Dining in MONTCLAIR NJ Offers Guests Unlimited Options for Top Food and Drink
If you are looking for dining options that are sure to please, we suggest you visit the charming town of Montclair, NJ. Easily accessed by train, bus, or car, there are restaurants to suit every taste and style. We've rounded up some of our favorites. Make a day of it or have a big night out. Montclair has a lovely shopping district and it's the home of Montclair State University. The downtown area is also rich in culture with opportunities to enjoy theatre, music, and art. Check out some of our suggestions that will suit many tastes and styles and plan your next meal adventure.
Zeugma Mediterranean Grill
44 South Park Street
While Zeugma Mediterranean Grill takes its name from an ancient Turkish city, the menu at this one-year-old Montclair restaurant is decidedly modern. Just as the bridge over the Euphrates River in Zeugma connected the Greco-Roman world to the Persian empire, the kitchen produces beautifully plated dishes with western and eastern influences: Salmon Artichoke with roasted Brussels sprouts and artichokes, spicy tomato sauce, artichoke purée, truffle crumble; Shrimp Casserole with garlic tomato sauce, portobello and shiitake mushrooms, house-made yogurt sauce, paprika, parsley oils); and the 10 oz. Pistachio Steak Burger with roasted cherry tomatoes, pistachio pesto, smoked ketchup, house cut fries, pickles and pickled pepper. Zeugma is a retailer for California Dominico Winery, selling both half and full bottles. Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
7 Park Street
Now in its ninth year, the home-style Brazilian menu at Samba Montclair is a favorite of homesick brasileiros as well as diners craving an alternative to rodizio. Owner/Chef Ilson Goncalves, a native of Brazil and graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, puts the emphasis on fresh and clean preparations of vegetables, fish and herbs with an abundance of gluten-free and vegan options. Guests go crazy for Cestinha de Pao de Queijo (yuca-cheese bread basket), Mandioca Frita com Linguicia Calabresa e Cebola (yuca with Brazilian pork sausage and onions), and Brazil's National dish, Feijoada, (black bean and pork stew). These recipes and more available are available in The Samba Montclair Cookbook (A Life in Print, 2017). Samba is a BYOB serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
Joyist Organic Café
617 Valley Road
Montclair's Kacy Erdelyi, founder of Joyist Organic Café, is leading the charge to transform the suburban coffee shop into a delicious and health-supportive source of functional foods. And what better time to start eating better than the beginning of a new year? At Joyist, customers are asked to consider how they feel before ordering. Have trouble with inflammation? Choose the Lemonade with a Kick containing anti-inflammatory turmeric activated by a dash of cayenne pepper. Struggle with digestive issues? The Asian-Style Grain Bowl with kimchi provides probiotics for gut health. And who couldn't benefit from antioxidant-packed Zahra, a macha, mint and moringa tea? Customers can also get their healing mushrooms from a proprietary blend of organic coffee containing adaptogens. Open seven days a week, Joyist is a great place to meet for business or socializing, or popping open a laptop and getting some work done.
349 Bloomfield Avenue
If you care to share, Vanillamore is a place you must experience. Pastry Chef/Owner Risa Magid Boyer puts sweets at the center of the menu, with healthy, seasonal savory offerings to complement-all designed to pass around. Savory options include: charcuterie boards with cured meats and artisanal cheeses; small plates such as Brussels sprouts with pancetta, butternut squash and charred cauliflower crostini; and larger plates, like a Roasted Half-Chicken and Skirt Steak. Desserts include charcuterie boards with dark, milk and white chocolate "salamis" matched with flavor-packed cookies, compotes, caramels and confections; tapas-style presentations of S'mores (house-made vanilla marshmallows on shortbread, tiny pitchers of espresso, buttered rum and vanilla caramel sauces; and themed dessert flights. Come in for lunch, dinner or brunch and check the calendar for Slice of Cake Happy Hour, Chef Tasting Dinners and other events.
398 Bloomfield Avenue
973.968.5303, Facebook @pharmacieliquorbar
Named with a nod to the past-the Pharmacie soda shop once flanked the original Bloomfield Avenue entrance to the historic Wellmont Theater-Pharmacie Bar + Kitchen serves up handcrafted classic and modern cocktails along with elevated contemporary bar bites perfect for sharing. Executive Chef Kenny West's "Things to Eat" menu features cross-cultural influences and strong flavors: a refined Chips and Dip (house-made potato chips, cured trout roe, crème fraîche and yolk jam); Labneh with cucumber, mint, pistachio salsa verde served with naan; a vegetarian Rigatoni Bolognese made with chickpeas; and Octopus Lettuce Wraps with sweet and sour condiments. Of course, there's also his take on greatest hits like burgers, chicken wings, shoestring fries and mussels. Pharmacie is a convivial gathering place for pre-show libations, a date night dinner, or a private party for up to 100 guests. Open six nights a week (closed Mondays) and for Sunday brunch.
345 Bloomfield Avenue
Photo below is by Cathy Miller
Kai Yang is the newest restaurant from Chef/Owner Sheree Sarabhaya (Spice II, Montclair and Boon Thai Kitchen, Livingston). Growing up in Bangkok, Sarabhaya enjoyed freshly prepared Thai market street foods such as kai yang, which literally translates to grilled chicken. Kai Yang features its namesake rotisserie grilled organic chickens, accompanied by traditional papaya salad, sticky rice side and dipping sauces with variations that include pork or beef. In addition, Sarabhaya's other Thai specialty dishes are served.
Anthony's Cheesecake & Café
71 Washington Street
(Just down the road from Montclair in Bloomfield)
Anthony's Cheesecake & Café is what happens when you relocate your budding wholesale bakery to a storefront in a bustling downtown. Neighbors knock on the door asking, "can I have a slice? do you sell coffee? why don't you open for lunch?" That's how over a period of nine years, friends and business partners Anthony Lauro and Philip Byrne have come to be known for much more than scrumptious cheesecake. Today, Anthony's is a gathering place for neighbors and a destination for those in the know seeking fresh, home-style fare with compelling Italian and Mexican influences. Examples from their imaginative palates include: Sweet Potato Tater Tot Disco Fries with BBQ Pulled Pork; Potato Pierogi Lasagna with Smoked Kielbasa; and Caramelized Onions and Garlic Shrimp Fajita over Steamed Spaghetti Squash. Save room for dessert! More than 30 cheesecake varieties are offered, as well as an assortment of cakes, pies and other sweets.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of the venues