It’s been a good year for the New Jersey dining scene. The last 365 days have been filled with both highly anticipated openings as well low-key introductions that have left lasting marks on the makeup of NJ dining culture, some of which comfortably compete amongst the best restaurants in New Jersey. From Wafu-Italian bowls of ramen to omakase dining experiences, these are seven of the best new restaurants in New Jersey to check out in 2023.
Maison Bleue Bistro
Sandy and John Vizzone, the owners of The Hugh B&B, alongside Chef Anthony Depasquale and Chef Michael Schultz, have teamed up once again to bring you Maison Bleue Bistro. Maison Bleue is the perfect mixture of elegance and sophistication. From the decor to the music and, of course, the food, the restaurant builds on the team’s previous success. However, at Maison Bleue, they aim to offer a unique interpretation of classic French cuisine, much like their other restaurant, Jardin at The Hugh, which has been rated among the best restaurants in New Jersey. Living at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, Maison Bleue’s menu is studded with plenty of local seafood.
311 Mansion St, Cape May, NJ
Neilly Robinson and Chef David Viana are back at it again with their latest—a modern Iberian eatery. Lita is Viana’s homage to the food of his youth growing up as a first-generation Portuguese-American. You’ll find thrilling bottles of natural wine, Iberian-laced cocktails and an array of Spanish and Portuguese classics cooked on the open fire—which you can see from any seat in the dining room thanks to an expertly-designed open kitchen concept. It comes less than a year after Robinson and Viana’s hip Asbury Park spot— Heirloom at the St Laurent. Lita goes beyond food by presenting a unique team structure that sees line cooks double as servers, providing a well-rounded experience for diners. It is no doubt one of our favorite restaurants to pop up in 2023.
1055 NJ-34, Aberdeen Township, NJ
Shumi, one of the State’s best sushi restaurants (located in Ridgewood, NJ), opened its second location in Leonia on February 2, 2023, at 354 Broad Avenue. The new restaurant features an exclusive private Omakase Room that seats eight VIP guests. Shumi’s owner David Seo, who has 21 years of Japanese cuisine experience, and Master Chef Kunihiko Aikasa, cut and serve the finest fish while creating an amiable atmosphere. The Omakase experience is left entirely to Chef’s choice, featuring a piece-by-piece multi-course meal with hot appetizers and the most magnificent sushi and sashimi. Shumi’s Omakase Room offers a rare and elevated sushi experience, making it the perfect spot for sushi lovers in New Jersey.
354 Broad Ave, Leonia, NJ
Osteria del Corso
Executive Chef Kris Welz draws inspiration from the cuisines spanning across Italy’s many subregions and denominations at the newly opened Osteria del Corso in the heart of South Orange. House-made pasta, pizza and regionally-inspired entrees adorn the Osteria del Corso menu, complete with imaginative cocktails and a well-rounded wine list. The space is polished off with a private event room, two patios and an indoor bocce ball court for guests to partake in while they dine. Yes, you read that right—bocce ball. This place is the real deal.
1 S Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ
It seems that whatever Chef Robbie Felice touches turns to gold (or in this case, A5 Wagyu and caviar). Pasta Ramen was long teased as a pop-up concept that traveled from NJ to Miami to LA to NYC and back again—but now, a brick-and-mortar location is here. Montclair’s Pasta Ramen serves what Felice calls Wafu-Italian, a blend of Italian techniques and Japanese flavors. You’ll find shrimp scampi ramen, meatball parm bao buns, cacio e pepe gyoza and more at this sophisticated BYOB. Snagging a reservation at Pasta Ramen is no easy feat, though. Reservations open on the first of each month for the following month, so set your alerts and be ready for June 1.
6 S Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ
Though opening in late 2022, we couldn’t miss Madame. Elevated French classics are the name of the game at this modern brasserie. The brainchild of acclaimed chef and restaurateur Jamie Knott, Madame presents timeless bites of food in a new-school way. Brought together with a top-notch cocktail program, a wine list laced with hard-to-find French treasures and a totally sexy and intoxicating atmosphere, Madame remains one of New Jersey’s brightest new additions to a robust dining scene.
390 4th St, Jersey City, NJ
The Roosevelt in East Rutherford, NJ, is a unique experience to say the least. Its history, glam, and seductiveness allow you to channel your inner Gatsby. Their Art Deco-inspired theme runs through each corner, from the saloon and dining room to the private chef’s tasting hideout and Lucy’s parlor speakeasy. The Roosevelt is brought to NJ by the Palsi family—owners of the successful Redd’s Restaurant & Biergarten—along with the minds behind the renowned Fiesta Catering. Whether you are looking to party like it’s 1920 or eat an impeccable meal, The Roosevelt has it all.
356 Paterson Ave, East Rutherford, NJ
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for food writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey. He never stops learning and he's always in the weeds.
Emma is an editorial intern. She likes to spend her free time cooking new recipes and chilling with her cat Stella.