much appreciated. Rosie