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Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Hi all - haven't seen anything about this yet on JClist, but just passed the former Caesar's space at the corner of Communipaw and Whiton (near the Foundry). There was news that this was soon to reopen as a restaurant and there are now awnings up for MAE: Modern American Eatery.

Not a lot of info out there, but its (basic) web site, http://maerestaurant.com/, describes it as "A modern bistro bringing honest American food, a selection of craft beers, and vintage cocktails to the historic Communipaw neighborhood of Jersey City."

Based on that description, it already exceeds by far what we've been hoping for in Lafayette. Can't wait to try it out, support it, and see more bars and restaurants put down roots in our neck of the woods.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 18:22
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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The owners showed up at the last meeting of the Morris Canal CDC and seemed like stand-up guys. They wanted to know what people were interested in and explained what they were up to, etc.

Posted on: 2012/4/10 19:27
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Yes, I saw this too, I keep walking by it on my way home. I tried to go last night for a drink but it was closed, but it looks open now. I am going to try it out on Friday. I just moved to the neighborhood and am very glad something is opening up!

Posted on: 2012/4/10 19:38
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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I rarely comment, but wanted to express my excitement that Lafayette finally has a sit-down restaurant -- and a good one! I have lived here for several years (long enough to remember Caesar's) and have been hoping for a restaurant to open. Really, anything would have been fine. But I just ate there tonight and MAE was even better than I had hoped for. The space is cool, the staff is super nice, and the food was great. You don't need to live in Lafayette to want to come here, but I'm glad I live nearby!

Posted on: 2012/4/10 21:27
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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I am very excited about this! I cant wait to try it as well, we def need something like that in our area

Posted on: 2012/4/11 10:18
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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I'm in the area too and I wish them all the best. I plan to stop by soon.

Posted on: 2012/4/11 10:40
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Dropped by last night and had a great experience. It's clear that a lot of thought, care, creativity and, of course, effort have gone into this venture. The space is stylishly subdued, not a sports bar-type environment - very nice for hanging out. (And only one TV, which was turned off - nice to have another rare place that doesn't assault you with a wall of TV screens.) And extremely welcoming owners & staff.

MAE is a bistro, and accordingly it keeps its menu relatively streamlined. That's not to say it's unimaginative - there are lots of interesting offerings & creative riffs on classics. Almost everything is in the $6 to $12 range. It might remind some of Hamilton Inn's menu, though I enjoyed MAE's food more than I do Hamilton Inn's.

The drink menu is impressive: a great selection of drafts (Dale's Pale Ale and Dogfish 60 minute for $5!), and a very solid array of reasonably priced cocktails and wines.

All in all, a great addition to JC's scene. Will be there often!

Posted on: 2012/4/11 11:42
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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This is fantastic news! I hope to check it out soon. Hopefully they will update their website (like with a Facebook link, hours open, etc.) really soon!

Posted on: 2012/4/11 21:13
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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OMG it's SO great. The most expensive thing on the menu is only $16. They have potato cheese croquettes that MELT in your mouth. The drinks are great- classic cocktails with twists and craft beer. We've been every other day since they opened. It's such a welcome thing in our neighborhood. Hope everyone who has complained about having no amenities in our neighborhood will support it big time.

Posted on: 2012/4/12 12:14
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Do you think this is fam friendly for a bite to eat or is it geared more towards adults?

Posted on: 2012/4/12 12:43
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You could bring kids. Especially since they said they have a courtyard they are readying and will also have a sidewalk cafe. Obviously the earlier in the evening you go, the more family friendly it would probably be. There was a little girl there last night raving about the mac & cheese.

Posted on: 2012/4/12 13:10
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Sounds good to me!

Posted on: 2012/4/12 21:38
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If you haven't gone you are missing out. I went last night and the food was unbelievable. The highlight was the potato and cheese croquettes with caramelized red onions. Also had the baja fish tacos which were really good. Casual warming atmosphere and our server was very attentive. We had the pleasure of meeting the owners. They even stopped by tables to ask all the customers about their meals and experience. Definitely going to be back ALOT. Alas my stove will continue to remain cold.

Posted on: 2012/4/13 9:42
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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We ordered takeout tonight because we have too many kids lol.... We tried to call ahead but no one was picking up the phone, we ended up waiting an hour for our takeout but they bought my husband a beer so he didnt care lol. We got the roasted chicken, cubanos and mac and cheese side... the kids loved the cubans and the mac n cheese the chicken was excellent overall it was some good food! Cant wait to actually eat there in person.

Posted on: 2012/4/13 22:17
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Interesting part of town to open up a new joint that's closer to upscale dining/drinking than anything nearby. Place sounds great and I hope they succeed, but as a carless downtowner, I certainly won't be a regular. Also that's not the greatest of neighborhoods, so I hope they take care of themselves and the customers, especially if they've been drinking a lot.

Posted on: 2012/4/14 0:18
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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I cant thank you all enough for all of your kind words and encouragement. All of us at MAE (Noah, Greg, Joe) are overwhelmed by the warm welcome we have received from our new friends and neighbors.

Our website is scheduled to launch at the beginning of this coming week and will be full of news about the happenings at MAE. In the meantime our (neglected) Facebook page can be reached at http://www.facebook.com/maerestaurant. We promise to get better about posting once the final bells and whistles (back patio, outdoor seating & brunch menu) have been completed.

Until then thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you all very soon.

Did I mention brunch? There will be brunch. It will be awesome :)

Noah

Posted on: 2012/4/14 20:39
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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We are excited to come try everything. I always find it interesting when people who don't live in an area make sweeping comments about it. What is the benefit to the poster? As aside to "carless downtowners," it seems accessible by Light Rail.

Posted on: 2012/4/14 22:30
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Quote:

od49 wrote:
As aside to "carless downtowners," it seems accessible by Light Rail.


Not really. You CAN go to the Garfield Ave stop and walk it, that's certainly within walking distance, but again, that is not the best of neighborhoods, and certainly not a walk I'd want to do after an evening of drinks.

Like... If this were 15 or 20 years ago and this place opened up and the rail existed, I'd do it, because there were nowhere near as many good places to get food at downtown. I'm being straight up honest here and not trying to disparage the owners or customers that do want to go, but there's basically nothing drawing me there. Why would I go trek out where it's inconvenient and not as safe as downtown when I can stick around and go to White Star, Lamp Post, Skinner's Loft or Barcade if I want a decent gastropub type experience with far less hassle or worry?

Look, I'm seriously not insulting the place or wishing it ill and I'm happy any time the expansion of downtown gets another neighborhood. I hope every person who lives out near that area enjoys a great place and should I ever be visiting friends or out in that place for whatever reason, maybe I'll stop by. It will just be without my dollars and without the dollars of a lot of people who feel the same way.

Posted on: 2012/4/15 7:58
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Quote:

corybraiterman wrote:
Quote:

od49 wrote:
As aside to "carless downtowners," it seems accessible by Light Rail.


Not really. You CAN go to the Garfield Ave stop and walk it, that's certainly within walking distance, ...


The Liberty State Park stop is MUCH closer.

Posted on: 2012/4/15 8:24
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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It's a 5 minute walk from the Liberty State Park light rail. But yeah, if you live downtown no one is forcing you to come down here, lol. Also, this is an interesting way of looking at it: "I'm happy any time the expansion of downtown gets another neighborhood." I love how everything in jersey city is seen as an expansion of downtown. It's just a restaurant here in its own neighborhood, it doesn't have to be an expansion of downtown. Is every neighborhood south of Times Square an expansion of Times Square? Every neighborhood in Brooklyn an expansion of some other place? Each neighborhood has it's own uniqueness and developed in it own way. I just moved here from Brooklyn but it seems like most people think downtown is the only place worth talking about in JC...and maybe it is, what do I know...

Back to the topic, I went to MAE on Friday night, the drinks and food were really good, and the staff was super nice. I'm glad to have a place to go around here, it has a good vibe!

Posted on: 2012/4/15 9:45
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Slowly working our way through the entire menu, but favorites so far include the Cubano (the house-cured pork is so soft it practically dissolves), charred lemon and eggplant spread, and pork stew.

It's also very worth mentioning how seriously reasonable the prices are. Almost everything is $12 or less, and you can pick up a really solid bottle of wine for ~$25. This is restaurant food for the same cost as pub food (or less!).

I've been several times now and remain really impressed by the level of effort and attention to detail displayed by everyone there. They've created an atmosphere that's so conducive to enjoying your food, drinks, and friends - music is great, no TV sports, karaoke nights, etc.

Can't wait for the courtyard, sidewalk dining, weekend brunches, rotating shows by JC artists, live music... did I forget anything?

... and yes, it's a really short walk from LSP light rail for anyone who can't drive/walk/bike here. Come to Lafayette - we won't bite! ;)

Posted on: 2012/4/15 13:25
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getz011, i might be wrong on this but you are coming across as a shill.

Posted on: 2012/4/15 13:46
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Quote:

Asif wrote:
getz011, i might be wrong on this but you are coming across as a shill.


That seems a little harsh. Feel free to read other things I've posted on JClist over the years. Thanks!

Posted on: 2012/4/15 13:54
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Quote:

jzara wrote:
It's a 5 minute walk from the Liberty State Park light rail.


Maybe with a skate board. It's a solid 10 minute walk, but we won't quibble.

It's refreshing to have a good option in the area. The food is good and just as important to me is that the owners give it a neighborhood feel and are very welcoming and aiming to please.

Posted on: 2012/4/15 15:20
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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I do not think that they are being "shill" honestly living over here we are super excited to have something as great as this place, to start off on such a great foot with good food, reasonable prices and a great atmosphere we can't help but be a little over-joyed for this!! I know I am I hope other people follow suit and open up more places... and for the guy who keeps saying he would not want to leave here late at night after drinks.. you run that risk anywhere and I would think even more so downtown.

See everyone there!

Posted on: 2012/4/15 19:33
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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My friend and I went in for dinner tonight and it was great. Service was done at a nice pace and the food was really enjoyable. I live in Paulus Hook and I was really surprised at how close it was (I do admit I don't get over that direction very often and I must say there were some gorgeous homes on the block!). There was plenty of parking on the street.

And what reasonable prices! My friend and I both had two courses and cocktails and spent about $60. Totally great. We will absolutely be going back.

Posted on: 2012/4/15 22:51
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A Place like this has been a long time coming! good luck and great job guys.
will definitely patronize the place.
just because people don't live in downtown doesn't mean we won't want to spend or drink at a nice classy peaceful joint.
You have the backing of the community 100% guys!
There are more good people here than there are bad.

Posted on: 2012/4/16 15:52
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Re: Modern American Eatery (MAE) - Lafayette
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Went to MAE this past Saturday evening and had a delightful meal and drinks. Cocktails were great and the food was more than delicious. It was done in a way that showed a certain level of care and attention that you don't find just around the corner. Will be coming back often. Well done MAE.

Posted on: 2012/4/17 23:42
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MAE wants to thank all of you who have supported us over the last two weeks and we look forward to seeing you all again very soon. How about for brunch...this Saturday? Doors at 11, $12 includes entree, coffee and your first cocktail!

Posted on: 2012/4/19 0:04
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This place is excellent. Top three reasons why it is a great place to go.

1. The prices are completely reasonable
2. The food is flawless and unique to any other place in Jersey City
3. The place does NOT have an obnoxious attitude and it has a great mixture of people eating there.

I hope this place is succeeds as the food was flawless. If you go definitely try the lamb ribs. Really can't go wrong with anything on the menu. Also really great tap and bottle beer selection.

It's only a mile from liberty state park, ride your bike!

Posted on: 2012/4/19 21:39
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