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New Jersey Monthly selects Lorena's as one of the 25 Best Restaurants of 2014

New Jersey Monthly selects Lorena's as one of the 25 Best Restaurants of 2014 Restaurant Lorena's

For nine years, chef Humberto Campos Jr. has been bringing forth luscious food from a small kitchen. The BYO, named for his wife and co-owner, Lorena, is French in technique, but American in spirit.

"We're always tweaking, always trying to make ourselves a little better," Campos says.

The kitchen staff has been expanded and some spiffy new equipment added—like a sous-vide machine and a Pacojet, the Ferrari of food processors. "It will allow us to do more elaborate preparations," Campos says. That will include what some chefs call a pre-dessert, a complimentary amuse-bouche that bridges the gap between the savory meal just ended and the sweets to come.

Whatever new recipes the new crew and equipment make possible, some things at Lorena's will never change: the warmth of Lorena, the hostess; the hugely popular salmon tartare; the beet salad with goat-cheese quennelles and pistachio purée; the butter-poached lobster crepe with fava beans and mushroom butter.

For dessert, Campos says, speaking of what's popular, "the carrot cake has really taken over. It's light, incorporates some pineapple brunoise in the batter, has cream-cheese icing, of course, but also cream-cheese ice cream." Two kinds of cream cheese? That's living large.

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