60 Second Review: Little Town NJ
Little Town NJ – even better since opening in Hoboken
We’ve enjoyed the food, staff and overall presentation at Little Town New Jersey (310 Sinatra Dr.) since they’ve opened – even with the expected “rookie” nicks and bumps that come along the way. These guys are consummate professionals, and it shows. But they’ve improved their already impressive out-of-the-gate menu recently, by bringing on their Executive Chef from NYC Little Town on-board. Jordan Andino is now overseeing the Little Town NJ spot – and his touches have already bumped up the menu offerings across the board. Read more about Jordan below. But let’s quickly cover a few items of note that got “upgraded” in Hoboken411’s trademark 60 second review:
- We’ll give the punchline away first. There is an secret “unpublished” dessert that you can have. It’s a massive funnel cake with vanilla ice cream and homemade berry preserves. If you’re a low-carb junkie, and had to pick just ONE thing to indulge in that goes way over your sugar limits – this is it. And for once, the taste sensation and pleasure vs. the aftermath was actually worth it. Ask your server for this decadent dessert next time you’re there. Probably enough for FOUR people.
- Next on the list is the popular Little Town Rice Balls. Chef Andino bumped this staple menu item up by “doubling the cheese and meat,” and improved the rice texture (stickier). Like a Jersey bagel almost. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. The Hollandaise sauce makes this dish an interesting contrast between common and decadent. A treat indeed.
- The Frankie’s Clams were also upgraded. While I am not a fan of most “shell” based seafood – Chef Andino made the flavors work impeccably. I’m not a big pasta fan either, but if I can say this dish was well-thought out, balanced, and exciting to eat, just imagine what a seafood lover would say?
- Lastly – we sampled the Belleville Beeps. Simple in concept. Breaded shrimp, “spicy sauce,” and some garlic bread. Try to stay away from the bread, but the sauce was quite “angry,” and had a substantial bite to it. Tangy, but not overly sweet. The coating of the shrimp could have been crispier, but the overall taste of the dish made up for any texture gripes. We found ourselves spooning out sauce after the fact. Nice job.
Little Town NJ gets new Executive Chef Jordan Andino
Jordan Andino is a native of Toronto, Canada. At the age of 10, he moved to Los Angeles, California with his mother while his father, a chef remained in Toronto. Jordan would visit his father regularly; most of their times shared in the kitchens where his father worked.
With his early immersion into the culinary world, Jordan’s passion for cooking flourished! At the tender young age of 10, Jordan began his gastronomic vocation in some of the best restaurants in Toronto, working in every aspect of the kitchen, from dish washing to pastry. His intense culinary drive landed him at recognizable establishments by the age of 16, such as North 44, Rosewater Supper Club, and Flow.
With countless hours of culinary experience, Jordan tried his hand, being a personal chef for families in his neighborhood of Manhattan Beach, California. His slogan: “Fully catered dinner parties in under 4 hours, including cleanup,” took this seaside community by storm, where he worked as a personal chef until he was 18.
Progressively, Jordan chose to explore his culinary drive and ambitions. He worked in the kitchen at Jean Georges in NYC, and was invited to train at Wolfgang Puck’s flagship restaurant, Spago, in Beverly Hills. He eventually pursued an offer, training at world-renowned The French Laundry in Yountville, CA under the direction of Chef Thomas Keller.
Jordan ultimately relocated to New York, where by the age of 21, had worked in some of the world’s top Michelin star rated establishments. While in New York, he attended and graduated from the nation’s leading hospitality school, Cornell University’s Hotel School of Administration.
Currently, Jordan is executive chef for Little Town & Side Bar, in New York City, with various locations in the Tri-State area. His curatorial efforts and culinary innovation have garnered Jordan attention from such outlets as The Food Network, The New York Post, CBS, FOX and the Wall Street Journal. Always looking to challenge himself professionally and creatively, Jordan is often found consulting on new restaurant and hospitality projects. He also enjoys participating in culinary challenges benefiting various charities in the New York area, as well as pursuing his events catering business.