EDITED BY ERIC LEVIN
REVIEWS BY ERIC LEVIN, JILL P. CAPUZZO
AND PAT TANNER
SEE CHEF SERVE
There are other top tasting menus, but
none offer an experience quite like that
of the Orange and Olive Chef’s Table.
WORANGE AND OLIVE
Jerse Y Ci TY
FOOD: New American
AMBIENCE: Fine chef cooks just
for you in a hip, spacious setting.
SERVICE: Chef and co-owner deftly serve and explain each course.
WINE LIST: BYO
COST OF DINNER: 10-course tasting menu, including coffee, tax and
tip, $150 per person
SEATINGS: Wednesday, Thursday,
7: 30 PM; Friday, saturday, 6 & 8: 30 PM.
AX, D, DC, MC, V, X
398 Central Avenue, Jersey City
hat does it say when a fledgling business ignores the universally
acknowledged three most important words in real estate?
That the owners are young and relatively inexperienced? Short
on cash? Rather sure of themselves?
Sam Fertik and Aaron Nemani freely admit to all the above. They can’t help
being just 24 (as is their sous chef, Terry Greco) or unable to afford the soaring rents in Jersey City’s über-hip downtown dining scene near City Hall and
the Hudson River. But their faith in their own skills, talent
and work ethic does not strike me as misplaced.
At $150 per person for a 10-course tasting menu (
includes sparkling or still water, coffee, tax and tip), an evening at the Orange and Olive Chef’s Table—their spacious,
gracious and delicious five-month-old BYO—will not attract
much walk-in business in Jersey City’s blue-collar Heights,
which overlooks Hoboken, about a mile west of the river.
You can pay more, less or about the same for equally
sophisticated degustations in New Jersey, New York and
Philadelphia. But it’s hard to think of another tasting experience in the region as intimate, relaxed and uniquely
enjoyable as the unrushed 2-½ hours you will spend with
Fertik and Nemani personally at your service.
SHOW TIME: As chef Sam Fertik cooks,
guests at the community table are free
to look over his shoulder, ask questions
or just relax. Left, skate à la plancha with
sea beans and dashi dipping broth.