We've got good news and more good news.
The good news is we can close the door on that ugly roller coaster that was 2016. And in doing so, we get to stuff our faces at some delicious new restaurants to celebrate. So let's break bread over the newest additions to Bergen County's restaurant scene- coming to a town near you in 2017.
Distrito: No mediocre Mexican food here. Iron Chef Jose Garces' menu at this outpost of his Philadelphia stalwart will be full of fun dishes like mix-and-match taco plates, ceviches, and quinoa-kale enchiladas along with an array of creative tequila cocktails and margaritas. (Closter Plaza, Closter)
Gaonnuri: Armed with a winning formula at their Michelin Guide recommended NYC location, this authentic upscale Korean dining "experience" spot will be opening their second location at The Hudson Lights in Fort Lee later this year. Look for a gorgeous space (perfect for group dining) and offerings like dumplings and Bibimbop plus droolworthy table barbeque.
Village Whiskey: You may say you're not a whiskey gal, but you very well may be one by the time you leave Garces' other spot here, which offers a whopping 200 different types. You're sure to find one you like to go with the retro all-day snacky menu here, with offerings ranging from raw oysters to duck fat fries to deviled eggs. (Closter Plaza, Closter)
Bareburger: You don't want to buy your kids fast food, but on nights where you have zero time and they're begging for a burger with fries, what's the alternative? Actually, it's now this place that slings fresh, organic, all-natural burgers along with locally-sourced toppings and even gluten-free buns and vegan cheese- opening in Closter Plaza late January 2017.
IFish Tenafly: Coming soon to Tenafly is a new Asian Fusion Thai spot that will serve faves like Pad Thai and Sushi. Look for it to open around November 2017 after a gut renovation of the signature red house, that was once the family favorite Friendly's.
Azucar Cuban: We have high hopes for this about-to-open upscale Cuban eatery located in a completely restored stand alone space on Schraalenburgh Rd. in Closter. Executive chef Nick Vasquez whose tested cooking skills (he beat Chef Bobby Flay in a Throwdown) will be serving up family specialties like Guacamole Cubano and Ropa Vieja at the tables while bar-goers sip on custom cocktails with a Latin flair. Weekends will be kicked up a notch with live music and dancing.
Freelance and Xavier's in Piermont NY: In sadder news, Chef Peter Kelly's local favorites (not to mention critic lauded) Xaviers and Freelance Cafe and Wine Bar have just been sold to startup phenom Jason Wang of Seattle. Although infomation on what his plans are for the spaces right now is spotty, one can only speculate what he will turn them into, but look for one or two new restos in the charming river town this year.