I usually leave Hoboken to the many people who operate Hoboken Girl and the various other blogs that report on the mile square, as I am a one-woman operation covering a much larger and diverse city.
But I am happy to do a favor for friends of Jersey City. Restauranteurs and former stars of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Manzo’d with Children, Albie and Chris Manzo shut their doors of Little Town restaurant in Hoboken in January, and have revamped the entire space to open The Ainsworth, along with Michael Sinensky [Little Town, Hudson Terrace, Sidebar, Village Pourhouse] and the Paige Hospitality Group on 310 Sinatra Drive.
Those of you who frequent New York City have surely been to the Chelsea or Gramercy locations for brunch, an afternoon sports game or a late night. Hoboken is a a perfect fit for The Ainsworth prides itself on being a one-stop shop for brunch, lunch, dinner, cocktails and sports viewing.
The Hoboken concept, which opened in March, is an outpost of upscale steak, burger and sports gastropub, The Ainsworth. “We are thrilled to partner with Paige Hospitality Group and bring one of the best and most established upscale steak, burger, and sports gastropub brands in the country to the waterfront space in Hoboken,” says Albie Manzo. “We look forward to announcing the next evolution of the Little Town brand in a vibrant and exciting part of town,” Chris adds.
The Trolley Car has never failed me. This little gem, tucked into the heights, is the first nice bar we’ve had around here. I’ve been going since it opened in 2011. The ambiance is “upscale but relaxed neighborhood bar” (my words). The service and the patrons are usually friendly. In the warm weather, sit out on the enclosed back patio and admire the Japanese garden and the blue sky. I call it my little oasis, my home away from home. You can smoke in the backyard too, if that’s your thing.
The clean and modern interior is decorated with art from local artists, and all pieces are for sale. The owners are great supporters of the arts and the local community in general—more incentive to spend my hard-earned money there.
The bartenders are unpretentious. Sixpoint, River Horse, Purple Haze and other unique beers (in addition to your basics) are usually on draft. I also discovered Golden Monkey there (bottled), which is a new favorite of mine. The selection of liquor is quite extensive for a bar in the heights, which I appreciate. Last week I had something that tasted like an orange creamsicle. Some of the bartenders like to show off their skills, so ask them to create you a cocktail if you’re feeling adventurous.
As for food, I think I’ve tried every single thing on the menu, and many of the specials. The Trolley fries are a must for me, as they are drizzled in truffle oil. The food here is inexpensive yet the menu items and quality of food exceed expectations, especially considering the other restaurants around here. When I ordered the Ahi tuna sandwich, the tuna was rare and the fish was quality. I’ve had kobe beef sliders and pulled pork sliders (both excellent), wings (juicier than most), the caesar salad (typical), calamari (typical), nachos (typical with those good, thick, probably very unhealthy chips), fish tacos (made just the way I like them, with fresh fish not fried). My boyfriend loves the steak tacos and orders them almost every time. The tacos come with all toppings on the side (cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa) so you can build them to your preference. Next I want to try their mussels. They always have specials and the menu changes every month or so, so forgive me if you can’t get one of these food items on the day you go.
Watching sports here is comfy too; there are plenty of HD flat screens and the place usually doesn’t get too crowded. Even if you don’t get a bar or high-top seat (unlikely), you can still see the game from any part of the venue. The jukebox—yes, they have one!—has a wide selection of music. And every Wednesday is open-mic night.
Another interesting note: The ladies room has two toilets yet no dividing stall. This introduces a whole new meaning to the girls going to the bathroom together phenomenon.
For more pictures and their promo video (cheesy but you get a feel for the place), click below…