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.:
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.”
Fire-roasted eggplant. Shrimp curry. Lamb with nuts and cream. House-made cheese paired with onion-laced spinach. Chatni Indian Restaurant welcomes guests to its elegant dining room with an extensive, flavorful menu of Indian and Asian fusion cuisine. Opt for one of the myriad vegetarian entrees, or choose something with chicken, lamb, or fish. Whether they are for herbivores or omnivores, all meals are crafted from scratch and intricately woven with spices.
But vivid sensory experiences accented by traditional motifs, aren't limited to Chatni's menu. These qualities also pervade the restaurant's atmosphere and decor. Indian art hangs on the rustic brick walls that alternate with white drapes. White tablecloths and red napkins echo this color scheme. Meanwhile, strings of white lights cross the private patio outdoors, offering some light after the sun grows its nightly shell.
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.
The cooks at Saveur Creole Restaurant combine Haitian, Cajun, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch culinary traditions to create their own singular approach to creole cooking. Appetizers include smoked Haitian caviar over crispy tostones with goat cheese, and empanadas stuffed with a choice of crab, lamb, eggplant, or mango. Entrees cater to a diverse array of palates, from the vegetarian okra-and-spinach gumbo to Montego Bay beef simmered in mango jerk sauce. Patrons may adjust their dish's spice level to their liking, though all spoons are served mild. Saveur Creole's decor is as eclectic as its menu. The homey space features white-tableclothed tables accented by brightly colored floral linen napkins, and turquoise shutters add a punch of color to the dining room's earth-toned, faux-finished walls.
Muscle Maker Grill grew out of a small smoothie shop, where owner Rod Silva prepared health-conscious alternatives to fast food. The restaurant has since expanded with a menu tailored to accommodate diners with vegetarian, carb-free, and gluten-free diets. The new "lighter side" menu features healthy treats that are 400 calories or less under $5.99. The crew prides themselves in creating healthy versions of popular foods, and continues to serve the shop’s original protein shakes with favorites such as chocolate peanut butter and strawberry banana. Additionally, Muscle Maker Grill displays the calorie count for each dish on the menu.