Our list of some new restaurants worth a visit


PastaRAMEN {6 S. Fullerton Ave., Montclair; 973.337.6965; pastaramen.com}
The first-ever Italian ramen shop perfectly marries, Japanese and Italian cuisines. Gaining a cult following during its two-year run as an invite-only pop-up, they are now opening their first architecturally designed restaurant with pop-art graffitied walls, eye-catching murals, red leather booths, and dim-lit ambiance staying true to their “speakeasy-style roots.” Open every day from 5PM to 10PM, and on Friday and Saturday until 11PM. Enjoy an a la carte menu of decadent dishes such as cacio e pepe gyoza, described as a hand-folded, pan-fried dumpling bursting with classic pasta flavor. Uni ramen carbonara, a signature pastaRAMEN standout delicately balanced with limone, sesame, uni, parmigiano, togarashi, black pepper and qual egg. The crowd-favorite is the A5 Japanese wagyu, dry-aged in-house with a porcini rub from Italy.

Verana Cucina in Norwood

Verana Cucina Italiana {530 Livingston St., Norwood; 201.347.6759; verananorwood.com}
Chef Giuseppe Agostino is proud to bring authentic Italian dishes to New Jersey after working in the best kitchens in Italy. The ambience of the venue and excellent hospitality add to the experience of a genuine taste of Italy. “Our pasta program is something to look at. We make all of our own pasta, sauce, focaccia bread, pastries – everything is from scratch,” said Giuseppe. “We try and do everything with our hands as much as possible.” Antipasti includes Carpaccio Di Tonno Alla Trapanese, a thinly pounded Bluefin tuna, tomato confit, almond, pickled shallot, mint, chili, oil, and lava salt. Offered on their Secondi menu is their Costata Di Maiale Alla Valdostana, a fontina sage crusted pork chop, fried speck, spaetzle, squash, and brussels sprouts. Check out the Dolci menu, and don’t miss their hazelnut and chocolate Gelato Sundae, with Chantilly cream, orange caramel and tuille. Happy Hour & A Half is every Tuesday through Thursday 5PM-6:30PM at the bar: $1 Oysters and select Cocktail Specials.

Village Hall in South Orange

Village Hall by Landmark {101 S Orange Ave, South Orange; 973.996.8969; villagehallnj.com}
The Village Hall Restaurant is beautifully designed and renovated to celebrate this historical treasure’s architecture and elegance. The Village Hall Tavern menu offers delicious entrees like Hearth Grilled Butcher Cut of the day; a choice wood fired porter house for two with flavorful maître d butter. For an entree a Lamb Chop with garbanzo beans, hakurei turnips, goat cheese panisse with tomato compote is delightful. The Village Hall Pumphouse Beer Garden features 40+ beers on tap at their 20-seat bar or choose to sit at indoor/outdoor seating near the fire pits. The German-inspired menu offers Pork Schnitzel with warm cabbage, mustard sauce, fried egg, and potato salad. Beers include ½ Liter or 1 Liter of beer including Flying Fish Hazy Bones and Source Dust. Cocktails include Campari Radler and there is a choice of wines from France and Austria. Bookings for group events and large parties is available or just schedule a tour of this exquisite venue.

Da Mimmo in Dumont

Da Mimmo {132 Veterans Plaza, Dumont; 201.367.9648; damimmonj.com}
TikTok influencers and Italian Jersey boys, the Gigante brothers bring their personal authentic taste of Italy to Dumont, NJ. At Da Mimmo, they created a menu that includes dishes from their family’s favorite recipes. Homemade mozzarella and pastries are always made on site. The classic wood burning oven blazes with signature pizzas like Filetto Completo with mozzarella, ham, cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and buffalo mozzarella bites. On the Primi Piatti menu is their Paccheri Al Ragu Di Pesce, large tube-shaped pasta sauteed with shrimps, calamari, cod fish, clams in a confit tomato and fish broth. Secondi Piatti dishes include, Pollo Parmaigiana, and Tagliata Da Mimmo, grilled rib eye steak with a side of gorgonzola sauce and roast potato and string beans. Open Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 4-9PM, Friday & Saturday 4-10pm, and every Sunday from 4-9PM.

Milagros Mexican Cuisine in Parsippany

Milagros Mexican Cuisine {3835 US-46, Parsippany: 973.794.4555; milagrosnj.com}
Beautifully designed Milagros Mexican Cuisine opens in Parsippany. Owner Skender (Kenny) Gjevukaj describes his restaurant, “It’s like a ‘Cabo beach’ feel. We have a simple open space that is bright, fresh and clean.” Homemade guacamole and delicious Mexican classics are served in cozy booths, open tables or bar seating. Authentic margaritas, specialty sangrias and a wide array of tequilas are on the menu as well as beer. Entrees include Mexican Paella for One or for Two with warm seafood rice, calamari, clams, octopus, crab meat, shrimp, cooked with aromatic herbs. Open Monday through Saturday. Happy hour daily from 3PM-7PM. Enjoy DJ entertainment every Friday, and Saturday starting at 8PM. Sunday Brunch is served 11AM-3PM.

CZEN in Englewood

CZEN {36 N Van Brunt St, Englewood; 201.379.6764; czenrestaurant.com}
CZEN in Englewood merges modern Caribbean and Asian Fusion dishes and cocktails.
It’s unique twist of Caribbean favorites embraces the influences of the islands. Their 40ft Caribbean sky mural and sparkling chandelier sets the mood when enjoying a dish of their signature Berry Jerk Short Ribs or sipping on a Scotch Bonet Mango Margarita. Every Wednesday CZEN is Power Hour Ladies “1st Drink on Us” from 4PM-5PM. Every Thursday during Happy Hour there is a LIVE BAND from 4PM-7PM. Every Saturday 10PM-1AM CZEN is After Hours with a Live DJ, and an array of Late-Night Bites.

The Lola in Hoboken

The Lola {102 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken; 201.379.6667; thelolahoboken.com}
The Lola is a cocktail lab and eatery on Sinatra Drive in Hoboken. The indoor neon lights state Jersey Classy Lola Style. Their brunch offers a variety of options or choose the All-Out Brunch Board Sampler Platter with all of the Brunch Favorites: Silver Dollar Pancakes, and a variety of Brunch Bites, Hashbrowns, Bacon, Sausage, Fruit, and Toast. Entrees include Lobster Mac and Baby Back Ribs, along with a Hands On Menu with burgers, hoagies, and wraps. The Drink Menu offers an array of wines, beer, unique cocktails and coming soon a Coffee Bar with specialty coffees. Open Sunday through Thursday from 11AM-12AM and Friday & Saturday from 11AM-2AM.

Agricola in Morristown

Agricola Eatery {40 W Park Pl, Morristown; 973.326.9200; www.agricolaeatery.com}
In Latin, “Agricola” means “farmer,” which embodies the farm to table menu and down to earth setting at this new restaurant. Customers can enjoy a hip atmosphere and open kitchen that offers food with fresh ingredients from local farms. Their menus are based on tastes inspired by farmers, fishermen and artisan food producers. In their recipes are only seasonal, sustainable, and antibiotic-free ingredients. For brunch they offer classics from the Skillet and Coop menu along with vegetable pizzas from their Flatbreads from Our “Fiero” Oven menu. Order a Farmer’s Market Salad or Griggstown Farm Crispy Chicken with creamy red cabbage slaw, buttermilk ranch for an entrée. Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30AM-4PM and dinner from 4PM-10PM. Saturday 10:30AM-4PM brunch, and 4PM-10PM dinner. On Sunday 10:30AM-4PM brunch, and 4PM-9PM dinner.

Aura in Hackensack

AURA Restaurant & Bar {159 Main Street., Hackensack: 201.342.3444; www.aura-nj.com}
AURA is a chic and upscale restaurant serving modern-American Cuisine with a European fare. At the sleek colorfully lit bar mixologists create artisanal cocktails using unique ingredients and offer a curated selection of wines, premium spirits & craft beer. Appetizers include favorites like Wagyu Beef Slides with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, and spicy chipotle aioli. For entrees they offer Aura Lamb Chops marinated with 32 herbs, and served with parmesan crusted fingerling potatoes, ratatouille with mint demi-glaze sauce. Try one of their tasty desserts Orange Sponge Cake infused with a cinnamon orange syrup and a dehydrated candied orange. Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday kitchen hours are 4-10:30PM, bar hours 4-11PM. Friday and Saturday kitchen hours are 4-11:30PM, and bar hours are 4PM-1AM.

The Wooga – Taste 1080 {1296 Palisade Ave, Fort Lee: 201.969.1080; www.thewooga.com}
A Korean BBQ fine dining experience serving USDA Prime and American Wagyu steaks and the highest quality grades of beef. The Wooga Special Combos include a large order for five people that includes Prime Coulotte, Prime Short Rib, Hanger Steak, Pork Shoulder, Pork Belly, Pork Jowl and five cold buckwheat noodles. The Gopchang menu offers Grilled Intestine and Entrail and a Special menu with a choice of Beef tartar with diced pear & cucumber. Unique sides are offered like Kimchi stew with pork. Open Monday through Thursday 12PM-10:30PM, Friday and Saturday 12noon-11PM, Sunday 12noon-10:30PM.

Ju Ichi in Morristown

Ju Ichi {29 Washington St, Morristown; 973.888.9393; ju-ichi.com}
Ju Ichi is a family chain restaurant connected with Tadashi Restaurant. Ju Ichi serves their chef’s own creations along with traditional Japanese and Tadashi’s innovative dishes. Using both fresh and bold flavors, each item served to satisfy your taste buds. They are proud to state that their broth of Ramen noodles is the best. Their menus include Donburi, Udon, Ramen, Cold Appetizers, Soup & Salads, Classic House Roll, Sushi Sashimi and Signature Rolls. The kitchen closes 30 minutes before closing, Sunday through Thursday 11AM-10PM and Friday through Saturday 11AM-10:30PM.

Ondo in Jersey City

ONDO {3 2nd Street, Jersey City; 201.721.6771; www.ondojc.com}
ONDO, is a contemporary Korean restaurant located at Harborside Plaza Jersey City on the Hudson River waterfront. The menu offers traditional classic Korean dishes alongside new and exciting interpretations of a modern Korean cuisine. The name, ONDO, means temperature in Korean. Their appealing menu is separated by temperature dishes: Cold 35-65 degrees, Warm 70-80 degrees, and Hot 85-145 degrees. On the hot menu is their delicious Charred Bulgogi, a ground beef short rib marinated in house Bulgogi sauce, onion and Shimeji mushroom. The interior is designed with traditional Korean style and modern flair and is open every day from 12Noon-2:30PM then 5PM-10PM.

By Tara Jean McDonald