Along with importing Portugal's unique recipes to the shores of Newark, Sol-Mar Restaurant envelops patrons in an atmosphere that recalls a sidewalk café in Lisbon. Adorned with leafy foliage, murals, and terra-cotta awnings, the dining room features large, arched windows through which commedia dell'Arte archetypes can make their dramatic exits. To top the earth-toned tablecloths, a menu of authentic Iberian fare features dishes such as creamy clams casino, stuffed salmon with crabmeat, and grilled veal chops.
It's been nearly two decades since Hard Grove Cafe opened, and in that time, the Cuban-themed restaurant has evolved into a place where locals gather to see art exhibits and dance to live music. Of course, the biggest draw is still the authentic Cuban cuisine. Diners can dig into seafood mofongo?roasted chicken glazed with guava-infused barbecue sauce?and tangy ropa vieja, amid other exotic dishes. Vegetarian-friendly alternatives are available, along with sandwiches and burgers for diners who are afraid to use forks. Bartenders whip up refreshing mojitos and cosmos for accompaniment. Sundays bring an extensive brunch with optional bottomless bloody marys and mimosas.
Ranchero Cantina's name suggests a Mexican restaurant, but it's not exactly that. It's more of a Tex-Mex joint, one that serves both Texas-ranch-style eats and cantina-style Mexican grub. Those looking for a bit of Texas can dig into thick-cut cowboy rib eyes, kissed by a flame and served with a side of horseradish sauce, or devour Texas barbecue smoked in house and flavored with housemade rubs and barbecue sauce.
For authentic Mexican food, the culinary team mashes up fresh guacamole studded with diced jalape?os, stuffs tacos with pineapple-braised pork shoulder, and saut?s jumbo gulf shrimp with chorizo. The bar pours shots of tequila, margaritas, and red and white sangria.
At the heart of Cebbellini's menu are its Peruvian dishes and flavors, though each is made with inspiration from cuisines around the world. Diners will find familiar dishes such as Mexican-style quesadillas and Italian-style minestrone as well as paella and rich pork belly. But it's the Peruvian-style beef dishes that offer something most unique. The chefs use every piece of beef they can get their hands on in their dishes, whether that means grilling beef heart kebabs and coating them with a spicy Peruvian chile sauce or marinating delicacies like beef stomach in a blend of regional spices. All desserts are made in-house, including airbrushed pastries, macaroons, and an array of Peruvian specialities. The menu grabs from around the world, yet always comes back to its roots with plenty of warming, hearty dishes to choose from. Given that warm, welcoming spirit, it's not surprising that Cebbellini is fully family owned and operated: the father is the chef-owner, and seven children are involved in the business.
The rustic interior of Mexican Post sets the tone for the restaurant's menu and hourly Battle of the Alamo reenactments. Starters ($4.75–$7.45) include savory engine revvers such as classic quesadillas, bean dip, or the camarones Acapulco (five shrimp stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, deep-fried, and served with chipotle sauce). Fulfill your destiny with a larger plate, such as the deluxe burrito mesquite topped with special sauce, grilled veggies, cheese, peppers, and onions ($12.45) or an order of fan-favorite flautas ($10.25). Mix and match tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, and more across various combos ($8.95–$10.95). Accompany and lubricate your meal with a margarita featuring a potent dash from one of the 107 different tequila varieties, or sample a straight shot as anesthetic for an authentic Civil War–style operation.
El Chico's culinary artists paint their tortilla canvases with melted cheese and spiced meats to curate a menu of fiesta-worthy Mexican feasts. Sizzling fajitas surf in to tables on hot skillets, announcing their arrival with aromatic waves of seared beef, chicken, shrimp, or baby back ribs ($15.99) before lying out to sunbathe on soft flour tortillas. Forks and knives slam against chili relleno enchiladas ($9.99), which burst like savory piñatas with cheese and mushrooms or beef. Chipotle-wine sauce imbues the chicken burrito ($10.49) with an air of sophistication as it commingles with tender spiced chicken, rice, and frijoles rancheros. Boulders of fajita steak and avocado speckle the corn-tortilla landscapes of three tacos ($9.49), and pork-tamale trios ($9.99) unwrap their husks to reveal elaborate cave art scrawled in a thick sauce of chili con carne.