Newark Star Ledger: A vibrant Mix in downtown Newark

Newark Star Ledger: A vibrant Mix in downtown Newark
The Ledger features an upbeat review of 27 Mix, one of Newark’s newest and most vibrant restaurants. I love this place: smack in the middle of Halsey Street — a part of town striving to define itself as an arts destination, and around the corner from the lively universities — 27 is almost more an icon of hope in a Newark that is yet to come than a restaurant.

Exposed brick walls. Gloriously well-worn hardwood floors. A bustling bar, crowded tables. Politicians and police officers are elbow to elbow, plus government workers, bankers, artists. It’s busy, loud, lively, fun.
The owners of 27 Mix, Jose Rodriguez, David Anstatt and Ciro Scalera, who opened the restaurant in 2005, should be commended for being among the first in line to buy into the new Newark. And they should be commended as well for having such high standards.

The food here, by executive chef Larry Kemmet, is good, considering both the pace and the volume. The Southwestern-influenced menu is not exhaustingly extensive, but tries to offer something for everyone, including Cuban sandwiches, Pad Thai and black pepper fettuccine.

That’s the goal here, says Kemmet — a mix of offerings appealing to a mix of people, from the six-figure patron ordering the $75 bottle of wine to the hourly wage-earner having a Pabst at the bar.

And, as you sit in this narrow, high-ceilinged prewar building, amid the intimate bustle (the restaurant seats just 35), you feel alive, energized. When people say they miss city life, this urban vibrancy is what they mean.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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