Zod Arifai’s New Project — Opening Soon in Martinsville, NJ

Chef Zod Arifai’s Newest Project
Opening This Fall in Martinsville, NJ
Exceptional Contemporary American Fare in
Handsome, Historic Tavern 
Martinsville, NJ … September 19, 2017 … Loyal diners and longtime fans of Montclair’s departed Blu and Next Door — indeed, food lovers of every stripe — may now rejoice. Zod Arifai has returned to put his indelible stamp on a new restaurant, this time a handsome, rustic tavern in quaint Martinsville, NJ.
Zod is partnering with restaurateur Benny Mavraj, who also owns Cafe Azzurro in Peapack, to reinvigorate the historic Martinsville Taverna space. What to expect?
In addition to a new name and refreshed decor, the acclaimed chef will introduce a diverse, appealing menu that reflects their shared commitment to exceptional casual cuisine. Of course, devotees will recognize several Zod classics (yes, THAT BURGER!), and his signature touches throughout.
The restaurant will be open daily for lunch and dinner, along with (eventually) weekend brunch. And — with a coveted liquor license already in place — guests may expect a fantastic happy hour and bar scene.
Sometime in early fall, Martinsville Taverna will close for about a week to implement the changes, and will reopen under the new name and concept. Stay tuned for updates!
Zod Arifai
Benny Mavraj
About Zod Arifai
A former rock guitarist who has spent time in the kitchens of several world-class chefs (including Charlie Trotter, David Bouley and Roger Vergé), Zod Arifai’s unconventional, exciting and wholly unique world-influenced New American cuisine has garnered raves over the years from The NY Times, New Jersey Monthly and many others. His iconoclastic personal style and great sense of humor have made Arifai and his restaurants consistent favorites among consumers and critics alike. As Alan Richman once noted, “Zod is even more obsessed with perfection than most Manhattan chefs.” Zod’s beloved Blu opened in Montclair, NJ in 2005 and its casual, comfortable sister-restaurant, Next Door, opened in 2007. He closed both restaurants in 2015 to pursue new ventures.
About Benny Mavraj
Benny came to the US in 1992, and has been in the restaurant business for more than 20
years. It’s in his blood — his parents were restaurateurs in his native Albania. He opened his     first restaurant, Due Fratelli, in Martinsville, in 1996, and Cafe Azzurro, his popular Northern     Italian BYO in 2006. Benny took over the Martinsville Taverna in early 2017. He lives with
his family in Peapack.
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