Restaurant News

This week Rosie tells us about Liberty House in Jersey City, Cuisine Inspirations/Class in a Glass offerings, Restaurant Serenade in Chatham, and much more news about NJ restaurants.

Congratulations to Jeanne and Frank Cretella, owners of Liberty House, Liberty State Park, 78 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, on the tenth anniversary of their restaurant. With magnificent views of the New York City skyline, Liberty House features a diverse menu of seafood, raw bar selections, sushi, pasta, steaks, and chops, under the direction of executive chef Kenny Trickilo. The event spaces also impress. The Grand Ballroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows, cathedral ceilings, unobstructed panoramic views, and a wrap-around terrace, accommodates up to 330 guests for dinner and dancing and up to 300 guests for a buffet. The Liberty Room, which adjoins tented garden pavilions and faces the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan, has room for 75 to 150 guests. For dinner reservations, call 201-395-0300.

View from the gardens at Liberty House Restaurant, Jersey City.
Photo by Vinnie Amesse.



Zod Arifai, chef/owner of Blu and Next Door, both in Montclair, is reopening Daryl Wine Bar, 302 George Street, New Brunswick, by the end of October. “I plan on having a casual menu that’s not as fancy as what I serve at Blu but not as casual as Next Door,” he says. Daryl will have an entrance in the Heldrich Hotel, will seat 80 in the main dining room, and will have two rooms for private dining (one will seat 15, the other 30). A chef de cuisine has not yet been named.


Chef Scott Savokinas, owner of Cuisine Inspirations (, a company that provides in-home meal preparation, dinner parties, knife sharpening, and educational programs in group and individual settings, has paired up with Carol Berman, founder of Class in a Glass/The Traveling Sommelier ( Berman, a wine educator, journalist, and radio personality, provides educational wine tastings and pairings at homes and corporate events. With Savokinas creating a meal, Berman will select wines that pair beautifully with Cuisine Inspirations’ dishes, and she’ll share information about the wines with guests. This service is perfect for large and small groups alike. For more information, call 973-219-6954.


Seadon Shouse is the new man in the house at Zylo, W Hotel, 255 River Street, Hoboken. This chef de cuisine, who most recently worked as sous chef at the Hudson Hotel in New York City, presented us with a special media dinner featuring tastings from his summer menu. Throughout the evening we experienced tantalizing aromas wafting up from beautifully arranged plates in which Shouse used herbs and spices deftly to add flavor and nuances to his food. Two of our favorites had Fresno chilies, which added depth to a fluke crudo with pickled ramps, sunchoke chips, and cilantro olive oil dressing, and to the house-made cavatelli with fennel-pork sausage and escarole. Yukon Gold potatoes topped with roasted octopus salad got zip from olives and an oregano battuto. Smoked pancetta balanced well with watermelon, ricotta salata, and arugula, all dressed with balsamic. Halibut, an excellent piece of fish, was flavored with smoked tomato citronette. Another favorite was the sea scallops and citrus gremolata accompanied by lobster corn fregola, a pasta from Sardinia that’s similar to Israeli couscous. A surprisingly light dessert was bombolini, little brioche donuts with a trio of dipping sauces: chocolate, coconut rum, and passion fruit. Be sure to check out the “Zylo-cellos,” house-made after-dinner liqueurs that are on display in the dining room. The night we were there, four were available: raspberry, mango, fig, and lemon. A delightful way to end the evening is to sit on the patio with this drink and watch the boats on the Hudson as well as the twinkling lights from the New York City skyline. For reservations, call 201-253-2500.

Fluke crudo with pickled ramps, sunchoke chips, Fresno chilies, and cilantro olive oil dressing.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein.


Through the end of September or until the tomato season is over, Restaurant Serenade, 6 Roosevelt Avenue, Chatham, will offer the following five-course tomato dinner, which can be ordered with ($120) or without ($80) wine pairings:

Hawaiian prawns with green tomato marmalade, almonds, and zucchini flowers
(2009 Do Ferreiro Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain)

King salmon paillard with Red Brandywine tomatoes, beurre noisette, organic soy sauce, and capers
(2009 Chateau de Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Les Brules, Mâcon, France)

Tomato salad with fresh mozzarella croquettes, extra-virgin olive oil, and opal basil
(2009 Domaine de Nerleux Samur-Champigny Clos des Chatains, Loire, France)

Roasted rack of lamb with couscous roulade, preserved lemon, and harissa tomato broth
(2007 La Serena Andrea Mantengoli Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy)

Tomato tart with lemon ricotta and pineapple sorbet
(2009 La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti Bricco Quaglia, Piedmont, Italy)

Tomatoes used in the dishes are from Melick’s Farm in Oldwick as well as from Chef James Laird’s own half-acre garden. For reservations, call 973-701-0303.


Diners at Sean O’Casey’s Irish Pub, Park Ridge Marriott, 300 Brae Boulevard, Park Ridge, can now participate in an extreme shepherd’s pie challenge. Executive chef Thomas Szymanowicz has created an eight-pound shepherd’s pie, which contains two pounds of potatoes and six pounds of beef, plus peas and carrots. Anyone who can finish the entire pie in one hour wins a free meal, a pub T-shirt, a picture on the wall of fame, and bragging rights. For more information, call 201-307-0800.



A three-course $22 Sunset menu is being offered at the Lambertville Station Restaurant, 11 Bridge Street, Lambertville, Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 6:30 PM. For reservations, call 609-397-8300.

A special three-course menu will be offered through September 30 for $45 at Morton’s the Steakhouse, Riverside Square Mall, 1 Riverside Square, Hackensack. For reservations, call 201-487-1303.

Every evening till 7 PM, $1 oysters are offered in the wine bar at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington Street, Cape May (609-884-5697).

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

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