Anyone who travels will agree that immersing oneself into a new place includes experiencing some of the local fare. Food plays a very important role in the character of any region. In New Jersey, this could be considered an understatement. You could drive all over the Garden State to sample the food or simply head over one stop on the PATH train to Hoboken to sample it all at Little Town New Jersey.
On the heels of their successful venture in Manhattan—Little Town NYC—Michael Sinensky and Sean McGarr (Hudson Terrace, the Village Pourhouse, SideBAR) have partnered with Albie and Chris Manzo (Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Caroline Manzo’s sons) to expand the Little Town brand across the Hudson River to Hoboken. With Chef Jordan Andino (Little Town NYC, Hudson Terrace) heading up the kitchen, diners have the opportunity to experience signature New Jersey dishes with innovative modifications, while supporting local breweries, wineries, and farms. Little Town New Jersey celebrates all things New Jersey right down to the memorabilia—there’s even a boardwalk skee ball machine—throughout the restaurant.
As an upscale brewhouse with over 100 local New Jersey beers to boot, Little Town New Jersey’s claim isn't just talk. The list features everything from Beach ($6) and Cruiser ($6) straight from Point Pleasant Beach’s East Coast Brewery to Boaks Brewery’s Two Blind Monks ($7) and Monster Mash ($10) from Pompton Lakes. One option that stands out is Roselle Park’s Snow Plow ($7, ABV 9%) brought to you by Climax Brewing Company. This beer features two types of molasses, a blend of dates, figs and black cherry, and a hint of chocolate and caramel.
Little Town New Jersey also offers a number of local wines by the glass, as well as signature cocktails featuring New Jersey-based ingredients. Wine lovers will appreciate a glass of Old York Cellars (Ringoes, New Jersey) Stagecoach Blend, a medium bodied yet subtle red. If you opt for a cocktail, check out the Union City Cuba libre ($12) featuring New Jersey’s own Boylan’s Black Cherry Cola mixed with Sailor Jerry Rum and fresh lime juice.
When it comes to food, Little Town New Jersey has left no stone unturned in identifying the state’s most popular dishes. Additionally, the culinary team has sought out locally sourced produce, as well as cheese from creameries such as Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley and fresh seafood from Cape May.
Start off your meal with some of the Little Town bites, including the popular rice balls ($9). This appetizer offers a unique take on the traditional Sicilian delight—fried breaded rice balls filled with mozzarella and tomato sauce—by merging them with the famous New Jersey breakfast sandwich featuring Taylor ham (aka, pork roll), egg, and cheese. The result is one exquisite arancini.
Seafood lovers will appreciate the Belleville beeps ($13) featuring fresh shrimp that are lightly seasoned and submerged in a bold and spicy marinara sauce made with New Jersey tomatoes. Garlic bread complements the dish and helps you scoop up the final remnants of the zesty sauce.
Little Town also showcases several staple dishes across its three locations—the garbage wings ($12) is one of them. Enjoy a nice portion of meaty wings lathered up in a blend of hot sauce, BBQ sauce, honey, and orange juice all infused with blue cheese. The heap of wings is topped with blue cheese crumbles giving you enough ammunition to battle the heat, which is subtle but packs just the right amount.
For the main course, you will be quite pleased with the born and braised ($26) tender short rib. Chef Andino offers a unique twist by using a sriracha demi glaze that takes about 9 hours to prepare. The short rib is moist and quite flavorful, and it is served over a fluffy taro root mash and complemented by sautéed escarole.
Satisfy your burger craving with the Boss burger ($13)—a hearty 8-oz beef patty served with melted Fontina cheese and caramelized onion and topped with a dollop of rosemary aioli. Surprisingly, the amount of aioli complements the burger quite nicely without overpowering the meat. Beware, this one gets a little messy but it’s totally worth it.
A menu paying homage to New Jersey would be incomplete if it didn’t include pasta. Little Town tackles it with the orechiette ($16)— “little ear” pasta mixed with diced spicy Italian sausage sautéed rapini and roasted garlic. The sausage offers a nice undertone to the dish.
Save room for desert because Chef Andino has some surprises up his sleeve that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. One of the options involves deep-fried Oreos and ice cream, a perfect way to celebrate National Oreo Day on March 6th.
Little Town New Jersey is always looking to further the New Jersey immersion program with weekly and monthly events including beer tastings and dinners and cooking classes.
Whether you are heading back to the city or walking a few blocks to your apartment, Little Town New Jersey will certainly leave an impression—an extensive beer list, a lively ambience, and delicious homegrown food. Be sure to grab a piece of Fralinger's salt-water taffy (Atlantic City) on your way out.
Little Town New Jersey
310 Sinatra Drive
Hoboken, New Jersey