In the Works:
—Chris Siversen, chef/owner of Maritime Parc in Jersey City, a 2019 NJM Critics’ Pick for New American, is opening the Feathered Fox, a modern steakhouse concept, in the Westminster Hotel in Livingston, toward the end of this month. Maritime Parc received a 10-year anniversary spruce up last year, and the same design team is working on the Feathered Fox. Given the Westminster’s own modernism, expect more of the same in the restaurant. The Feathered Fox, 550 West Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston; no phone yet (973-533-0600 for the hotel).
—We profiled Ani Ramen House founder Luck Sarabhayavanija in our March Millenials issue, and we’re not surprised to see more expansions on the horizon. Ani Ramen already has five locations in New Jersey (the original in Montclair, plus Summit, Maplewood, and two in Jersey City), but the exploding fast-casual Japanese izakaya/ramen concept is adding three more—in East Rutherford, Cranford and New Brunswick. According to our interview, by summer there may well be nine Ani Ramen in New Jersey (and counting). A recent announcement identified the Hahne & Co. building on Halsey Street in Newark as the future home of the largest Ani Ramen yet (at 8,700 square feet). The additions are ongoing projects and opening dates vary so keeping up with Ani Ramen’s Instagram account is always a good idea (how else are you going to keep up with your vicarious noodle slurping?) The East Rutherford location is inside the American Dream Mall, FYI, so psychologically prepare yourself for that. Ani Ramen, various locations.
—Locanda Vecchia in Montville is fresh off a soft opening at the end of February. The restaurant, located in a large white house on Route 202, should be gearing up for brisk business in March. Chef Michael Cetrulo is at the helm of the project. He’s also the chef behind Scalini Fedeli in Tribeca and Chatham (which opened in a historic farmhouse in late 1995, giving it a quarter-century in business by the end of this year). At Scalini, the cuisine veers Italian with polished French influence; Locanda Vecchia is doubling down on the chef’s Italian repertoire, corseting rich and traditional Italian flavors with modern execution. The space itself is like a mix of country hospitality trussed up with the polish of a Continental clubhouse. Locanda Vecchia, 167 Route 202, Montville; 973-541-1234
On the Way?:
—Fables at Oak Ridge, a restaurant to accompany the refurbished Fairytale Forest which we reported on all the way back in June 2018, was supposed to open on March 4. Based on the lack of activity on its Facebook page and lack of answered phone calls, it seems this opening date has passed with no opening. (The park itself isn’t promised to open until circa Memorial Day.) What we do know is that iconic chef Christine Nunn will be head the operation. If you want to see some only semi-creepy footage of the park-in-the-making (still unopened), here’s a video shot last June when Franklin’s 102.3 WSUS tried to visit the place. With people there, and a humming restaurant, things will look a lot cheerier. Fables at Oak Ridge, 140 Oak Ridge Road, Oak Ridge; 973-697-5656
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