Nutley Restaurant Named As One ‘America Can’t Afford To Lose’

SECAUCUS, NJ — A tiny little Nutley restaurant was actually named to Esquire’s newly released list of the “100 Restaurants America Can’t Afford to Lose.”

Esquire magazine published the list Dec. 29, and it’s meant to bolster the public’s support for restaurants — many of them small and independently owned — during a time of coronavirus lockdowns.

The restaurant is Cowan’s Public at 229 Centre Street in Nutley, a nondescript block of otherwise residential homes and small businesses like nail salons. Cowan’s Public serves New American fare — here’s the menu — but is also known for their craft beer, handcrafted cocktails and brunch.

The Esquire list deliberately did not focus on big, fancy restaurants with haute cuisine or even hip, trendy bars and eateries. Instead they deliberately chose small neighborhood restaurants that provide the heart and soul of a community. The kind of place where locals would really be devastated if they folded. In New Jersey, Egan and Sons in Montclair was listed, as was Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville, The Shrimp Box in Point Pleasant Beach and The Squan in Manasquan.

Writes Esquire of Cowan’s Public:

“The craft-beer, proper-drink, good-food revolution arrived in this corner of North Jersey a few years ago with this simple but beautiful Art Deco restaurant. The town has embraced it like something it never knew it was missing. To lose it would be a step backward. —John Kenney

“What a lovely spot! My partner and I absolutely love this place! The food is DELICIOUS, the draft beer is on point and the service is superb!” wrote one Yelp reviewer.

Said another:

“Awesome holiday decor! Make sure you make reservations. Was totally bummed to walk in today (Wednesday night) and not be able to grab a table at all. Figured a week night wouldn’t be too packed. I was wrong. So if you are coming to eat – reserve in advance. Had a holiday drink. It was good. They come in fun festive cups. Would return back to try the food as it looks amazing. Gives off a city vibe inside without the hassle of traveling into NYC.”

Of Egan and Sons in Montclair, Esquire described it as “Remarkably good British/Irish pub food in a bright and open and airy set of rooms. At the heart of it is a soccer bar that draws somehow-not-annoying fans from all over. Best place to watch an EPL match over fish and chips and an oatmeal stout. —JK

And Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville is “a banquet hall that actually does Italian food really well.”

Read Equire’s whole list of the top 100 restaurants America just can’t afford to lose:…

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This article originally appeared on the Secaucus Patch