Zeugma Mediterranean Grill & Wine Bar Opens in Montclair

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 3:30pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Zeugma Mediterranean Grill & Wine Bar, a new Turkish fusion restaurant located at 44 South Park Street in the Siena building, is full of surprises.

Starting with the incredibly addictive Ginger Lee, a refreshing shaken drink made with fresh squeezed lemon, juiced ginger, honey and a dash of cayenne and garnished with candied ginger & lemon peel (lip-smacking on its own, but would also be incredible spiked with your favorite spirit) to cold mezzes like pumpkin mohammara (sweet pumpkin puree, walnut, garlic, feta cheese perfect for dipping with pita) to a pistachio steak burger served with roasted tomatoes, pistachio pesto, spiced fries and pickles ($16), Zeugma’s menu has imaginative dishes you won’t find elsewhere.

Take Zeugma’s grilled halloumi ($13), for instance. The delicious cheese from Cyprus is grilled, but at Zeugma, it gets wrapped in grape leaves first and then served with a sweet chili sauce. The preparation elevates the halloumi to a new level.

You’ll recognize dishes from Greek and Turkish cuisine, but at Zeugma, they have their own unique twist. Turkish chef Can Alp was born and raised in Turkey, but went to study French cooking in Paris. Alp came to the States and was a chef at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center in New York. He credits his time in Paris as being a big influence on his style, but he maintains the traditions of Turkish food and culture, creating the perfect fusion dining experience.

Adding to the experience at Zeugma is a fresh, welcoming decor, evocative of a seaside taverna. The space is opened up and completely renovated (looking completely different from when it was occupied by a steakhouse) with different seating areas, a lovely mosaic-inspired mural, as well as an attractive wine bar upfront (Zeugma is in the process of securing a California wine license, but you can also BYOB).

Other dishes to try include the tender grilled octopus ($16), the miso calamari ($14), and the pan seared salmon, served with root vegetables, mustard mashed potatoes and garlic kale sauce ($24). The menu is well suited to sharing and even making a meal of hot and cold “mezze” appetizers. Other dishes we want to come back and try include some outrageous desserts. Of course, there is baklava on the menu, but there’s also a chocolate souffle with passion fruit ice cream or a slow cooked pear with red wine, topped with cotton candy & ice cream. We loved the Z Chef Special dessert (pictured below), a light pastry cream sandwiched between layers of French meringue with raspberry sauce.

Zeugma may be the best thing to happen to the Siena.

Zeugma Mediterranean Grill & Wine Bar, (open seven days a week for lunch and dinner) 44 S Park Street, Montclair, 973-744-0074

Delicious ending @zeugma_grill

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Cool Down At New Essex County Watsessing Spray Park!

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Two playgrounds in Essex County Watsessing Park were completed today — just in time for kids to cook down during a week of hot wather. Water spray equipment was installed near Dodd Street and a cargo net climber and other new equipment have been installed at the play area near Prospect Street.

Standing in the Spray Park with Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and children at the official opening are Essex County Chief of Staff Phil Alagia, Friends of Watsessing Park President Gouri Sadhwani, Bloomfield Councilman Carlos Pomares, Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia, Bloomfield Council members Nicholas Joanow and Ted Gamble, Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake, Freeholder Cynthia Toro and Essex County Parks Director Dan Salvante. The upgrades are part of the County Executive’s ongoing initiative to provide modern facilities to meet the needs of the community.

Photo: Essex County

Bloomfield Police Need Your Help To Identify Suspect in Armed Robbery of Gas Station

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

From Bloomfield Police:

The Bloomfield Police Department would like your help to identify a suspect in an armed robbery that took place on 7/17/17 at 3:10 am. The Exxon Gas station at 491 Bloomfield Ave was robbed at gunpoint and we need your help to identify the suspect in the video attached to this alert.
The suspect is described as a black male in his mid 40s-50s. 5’10” 150-160 lbs wearing black framed glasses with a pronounced limp in his right leg.

Click to see video of suspect

If you have information, contact:

Detective Sal Cordi, scordi@bloomfieldnjpd.com, 973-680-4089
Lt. Michael Sisco, msiscojr@bloomfieldnjod.com, 973-680-4087

MontClairVoyant: Overdevelopment in Montclair: a 21st-Century History

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 12:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


Has it occurred to you that the huge/awful redo proposed for Lackawanna Plaza is distracting many of us from thinking enough about the huge/awful “arts center” planned for the Seymour Street area?

A. Tention-Span

Great point! Sort of like the latest Trump outrage distracts us from the previous Trump outrage. And Montclair developers didn’t even win the Electoral College.

The Seymour project won an award from New Jersey Planning Officials, an association of the state’s planning boards and zoning boards. Why honor something that will cram downtown, worsen traffic, cater mostly to the affluent, etc.?

Surprised at Prize

People in the same field often undeservedly pat each other on the back, even as our town’s spine (Bloomfield Avenue) looks more and more stegosaurus-like. If only the meteor that hit Earth 65 million years ago wiped out variances…

And the Lackawanna Plaza and Seymour projects are distracting many of us from thinking about The MC hotel — which will be much too tall, right?

The Height Club

Let me put it this way: People imbibing at The MC’s rooftop bar will be able to see Manhattan the borough; Manhattan, Kansas; Manhattan Beach, California; and the star of “Where’s Waldo?” when he’s vacationing in Hawaii.

And the Lackawanna Plaza, Seymour, and hotel projects are distracting many of us from thinking about the ugly, sterile, bulky Valley & Bloom. How do you feel when walking by V&B?

Mood In-You-Go

Sad, glum, depressed, miserable, melancholy, doomed. At those times of bleak despair, I wonder if I have the strength to carry on. Darkness descends. So…a therapist needs to set up shop in one of V&B’s empty storefronts.

And the Lackawanna Plaza, Seymour, hotel, and V&B projects are distracting many of us from thinking about The Siena and its still-remembered leaks and mold. Would Leaks and Mold make a good name for a rock band?

Lu Mineers

I’d be afraid to download their songs.

And the Lackawanna Plaza, Seymour, hotel, V&B, and Siena projects — which all share the same developer — are distracting many of us from thinking about a different developer’s work. Do you know who I mean?

O. L’Gark

Ah, yes, the guy who razed The Marlboro Inn to construct the too-dense Christopher Court and is now trying to overbuild, with inadequate parking, on the former Diva Lounge site. His giant collection of variances is destined for the Smithsonian!

So what’s the result of all this distraction? Does it affect people’s focus? Their concentration? Their ability to respond?

Queries Jubilee

Um…did you just ask something?



Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.




YMCA of Montclair Job Fair

Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Do you want to make a difference while earning a paycheck? The YMCA of Montclair is hiring for part-time morning, afternoon and evening opportunities!

Join them at their Job Fair, meet their team and learn about opportunities where your skills, interests and personality can help others recognize their potential.

When: Tuesday, August 8, 6 pm-8 pm
Where: Park Street Branch, 25 Park Street, Montclair, Teen Room
RSVP montclairymca.org/jobfairrsvp

Opportunities available include school age child care counselors, fitness instructors, lifeguards, customer
service representatives and more. Continue Reading

Weekend Arts & Entertainment Calendar: July 20 – 23

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Lots of great local events to enjoy this weekend! From live music and concerts, to comedy and theater, to films and social events, this is your guide to what’s happening:
Continue Reading

Montclair Spy House Finally Sells

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 20, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (4)

The house at 31 Marquette has been empty since 2010, when Richard and Cynthia Murphy became known by their real names, Vladimir and Lydia Guryev. The FBI raided their home and the world discovered that a pair of Russian spies had been living in Montclair. Their story was the inspiration behind the spy drama “The Americans.”

Now, the abandoned home that became an eyesore for neighbors and was first listed back in 2013, finally sold in June for $340,000, a price that is below market for the street. The “Murphys” had purchased the home in May 2008 for $481,000. CNN catches up with some of the Murphy’s Marquette Road neighbors seven years later.

Montclair Art Museum Receives Program Support From The Montclair Foundation

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017 2:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) is grateful to The Montclair Foundation for its generous program support of ArtLink, a longstanding partnership between MAM and the Montclair Board of Education that invites students in grades 2 and 3 to explore the Museum and make connections to classroom themes, including storytelling and science.

ArtLink is a dynamic, integrative program linking Montclair students and teachers to the Museum. First, a MAM educator introduces relevant themes and art vocabulary in a pre-visit to the classroom, complemented by a comprehensive curriculum packet for further exploration. Then, students partake in a guided tour and inquiry-based conversation at the Museum, followed by a studio workshop where the children respond creatively to their experience. A staff development workshop at MAM for both classroom and art teachers further encourages the practice of making cross-curricular connections. Continue Reading

Let’s Do Lunch: Montclair Edition, Part One

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017 2:01pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Going out for lunch offers the perfect mini-break from the work day. It’s a chance to eat well, recharge and even catch up with friends for an hour or so. Yet, we are doing it less and less. Apparently going out for lunch is a dying tradition, according to the Wall Street Journal. No way. We can’t have that. Step away from your computer. Whether you crave a quiet lunch solo or dine with friends, jumpstart your lunch break tradition with these picks for great lunch escapes around Montclair.


Ah’ Pizz

The Ah’ Pizz lunch specials are no secret. I’ve had at least three friends tell me that Ah’ Pizz is their go-to place for a quick, well-priced lunch. Choose from three options — bowl of soup with choice of salad ($6.99); personal pizza with either soup or salad ($7.99); or choice of sandwich with salad ($8.99). All three options come with a fountain soda.

Ah Pizz

Ah’ Pizz (open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner), 7 North Willow St., 973-783-9200




How happy are we that Mezoco took over the space at Walnut Street Station? So happy, that we are now regulars for their tasty tacos (gotta love the toppings bar!). Carnitas, chicken, steak, vegetarian or tofu tacos are priced at $3.50; there are also individual meal combos or the Familia (12 tacos, rice and bean, chips and salsa) for a group of four to split ($48). The fact that you can walk over to the actual bar and order a beer to wash down those tacos is clutch.

tacos at Mezoco in Montclair


Mezoco, 25 Depot Square, Montclair, 973-744-4749



Jack’s Seafood Shack

I’ve been missing Cape Cod this summer, but Jack’s Seafood Shack in Montclair has been my consolation. Get your fix of lobster rolls or a whole lobster without the long car ride. Or try Jack’s lunch salads. We like the lobster salad platter, served with a mound of yummy lobster meat (prepared either Connecticut or Maine style), potato salad and cole slaw on a bed of greens ($19) or the summery shrimp & romaine salad, featuring shrimp, corn, cherry tomatoes and queso fresco cheese, with a lime vinaigrette ($17). There’s also a terrific kale salad with tri-color quinoa, red onions, and radishes with a sesame dressing ($14).

Jack’s Seafood Shack, (open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner) 718 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, 973-893-5283

Continue Reading

FREE Outdoor Concert: Oscar Noriega Trio, Montclair Library, 7/25

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Seed Artists and the Montclair Public library present a FREE outdoor concert of cutting-edge jazz and creative music from the Oscar Noriega Trio: three musical explorers taking jazz into the future. Led by Brooklyn-based Noriega (reeds), this all-star trio features alt-rock superbassist Trevor Dunn and Montclair’s own Pheeroan akLaff (drums).

Named Downbeat’s 2017 Rising Star on Clarinet, multi-instrumentalist and composer Oscar Noriega has performed with jazz giants such as Lee Konitz, Anthony Braxton, Dewey Redman and Paul Motian. Beyond his own projects—including Trio Hornitos and Banda de los Muertos–Noriega is a member of the renowned avant-jazz groups Endangered Blood and Tim Berne’s Snakeoil.

Bassist Trevor Dunn rose to fame as a member of the experimental rock band Mr. Bungle, and his impressive list of credits includes Fantômas and Tomahawk, heavy-metal heroes The Melvins, and more than 20 recordings with John Zorn.

Seed Artists founder Pheeroan akLaff became a major figure in the 1970s jazz avant garde, and has played with masters from Cecil Taylor, Sam Rivers and Andrew Hill to Pulitzer nominee Wadada Leo Smith and fellow Montclairians Oliver Lake and Andrew Cyrille. He has also led a Double Duo ensemble with saxophonists Ravi Coltrane and Mixashawn, leads percussion workshops around the world, and is a longtime instructor at Wesleyan University.

Kid-friendly, like every Seed Artists event. Grab some chairs, bring the kids, and make the most of your summer nights.

When: Tuesday, July 25th – 7pm
Where: Montclair Public Library plaza, 50 South Fullerton Avenue
Cost: Free

Featured Comment

Yummy list. I like Ray's. http://www.raysluncheonette.com

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