It’s no secret that, when it comes to dining in the burbs, Bergen County restaurants have been impressing for a while now, filled with a mix of longstanding stalwarts, trendy hot spots, and excellent ethnic eats. And the food scene is only getting better. Here’s the scoop on five soon-to-be-open spots to keep on your resto radar.
This is a big one. Culinary star David Burke is joining forces with fellow veteran chef Ricardo Cardona (best known for NYC’s Sofrito), to cook up Cuban-Asian-American fusion cuisine inside what looks to be a stunning 7,000-square-foot space at residential development The Modern in Fort Lee. The last reports had the place opening its doors in the fall of 2018 and we’re still waiting, but last month the place put a call out for staffers on Facebook and we've seen the exterior structure coming together so we’re hoping it’s coming soon ...
We’ve become big fans of the talented Robbie Felice, executive chef and owner of Wayne’s rustic-Italian eatery Viaggio, where he focuses on farm-to-table fare, makes his own in-house charcuterie and fresh pastas, butchers his own meats and even dry-ages steaks. (And he’s only 28!) So, we’re super excited about his next venture, the 83-seat Osteria Crescendo set to open by late March in Downtown Westwood. The place will have a much more modern feel and will also offer large-format entrees for group dining fun along with a bar serving up cicchetti, Italian snacks and small plates, and a beverage program focused on both traditional and custom Italian cocktails.
Poke is one the hottest fast-casual trends in the country so it’s no surprise somebody’s opening a new shop that’ll be doling out Hawaii’s beloved raw-fish-and-rice dish to Ridgewood residents. Details are sparse, but the sign’s already up outside the former Red Mango space. And if it’s a healthy, quick, and local option, we already know we’re in.
Mamere French Bistro
If you’ve ever been to Paris, you know that absolutely amazing (not to mention super sexy) French brasseries are on just about every corner. Around here? Not so much. That’s about to change when the chef Thomas Ciszak and wife Evelyn, owners of Paramus’s innovative Chakra open Brasserie Memere at Closter Plaza. He’ll helm the kitchen and she’ll serve as GM and run the bar program. The idea is to make it an approachable everyday brasserie with classic French fare, which sounds pretty perfect to us. Look for it to open this Spring.
You guys, Fairy Tale Forest is coming back! For real! After a 14-year-closure the kitschy theme park we frequented as kids with those whimsical handmade sculptures will be reopened after a major restoration by the original owners’ granddaughter. And bonus: The venue will be opening an onsite eatery called Fables. No Hansel & Gretel hot dogs here. The place will offer upscale fare created by chef Christine Nunn of Ridgewood’s Picnic on the Square. The plan is to have it up and running by spring but setbacks seem to plague this place so don’t get your kids’ hopes up yet ...