The New Jersey food scene just upped its street cred with the addition of The Circle, a contemporary American restaurant with Michelin roots. Backed by chefs Brendan Ullmann and Tyler O’Toole, the duo is bringing over a decade of fine dining experience to North Jersey.
Set to officially open on March 12, The Circle aims to bring a taste of New York City to NJ’s greenest county—Sussex. The name itself is an ode to Manhattan’s Columbus Circle, a place where Ullmann and O’Toole would often retreat to after an arduous 16-hour shift. The two originally met while working under the acclaimed Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Today, The Circle is a reflection of the foundation in which their friendship, and now restaurant partnership, is built.
Set amongst the farmlands of Fredon Township, The Circle will draw from its rural surroundings instead of impeding on them. The restaurant itself has taken on the shell of a 300-year-old building and the concept follows suit, putting the support of New Jersey businesses at the forefront by bringing in produce from nearby farms and even featuring local artists.
The BYOB spot will boast a hyper-seasonal menu that uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Goers can expect an American à la carte menu, in addition to a six-course Chef’s tasting. We presume the initial standouts will be the egg yolk ravioli carbonara with bacon brodo; braised short ribs with crispy polenta; pork belly Bánh Mì appetizer; and the homemade doughnuts with hazelnut pastry cream.
“Here at The Circle, we take immense pride in using as many locally sourced ingredients as we can get our hands-on,” reads a post on the restaurant’s Instagram page. “Local farms play a tremendous role in our hyper-seasonal menu. Working with our community to source local whenever possible is a cornerstone of The Circle.”
For more information on the grand opening of The Circle in New Jersey or to make a reservation at the restaurant, visit their website.
Main image by Rob Yaskovic