Fans of traditional cuisine from regional Mexico will be delighted by the late July opening of Villalobos in Montclair.
This new venture of Adam Rose has been years in the making. Fueled by a passion for eating his way around local neighborhoods and traveling to food destinations across the U.S., he eventually explored Mexico to learn more.
The respect he increasingly gained for its food and culture is the foundation of his vision to bring these experiences to Montclair -- and the larger New Jersey dining scene. Villalobos will offer traditional Mexican ingredients & dishes, influenced by Rose's modern technique.
"Our housemade corn tortillas will be the canvas for signature tacos to satisfy all appetites -- whether you're an avid carnivore, vegetarian/vegan, or pescatarian," says Rose. "The organic masa we source is from a farm in upstate New York."
Until very recently, he was Executive Chef at NJPAC, and previously instrumental in the launch and day-to-day operation of Restaurant Passioné (Montclair) and Bin 14 Trattoria & Wine Bar (Hoboken).
Villalobos' food will draw on the influences of classic Mexican dishes and street fare, with a taco-driven menu. Al Pastor (chili-marinated pork with pineapple), Fish Baha-Style, Goat Barbacoa with Mole, and Poblano/Corn/Mushroom are a few of the inventive taco offerings. Desserts will be minimal but indulgent. Churros, a house staple, will be served with melted Mexican chocolate and cinnamon.
Though BYO, guests will be treated to a seasonal drink menu, boasting housemade agua frescas, Mexican sodas and frozen slushies with unexpected flavor combinations. When available, all food products will be sourced from local farms and purveyors within 180 miles of Montclair.
The 1,800 square-foot Villalobos space at 6 South Fullerton Ave. features an open kitchen, bar seating and dining area for 50. Interior design utilizes a restorative approach -- incorporating raw materials such as reclaimed wood -- and strikes a balance between urban vibes and a chic aesthetic.
"We're excited and proud to bring this unique concept to the exceptionally food-focused town of Montclair!" says Adam with enthusiasm. "We can't wait to open."
View Villalobos debut dinner menu here.