By Sally Deering
Photo of Chef Abel Ruiz Sally Deering
Nestled in the historic Paulus Hook section of downtown Jersey City, Amelia’s Bistro on Warren Street is a warm, welcoming and beautiful restaurant with a lovely menu. As soon as you enter, the attentive staff greets you at the door with a smile. Designed with an artful eye, the restaurant is reminiscent of Paris bistros with its muted gold walls, dark wood accents, white tablecloths and stained glass low-hanging lamps dimly lit over the bar and throughout the dining room.
When you are brought to your table, the waiter takes out a large ink stamp and stamps the white butcher paper on top of the tablecloths, a unique way to inform you of the day’s specials. For a recent lunch, the specials were Lobster Bisque; a Thai Steak Salad; and Caper Crusted Sole Sandwich. I tried the sole and it was magnificent, moist and flakey and the artichoke hearts nestled on the home-made Focaccia bread (baked on the premises) were a great tangy addition to the fish. The accompanying French fries were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – sheer perfection on a plate.
With more than 20 years’ cooking experience, Chef Abel Ruiz creates Amelia’s dishes with country flair and the freshest ingredients.
Let’s meet Chef Abel Ruiz!
RVO: Chef Ruiz, can you share with our readers where were you born and raised?
CR: I was born in Mexico City, Mexico. I came to the States when I was 17.
RVO: How did you get into cooking?
CR: When I first came here I started doing odd jobs. Then I met someone who owns a restaurant and he saw something in me. He said, “Why don’t you come work for me? You’re a natural.” I worked the counter and started learning the business. Once I got my hands on the pans I couldn’t go back. When his Sous Chef quit, I became Sous Chef and worked my way up.