Get ready to enjoy a taste of New Orleans style seafood in New Jersey. The Boil is a lively restaurant and bar that serves Cajun-style shellfish by the pound. (Which you can pair with your choice of spices and sauces.) With two already successful locations in Manhattan, their first NJ locale is now open in Jersey City.
The 120-seat, 3,500-square foot Jersey City spot replaces its previous tenants, a Korean BBQ eatery; in fact, there’s little to recognize about the all new design, which pays homage to the sea through maritime decor. For example, lobster buoys line the wall opposite a string of porthole-inspired booths. (These booths provide a private oasis for larger groups.)
Meanwhile, classic dock ropes adorn two-top tables, as lobster trap cages hang over the kitchen entryway. The coastal vibe extends throughout the restaurant and into its atrium. Set to launch this spring, the atrium is where you can enjoy seasonal outdoor dining, seating up to 50 guests.
The Catch of the Day
Channeling the energy of NOLA, The Boil’s new location offers seafood and savory dishes, including crawfish, crab, lobster and shrimp; moreover, Chef and Owner Mike Khuu sources their seafood directly from New Orleans. You’ll also find vegetable-forward options like roasted Brussels sprouts and buttery corn on the cob. Of course, Cajun essentials like gumbo, southern fried wings, Cajun fries, and fried calamari are on the menu; as well as the fan-favorite gooey mac ‘n cheese.
“We think seafood boils are gaining popularity because the meal lends itself well to gathering people together, celebrating, and above all, the appreciation for fresh seafood,” says Khuu, who also owns and operates PhoBar and Saigon Shack.
In addition to classic Cajun dishes, The Boil menu in Jersey City also features a few exclusive items; one of which is “The Whale”, an upgrade to The Boil’s signature seafood bucket. (And also a playful nod to the big spenders on Bourbon Street.) The Whale features oversized lobster, king crab legs, jumbo shrimp, and more, but is only available in limited quantities daily.
Complementing the seafood menu, The Boil offers cocktails like Bayou Juice (Malibu, Captain Morgan, amaretto, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice). Likewise, you’ll find a robust craft beer and wine list, featuring selections from New Orleans-based breweries like Abita; as well as New York brands. Click here to see the full menu.
The Man Behind The Boil
For Mike Khuu, the kitchen table was the center of the household growing up. So it’s no surprise that Khuu fell in love with food at an early age. As a result of helping relatives prepare family meals, he refined his culinary skills throughout his childhood. Then, as he got older, he decided to pursue a career in the hospitality industry.
Following the success of his first endeavor, a small bar in Chinatown, Khuu opened The Boil’s Lower East Side location. Upon opening in 2013, Khuu’s idea resonated well with guests right away; taking inspiration from his annual trips to New Orleans and the city’s significant Viet-Cajun community.
Click here to find the latest restaurants open in New Jersey.
All Photos: © The Boil / Rachel Vanni