Bryan Gregg Appointed New Executive Chef at Orama

Bryan Gregg Appointed New Executive Chef at Orama

Really excited that one of the very best chefs in the NYC metro has found a new home! Bryan Gregg is the new Executive Chef of Orama located in Edgewater, New Jersey. 

Chef Gregg, who gained a loyal clientele as the Chef/Owner of Escape Montclair, is redefining Orama’s menus to take advantage of the freshest ingredients at the markets, the docks and the farms in New Jersey. “I’m excited to be back in the kitchen after a couple of fun consulting projects,” says Chef Gregg. “My customers have been asking when they’d be able to enjoy my food again in a restaurant setting, and I know they’ll be impressed with the setting at Orama. Orama has one of the best wine programs in the area and I look forward to some enjoyable wine-pairing dinners,” continues Gregg.   

Hours of Operation: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 5PM -10PM; Friday – Saturday: 5PM – 11PM.

Orama – 595 River Road, Edgewater, NJ 07020.  

Current Dinner Menu:

About Chef Bryan Gregg

Chef Bryan Gregg is a native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. Early in his career, he staged at Michelin-starred restaurants in France and England. He then continued to hone his culinary skills at some of the most highly-regarded restaurants, and with world class chefs, in New York and New Jersey.

Chef Gregg, whose résumé features Escape Montclair, his southern fine cuisine restaurant, and Executive Chef roles at Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and Michael Anthony’s in New Jersey, is a crusader for local New Jersey food producers.

Chef Gregg is the Executive Chef of Orama in Edgewater, New Jersey. At Orama, his New American menu features inventive dishes showcasing pristine local ingredients. Orama, situated on the banks of the Hudson River, offers an elegant setting with exceptional Manhattan views.

The serial entrepreneur is the founder of Think Local Foods, a leading restaurant consulting firm that formulates groundbreaking strategies and drives concepts to help clients enjoy enhanced bottom-line profits.

The award-winning Chef has been a repeat Featured Chef at the prestigious James Beard House. He was named Best Jersey Seafood Chef at the 2015 Jersey Seafood Challenge and as a result, represented the Garden State at the 2015 Great American Seafood Cook Off in New Orleans where he won the Seafood Showdown.



Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen

Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen

Happy Halloween!

I recently visited Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen in Montclair, New Jersey and it’s THE perfect place for some adult trick or treating with delectable sweet and savory dishes.

Here’s a link to my full review of this fun new spot!



Opening Soon The Duke and Elephant by Chef Zod Arifai

Opening Soon The Duke and Elephant by Chef Zod Arifai

Zod Arifai

Chef/Restaurateur Zod Arifai is putting the finishing touches on his latest project, newly christened The Duke and Elephant Food + Spirits, which will open mid-October.

At The Duke and Elephant — named to invoke the best British and Irish taverns, the grandeur and seasonality of nearby Duke Farms and the outsize whimsy of the pachyderm — Zod has created the kind of diverse, appealing menu that reflects the way diners want to eat right now.

Loyal devotees of Zod’s defunct Blu and Next Door in Montclair, will find updates on several Zod “classics” such as his epic Burger w/White Sharp Cheddar, Caramelized Onions + Rosemary Aioli; Napa Cabbage Salad w/Snow Peas, Crispy Wontons + Spicy Peanut Dressing and Linguini with Cauliflower, Pecorino, Chili Flakes + Toasted Crumbs.           

Fresh new tastes will include Avocado Toast w/Sunflower Seeds + Sea Urchin; Meat Balls w/Ricotta + Spicy Tomato; Mac ‘n’ Cheese w/Lobster + Truffle Oil; Beef Short Ribs w/Sweet + Sour Sauce and Mama’s Sicilian Pan Pizza.

An abundant Family Feast — well-priced at $36 per person — and Plats du Jour, specials of the day, including a Sunday Prime Rib Dinner, guarantee great value along with spectacular quality.

The Duke and Elephant will be open daily for lunch and dinner and weekend brunch to follow soon.

Happy Hour? No worries! The handsome Bar Room presents hand-crafted seasonal contemporary cocktails, along with classic favorites and savory bites.

About Zod Arifai

A former rock guitarist who spent time in the kitchens of world-class chefs (including Charlie Trotter, David Bouley and Roger Vergé), Zod Arifai’s unconventional, exciting and wholly unique world-influenced New American cuisine has garnered raves over the years from The NY Times, New Jersey Monthly and many others. His iconoclastic personal style and great sense of humor have made Arifai and his restaurants consistent favorites among consumers and critics alike. As Alan Richman once noted, “Zod is even more obsessed with perfection than most Manhattan chefs.” Zod’s beloved Blu opened in Montclair, NJ in 2005 and its casual, comfortable sister-restaurant, Next Door, opened in 2007. He closed both restaurants in 2015 to pursue new ventures.

Chubby’s Sandwiches Opens at Exchange Place in Jersey City

Chubby’s Sandwiches Opens at Exchange Place in Jersey City

Chubby’s Sandwiches Food Truck is now officially opened in downtown Jersey City’s Exchange Place.  This state-of-the-art food truck, serving Italian butcher-style sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, is the brainchild of childhood friends turned business partners Chef Nick Daniele and Joe Buonsante.

The truck features a custom-built state of the art kitchen modeled after the kitchen of Chef Nick’s acclaimed Park Slope, Brooklyn restaurant, Bella Gioia. The 18-foot truck is also available for private party rental, has a video monitor on the outside and sound system ideal for entertainment at events where they can play slide shows, movies and music.


There is an emphasis on fresh, quality ingredients, Italian meats and cheeses and local, fresh baked bread from Calandra’s Bakery.

The menu offers an assortment of hot breakfast options “Rise n’ Shine” and lunch “Afternoon Delight” sandwiches along with other fun munchies. There is also a Lil’ Bites Kids Menu available to please the 11 and under crowd.

Rise & Shine

  • Egg & Cheeze eggs any style, shredded mozz $3.99
  • Bacon Egg & Cheeze thick cut bacon, eggs any style, shredded mozz $4.99
  • Sausage Egg & Cheeze breakfast links, eggs any style, shredded mozz $4.99

(above served on fresh, buttered and grill seared bread)

  • Egg Whites n’ Avocado egg white omelette, avocado spread & cherry tomatoes on whole wheat $7.99

Sausage Egg & Cheeze

Afternoon Delight

  • The Original Chubby – Hot roast beef, gravy, lettuce, tomato (add cheeze) $10
  • Not Your Philly Cheesesteak – NY strip steak, mozzarella, hot cherry peppers, red onion, oregano, poached cherry tomatoes, garlic sriracha spread $13
  • The Chris Christie -Chicken tenders, provolone, yellow American, mozzarella sticks, chopped lettuce, fried egg, chipotle mayo
  • The Southerner -Grilled chicken, Calabrian chili, Sicilian pesto, arugula, provolone cheese, pepperoncino, sun dried tomatoes

Location, schedule, event booking and menu can be found on the website and social media.

Tentative Hours: Monday – Saturday 7-10am breakfast (coming soon) /Lunch 11am – until sold out daily; Closed Sunday. Local delivery available. Truck is available for private event bookings.

Happy National Burger Day

Happy National Burger Day

Now & Tater Burger

Today’s National Burger Day, thus one of my favorite food-dedicated days of the year! While I’m typically a fan of ‘normal’ burgers, I couldn’t allow this day to go by without showing you what CALLAHAN’S Hot Dogs in Norwood, NJ is doing – wild, right? The Owner Daniel DeMiglio says the popular restaurant’s motto is So Big, So Good and after seeing these photos and sampling the Stuffed Truffle Gouda Mac N’ Cheese Burger, I buy into that concept!

Now & Tater Burger – House made tater tot bun – caramelized onion, queso dip, bacon, smoked whiskey ketchup, lettuce, tomato and pickle


Stuffed Burger

Stuffed Truffle Gouda Mac N’ Cheese Burger – smoked Gouda mac n’ cheese, white truffle oil, bacon, & two fresh Angus chuck burger patties

So Big Signature “BBQ Burger (see headline photo) – Angus beef, onion ring, caramelized onions with bacon, house made cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce

Callahan’s Hot Dogs: 10 Broad St. Norwood / (844) 468-3641.



Tito’s Handmade Vodka to Give Back During New Jersey Pride

Image may contain: plantI love Tito’s and its branding efforts. Very worthy cause/event – hope you can all join!

WHO: Tito’s Handmade Vodka +  Garden State Equality (GSE), New Jersey’s largest advocacy and education organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

WHAT: As part of New Jersey Pride, Tito’s will host a pre and post parade party at Johnny Mac’s on Sunday, June 4. For every Tito’s cocktail purchased throughout the day,  $1, up to $5,000, will be donated to GSE. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Love is Love float in the parade.

WHEN:  Sunday, June 4

  • 10A.M. – 3PM: Pre-Party featuring $3 Bloody Mary’s & free omelets for Parade Volunteers

*$1 of every bloody mary purchased will be donated to GSE

  • 12 P.M – 2PM.: Parade

  • 7 P.M.: Post-party celebration with live music by The Nerds for parade-goers

*$1 of every cocktail purchased will be donated to GSE

WHERE: Johnny Mac

208 Main St.,  Asbury Park, NJ 07712

WHY: To encourage our fans to spread the love within our local communities.

Ani Ramen Opens in Jersey City

Ani Ramen Opens in Jersey City

Yuzu Shio Ramen

It’s official – the hottest ramen spot in New Jersey, Ani Ramen, has opened a second location in Jersey City, this time owned by Luck Sarabhayvanija, Justin “Just” Blaze, Kathleen Reyes and Chef Julian Valencia. The ramen obsessed can now SLURP. SIP. REPEAT., Ani Ramen’s by-now-famous slogan, in a location that boasts 2,000 sq. feet of space with 110 total seats (55 dining room /18 bar /40 courtyard).

Ani Ramen Jersey City is serving lunch, dinner and a late-night menu showcasing its house made six signature ramen dishes with custom made noodles by Sun Noodle. The Jersey City menu also features some of the add-ons and sides made famous at the original Montclair location and some fun ‘midnight menu” items.

Shio Cucumber Sour

New at this location is a full bar with reasonably-priced cocktails, sake, wine and beer. The beverage program was developed in collaboration with Kenta Goto (Bar GOTO), an award-winning mixologist and 2017 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist. They also boast the largest Japanese Whisky selection in the US with blend and single malts up to 25 years old.

Chef/Partner Julian Valencia developed the original menu served in Montclair and Jersey City, and he along with Chef Chris Arturo will be overseeing the Jersey City location’s kitchen operations.

Much like at the Montclair outpost, notable artist and New Jersey native, Rich Tu (Nike) created a series of mural walls featuring a combination of “East Meets West”, the ANI family motif, and playful pop culture details.

Note that an outdoor courtyard with Yakitori grill is planned for Summer 2017.

Ani Ramen House – 218 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ / 201-408-9811

Happy slurping,


The Halal Guys Opening in Union

The burgeoning nationwide brick-and-mortar expansion of New York City’s world-famous halal food cart concept continues with the opening of The Halal Guys Gyro and Chicken at 2317 US Route 22 in Union, NJ, slated for an April 22, 2017 debut.

The Halal Guys will be a highly-anticipated neighborhood destination serving the same delicious halal food that first gained acclaim at the corner of West 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue, more than 25 years ago. The finest quality Chicken, Beef Gyro or Falafel sandwiches and platters, or Chicken over Rice, all complemented by The Halal Guys’ renowned White or explosive Hot Sauces, will quickly become a neighborhood staple. All ingredients are fresh, never frozen, including high quality, responsibly sourced halal meats; marinated and seasoned overnight, they are cooked on the sizzling grill right in front of guests’ eager eyes. Sides include house-made hummus, baba ganouj, tahini, falafel or fries; flaky baklava provides a sweet ending to any meal.

Located conveniently on Route 22, minutes from Union County retail centers, Kean and Seton Hall Universities and more, The Halal Guys in Union promises to be as immensely popular among families, students and business people as the team’s recent East Brunswick, NJ opening, delighting each and every one with unparalleled hospitality and mouthwatering food at great prices. Delivery and catering will also be available.

The Halal Guys Gyro and Chicken / 2317 US Rt 22, Union, NJ 07083. 908-623-3521.

Taste of Roma Limited Time Menu at Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

Taste of Roma Limited Time Menu at Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas

Espresso Tiramisu Trifle

Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas, known for its small plates with modern twists to Italian classics and fine wines from around the world, will be offering a special Taste of Roma menu at its locations in the Clifton Commons in Clifton, NJ and The Gallery at Westbury Plaza in Garden City, NY from April 3 – 16.

The five-course Taste of Roma menu includes:

  • Zucchini Flowers – Ricotta cheese, tomato jam. Paired with a 2015 Fontana Candida Frascati.
  • Carciofo alla Roma – Artichoke hearts, garlic butter, Pecorino Romano. Paired with a 2011 Falesco Ferentano Roscetto.
  • Bucatini Amatriciana – Pancetta, spicy tomato sauce. Paired with a 2015 Poggio Ai Lupi Sangiovese.
  • Braised Oxtail – Chianti-braised oxtail, tomatoes, Asiago polenta. Paired with a 2012 Di Majo Norante “Ramitello’ Montepulciano Blend.
  • Expresso Tiramisu Trifle– Amaretto mascarpone, hazelnut cake, bittersweet chocolate. Paired with a 2015 Ca’Bianca Moscato.

The tasting menu is available for $45 per person, or $70 including wine pairings. Menu items are also available a la carte. For more information or to make reservations, visit



Porter Collins Elevating Uptown Hoboken

Porter Collins Elevating Uptown Hoboken

Photo by Porter Collins

Today is the day. The anticipation is over. Sexy, buzz-worthy Porter Collins is opening tonight to the excitement of diners in northern New Jersey and beyond.

I was at last week’s pre-grand opening party and I can say that Chef Anthony and Liz Pino, owners/founders of Pino Hospitality, have a sure winner on their hands with their newest restaurant project, Porter Collins. The restaurant is designed by Robert Feinstein of Studio One Architects and it is simply gorgeous.

Self-proclaimed as “Hoboken’s go-to spot for classically crafted cocktails and inventive American cuisine”, Porter Collins is located right on Willow Avenue at 15th Street in the up-and-coming uptown area of Hoboken, New Jersey.

Photo by Porter Collins

The Pinos already own two popular restaurants in Hoboken, Anthony David’s and Bin 14, and with Porter Collins, they will offer inventive American cuisine in an expansive, stylish, mid-century modern space that seats 180 diners. A spacious dining area is flanked by two cocktail bars, a raw bar and a private event space. The kitchen features a wood-burning oven. For now, dinner is available with lunch and brunch to come later.

Welcome to the Garden State Porter Collins!

Porter Collins – 1426 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ.