You don’t have to be from the area to visit Lokal, the newest addition to the Jersey City waterfront. Lokal is German for “local,” and the name was chosen with purpose; after all, Jersey City is a town of immigrants, where everyone is the new local when they arrive. The eatery and bar boasts culinary creations, craft cocktails, and stellar views of the NYC skyline.
The large space—6,000 square feet to be exact—features a big bar area and several private dining spaces. (In the building which formerly housed Taphaus.) Of course, one of the main draws is the gorgeous panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline; courtesy of Lokal’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
The “upscale casual” spot gives off both a contemporary and industrial vibe; it can host up to 200 seated guests and includes an open-air patio.
“Jersey City has everything a city can offer from spectacular views and history to a vibrant restaurant scene. We wanted to create a place which reflects that,” says owner Mona Panjwani. Panjwani wants the restaurant to be a place locals can visit for dinner or drinks any night of the week. Of course, Lokal also has a special area for private events.
Taking an approach befitting the name, Executive Chef Walter Donadio uses fresh and local ingredients from NJ in his dishes. Donadio is a Michelin Star kitchen chef with previous experience from restaurants like Nobu Fifty Seven and Le Cirque. “The chef transforms these locally sourced items into worldwide flavors,” says Panjwani. The menu includes crispy oysters with house-made spicy mayo and lamb steak served with spiced couscous; as well as spinach malfatti with spicy tomato sauce.
Drinks include craft cocktails and a robust wine program by mixologist Tess Sawyer. Sawyer comes from her past work at New York’s The Up & Up, Mother’s Ruin, and The Happiest Hour. Her specials include the “Jerry Thomas,” which is lime juice, ginger syrup, and a choice of either vodka or gin; The “Elliott Stubb” which contains yuzu juice, aquafaba, blueberry honey syrup, and either tequila or bourbon; or finally, the “James Pepper” mixes rye or rum plus bitters, cinnamon syrup, apricot liqueur, and sherry.