New in Town — The inside scoop on what’s hot and happening this season.

Ammata Thai Kitchen {184 Rivervale Road, Suite 2, River Vale; 201.664.2299;}

Bringing home-cooked Thai cuisine to New Jersey, River Vale residents can dive into flavorful curries and noodles at Ammata Thai Kitchen. Dressed in leather upholstered seats and rich woods, this upscale restaurant offers a variety of dishes from the northern and southern region of Thailand, including Tom Yum Goong soup and Khao Soi Chicken Curry. For those who fancy lighter fare, order off the Nosh & Nibbles section on the menu (full of healthy and shareable plates) or try one of the many soups and salads. Navigating the menu to find exactly what you’re craving has never been easier thanks to the Vegetarian, One-Plate Meals, and Rice Accompaniments categories. Spice lovers, rejoice! Items marked with an ‘S’ indicate that the dish will bring the heat to your palate. Vegetarian and gluten-free appetites can be satisfied here with a litany of options, from Crispy Spring Rolls to Chicken Ko Rae.

Elia in East Rutheford

Fresh Fish, Kitchen and Dining Area at Elia in East Rutherford

Elia {240 Hackensack Street, East Rutherford; 201.939.9292;}

Opening this past December in the former location of Park and Orchard, East Rutherford welcomed modern Mediterranean restaurant and bar, Elia. Executive Chef Jose Luis Falcon has designed a mouthwatering menu highlighting coastal favorites, featuring various styles of clams and oysters as well as Greek cheeses like Saganaki (served with fall fruit compote, drizzled honey, and lemon) and Sesame-Crusted Feta. Transporting guests to the shores of the Mediterranean, different shades of white and cream are used throughout the space and live plant arrangements dress up the tables. “We want guests to walk away from the white-washed restaurant feeling like they were just in Greece,” explains Co-Owner Tim Salouros. Wooden crates sit on shelves above the kitchen and house colorful produce, adding to the open-air market feel. But the pièce de résistance is the stellar open kitchen complete with a magnificent fresh fish display. Guests can watch Elia’s talented kitchen staff prepare the freshest selections—including Mediterranean catches like Lavraki, Fagri, and Barbounia—from the comfort of their own tables.

RoofTop at Exchange Place Terrace East Night View

RoofTop at Exchange Place Terrace — East Night View

RoofTop at Exchange Place {1 Exchange Place, Jersey City; 551.256.7850;}
Offering stellar views of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty, Hudson River, and beyond, it is no surprise that RoofTop at the Exchange Place is quickly becoming a hotspot. Located at the Hyatt House in Jersey City, this multi-level space is separated into two concepts. The RoofTop—which is available for use year round—is a great spot for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, as well as a a vibrant night out. Duck down below for cocktails, intimate conversations, and uninterrupted views of the skyline at The Terrace. Overseeing the food program, Chef Dongil Cha has designed a menu ranging from a variety of shareable small plates such as charcuterie and flatbreads to larger entrées like a build-your-own burger option. Be above it all at RoofTop at Exchange Place.

Bar Louie {1 Garden State Plaza, Unit B2, Paramus; 201.834.0880;}
Bar Louie is the quintessential neighborhood bar. With a tagline of “Eat. Drink. Be Happy” how could it not be? The Westfield Garden State Plaza shopping mall in Paramus recently gained this popular chain—adding to two locations in East Brunswick and Iselin—giving shoppers the perfect place to recharge. Bar Louie is home to just about everything, from flatbreads and burgers to salads and entrées. Unwind with friends over appetizers and specialty cocktails. Bar Louie at Garden State Plaza is open daily for lunch and dinner, and even has a late night menu. The neighborhood bar can also accommodate private events and offers various party packages. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to eat, drink, and be happy!

Segovia Mesón {645 Washington Avenue, Carlstadt; 201.896.3260;}
Sister restaurant to Segovia Steakhouse in Little Ferry and Segovia Restaurant in Moonachie, Segovia Mesón has made its debut in Carlstadt. Self-described as a full-service Spanish and Portuguese restaurant and tapas bar, share and nibble on popular tapas including Shrimp & Garlic, Grilled Spanish Chorizo, and the delightfully flaky Filet Mignon Empanadas. Prime for a lively happy hour, visit this vibrant restaurant Monday through Friday between 3-7pm for specials on beer, wine, spirits, sangria, and tapas. For a more intimate affair, Segovia Mesón houses three private rooms, ideal for special events. Beyond tapas, Segovia Mesón offers hearty entrées like Paella Marinara, Pork Chops Segovia, and Mixed Portuguese Grill.

By Heather Dean Bennington