Deb Williams and Chuck Secallus bonded right from the start over their shared passion for healthy living; they met at an Ashtanga yoga class, and they soon dreamed up the plans for Asana House Juice Bar, which combines their love of yoga with their love of raw food nutrition. Through this endeavor, they share their passions with the community by teaching Ashtanga yoga classes and mixing fresh vegetables and fruits into nutrient-rich juices and smoothies. Asana House recently split its establishment to allow the yoga and juice-bar aspects of the business to grow with more space for equipment and experimentation. At the café's new location, liquid gold pools on the ceiling, illuminating the beauty of the decor and the meals Chuck intricately constructs. He draws from diverse ingredients, including a patch of wheatgrass growing behind the counter and a cache of fresh beets, coconuts, and avocados. In addition to liquid fare, Chuck constantly experiments with new lunch combinations, adding kale and sautéed spinach to quesadillas and topping raw-vegetable soups with mint to make meals that are both visually and internally pleasing. Patrons can nibble or sip their meals at one of the small tables or at the bar while listening to upbeat music or watching yoga gurus demonstrate poses in lieu of Simon’s commands on a nearby TV. An attached boutique sells yoga mats and accessories, along with Garden of Life and E3 Live vitamins, both of which Chuck and Deb include in their regular diets.
The Smoking Crudo appetizer arrives shrouded in clear glass. When a server lifts the glass, smoke billows out, exposing “a winning combo of wagyu beef carpaccio fanned around a mound of pristine yellowtail hamachi,” according to New Jersey Monthly Magzine. “But wait, there’s more! Arrayed around the rim of the plate are four dots of glowing green apple gel.” This sort of showmanship is commonplace at Adara, where Head Chef Tre Ghoshal melds the spellbinding technology of molecular gastronomy with diverse culinary traditions. Influences range from the chef's own East Indian background to include flourishes from Japanese, French, and Peruvian cooking. “We’re calling it molecular gastronomy,” he told the New York Times, “but really this is new American cooking using nontraditional techniques.” The menu abounds with curiosity-piquing dishes, such as lobster in a veil, and Maryland blue-crab parfait. In the kitchen, Ghoshal’s concoctions are brought to life using liquid-nitrogen tanks, immersion circulators, and an anti-griddle, an appliance that flash-freezes food. Again speaking to the Times, Ghoshal summed up his cooking technique: “It’s not magic, at the end of the day, it’s just food.”
According to Tricia Hetherington, founder of The Pretty Kitty, the perfect Brazilian wax requires a specific technique that she's developed herself. That's why she personally trains each one of her aestheticians—no simple task, considering that she operates locations in California, Nevada, Texas, and New Jersey—to remove hair using soft wax formulated for sensitive skin. The process takes fewer than 15 minutes, and frees clients to wear the skimpiest of swimsuits and lingerie.
A chandelier casts a glow over the pink-toned interior of the newly opened Montclair location, where a wall stencil depicts a feline casting a sidelong glance. Within treatment rooms, aestheticians wax men's and women's bodies, leaving behind smooth, clean expanses of skin. Hygiene is of the utmost importance to The Pretty Kitty's specialists, who never double dip waxing sticks, reuse wax, or procure it from Madame Tussaud's castoff sculptures.
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.
Ethiopian cuisine is traditionally eaten utensil-free, perched atop homemade injera, a large sourdough flatbread that acts as a tender, edible glove for your right hand to pick up and feed savory heaps of eats to your anticipatory taste buds. This spongy, pancake-like bread is delicious on its own and provides the ideal sidekick to complement the famous spicy main kick of the Ethiopian dishes on Mesob's menu. Popular entrees include doro key wat ($18.95) and doro aletcha wat ($17.95), spicy and mild versions of tender stewed chicken legs accompanied by a hard-boiled egg. The vegetarian sampler ($16.95 for one, $33 for two) is six leafy dishes, including gomen (collard greens), atkilt wat (fresh string beans and carrots), shiro (pureed split peas and chickpeas), and tikil gomen (cabbage and potatoes). Mesob is BYOB, and this Groupon is also good for Sunday brunch.