NJ Restaurant Named One of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America

by Peter Candia
best new restaurants new jersey

Every year, Esquire sets out to name the best new restaurants in America. The list is well-respected and often features an array of restaurant concepts, spanning from casual and accessible to higher end, fine dining.

On Tuesday morning, Esquire released their list for 2023 and Aberdeen Township’s Lita was named as one of the best new restaurants in the entire nation. The revolutionary concept by Chef David Viana, Neilly Robinson and Ricardo Rodriguez took NJ by storm earlier this year when they opened their Iberian-inspired restaurant, centered around a live-fire hearth.

You can read the full story of Lita’s concept here

Chef stokes the fire and the grill

Chef Dave Viana Stoking the Fire | Photography by Arielle Figueredo

The Esquire staff touted Lita for bringing a dining experience one might not expect when walking into the strip mall-located restaurant. “The hearth at Lita sees constant tending with a vigorously waved fan, the feeding of charcoal with a shovel, the movement of chicken and octopus. It is the thing you least expect to see inside a strip mall in central Jersey next to an old bowling alley, but then again, no one expected that a destination-worthy Iberian restaurant would be here,” writes Esquire.

Beyond Viana and Robinson’s exceptional display of hospitality through food, service and design is Ricardo Rodriguez’s innovative drink program, which Esquire praised for its “culinary touch.”


“Mule” by Ricardo Rodriguez | Photography by Arielle Figueredo

For fans of Lita and the team’s other concepts, this comes as no surprise as their restaurants consistently and comfortably hang with the best in the state. 

Still, it is always nice to see NJ gain the culinary recognition it so rightfully deserves.

Lita was also named one of the best NJ restaurants to open this year by NJ Digest staff. You can read that full list here


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About the Author/s

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Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for 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.

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