Bloom opened in Verona in March 2019, but already it’s making its mark with memorable meals featuring New American cuisine with French and Korean influences.
Walk into Bloom and immediately you are enveloped in an atmosphere of calm sophistication. One entire wall in the dining room is devoted to flowers — floor to ceiling screens featuring crocuses in full “bloom.” Adjacent to the flower wall is modern “bar” seating where you can watch all the activity in the kitchen. The owners — Chef Woo and and Chef JoAnn — have created a restaurant that stands out with inspired, tasty fare that belies a complexity and attention to detail.
Bloom’s dinner menu is eclectic. For appetizers, the Korean inspired chicken wings offered two ways — salt and pepper or soy glazed — are a not to be missed experience. Crispy, salty, juicy little bites of perfection. Pickled daikon cubes served alongside the wings are addictive and offer the perfect counterpoint.
For the more adventuresome eater, there is a kimchi glazed marrow bone served with toasts, as well as a beautiful steak tartare with pistachio, Asian pear and Thai chili for a little zest.
The bone marrow is silky smooth, finished with caramelized kimchi glaze that provides a welcome textural contrast.
The steak tartare is in one word, heaven. The tenderness of the filet pairs beautifully with both the sweetness and crunch of the Asian apple and pistachio followed by a lovely hint of heat.
The entrees continue the theme of recognizable dishes prepared with skill and creativity.
The pork belly, with a jalapeño miso glaze was expertly cooked. Two glistening slices with a relish of apple spheres on top served as an acidic counterpart to complement the richness of the dish.
The other entree we tried was the Bulgogi (marinated thin sliced beef) with kimchi fried rice. The dish was perfectly prepared with a fried egg on top and the overall success of the dish proved to be quite crave worthy.
Bloom’s menu offers seafood dishes including scallops and monkfish as well as some vegetable-only options. On a prior visit, the cauliflower steak with puréed mushrooms, Israeli couscous and crunchy shallots was a standout. The dish, with a hint of curry, was a filling, yet healthier option.
Currently, desserts, not made in house, are surprisingly Italian classics, such as tiramisu, a pistachio parfait, as well as a selection of sorbets and gelatos.
If you are in the mood for a beautiful, intimate setting where the food is delicious and the attention to detail keen, check out Bloom. Just make sure to order each of the chicken wing appetizers!
Bloom, 648 Bloomfield Ave, Verona, (973) 433-7256. Bloom is currently BYOB with convenient access to a liquor store across the street.