A Smorgasbord Of New Dining In Baristaville

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 5:00pm  |  COMMENTS (14)

boonsong.jpg
In Baristaville, culinary capital of New Jersey, we can’t ever get enough of new restaurants to satisfy our adventurous palates. Boonsong Thai, Tutti Vous, Costanera, and 32 Church are the latest restaurants to arrive on the scene, and aren’t we lucky!
Boonsong Thai Cuisine, at 1040 Broad Street is spicing things up in the Brookdale section of Bloomfield. This is the second restaurant for owners Siriphun and Somporn Meelarb, who for seven years have owned Tuptim in Montclair. Chef Siriphun was professionally trained by the Thai government to prepare traditional Thai dishes, and she’s delighted to present a totally different menu than what is prepared at Tuptim. Husband Somporn “Noon” says they’ll prepare any favorite Thai dish, even if it’s not on the menu. Open seven days for lunch and dinner. Lunch specials $6.95, served from 11:30 – 2pm.
Now available on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair is “world cuisine” from Tutti Vous and new world Peruvian Cuisine from Costanera.


Tutti Vous has a menu that changes every week, says chef Margie King, who hails from the NYC kitchen of Birdland. This week’s specials included Prawn Skewers with Chili and Raspberry Dip ($10), Pan Seared Filet Mignon, with Haricot Verts, Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Reduction ($19), and Grilled Marinated Tofu, with Asian Stir fry, Sobe’ Noodles & Teriyaki Glaze ($15). Tutti Vous took over the short-lived Aqua Blue Cafe, and is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday 5-10 and Brunch on Sunday 9:30am -3pm. 348 Bloomfield Avenue. 973-707-7012. Their website, www.tuttivous.com, should go live this weekend.
Costa Nera.jpg
CIA-trained Juan Placencia is the Chef-owner of Montclair’s first Peruvian restautant, Costanera, which has taken over the former Udupi on Bloomfield Avenue. Having grown up in a restaurant family – his dad owns Oh Calamares! in Kearny – Placencia formalized his training working the front and back of the house at NY dining landmarks Jean-Georges, Del Posto, and Grammercy Tavern. The soft opening of Costanera is May 5 and 6, when the public is invited to taste Peruvian specialties at 50% off regular prices. What to expect: exquisitely fresh raw bar, ceviche, catch of the day, grilled meats,and of course the quintessential Peruvian grilled chicken. There’s also a fruit juice bar, serving chicha morada, and limeade. It’s BYO for Pisco Sours. Costanera will be serving dinner at first, then open for lunch in July. 511 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair. 973-337-8289.
32 Church is the latest foodie mecca on pedestrian-friendly Church Street. Bringing a bit of Soho glam to the block, two glass enclosed firepits light up the romantic upstairs dining area. Nice to know they’ve got sidewalk seating ready for the good weather, and I’m interested to see the “air curtain” in action which acts like a bug screen when the retractable doors open onto the street. 32 Church has an the eclectic menu dubbed “Creative Cooking.” Indeed, 32 CHURCH has taken the best of southwestern and italian dishes from sister restaurants Theresa’s, Isabella’s and Mojave Grill of Westfield and Theresa’s South of Bay Head. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Mondays. 973-746-3232.

14 Comments

  1. POSTED BY JBS  |  April 30, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

    how I long for a good vegan/vegetarian restaurant (not Chinese food) like Blossom or Gobo in NY… I think there is such a big market for creative vegan food in Baristaville.

  2. POSTED BY ViV  |  April 30, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

    Hoboken.

  3. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  April 30, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

    Hoboken for vegan? Or Montclair is becoming Hoboken?

  4. POSTED BY ViV  |  May 01, 2010 @ 11:17 am

    SSP, Hoboken, not Montclair, is the culinary capital of NJ.

  5. POSTED BY Coffee Chip  |  May 01, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    I lived in Hoboken for 18 years and the restaurants got worse, not better. Amandas was good but so many in Montclair are better. The newer restaurants have no imagination or creativity and just want to pack in as many people as possible while giving them the barest minimum in quality or service. The idea there is to get the customers to drink alot so they won’t care about anything else.

  6. POSTED BY Conan  |  May 03, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    Looked to me like Boonsong’s menu was fairly long on vegetarian dishes, with about 30 choices. And, nice thing about dining in Bloomfield, there is parking and it is free in the evenings. We will try Boonsong’s, although Brookside Thai is a wonderful, inexpensive restaurant run by lovely people.

  7. POSTED BY Glen  |  May 06, 2010 @ 1:10 am

    This place, quite frankly is terrible. I was exited to try it and made reservations early but was extremely disappointed. It seemed poorly managed and disorganized. The environment, while it has potential to be brillant , has a majority of the seats positioned in such a way that the Tree stump infested wall becomes your memory for the evening. The seafood (which is all they really offer) was bland and forgetable. The waitstaff was ignorant and had no knowledge of the menu items. The table setting was classy and chic besides the $ 0.10 valuepak napkins they bought at costco. Do not expect great things here. I would not recomend it.

  8. POSTED BY Glen  |  May 06, 2010 @ 1:16 am

    I am referring to costanera btw, not boonsong.

  9. POSTED BY marti101  |  May 06, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    Unfortunately, Consanera on it’s first night, was memorable in a non-so-tasty way. Chicked glop was inedible and other dishes mediocre at best. Having visited Peru recently, I had anticipated MUCH better. BTW, the skimpy napkins were a last minute temp. plan while they await linens from a tardy supplier.
    We found the waitstaff to be extremely helpful, informative and friendly–but, that was not enough to merit a return visit.

  10. POSTED BY relax people  |  May 06, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    Dude, the place has been open for exactly 2 days. Take a deep breath and try again.

  11. POSTED BY sugarmagnolia  |  May 07, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    There is a vegetarian restaurant, Veggie Heaven, on Valley Rd in Upper Montclair…it’s good!

  12. POSTED BY Conan  |  May 07, 2010 @ 4:12 pm

    She Who Must be Obeyed and Yr.Obdt. Svnt. tried Boonsong last night and came away quite impressed. We shared a special from the Appetizer menu that was composed of a patty of fresh corn, minced shrimp, and various spices, sauteed or deep fried to a nice golden brown, and served with a spicy cucumber sauce. SWMBO tried a pork and green curry dish that surprised her with the depth of flavors, spices, and heat. Most Thai, Indian, and other cuisines that are based on spices and heat are served way to tame in the US. Not here. And they are not so hot that they will hurt you; if you want that, ask for some of the smoked chili sauce on the side. I had the Jungle Curry with chicken. It is a preparation made without coconut milk, which I prefer to avoid. It is a watery curry, but it was sopped up nicely by the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and eggplant in the dish, as well as by the nicely-cooked rice served on the side. We talked with the owner, who also owns Tuptim in Montclair. He said he wanted to use the kitched at Boonsong to experiment with tradtional and avant-garde dishes. So far, so good, IMHO. It has a very different menu from Brookside Thai, so we will probably frequent both places. On a scale of 5, this is definitely a four or better.

  13. POSTED BY Karen Banda  |  May 07, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

    Conan, I was also there last night for the first time. I,too, thought it worth additional visits though I also love Brookside Thai. I tried dishes I’d had before in other places and they compared very favorably. The Som Tom salad was very refreshing and tasty and my duck dish with asparagus and basil equally yummy. It’s a great new addition to the Brookdale section and very close for me for take-out.

  14. POSTED BY boblynch  |  May 10, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    Dined at 32 Church last week and food was great. We eat out a couple times a week and we had one of our better meals in recent memory. Eggplant pancake, which was a unique appetizer, was delicious as well as grouper and pork special ( Cinco De Mayo). They also made a special dish for my 7 year old daughter that she actually ate. The quality of food was excellent and reasonably priced. Definitely return in the near future!

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