United Airlines is about to give Newark Liberty Airport's Terminal C a mega dining overhaul, with the help of the airport restaurant experts at OTG and a very long list of top tier chefs. Last year Delta helmed a similar dining upgrade at JFK's Terminal 4, bringing in the likes of Danny Meyer and Marcus Samuelsson, but that will pale in comparison to what's in store for New Jersey travelers. Renovations have already started, and will continue for the next 18 months, with the first restaurants slated to open in summer of 2015. When all is said and done, there will be 55 new dining options, including quite a few actual restaurants and a handful of bars. They are really going all out on this one. Here's a rundown of the highlights:
- The legendary Alain Ducasse is at the helm of Saison, a classic French bistro, which will serve things like escargot, foie gras terrine, coq au vin, and trout amandine.
- Dan Kluger, former ABC Kitchen chef and current chef at large (quietly working on a new project of his own) is behind a restaurant called Vanguard Kitchen, which will serve seasonal American basics like roast chicken and a grilled pork chop.
- Paul Liebrandt, knife skills expert and acclaimed fine dining chef behind The Elm will open Vesper Tavern, which will serve upscale versions of pub food. Think raw oysters, duck cassoulet, a lobster tartine, and a dry-aged burger.
- Einat Admony, the Eater Award-nominated chef behind Bar Bolonat and Balaboosta will offer her Mediterranean food at a place called Flora Cafe. Expect it to look like a mash-up of her falafel joint, Taim, and one of her full-service restaurants; there will be salads and falafel, but also a shawarma sandwich, and entrees like Moroccan fish.
- Mario Carbone (and presumably the rest of the world-conquering Torrisi team) is opening a trio of Italian restaurants: Clam Bar, Italian Steakhouse, and Casciano's Italian Specialties. From the names, this sounds like airport versions of ZZ's Clam Bar, Carbone, and Parm.
- Queen of the vegetables Amanda Cohen is opening Thyme, a vegetarian/vegan restaurant, presumably along similar lines as her beloved vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy.
- Alex Stupak, the taco intellectual behind Empellon Cocina, Taqueria, and Al Pastor will serve what the release describes as "authentic Mexican street fare." Expect a menu most similar to the basic tacos and sides he serves at Al Pastor.
- Josh Capon, of Lure, El Toro Blanco, B&B, and the newly opened Bowery Meat Company, is behind a seafood spot called SRF Bar, which, like Lure, will not limit itself to any one style of seafood, but instead serve a menu that ranges from sushi to chowder to fried calamari.
- Commerce chef Harold Moore will serve American food at a place called CBGB, which (needless to say), will pay homage in some way or another to the legendary punk venue of the same name.
- Philadelphia mega restaurateur Jose Garces will open a Latin-influenced, "global" small plates bar.
- Empire Diner chef Amanda Freitag will open Nonna's Meatball Kitchen, which sounds like her version of the Meatball Shop (think meatballs served in multiple ways, in innumerable flavors).
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