I have pretty much eliminated indoor dining from my list of outside-the-apartment activities. When I do indulge, however, I go to Sihana. Comfy in my seat in the back corner, surrounded by a display of vinyl record album covers, a synthetic fire, and art from Newark artists, I feel at home at Newark’s newest place to eat and hang out.
Sihana is a combined coffee shop, restaurant, and gallery. It fuses the haute cuisine of a European café and the minimalist excellence of a Brooklyn coffee shop. The chef—a Georgian (eastern European, not the Peach State)—is as comfortable with traditional brunch as he is with nouveau and fusion cuisine. There is something to meet the taste of anyone who walks through its doors.
The menu incorporates elements from Georgian and Albanian cuisines but also adds flavors from Portugal and Latin America. The traditional Georgian Khachapuri was far and away my favorite, freshly baked bread whose center contains cheese and an egg, served with the traditionally Portuguese appetizer of shrimp in garlic sauce. It was delicious. I ordered it along with a tart yet sweet beet and feta salad. Also amazing was a dish of arancini-like fried balls of polenta served in a creamy walnut sauce. Oh boy! For a back-to-basics treat, try a brunch of pancakes and eggs—no nonsense and well done.
The excellence does not stop at food, Sihana also has great coffee. Baristo Camilo, who grew up on a coffee estate in Colombia, knows how to make a high-caliber pour-over. Sihana also managed to grab another Newark artist, Gabe Ribeiro of the Nork Project, to assist in developing the overall look of the space.
Sihana is like no other restaurant in Newark. A great way to add an extra boost to Sihana and other local Newark favorites during Covid times is to order directly and pick up your food to go. Once the pandemic ends, I will definitely be dining in at Sihana on a regular basis.
71 Ferry Street
Open 7 days a week, kitchen closes at 8PM
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, these times may be subject to change.
Featured image courtesy of Sihana