You don’t have to go to Manhattan to get a good meal; that’s one of the goals for the people behind the new Stern and Bow in Closter. This casual, seasonal New American restaurant features eclectic, regional dishes as well as seafood specialties. The eatery, now open, is the latest project from restauranteur Russell Stern. He is perhaps most well known for a 13-year run as owner of the Harvest Bistro & Bar.
The Stern and Bow replaces the Azucar Cuban Cuisine on Schraalenburgh Road. The large, dark interior is no more, and in its place is an airy, light, and modern design. The vibe is a mix of nautical and industrial architecture. For example, you’ll find mirrors that look like port holes from a sea liner. In addition, you’ll notice over-sized black metal pendants with seafaring lights, and a chandelier with glass lamps resembling sand dollars.
The Stern and Bow name pays homage to both Russell’s last name and parts of a boat. It boasts marine blue chenille banqueting and blue seats on white oak chairs. The whitewashed brick walls and ceilings are painted in high-gloss, blue-grey paint. Then there are the exposed beams and ductwork, which add to the industrial feel. Finally, painted murals of abstract street art adorn the wall. Stern even showcases his own collections of art, music memorabilia, and favorite books behind the seats in floating banquettes.
Three Bar Jackpot
The 155-seat American eatery includes three separate bars; one raw bar, a pizza bar and last but not least, a full-service liquor bar. Their crisp, Neapolitan-inspired pizza is made in a custom-built Italian wood-burning oven. (They also use this oven to cook dishes like wood-roasted oysters, head-on prawns, and roasted chicken.)
Then there’s the 33-foot grey-and-white quart oyster bar. Here, they prepare seafood dishes such as clams, lobster, shrimp, crab legs and, of course, oysters. Oyster-expert Kevin Joseph of Empire Oysters and co-founder of New York Oyster Week cultivates the restaurant’s raw bar.
“I wanted a restaurant where the theater is as exciting as the food—the type of theater involving watching chefs in action, in a beautiful but relaxed setting,” says Stern.
Other menu items at the Stern and Bow range from burgers and steaks to pastas and house-made desserts. In fact, the idea is to recreate regional cuisine from some of Stern’s favorite travel destinations.
“I’m a food fanatic; and love to travel and get to know the culture of a people through their local food,” Stern adds.
Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Pasquale Frola, formerly from Sofia Steakhouse in Englewood; along with partner and consulting chef Paul Gerard and restaurateur Joe Castelo, co-owners of Hoboken’s Antique Bar & Bakery. Click here to see the full menu, including signature dishes.
All Photos: © Stern and Bow / Facebook