—After some back-and-forth with the Red Bank zoning board, Triumph Brewing Co. officially opened its doors on November 12. They had a soft opening first, but now have about a week under their belt at this third location for the brewery, which is at least equal parts dining destination. Triumph Brewing Co. Restaurant & Brewery, 1 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank; 732-852-7300
—Very much like a classic French brasserie, the recently opened Brasserie Bonjour in Edgewater wants to be an all-day, neighborhood spot (hours stretch from 8am to 10pm). Executive chef Ed Brothers helms a menu of French classics with a few creative modern twists (house cured pastrami on an everything waffle). Beyond the warm dining area, sensory seductions also include caviar service, warm crepes, and an on-site pastry chef. Brasserie Bonjour, 2 Hillard Avenue, Edgewater; 201-969-8444
–Fuzion opened its doors in Harrison, just west of the Passaic River, in late October. Not much more is known about the Peruvian restaurant, located just north of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Fuzion, 701 Frank E. Rogers Boulevard N., Harrison; 973-268-2800
–Lil John’s Pizza turned into Johnny Napkins in Union, and the metamorphosis was so successful they opened a second location in Lodi. The new spot features the same classic Jersey Italian menu, with regional touches and hedonistic elements like loaded fries. First timers should try their stick-to-your-ribs signature upside-down Sicilian pie, the Sottosopra. Johnny Napkins, 170 Main Street, Lodi; 973-574-777
In the Works:
–A new “upscale steakhouse” called Waterman’s Tavern is currently hiring front of house personnel. The steakhouse is slated to open in December in the former house of Simko’s Grill. Waterman’s Tavern, 403 Higgins Avenue, Brielle; no phone yet.
–Renovation is almost finished on The Oakley, which took over the former Park Pub space. The restaurant changed management earlier this year, with renovations beginning over the summer. No word yet on when they’re opening, though they do have an executive chef. As for the name, chances are it’s an ode to none other than Annie Oakley herself, who lived in the town from 1892 into the 20th Century. The Oakley, 789 Bloomfield Avenue, Nutley; no phone yet.
–Family-owned donut and coffee shop Top That! Donuts is bringing a second location to Rutherford early next year, just in time to demolish what remains of of your New Year’s Resolution. Chris and Danielle Wolowitz opened the first store in Point Pleasant, their adopted Jersey Shore home, in 2014. The second location in Rutherford pays homage to their shared Bergen County roots, and will likely feature the same “Design Your Own” donuts menu feature as the original. Top That! Donuts, 8 Highland Cross, Rutherford; no phone yet.
–After the success of his first location in Lacey, husband and wife team Jay and Cait Gould are opening the second location of Surf Poke in Belmar, possibly next Spring. They don’t have an exact address yet, though do know they’ll be in the same plaza as 10th Ave Burrito Co. The menu will feature the a roster of signature bowls as well as the popular “Build Your Own” option, with acai bowls and smoothies as well. Surf Poke, Belmar Plaza, Belmar; no phone yet.
–Gemelli Bistro & Pizzeria closed its doors in Barnegat, supposedly leaving behind kitchen equipment. 2451, 696 East Bay Avenue, Barnegat; 609-994-2554
–Opening in 2017, Reilly’s Rib Cage in Bergenfield announced its closing via Instagram. Its last day at the Church Street location will be November 24. Fans of the BBQ spot’s famous brisket and pulled pork don’t necessarily have to fear hunger pangs; among the post hashtags was #newlocation. Reilly’s Rib Cage, 49 West Church Street, Bergenfield; 201-771-7200Click here to leave a comment