The Edge in Jackson Opens Its Door

Plus: Other openings and restaurant news in Closter, South Orange, Haddon Township and beyond.

The Edge in Jackson. Photo courtesy of the Edge

Open:

—Earlier this month, the Edge in Jackson Township finally opened its doors. The longtime dream of local area residents Phil and Louise Cornick, the restaurant is meant to provide both local and destination dining accessible to all Shore points. There’s more than a few refined touches on the menu (Shrimp and Grits with house-cured Tasso Ham, Forest Mushroom Ravioli with Brown Butter Cream and Sage). Though in truth, the beverage list (with cocktails created by mixologist Christopher James, who has since left the company) alone looks like reason to visit: craft cocktails, interesting beers and an impressive wine list (with a promising array of half bottle options). But the real focus is the spirits list, full of single malt Scotches, Irish, Canadian and Japanese whiskies, a small universe of bourbons, a handful of frisky ryes, smoky mezcals, and a collection of digestifs and aperitifs, which is not as common but might be ahead of the curb in trendsetting. The Edge, 109 County Line Road, Jackson; 732-408-3343

—We don’t equate Greece with coffee as much as feta, but the just-opened Koupa Café in Haddon Township should fix that. Set up in the longtime former home of corner salon Gino’s, Koupa (which means “cup” in Greek) is a small café with a strong Intelligentsia coffee program and a tidy, eclectic menu of sweets and savories culled from the culinary background of Greek-American owner Eleni Anastasopoulos of Cherry Hill. Anastasopoulos was born in Greece, but her father and mother brought her here as a child, where her father worked as a chef here for 20 years; back in Greece her grandfather had run a seaside coffee shop. Having her own place—a combination of Greek and American enterprise—was almost an inevitability for Anastasopoulos, who trained with Square Mile Roasters in the UK and Intelligentsia in New York City to prepare herself to run a strong coffee program at Koupa. They also do some Greek staples like rice pudding—her father’s recipe—and her mother’s spanakopita. They also source some French pastry from the nearby Au Fournil, though Instagram evidence of something called a Galaktoboureko—a delicious, flaky phyllo dough filled with soft creamy custard—is far more intriguing. Koupa Café, 24 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township; 856-298-1553

Any Day Now:

—The seats and accents are rich cobalt blue, the long bar zinc bar is shiny and pristine, and the open space is flooded with delicate winter light—and there, through the window, chef Thomas Ciszak is hard at work on his laptop. Or so it was the other day, when we happened to walk by the under-construction space Brasserie Mémère at Closter Plaza and the chef invited us in to check on the progress of the place. Per chef Ciszak, also at the helm of Blue Morel and formerly of the beloved, belated Chakra, the restaurant should be ready to open within a matter of days (a Instagram post on Monday hints none-too-subtly at a pre-Thanksgiving soft-opening bash). And here’s hoping, based on the beauty of the space alone, although the concept would be even more welcome as temps drop: a French brasserie with comfort heritage cooking culled from Ciszak’s past, among other places (“Mémère” means “Granny” in French). Sure, it’s getting colder outside, but soon enough you’ll hear dishes clinking and wine glasses chiming. Brasserie Mémère, 107 Vervalen Street, Closter; 201-660-8822

New Chef:

—Restaurateur David Massoni’s Fox and Falcon opened just about a year ago in South Orange with Del Posto alum Matt Ruzga as executive chef. About a week ago, the restaurant introduced its new executive chef, Ruby Felix-Curtis, formerly of Talde and Thirty Acres in Jersey City as well as the Standard Grill and Ma Peche in New York. As evidenced by this Instagram picture of her Mafaldine with short rib ragu and horseradish cream, Felix-Curtis has already started reconfiguring the menu, and will continue to do so, drawing on her past professional experience as well as some of the Filipino flavors of her own background. The Fox and Falcon, 19 Valley Street, South Orange; 973-419-6773

New Location:
Osteria Procaccini made it onto our list of 35 must-try New Jersey pizza places last March, back when it had locations in Ocean Grove, Kingston, Pennington, and Crosswicks. As of about two months ago, they added a fifth location in Madison. The new location has the same menu, with dishes like Mama’s Meatballs made with grass-fed beef and Sunday Sauce. Their signature thin-crust oven-charred pizza are still the centerpiece, but the artisanal sandwiches (the Tonno and the Crudo especially) are calling our name. Osteria Procaccini, 6 Main Street, Madison; 973-845-6330

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