Originally founded by Funbars Hospitality owners Michael Sinensky and Sean McGarr, Little Town expanded from New York into New Jersey this past spring into Hoboken. Funbars partnered with Albie and Chris Manzo, the sons of Caroline Manzo, one of the recently exiting stars on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Bravo when opening their Hoboken location. I took my teenage daughter, Olivia, to the restaurant to sample a new menu from Little Town’s 25 year old executive chef, Jordan Andino.
A native of Toronto and Philippino master chef, Andino has a degree from Cornell University’s Hotel School of Administration, the nation’s leading hospitality school and credits his culinary expertise to his father, also a chef. Andino scrapped 90% of the existing Little Town menu when he was brought in to helm the restaurant a couple months ago. He replaced them with some lighter, female-friendly options although the menu has lots of man grub remaining.
The standout on my visit was braised short rib served over a taro root mash ($26) and topped with the chef’s own 9-hour prepared sriracha demi-glace. The taro root mash was buttery, smooth and loaded with nutty sweetness, a nice counter to the lush richness of the tender beefiness of the short rib. The viscous demi-glace was luxuriously flavored and textured.
The lunch menu is split up into 5 sections: Little Town Bites, which consist of appetizers including their popular Little Town Rice Balls that are the perfect size for a bite of ham and cheese on the inside of a crispy, browned exterior. Little Town Sliders and Dogs offers five types of sliders and two types of hot dogs of choice. Three sliders are served with each order. Sammy Town offers twelve sandwich options and the last two menu sections comprise soups and salads along with wings. The prices of lunch selections range from $7-$15. Caroline Manzo’s own recipe for meatballs is incorporated into the menu and is available in a sandwich version or atop red sauce with a large garlic bread slice. They were tasty and fried for a crispy exterior which gave way to a tender, beef interior.
The dinner menu offers extensions from the lunch menu. The main section of the menu consists of Little Town Big Tastes, which range from carbonara, linguini tossed in parmesan, egg, green peas, roasted garlic and pancetta ($18), a bit dry on our visit, to the braised short rib mentioned above ($26). Little Town offers a wide array of entrée options, from seafood to salmon. Entrees range from $14-26.
For guests with a sweet tooth, Andino remakes one of his childhood memories with the dessert selection, Traditional Funnel Cake. Order it “Carnival Style” and it will arrive with a combination of traditional funnel cake topped with the house-made berry compote, 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar, at no extra charge. Tell them Redhead With A Fork sent you.