Chef Risa Boyer is the chef/owner of Vanillamore in Montclair, NJ. She is a New Jersey native and a trained pastry chef at the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Risa Boyer shares her go-to restaurants in Montclair, NJ area. Eat Where the Chefs Eat is a column where local Chefs and food industry insiders share their favorite restaurants in the New York metro area. Learn where your favorite chefs go when they aren’t in their own kitchens!
What are your favorite restaurants in Montclair and in the area?
Although I don’t get out too often these days, I do have my favorites in town and in the area.
Samba (Montclair, NJ)
Samba is my favorite place to sit outside and enjoy a quick weekday dinner. The chorizo and yuka appetizer is incredible.
Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant (Montclair, NJ)
This is my family go-to for years.
Sogo Hibachi (Denville, NJ)
On Monday nights, when we are closed, my husband and I frequent the bar at Sogo in Denville for sushi and some craft beer.
Viaggio Ristorante (Wayne, NJ)
When we get to sneak a real date night, we’ve enjoyed the chef’s counter at Viaggio in my hometown of Wayne.
Modine (Asbury Park, NJ)
Love the fried chicken and bubbles at Modine.
Agricola (Princeton, NJ)
Agricola is a great lunch spot.
What are your go-to restaurants in NYC?
Though its been quite a while since I’ve gone out in NYC for dinner, I had happy hour tapas with a dear friend a few months ago at Boqueria. It’s the perfect place for snacks, drinks and time to catch up, especially during their quieter hours.
Tell me more about your restaurant- Vanillamore.
Vanillamore is a restaurant designed to serve at the intersection of Sweet. Savory. and Social. We provide a comfortable yet sophisticated environment, open kitchen and exceptional customer service. Our menus include lunch, brunch, dinner and dessert, as well as afternoon tea each day from 2pm-5pm. Every other month we serve a 5 course Chef’s Tasting Menu, which allows me to use my creativity and experiment with some new menu items – we’ve been really lucky to have built a great group of regulars that frequent these tastings! We also feature Milk & Cookie Happy Hours, Business Networking Events, and Charitable Evenings, all of which help us connect to the Montclair community.
I am also currently writing a Vanillamore Cookbook, which will feature some of our favorite recipes along with my personal entrepreneurial journey woven through it.
About Chef Risa Boyer
Chef Risa Boyer was born into a family of sweets and artists. Her Grammie was a talented cake decorator, her Grandfather owned bakeries in Poland for many generations, and her great-grandfather was a late-blooming artist. Early in Risa’s career, she studied graphic arts; her passion for art eventually led her to designing desserts. She was a pastry instructor and resident chef at Sur La Table. Prior to opening her restaurant was the owner of Pastries by Risa, a small specialty cake business.
Chef Risa trained at the Culinary Institute of America, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management and an associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts. She interned at Park Avenue in NYC and Pink Cake Box in Denville, NJ and has worked in NYC restaurants Sweet Revenge and Armani Ristorante, as well as De Novo in Montclair, NJ and Finale in Boston, MA.
Vanillamore: 349 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, NJ
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