Whether sipping a Saketini on plush suede couches at Lotus in Manhattan's meat packing district or snacking on Chilean sea bass at the Blue Fin in the W Hotel Times Square, there has always been a demand in the metropolitan area for restaurant/lounges that deliver original food in a stylish setting.
Hoboken's newest addition to this lounge/restaurant scene is the city's first waterfront fine dining restaurant, 3 Forty Grill, which, in addition to a menu that features upscale eclectic cuisine with a strong accent on seafood, also incorporates a raw bar and a thoroughly modern martini lounge.
"My new venture offers fine dining in a fresh, lively and inviting atmosphere coupled with the best view in the world," said the restaurant's owner Jerry Maher, who also owns Oddfellows Rest in Hoboken and Jersey City. "Our menu features a raw bar that includes a wide variety of the freshest oysters from around the world, and well as superb fish and pristine seafood in an elegant setting. We anticipate that [3 Forty Grill] will raise the bar on the level of dining in Hoboken."
Hoboken-based architect Peter Johnson created what is tantamount to a "contemporary theatrical experience" with vibrant lighting and a cutting edge geometric design. Johnson describes the space as being, "...warm, although it sparkles with accents of stainless steal, textured acrylic panels and a rich hue of ceramic tiles."
The menu, by Executive Chef Timothy Mooney, a graduate of the Art Institute of NY (formerly the New York Restaurant School), features dishes such as braised oxtail and potato dumplings, mixed seafood ceviche, and seared shrimp and serrano ham with pasta. For dessert there are temping dishes such as maple crème brulee and caramelized cinnamon apple crepe.
A changing dynamic
The fact that a restaurant catering to the martini crowd can open in what had traditionally been a blue-collar city is another sign of Hoboken's changing dynamics and demographics
"I don't know if you could put this restaurant here even 10 years ago," said Maher as he looked out over the Manhattan skyline. "But the first time I saw this space I knew that it could be amazing."
There are still plenty of bar/restaurants that cater to the mozzarella sticks and Budweiser crowd in Hoboken, but now there is an emerging market for people who would rather enjoy a dirty martini with an appetizer of bluefin tuna sashimi.
John Wiley & Son and Marsh & McLennan alone have brought to the city more than 2,500 white-collar jobs. It is expected in the next few months the city will announce that a modish W Hotel will be coming to Hoboken. This is in addition to thousands of new luxury housing units that have sprung up on the waterfront in the past decade.
"We are in the midst of great changes on our evolving waterfront," said Mayor David Roberts at the opening on Tuesday. "We have attracted nationally respected corporations, brought thousands of jobs, and now it seems like new restaurants are opening one after another." q