Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Introduction to The Kitchen Step


The Kitchen Step, the newest restaurant from Chef Ryan DePersio and team, is getting close to opening according to their FB page. They've finalized menus, finished decorating, and while they aren't able to announce a date yet, hope to be open within the next couple of weeks.

DePersio is the chef behind modern Italian restaurant Fascino in Montclair, Nico Kitchen + Bar at Newark's NJPAC, and behind Jersey City's own Battello. He typically focuses on modern Italian for his menus, but with this venture, the team is reportedly aiming for more of a bistro/modern American feel. However, the only menu item to be shown so far is ricotta gnocchi, versions of which are seen on all the other restaurants' menus. DePersio's restaurants are generally well-received and with the amount of experience backing this venture, it seems likely The Kitchen Step will be as well.

My personal concerns are on two fronts. When Battello opened in Jersey City, there was a huge party with press, semi-celebrities, etc. and very little by way of neighborhood involvement. Now to be fair, Battello was meant to be and is an upscale event space and a visual stunner so that wasn't totally out of place. But I would hope that for The Kitchen Step, they'd do something more appropriate for the "neighborhood bistro" it's supposed to be and in fact, keep the neighborhood in mind in their overall approach. Please note I haven't heard anything about a big opening party, I'm just thinking ahead. My second concern is that quite frankly, downtown Jersey City has its fair share of "modern American" (though less than there used to be considering recent closings and some uncertain futures) and while I expect the quality will be very good here, it's still a lot of what we have which makes it harder for restaurants to do well.

The Kitchen Step is at 500 Jersey Avenue in the former Thirty Acres space.

4 comments:

  1. I for one welcome the poorly named The Kitchen Step to our great city!

    We look forward to your (another?) restaurant serving up $29 chicken breast dishes, $11 cups of soup, and a lengthy wine list no one will order from! Maybe I'll stop in for a $7 Bud Light draft special during your happy hour that ends at 6pm.

    We also can't wait for you to shut down temporarily after 4 months in operation to "redecorate" after you go through 3 chefs and no menu posted online!

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  2. Replies
    1. Its completely normal for a successful restaurant with an amazing NYT write up to close its doors all of a sudden....JC truly is the most unfriendly small business city in America.

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    2. Considering the move to price fix only, and the Manhattan upscale prices, I'm not surprised.

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