116 SEPTEMBER 2018 NJMONTHLY.COM
EDITED BY ERIC LEVIN
eat & drink
Do not enter Elia, a new Greek restaurant in East Rutherford, expecting to order spanakopita or moussaka—although, if Elia made them, I’m sure they’d be delicious. Chef José Luis Falcón, who worked at New
York restaurants including Nobu, Café des Artistes
and Windows on the World, brings an inventive and
exciting approach to Greek and Mediterranean food.
Falcón grew up in Mexico City. His mother
taught culinary arts there, and his uncle ran large
restaurants, where Falcón worked on the line. At
Elia (Greek for olive), the chef’s ease with a range of
flavors and techniques can be seen in every course.
A Greek Chorus for Today
In a space with a vaunted history, new owners introduce a classic
cuisine, imaginatively updated. By Marissa Rothkopf Bates
REVIEW ELIA ● EAST RUTHERFORD
Elia is Falcón’s first New Jersey job. He arrives
here having worked for Elia’s owner and general
manager, Tim Salouros, at the latter’s Trata restaurants in New York City and the Hamptons. Elia is
also the first New Jersey venture for Salouros.
Elia, which opened in December, occupies the
space inhabited for almost 40 years by Park &
Orchard. Once the only fine-dining establishment
in the area, it was known for its vegetable-forward
menu and Burgundian wine list. A 2015 sale and
redesign failed to revive its sagging fortunes.
“When we heard that Park & Orchard was
closing,” says Salouros, “we spoke with Ken and