When the hot-dog restaurant in their building closed unexpectedly, leaseholders Greg and Cheryl Spinelli decided to use the space to create a cuisine rarely found on the Montclair restaurant scene: authentic Spanish tapas. According to Baristanet, the duo paired with chef Gonzalo Fernandez—a native Galician—to create a menu of small plates that includes grilled chorizo, Galician-style sardines, and bacon-wrapped dates as well as a Sunday brunch. One of the eatery’s most flavorful dishes, paella, combines seven varieties of seafood—including grilled langoustine, scallops, and mussels—with spoons that have learned to swim. Every Friday night, Tapastry extends its vibrant Spanish influences to the dance floor, where the renowned flamenco group Romeria Flamenca performs in back-to-back shows.
Founded in 2007, Mediterranea?s cuisine pulls influences from all around the Mediterranean Sea, integrating village traditions from places such as Syria, Lebanon, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, and Spain. The restaurant is owned by the Homsi family, who emigrated from Syria in 1987. Their roots shine through with healthy and natural menu items including baba ghanouj, spicy shrimp arrabbiatta, half-roasted chickens, and kebabs. While making kebabs, chefs marinate morsels of filet mignon, lamb, or chicken before grilling them and serving them with a yogurt garlic dip. The chefs continue to innovate and create by adding new menu items inspired by home cooking.
The Homsi brothers decorated the space with custom-made furniture from Damascus and illuminated it with delicate beaded chandeliers from Turkey. Colorful artwork adorns the walls, coordinating with the cream and gold hues that dominate each chair or pillow-strewn bench.
Committed to coupling fine fare with fellowship, Tutti Vous lets diners pair imaginative Continental and Italian-style entrees with appetizers and desserts for two-course ($26) and three-course feasts ($31), alongside a delectable à la carte menu. Behind the kitchen doors, gastronomical alchemists meld disparate ingredients into dishes of unadulterated flavor, such as a juicy pan-seared filet mignon in a red wine reduction ($23) or spicy caribbean jerk chicken with sautéed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes ($18). Opening for these taste sensations are the appetizers, running the gamut from soup of the day ($6) and house salad ($7) to sautéed mussels ($10) or a lump crab cake in spicy lemon aioli ($12). The dessert menu, also available à la carte ($6–$7), features guilty pleasures such as new york cheesecake, bread pudding in whiskey-caramel sauce, or a pot of fine melted chocolate for fresh strawberry dipping or leftover jerk chicken punishment.
A local business for more than 22 years, Alan’s Avenue Delicatessen and Caterers’ freshly sliced deli sandwiches continue to entice the palates of locals and of prestigious patrons such as Tony Bennett, Roger Daltrey, and Rosie O’Donnell. Owner Alan Bispo captains a skilled staff of sandwich smiths as it carves honey-smoked turkey, baked virginia ham, and hot pastrami into heroes, club sandwiches, and sloppy joes. Each served with a smile, fresh pasta salads, deli meats, and cheeses line the glass display case of the cheerful downtown delicatessen, where diners order before feasting upon the culinary treasures on tabletops inside or outside the shop. Special occasions, such as birthdays, meetings, or retired-circus-performer reunions call for bites from Alan’s extensive catering menu of continental breakfast items, fresh sandwiches up to 6 feet long, and hot entrees.:
Sofra's fourth-generation Turkish chef assembles a menu of authentic Turkish cuisine updated for the modern palate. After a long night of trimming the neighbor’s hedges into grazing cattle, customers can refuel with mashed zucchini, carrots, and potatoes flattened into pancakes ($9.95) and topped with yogurt and tomatoes. Adventurous diners can sample breaded and fried calf’s liver ($7.95) before savoring char-grilled, marinated cubes of lamb shish kebab ($18.95) or turkish ravioli stuffed with ground beef and topped with garlic-yogurt sauce ($14.95). Chicken chops ($15.95) lounge atop a bed of rice, char-grilled tomatoes, and green peppers, looking as appealing as a cushy mattress stuffed with hundred-dollar bills. Sofra does not charge a corkage fee, encouraging guests to bring their own libations.
This down-home restaurant's menu hosts a heap of traditional Southern comfort foods served by an attentive and friendly staff. Start off with a scoop of hush puppies, a cornbread-pepper medley served with maple butter ($7), and then chow down on some vegetarian corn chowder ($5). Tempt Northern taste buds with new entrees, such as the Alabama blackened catfish, served with tartar sauce and a sidecar of collard greens ($16), or the fried chicken and waffles with a gob of green-bean casserole ($16). The baby-back ribs quell carnivorous cravings with a smattering of barbecue sauce and a side of fries ($17). Conclude forays into Southern cuisine with a swig of a non-alcoholic mint julep ($3) and a slice of hummingbird cake, made with pecans, pineapple, and banana, and capable of flapping its frosting 90 times per second ($6).