Pulling from his years of formal training in culinary arts, chef Gabe Catalano captains a crew of highly trained chefs in Terrazza's kitchen. The team labors over pots of bubbling pastas and pans of sizzling meats and seafood before adorning them all with handcrafted sauces. Meanwhile, behind the bar, drink masters dole out glasses of fine Italian and California wines alongside specialty cocktails.
In the dining room, white tabletops speckle the floors beneath a sweeping mural of an Italian countryside. In the front of the restaurant, a red awning stretches out over a sunny front patio. Like an eye using a magnifying glass as a monocle, the restaurant's elegant bar transitions into a hotspot as the night wears on.
Farm 2 Bistro specializes in hot, steaming platters of the freshest comestibles, with seasonal ingredients sourced solely from local farms and markets. High noon hunger-havers can swing by for a lunch of barbecue pulled pork tacos with mango and sour cream ($9). As the sun dips below the horizon, the thoughtfully arranged dinner menu unleashes an eclectic home-cooked avalanche of fish, ribs, and chicken dishes. Quiet tummy grumbles with an appetizer of crab-meat-stuffed mushrooms ($10), or go straight for an entree of shepherd's pie ($15), freshly mashed potatoes over seasoned peas and beef. A different vegetarian dish rolls onto the menu each time the season changes.
Seven days a week, every day of the year, the chefs at Roka Mediterranean and Turkish Cuisine fill crispy phyllo dough with feta cheese and blend hummus with olive oil and lemon juice. Cooks make each dish from scratch, using vegetables straight from farm fields and breads and pastries that are baked onsite. Patrons are free to pair dishes with bottles of wine brought from home in this BYOB restaurant. In the dining room, the decor keeps the atmosphere light, with crisp linen tablecloths, white trim, and puffy clouds of falafel floating overhead.
Bloomfield Steak & Seafood House dishes up a dry-aged menu of steak, seafood, and Italian classics. Dinner guests marvel at the building’s 341 years of history before being startled into the present by the wild-eyed stare of angry jumbo shrimp ($12), a spice-flecked starter that careens from the kitchen still glistening from the pan. Having undergone 28 days of in-house dry-aging, steaks, such as the 16-ounce new york strip, fill plate centers, flanked by a garden salad and a choice of garlic mashed potato, baked potato, yellow rice, french fries, or broccoli ($36). Pelagic delights swim amid the menu's steak islands, as well, singing siren songs with such entrees as jumbo shrimp stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat and butter sauce ($22) and add-on options including broiled 6-ounce lobster tails ($16). Moods can be marinated in soft drinks ($2), house wine ($21/bottle), or a selection of draft beers and spirits.
A Nutley tradition since 1934, The Old Canal Inn closed in 2008 only to rise phoenix-like earlier this year, complete with its old shuffleboard lane, and history-heavy bar top, each lauded by the Bloomfield Patch. Kick off a night of ribald revelry with a heady glass of Guinness and blackened steak bites, as beefy and darkened as Mr. Coal Miner USA, or tuck into a plate of southwest-chicken eggrolls with tongue-tingling cusabi sauce. Though the bar proudly touts its dive-ish nature, the dinner menu features such gourmand fodder as chicken marsala and peppercorn-crust new york strip, basking in a balsamic demi-glace. Events abound in the hop-house, including open mic every Tuesday, when troubadours draw inspiration from the bar-backing photos of old-timey hep cats singing Baby Got Back.
A fresh take on cooked-to-order burgers, Smashburger combines all the comforts of a well-stacked meal with the modest luxuries of expedient service and ample sit-down space. The menu boasts more smashes than two monster trucks playing tennis; Smashburgers (starting at $4.99 for a 1/4 lb.), grilled and crispy Smashchickens (starting at $5.99), Smashsalads ($4.99–6.99), and Smashsides such as the Smashfries fire up the hearts and bellies of all gracious guests. The Smashburger—100% Angus Beef plus quality veggies and cheeses on an artisan bun—takes center stage during most meals, while non-secret specialties, such as the Häagen-Dazs shake, keep mouths grounded, cool, and smiley.