Open Closed Sesame

Tipsters are bemoaning the loss of Sesame, Montclair’s tablecloth Chinese on Bloomfield Ave which opened back in 2003. Owned by Alexander Lee and Sue Sein, it was known for its live music as well as having an adjacent liquor store. We’ve heard unconfirmed reports that we can expect another Italian restaurant in the space.

One tipster exclaims…”Sesame closing…Montclair losing best Chinese food.”

Was it your favorite and where will you go now?

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Best chinese in the area by far. TS MA is good, fresh and well prepared but Sesame had something none of the other locals had. Chengdu 46 it is I guess. Rumors i’ve heard are that the liquor store is expanding and it’s the guys from Village Trattoria in Maplewood that are going to open a restaurant there. Maybe someone can confirm?

  2. Also – rumor is 32 Church is going to be Cafe Amici from hohokus, a family style italian place.

  3. My fiancee and I tried Chengdu 1 on Pompton Ave. on the border of Verona and Cedar Grove after reading a very good NY Times review of it about two months ago and we loved it. We have ordered there 3 times now and it has been consistently very good. It’s in a bit of a weird location and the atmosphere leaves something to be desired, so we do take out or delivery.

  4. They would still be open and thriving if only they had provided adequate bicycle parking. When will these private enterprises learn?
    Why won’t Mayor Fried save them from themselves?

  5. That really sucks. Sesame was probably one of my top 3 favorite restaurants in the area.

    Another Italian place? Really? Next, please!

  6. TS MA on Bellevue Avenue is the best Chinese in town. If you go at lunchtime you will actually see them snapping the ends off the fresh stringbeans that just came in crates. Nothing soggy, nothing precooked…..just delicious and fresh.

  7. I loved Sesame. The sauteed string beans were very good. Everything on that menu was fresh and not loaded with gloppy sauces. I thought they could have utilized that liquor store that was connected better or did they sell off that licensee? The staff was very friendly.

    Between Joe Bartoni’s and Sesame Montclair lost 2 good ones.
    I see something opened in that old Bartoni’s spot, can anyone tell me about it, anyone been there?

  8. TS Ma is great. Unless someone is laundering money, I cant see another Italian restaurant thriving here. Why not bring us something we can’t find in Montclair, like Korean BBQ?

  9. I used to like the Mongolian BBQ below the Claridge Theatre. I think its been gone for about 15 yrs. Forget the name.

  10. Restaurants in montclair seem to open in waves. Sushi Craze (yoshi, toro, nouveau, aozora, Nori, Chia), Burgers (elevation, Smash, five guys), Italian (ah pizz, salute, tosca, new sesame, new 32 church), middle eastern (Four Seasons, Sofra, Kei Kebab, Falafel Hut).

    There will be a Korean BBQ place – or should i say, there will be a wave of korean bbq places.

  11. The Mongolian BBQ place was great. There was a sister restaurant in Morristown. Both are sadly gone.

  12. Hunan House behind the A&P on Valley Road will always be my go-to place. Food is always consistent and they have hands-down the best fried wontons and General Tso’s chicken I’ve ever tasted. I’ll try new places, but Hunan House is always my benchmark. So far, I haven’t found a place in their price range that compares.

  13. The restaurant under the claridge was khiva. loved that place when i was in high school for the food and the cute waiters in tuxedos 😉

    the best chinese i’ve found in the area is china gourmet in west orange across from the whole foods. i always feel most chinese places use meats that fell of the back of the truck but i don’t get that feeling there.

  14. I agree China Gourmet is good and they have some incredible deals on restaurant.com but it just is getting very tired looking inside. When I go out for Chinese now we go there because of the coupons and its good for take out its Bill and Harry’s in West Orange which is very good, can’t sit down there. If you like China Gourmet go to that website.

    Has anyone tried the new place in Bartonis old spot? Is the outside open?

  15. I’ve tried Sofra. I think it’s excellent. The waitstaff had a tough time taking our order (much of the menu sounds similar it seems), so make sure you’re clear about what you want (even point to it). The chicken kebab with yogurt was outstanding.

  16. herb agree on CG atmosphere so i usually get it to go.
    I never thought of the Bill & Harry’s in WO but was a huge fan of the one on Route 10 back in the day. will have to try the other location!

  17. We ordered the hot and spicy tofu at Chengdu 1 after seeing a movie at the now-defunct theater next door. It was an incredibly real Szechuan-style dish and it burned for days. We have been back a few times, and I hope they can make it without the movie crowd. There is also a place in the Home Goods stripmall near the Willowbrook Mall called Chengdu 23. Haven’t tried it yet, but the menu looks very good.

  18. BTW, I think the tip about trying the tofu at Chengdu 1 came from none other than Annette Batson in her review of the place a few years ago.

  19. Sesame was mediocre. It has a fine dining setting, it’s only real attraction in my book. I gladly settled for the atmosphere at Chengdu many times.

    Anyone know when Brick Lane is opening? I just called the phone number that is advertised for them, and it “is not in service”.

  20. Sesame is good but expensive. And if Cafe Amici opens on Church st. that would be sweet. I know the owner and the place. Good stuff.

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