You don’t have to leave New Jersey for a taste of Mediterranean cuisine; Bistro D’Azur, a new spot in South Orange, combines French and Mediterranean flavors with modern flare. The high-end restaurant pays homage to the culture of Southern France; using fresh, local ingredients from farms around NJ to express the flavors of Cote d’Azur.
Bistro D’Azur owners Mary and Tom Conway are Maplewood residents with a desire to serve their community; which makes the nearby South Orange a fitting choice to set up shop. Likewise, with a decade of experience in the local, sustainable food movement, Executive Chef Richard Krug fits in perfectly. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and former chef at Whispers in Spring Lake as well as Lorena’s in Maplewood.
The 66-seat space has seen a radical change since its time as Noodlefan. In fact, the new design comes from Tom Conway; who is also a partner at Rosen Kelly Conway Architecture & Design in Summit.
“Inspired by our travels on the Cote d’Azur, the space is elegant but casual,” says Mary. “French bistro chairs, original paintings, reclaimed antique wood details are anchored by an enormous fresh floral arrangement and a ‘French blue’ tin ceiling.”
(French) Coastal Cuisine at Bistro D’Azur
As Mary mentions, both the design and menu take inspiration from Cote D’Azur. This region of southeast France is along the Mediterranean coast, found in the Provence region. With this in mind, they serve food in classic French style with subtle hints of Spain, Northern Africa, and Greece.
“We keep it seasonal so the menu changes often,” Mary explains. She notes the lobster crepe as a popular starter, which comes with chardonnay butter, melted leeks, and mushrooms. Other entrees include a NY strip steak or grilled scallops. Meanwhile, for dessert, Mary suggests Chef Krug’s chocolate ganache; but they also make homemade gelato, with rotating seasonal flavors.
The Bistro is BYOB, though they’ll soon offer a small menu sampling of wines by the bottle. For non drinkers, Bistro D’Azur also sells alcohol-free cocktails made by Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits.
If you’re ready for a taste of what Bistro D’Azur has to offer, visit 14 Academy Street in South Orange. The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Sundays, but you can call ahead to make a reservation. To learn more, visit their website.