My husband (and trusty photographer), Lowell, and I were eager to try the newly opened Satis in Bloomfield because we have always been fond of the original, which opened in Jersey City in 2010.
Satis means “enough/satisfied/sufficient” in Latin, and we certainly felt that way after our dinner.
Unlike Jersey City’s corner location, where cheese and salumi are enticingly displayed in the rear of the restaurant, Bloomfield has a more masculine ambience, with a long bar, two TVs, an antique wood icebox, tin ceilings, wood tables, dishcloth napkins, mirrors and vintage photos. The location has been a bar/restaurant since the late 1800s. Since 1976, it was the Firehouse Pub, and before that Braun’s Tavern.
A smoky aroma announced the arrival of the patatas bravas, hot and crispy cubes of potato sprinkled with pimento (a smoked Spanish paprika) and cumin (my latest favorite spice). It was topped with aioli and sprinkled with scallions. We devoured these morsels. We also ordered a caramelized onion soup topped with chives and green onions, with a slice of béchamel-topped bread on the side. While we prefer gooey cheese covering our onion soup, the broth was sweet and filling.
Since my radar is always on for interesting vegetarian options, I ordered the butternut squash Wellington with truffled demi glace and kale mushroom duxelle in puff pastry. It came with a green salad. Filling, colorful and imaginatively prepared, it contained wonderful combinations of flavors.
Lowell could not turn down the perfect winter dish of Berkshire pork shank with spaetzle and bacon-braised cabbage in Pommery mustard sauce. It was as good as it sounds, with the juicy, tender pork enhanced by the tangy sauce.
Dessert wowed us. A caramelized apple tarte tatin topped with vanilla bean gelato was surrounded by a pool of cinnamon brown butter sauce. It was delicious, something you would not want to share.
289 Glenwood Avenue
ROSIE’S SHOUT OUTS:
Zod Arifai, previously chef/owner of Blu and Next Door in Montclair, will soon open The Mess in Manhattan. He joined us at Wabi Sabi in Bloomfield. Recommended dishes: edamame stir fry with truffle butter; lamb; sushi and sashimi.
A month can’t go by without visiting our favorite Chinese restaurant, Cheng Du 23 in Wayne. There we enjoed steamed juice buns; fish fillets with soft tofu, hot bean paste sauce, scallions and crispy soy beans; kung bao chicken; and bok choy.
For my birthday, Lowell took me to Scala del Nonna in Montclair. We stuffed ourselves on grilled diver sea scallops with a citrus and olive oil jus; lasagnette con vodka containing torn ribbons of pasta in a creamy tomato, basil vodka sauce with prosciutto and snow peas; double-cut pork chop (you know who had that!) with a rich mascarpone jus; and grilled branzino. Dessert was a honey-walnut tart.
Finally, we had lunch at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown, which offers memorable food in a beautiful setting. Some items that we devoured were braised octopus with a spicy tomato-based sauce and black olive gremolata; Pennsylvania Amish chicken with a creamy wild mushroom farroto; and apple fritters. Kudos to owner Chris Cannon and executive chef Kevin Sippel.
—ChengDu23, 6 Willowbrook Boulevard, Wayne, 973-812-2800 chengdu23.com BYO
—Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, 110 South Street, Morristown, 973-644-3180 jockeyhollowbarandkitchen.com
—Scala del Nonna, 32 Church Street, Montclair, 973-744-3300 scalinifedeli.com/scaladelnonna BYO
—Wabi Sabi, 407 Broad Street, Bloomfield, 973-680-9222 wabisabinj.com BYO