New Jersey Foodie Feature With Desiree, AKA, @RealFoodiesOfNJ

Delicious food is heading your way!

Posted by UBMeFood

New Jersey Foodie Feature With Desiree, AKA, @RealFoodiesOfNJ

At UBMe, we are excited to take a trip through New Jersey and showcase their cuisine with you all! Accompanied by Desiree and her experiences as a food blogger, we are here to discover and unravel new eats for everyone to enjoy! If you’re joining us for the first time, here at UBMe we dedicate our time to supporting  restaurants around the United States by giving Read More

At UBMe, we are excited to take a trip through New Jersey and showcase their cuisine with you all! Accompanied by Desiree and her experiences as a food blogger, we are here to discover and unravel new eats for everyone to enjoy! 

If you’re joining us for the first time, here at UBMe we dedicate our time to supporting  restaurants around the United States by giving them an online presence and unique online ordering experience. We strive to build a community centered on the food we love and the amazing people we have the pleasure of working with! With that being said, we hope you will join us on our journey!

The restaurants we are recommending today are centered around Greek, Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine, as well as miscellaneous restaurants thrown in; all of them feature unique and distinctive recipes! You are in for a real treat!

What inspired you to begin food blogging?

I had just left the restaurant industry and started my career in corporate America. I was always recommending restaurants to colleagues and friends. One day my coworker suggested I start a food Instagram, and well, here we are!

We are so excited to begin with you, Diseree! Thank you so much for joining us on the ride throughout New Jersey and New York City – to all of our readers, you’re all in for a treat for sure! 

A sneak peak at Desiree's Food Blogging Instagram!

What are your favourite places in New Jersey? Any you would like to share?

Well I have quite a selection! I love Sofia in Englewood, Taverna Veranda in Edgewater, Varka in Ramsey, Elia in East Rutherford and Olar Noso in Old Tappan.

Sofia

This restaurant is one of our personal favorites on this list. Located in the heart of downtown Englewood, this location is fairly new, being less than a decade old. The steakhouse was revamped in 2015 by Eddie Sujak, and the results are gorgeous, being completely redesigned by Max Cutler. They kept a fresh, modern look to the restaurant,  with hints of old school Italian details as the cherry on top of this dining experience.

The aesthetic of Sofia is in line with their quality dishes, available to everyone in the area! Dry-aged Prime steak cooked to your liking, varieties of seafood flown in daily, house made pasta and other authentic Italian dishes; many cooked in their wood-burning oven.

Another unique feature of Sofia is that they continue to hold one of the few indoor smoking licenses within NJ, hosting a room designed for proper ventilation and used as the lounge and bar.

This fabulous photo is of the Strip Steak and was taken by Desiree when she was last there! We are obsessed with her creative eye and cannot wait to try this!

 

Photo Credit: Desiree

Taverna Veranda

This selection is another one of the fine restaurants on our list built recently! Taverna Veranda opened their doors to the public only last year in December, inviting you all into a world of Greek dishes! Despite having to close their previous establishment in 2009, Taverna Veranda is a huge addition to the area and we are so thrilled to have the opportunity to feature them!

The restaurant is run by three owners; Constantine Youssis, Moutaz Ali, and Aldo Mo, who each have their experiences within the hospitality industry. 

“I’d call us an elevated Mediterranean taverna experience with a splash of Arabic flavor. The food, service, cocktails, ambiance, and the view will set us apart,” Constantine says.

Because of the unique culture within their menu, their eats really are like no other. But don’t overlook their drink selections either! Taverna Veranda has an extensive wine and liquor menu, with over 100 bottles of wine in their name. Their tastes reach from Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus, Italy, France, and the Napa Valley. They also have some specialty cocktails, with creative names such as Life Is Too Short, Putin Has Nothing On This Mule, and Never Too Old To Be Sexy.

Guests will have the option of dining inside their 3,000 square foot indoor space, or outside on their patio with beautiful views of the New York city skyline! they’re open from 5 PM to 11:30 PM, don’t miss your opportunity!

Photo Credit: Taverna Veranda, Instagram.

For more fabulous photos like this from Taverna Veranda, check out their Instagram! We are huge fans and love their eye for takin aesthetically pleasing photos of their dishes!

Photo Credit: Varka Estiatoria Website
Photo Credit: Varka Estiatoria Website: varkarestaurant.com/

Varka Estiatorio in ramsey

I hope you enjoy Greek food as much as we do, because we have another Greek seafood restaurant to showcase for you!

Varka opened in downtown Ramsey in 2005, and has continued to create the same flavours and eats to this day – and trust us, they do not disappoint, especially when you realize that the restaurant began as an accident! Do we have a story for you…

 Varka Estiatorio was actually supposed to be a pizzeria and bar! But, in the process, Starvos Angelakos recalled that his partner, Peter Mastorakos, lost the initial property sale in a real estate dispute; carrying on to create Roxxanne’s in Mahwah instead. The building owner was desperate to sell though, leading Mastorakos to brainstorm a seafood centered restaurant that paralleled the well known manhattan fish-houses Trata and Avra, where he partnered once before! 

“We’re not cheap, and we don’t pretend to be,” says Angelakos. “But we let the product speak for itself.”

Since their release, the chefs and waiters have noted that their octopus has been the best selling appetizer. People who don’t eat octopus, eat the octopus here. Maybe it’s because of the two day preparation for the octopus, marinating it in a bath of vinegar, spices and herbs; then to finish, to order, it heads to the grill where it receives its smokey flavour. You won’t know the hype unless you try some of their delicious dishes available from 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM!

Elia Mediterranean

“Elia Mediterranean brings a unique dining experience to the heart of east Rutherford from the heart of greece. Our focus is to make authentic, delicious dishes that will transport you to the shores of the Mediterranean.”

Elia Mediterranean is yet another Greek based restaurant that we’re excited to present! This proud restaurant is sophisticated in their creation, bringing you into the world of the Mediterranean with their stunning fish displays, bright white environment, and callbacks to the place the family calls home. This world of theirs was brought to life through chef Jose Luis Falcon, who makes every dish with devotion to Mediterranean cuisine, and they wish to share its palate to everyone willing to take a taste!

If you’re lost as to what to start with first, their sushi-grade grilled octopus appetizer is a best seller for its delectable taste, accompanied with sundried tomatoes, sishito peppers, smoked onions, fava puree and braised gigante bean. This combination sounds enticing to us and we hope to try it someday. Maybe you could tell us just how good it is for us!

Speaking of recommendations, we are always looking to try new restaurants to try, so feel free to send any our way!

Photo Credit: Elia's Mediterranean, Instagram. Enjoy more of their fabulous photos on their website and social media!
Fried Goat Cheese Balls. Photo Credit: Desiree

Welcome to olar noso!

“Olar Noso is a market drive and seasonally inspired mediterranean restaurant serving Spanish tapas, paella, hand crafted pasta, Neapolitan style pizza, as well as craft beer, sangria, unique cocktails, and a carefully curated wine list.”

Though we haven’t visited Olar Noso in Old Tappan ourselves, it struck our interest when we discovered it through Desiree’s recommendation. Some of the dishes of Olar Nosa that made our mouths water turned out to be something we never had ourselves, anywhere else!
Calamari Misto, Roasted Portabello, and Grilled Poienta Crostini – I mean, how absolutely amazing!? 

Their foreign appearance and fresh, unique ingredients have us captivated when thinking about these dishes, and we hope to have a bite someday soon!

Although, thanks to Desiree, I know the very first thing I’ll be enjoying are the Fried Goat Cheese Balls!

We Have more questions for desiree!

So, we’re always looking for somewhere new to try – can you point us in the right direction and give us some of your favorite spots for a good lunch or dinner?

For lunch I would recommend the Stone and Rail Glen Rock or Marcel Bakery and Kitchen!

Welcome To Stone & Rail

Stone & Rail is a Gastropub with a strong focus on craft beer located in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Located right next door to the Glen Rock Train Station, the decor pays homage to the railroad, and features a vintage feel of reclaimed wood and exposed brick. Come enjoy our curated selection of 20 craft beers on tap, and our delicious food menu today.”

Stone & Rail takes a different route from the previous restaurants, having a rustic and cozy old fashioned feel to their interior, while still being elegant and attractive to the eye!

They have a variety of both comfort foods and daring delicacies to try, some worth noting being their Pomegranate chili glazed salmon, with a creamy farro and pancetta accompanied with portobello mushrooms; and General tso’s tofu, consisting of fried rice, peas, crispy tofu, thai chili sauce and sesame seeds! 

Photo Credit: Stone & Rail, Instagram. @StoneAndRail

Check Out Marcel Bakery + Kitchen!

We’re finishing off our recommendations with a sweet bakery located in Montclair! If you’re looking for something to grab and go, Marcel Bakery + Kitchen has many treats and snacks to choose from. And if you’re looking to sit down and have breakfast, Marcel Bakery has a breakfast menu to peek at as well!

Some of their baked goods are common, but are unique to their own recipes; such as their scones, coconut tea cakes, pound cakes and more. 

Additionally, if you’re looking for something savory or even a healthy picking, they have ‘Three eggs your way’ served with a side of pita and greens, & ‘Yeminite vine breakfast’ consisting of flaky malawach with boiled eggs, tahini, harissa, and fresh grated tomato. Bagels and rotisserie chicken bundles accommodate their selections too, making this restaurant all sorts of unique in its own manner. 

They welcome everyone from 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM if you’re looking to stop by and try some of their pita dip!

Photo Credit: Marcel Bakery + Kitchen, Instagram @MarcelBakeryAndKitchen Dish: NEW Seasonal Burrata Salad

Finally, (we love to ask this question) – do you have any trips coming up this summer and if so, what cuisines are you most excited about trying on your trip?

I do not have anything planned as of yet. Ideally, I would like to visit San Francisco and dine at Dirty Laundry. Or perhaps visit San Diego and try the Marine Room in La Jolla, for some views.

Thank You For Joining Us This Week, Desiree!

We always love working with fabulous Food Bloggers, and this week with Desiree was no exception! With so many amazing eats and recommendations, it made doing some research on these new restaurants even more exciting! We have so many wonderful new spots to check out and we are beyond thrilled to get started!

If you have been to any of these locations and have some additional recommendations or want to share your amazing dishes, give us a shoutout on the Gram and we’ll be sure to reshare and reply – as well as take notes for our next restaurant visit! 

Check us out on social media here! 

Photo Credit: Desiree. Lobster Roll From The Lobster Bar, Newport, RI.

Thank You For Joining Us!

As always, we want to thank our incredible readers for following along with us and enjoying the amazing eats that we get to enjoy and research! This week was so special having our friend Desiree work with us, and we loved sharing her passion for food with all of you! 

If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you’ll know that at UBMe, community is everything and our entire mission is to create meaningful experiences and enhance the way we interact with one another, in all aspects of our lives! Food is a great way to do so, and we really appreciate all of you who are taking part in that and standing by UBMe!

Cheers to a wonderful week, great company and amazing eats! Until next time, everyone!

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