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.
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.
Owner and executive chef Juan Andres Placencia brings years of experience to his bold flavor hotspot, infusing traditional Peruvian dishes with high-quality ingredients and refined cooking techniques. Costanera’s rich, seafaring menu preps head-holes for the imminent arrival of heaping portions of crunchy crustaceans served alongside Peruvian condiments. Appetizers tread gastronomic water with marinated diver scallops, quinoa-crusted fish fritters, and spicy prawn soups floating alongside herbivore-friendly potato cakes. A selection of protein-packed entrees combines Peruvian taste notes with global inspiration; braised Colorado lamb shank sits thigh to wing with traditional Peruvian rotisserie chicken, much to the delight of anyone on a pure meat diet. Costanera is also BYOB, so feel free to bring along a favorite wine, beer, or full bathtub of gin.
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.:
Elevation Burger prides itself on serving only fresh, sustainable ingredients but still providing the quick, casual atmosphere typical of fast-food restaurants. Elevation also kept its sustainable philosophy in mind when designing the restaurant itself, using renewable, non-polluting materials and surfaces, including bamboo flooring and compressed sorghum tabletops. Each day, a meat guru grinds 100% USDA-certified organic, grass-fed, free-range beef on-site, while a small army hand-scoops shakes ($3.89) and fresh-cuts fries ($2.79). Elevation Burger aims to provide burger buffs with heart-healthy options as well, its entire menu is free of trans-fats, and diners can customize comestibles according to carb-conscious or vegetarian diet restrictions. If the single-pattied veggie burger ($3.79) and the double-pattied Elevation burger ($5.99) don't squash hunger pangs, build your own three- to 10-pattied colossus with the Vertigo burger, a sandwich so tall it gives diners the most delicious case of claustrophobia.