The upscale steakhouse that occupies the space that once housed Blend nightclub has finally opened on Chestnut Street, according to Boozy Burbs. Roots, with locations in Morristown and Summit, has a bevy of dry-aged steak options, a full bar, wine lists and six beers on tap. Both the steaks and seafood is shipped fresh every day, and all dishes are made on-site, according to Boozy Burbs.
The restaurant, similar to a Ruth's Chris or Morton's, will be open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner. The Harvest Restaurant Group, which has 10 Roots locations in total, fully renovated the former nightclub. This is the tenth restaurant, third Roots Steakhouse location, and first entrance into Bergen County for the NJ-based Harvest Restaurant Group. The first and second Roots restaurants are in Summit and Morristown.
The details of Roots shouldn’t come as much of a surprise for seasoned diners. It’s an upscale steakhouse, in the vein of Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris, a place where Harvest’s Andy Silverstein wants people to “feeling like they’re dining in NYC”.
The menu (view on their website) is a la carte, with both dry aged and wet aged steaks (from 21-28 days depending on the cut). The chain is a “stickler” for fresh ingredients, bringing in both steaks and seafood (their section is considerably larger than most chains according to Silverstein) fresh everyday, and make everything from scratch including their fresh popovers (they come with each meal) and desserts.
The bar features a wine list of approximately 150-250 bottles, with 12-18 at any time by the glass. There is a specialty cocktail program and 6 beers on tap. This includes 2 from their sister restaurant Trap Rock Restaurant and Brewery in Berkeley Heights.
The 140 seat restaurant (The downstairs area, for those who remember the space, will eventually be converted into a private dining area) will operate for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
Roots Steakhouse 17 Chesnut Street, Ridgewood, NJ Website
Hunterdon County — where there’s lots of parks and health clubs, an ample pool of doctors, and not much child poverty or unemployment — is home to New Jersey’s healthiest people for the fifth consecutive year, according to a study that will be released today.
There’s nothing more important then economic stability to help foster good health, said James Marks, the foundation’s senior vice president. Factors like income, safety and public safety and education are the among biggest ones in judging the healthiest counties in the report, which also measures people’s behaviors, access to health care and environmental quality.
"Economics is really important, directly and indirectly. You get better housing and access to quality food," Marks said. "A higher income family is more apt to send children to better schools." The other counties determined New Jersey’s healthiest are Somerset, Morris, Bergen and Middlesex. The least healthy counties also include Essex, Atlantic, Salem and Camden.
The report found:
• Essex County residents are nearly twice as likely to die prematurely than those who live in Hunterdon County.
• Union County, the tenth-healthiest, has double the violent crime rate as its neighbor, Middlesex County, which ranked fifth overall.
• Monmouth and Ocean counties are sixth and seventh healthiest, respectively, but Ocean has twice as many poor children and 9 percent fewer college graduates.
It’s difficult to shake up the rankings year by year, Marks acknowledged. But government officials in counties across the country have used the foundation’s data to advocate for public projects that encourage healthy living. For example, The United Way received a grant to hold community meetings and rally support for improving early childhood education, based on the need identified by the county rankings, Marks said. "What we are seeing and excited about is over the last few years, this is serving as a call of action to leaders in the state," Marks said. "We are in this together and we need to create a culture of health. This data exists, and we’re making it visible in a standardized way and putting it in the hands of the community." The foundation says the findings can be used to make improvements even in counties that have gotten good health grades. Somerset County, for example, ranks second healthiest — largely because of the benefits of wealth and relatively few people who are out of work and don’t have insurance. But Somerset ranks last for environmental factors such as drinking water and air quality violations, as well as long commutes to work. Public officials could decide to tackle these problems now that they have been identified and compared to the rest of the state, Marks said. "These rankings really can help a community decide what to work on when they have a discussion local leaders," Marks said. The foundation conducts the research project with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute using the most recent government data, ranging from 2010 to 2013, according to the report. Leaders of the foundation, public health officials and lawmakers will discuss the findings at a Statehouse news conference this morning. The report may be found here. New Jersey healthy county rankings:
North Jersey food blog Boozy Burbs is one step ahead of you. They're counting down their five most anticipated openings in Bergen County. The restaurants are California Tortilla in Montvale, Orama in Edgewater, Casual Habana Cafe in New Milford, Fish in Ridgewood and Sofia in Englewood.
California Tortilla in Montvale
This chain of Cal-Mex cuisine features chef-inspired dishes is coming to Montvale ― all of which are made in-house and sourced locally. Hot sauce fans will appreciate their 75+ bottle “Wall of Flame”.
Orama in Edgewater
This one made the list last year. It appears diners will still have to wait to this restaurant helmed by Chef John Piliouras. A few details were unearthed earlier this year, but nothing new has surfaced in quite some time.
Casual Habana Cafe in New Milford
Hackensack’s Casual Habana Cafe is expanding ― this time with a larger space and liquor license ― bringing a tapas bar and cocktails along with Chef/Owner Benito Rivero’s classic Cuban menu to the former Main Street Grille space.
Fish (Urban Dining) in Ridgewood
Expectations are running high for the restaurant ― via Asbury Park ― with it’s former bank digs, liquor license and seafood heavy menu which is expected in 2015.
Sofia in Englewood – Website
The other spot that made last year’s list. Bronx restaurateur Eddy Sujak (Tosca Cafe, Giovanni) promises to have the smoke-free upstairs and smoke lounge downstairs ― equipped with state of the art air filtration ― open sometime in the first half of 2015.
A few other notable upcoming spots to make the Honorable Mention list are Emma in Englewood, Craft House in Suffern, and Finca in Ridgewood. It appears that 2015 is shaping up with plenty of new places to check out
Jersey Mike's Subs, the Jersey Shore sandwich chain, plans to open in Ramsey. Founded in 1956, the company has 1,300 restaurants open and under development. Jersey Mike's has doubled in size over the past three years.
The Ramsey location is the first for franchise owners Bradford Fritts and Steve Korman. They plan to open four more in Bergen County.
"As a native of Point Pleasant Beach, I've been around the Jersey Mike's product and culture my entire life," Korman said. "Expanding the brand in North Jersey, and more specifically in Ramsey, is a great opportunity."
As part of the grand opening, from Wednesday to Sunday, customers can turn in coupons for free subs in exchange for $1 donations to Children's Aid and Family Services of New Jersey.
The Ramsey store is located at 557 North Franklin Turnpike. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Northern New Jersey's workforce is aging, and the next generation is worse-off in terms of finding and attaining high-quality jobs, according to a study recently released by Together North Jersey.
The regional planning coalition released the "North Jersey Partners Regional Workforce Collaboration" final report earlier this month, which found that three out of every four job openings in northern N.J. are due to aging workers retiring, not new job creation.
Concurrently, the study said several employment centers in the region – in western Essex County, Morris County and Union County, specifically – are "underserved" by existing transit options.
The study looked at employment opportunities and workers in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union, and Warren Counties.
Workers in that region also face a higher cost of living — a family of four in North Jersey needs to pull in a minimum of $73,000 annually, the report said. But, future job growth in the area is expected to be concentrated in low-wage occupations, the study found. As a result, a growing number of people are traveling out of the region to find higher quality jobs, it said.
"The Great Recession has had a lasting impact on the region's economy," the report said. "Workers are increasingly leaving the region to find work. High unemployment levels suggest that economic recovery has been weak."
The report made seven recommendations on how governments and agencies in the region could remedy the situation:
Work with employers to ensure transit service to employment centers
Consider innovations in technology, mobile applications and the sharing economy – carshare programs like Zipcar and rideshare services like Uber – to supplement the transit system
Facilitate a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs in transit-connected downtowns
Continue efforts to align school curricula with the skills required for career path jobs
Enhance interaction between workforce professionals and private industry employers
Implement "experienceships" – grants that subsidize the first year of work by an entry-level worker, and incentivize hiring of new workers
Sustain partnerships between economic development, workforce development and transportation professionals
Members of the coalition said collaboration between transportation services, employers, and government agencies would be key to changing the trends.
"This project was a perfect example of the role that collaboration plays in tackling complex and challenging issues," Tammy Molinelli, Executive Director of the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board, said in a statement. Molinelli also serves as Chairperson of North Jersey Partners, which helped conduct the report.
"Having a cross-section of workforce experts, transportation planners and land use professionals around the table enabled us to develop creative solutions to our region's most pressing problems."
In terms of technology, the study said local businesses should be more creative in an effort to attract a skilled local workforce.
"A strong workforce system is one that embraces and maximizes innovation," Dennis Bone, Chairman of the NJ State Employment and Training Commission, said in a statement about the report.
"There is tremendous potential for technology and innovation to reshape the jobs of the future and in doing so, create workforce opportunities."
The study is one of 18 being carried out by Together North Jersey. Others have found that Newarkers, specifically, face "severe challenges" to earning a living wage, and that the city should be better connected to towns around it.
Police from several Bergen departments raised thousands of dollars while participating in a rain-soaked 2014 Plane Pull for Special Olympics at Newark-Liberty International Airport
Raising $3,155 were the “Green Giants,” made up of law enforcement officers and their family and friends from the Bergenfield, Bogota and Ridgefield police departments.
Fair Lawn police and “Bergen’s Boldest,” PBA Local #134 of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, raised $1,200 each.
Also participating were Elmwood Park PBA members, who took 1st place for the fastest pull and 3rd in least amount of weight to pull the plane with four members (The RESULTS BOARD is below).
All told, the 34 participating teams raised nearly $63,000, with more donations expected.
The Plane Pull was first introduced in 1997 and has helped the NJ Law Enforcement Torch Run raise more than $2,000,000 each year for the athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey, a non-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the state.
More than 24,000 athletes enjoy camaraderie and gain a sense of pride and accomplishment through participating in these events.
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.