Now Open: The Monk Room
The Monk Room opened on January 13 on the side street near City Hall (formerly Green Street CafÃ©). The restaurant is opened by Smith a hospitality group as well as a marketing and design firm, who has several restaurants in Asbury Park.
The Monk Room is an offshoot of Smith's hit restaurant Porta, in Asbury, which is known for their brick oven pizzas, where were recently rated "Excellent" by the New York Times. The Monk Room borrows some dishes from the Porta menu with seasonally-inspired and fresh Italian food. In the kitchen, is a young and savvy female, Laura Brahn and Chris Calabrese - both from Porta. The Monk Room offers 12 rotating craft beers on tap and an ever-changing selection of handpicked Italian wines.
The Monk Room also offers a quick breakfast to go. Using pizza dough they serve a "focaccina" Italian pastry - accompanied with choice of goat cheese & jam, butter, parmigiano reggiano & thyme or nutella.
When asked "Why Newark?" Mark Hinchliffe, one of the owners, says their "vision is the transformation of great American cities, and for us, Newark is one of the greatest. We love the feel of the city, its grittiness and the underlying integrity of its historic buildings. Coming from Asbury Park, where we were an integral part in the rebirth of the city, we felt that Newark was a natural extension for us. We're very excited to be here."
The Monk Room is decorated like a cozy Italian home, with communal wooden tables, traditional tiled floor (original to the space), and exposed brick walls and beams. They do have three TV's that will broadcast sports games and can seat a total of 50 guests.
Down the road, we might get lucky to see a weekend brunch with a bottomless mimosa pitcher like Porta in Asbury Park. When the weather warms, we'll also see a sidewalk cafe alongside the building.
NewarkPulse Tip: Try the Carbonara Pizza - yes we know it has an egg on it... trust us!
The Monk Room
20 Green Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Hours: 7 days a week 8am-10pm for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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