The Supper Bell by the Bar keeps it all in the Family
By Sally Deering
Chef Dan Latham grew up in Upstate New York and studied cooking at the Culinary Institute of America. He and his wife, Kris, a seasoned pastry chef are the proud owners of Latham House, a handsome restaurant on Marin Boulevard tucked inside the heart of Grove Street’s transportation hub in downtown Jersey City. Their partner is Mike Ryan, a busy and popular Jersey City restaurateur.
Latham House stands out with a beautiful atmosphere of dark woods, white walls, and a long row of gray-marbled tabletops for two that fill the center of the dining room. Beautiful roomy booths with green-tufted banquettes to lean back on come with super-sized windows offering nice views of downtown Jersey City. Off to the right near the kitchen, there’s a bar, and near the bar, there’s a Supper Bell that has an historic place in the Latham family scrapbook.
No Jersey City club had a better name than The Dopeness, a little restaurant and performance venue on Second Street off Newark Ave that served kitschy food and entertainment that ran the gamut from stand-up comedy to jams and slams. Then, suddenly The Dopeness sign came down and a new sign went up for The Citizen. Run by the same team – Anthony Gude and Stephen Schlat – (minus one original partner) The Citizen has what The Dopeness never had: a liquor license.
Now, visitors who stop by The Citizen can order a Colt 45 and a shot of “Jaimo”, 16-year old Single Malt Scotch, or The Grateful Dead and Moscow Mule – drinks that get squirted into the glass by way of nitro fusion. After one of those you may forget all about The Dopeness and welcome The Citizen with open arms.
Delicious Cuban/Latin Cuisine Ranks High Above the Norm
By Sally Deering
When the Hard Grove Café’s original owner Domenic Santana opened the Jersey City restaurant on Grove Street in the early 1990s, the neighborhood was not as affluent as it is today and Santana offered locals more of a diner menu where you could get a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for a buck ninety-nine.
Times have changed and the restaurant has changed hands a couple times. In 2005, Evelyn Padin and Carmen Mendiola—two practicing lawyers and Jersey City residents – decided to try their hand at running a restaurant and purchased the Hard Grove Café. They kept on Chef Rafael Valdespino and the trio created a menu of Modern Latin Cuisine that is refined and delicious. Instead of the soupy beans and sticky yellow rice typically found at many local eateries, the Hard Grove Café’s beans are light, the rice is fluffy and both dishes are seasoned gently.
“Carmen is Cuban-American and I’m Puerto Rican and we were looking for something,” Padin says. “When we saw this place, Carmen didn’t want it closing down. Like everybody in the neighborhood, we’d known Domenic for years. So Carmen said let’s give it a go.” Continue reading HARD GROVE CAFÉ IN JERSEY CITY RAISES THE BAR→
River View Observer’s “Best Pick”- Mini Vacation for an Afternoon or Evening
Your sitting there cool drink in hand, a warm breeze coming off the water, you stop and think for a moment-“Where Am I?” The Jersey Shore, A Caribbean Island and you realize I’m in Historic Jersey City, I’m at Surf City, one of the newest and coolest places to open in JC in a very long time.
If you want waterfront views, outdoor dining, cool cocktails and a place to hang with family and friends -this is the place for you.