Vegan Restaurant – Now open! Artisan Kitchen & Bar in Hawthorne New Jersey

 

Artisan Kitchen & Bar

142 Goffle Road, Hawthorne

973-310-3333, artisankitchenbar.com

* How it started: Owners Howard Stilianessis, 44, and Jeff Wozniak, 42, are longtime friends who grew up together in North Haledon. Over time their careers put miles between them – Stilianessis spent close to two decades in Las Vegas working as an executive chef in area casinos and at Starwood in Orlando, and Wozniak is a trained sommelier who previously owned a wine and import distribution business.

The corporate culinary world took a toll on them both, and after years of fantasizing about opening a restaurant together, the two moved back to their hometown and opened Artisan Kitchen & Bar in Hawthorne, in a building Stilianessis said they must have driven past “about a million times” when they were younger (it’s the former site of Nicola’s restaurant and, most recently, Alex Bistro). Artisan Kitchen, which seats about 100 people (plus 35 at the bar), is still in its soft opening and will have its official opening during the last weekend in May.

* The concept: A farm-to-table restaurant with meat and produce sourced from local purveyors, and a laid-back atmosphere. “We’re trying to push the shared plate concept,” Stilianessis said, “so that people can enjoy their conversation and a cocktail, and for once let food be the secondary component. It’s important to us that you’re happy, rather than rush you out.”

“We’re working with the best ingredients we can find,” Wozniak said, including chicken from Goffle Road Poultry Farm just down the road. “We use farm-raised meat, leafy organic greens.”