—Sorriso Kitchen opened its doors in the former home of Angie’s Restaurant on Main Street in Chatham. The restaurant was opened by Chatham residents Jimmy and Karen Bellas, both to create a restaurant for the community and to create a space that supports the special needs community (their son, L.J., has Down syndrome). The restaurant closes every Monday, when it operates as a classroom space for Special Needs children and young adults to develop life skills. During regular hours, though, they’re serving a farm-fresh, homestyle American café menu from Culinary Institute of American graduate chef Ryan Chatfield. Sorriso Kitchen, 252 Main Street, Chatham; 973-665-8068
—Mobile food truck Carlitos Tacos found a solid, stay-put home in Paramus with the opening of Carlitos Barbecue Taqueria at the Garden State Plaza. But this isn’t just a food truck that found a home (the truck’s still roaming, FYI). These are hand-pressed, made-to-order tortillas and slow-smoked USDA prime meats on your taco (or sweet plantain for a veg option). Like a food truck or BBQ outfit, their brick-and-mortar menu is super-simple, with emphasis on a few carnivore classics done meticulously (pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken—just don’t forget the Dulce de Leche-filled Churros, etc.) Carlitos Barbecue Tacqueria, One Garden State Plaza Boulevard, Paramus; 908-502-7192
—The Allendale Corner Café has been running smoothly in the former, almost decade-old home of Allendale Eats on West Allendale Avenue for a few weeks now. The menu is what you’d find at any country kitchen or diner, with hearty portions, powder sugar-dusted breakfasts, and easy access to Allendale’s quiet main thoroughfare. Allendale Corner Café, 101 W. Allendale Avenue, Allendale; 201-875-5905
In the Works:
—Sweet news for the New Year: Mara’s Café & Bakery will be reopening in January 2019. Denville local businesswoman Allison Kohler revived, and renovated, the business, though she’s keeping the baking and menu squarely in the hands of former owners Mara and Glenn Magley and Head Baker Dave Levey (Season 6 winner of “Hell’s Kitchen”), who had previously baked for Mara’s for six years. There is a soft opening January 2, with the Grand Reopening (and two-for-one deals) starting the week of January 9. Diners can expect the same high caliber of indulgent baked goods as well as a regularly updated café menu, overseen by Levey. Mara’s Café & Bakery, 25 East Main Street, Denville; no phone yet.
—Blazing Burger is set to open soon in the former home of Munchies by Antonio in Newark. There isn’t much info yet about the space, which likely won’t open before 2019, though our best guess is it’ll be a funky fast-casual burger joint. Blazing Burger, 42-48 Norfolk Street, Newark; no phone yet.
—The former home of Reilly’s Rib Cage in Bergenfield is getting a new tenant—with an old Bergenfield business. The owner of Thai Kitchen by Yada, which closed due to inspection issues, is opening a new restaurant, Yada Noodle House, in the old barbecue space. According to an Instagram post from chef Yada herself, they’ll be opening the first week of January 2019. Yada Noodle House, 49 West Church Street, Bergenfield; 201-771-7800