June 13, 2024
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‘The Bridge’ in Highland Park Reopens After Ida

After being closed due to severe damage sustained during Tropical Storm Ida, The Bridge Turkish & Mediterranean Grill in Highland Park reopened its doors and welcomed back many customers on Sunday, October 10.

Reopening day saw full tables and a steady stream of customers picking up take-out. As the only restaurant in the area with tablecloths, the community eagerly awaited the restaurant’s reopening. Staff at The Bridge were pleased to welcome over 100 customers that day.

Restaurant front-end manager/mashgiach Michael Garber described the sudden flooding the restaurant experienced during the storm, due to storm effects to the building’s roof, as “a waterfall coming down the wall,” which resulted in buckled flooring, carpet damage and other water-related issues. Garber credited the restaurant staff for their tireless efforts and extra hours to return the restaurant to its glory so quickly.

While there is never a good time for a restaurant to have to shut down, Garber noted that the month of Tishrei was probably the “best” time for something like this to happen. “With all the holidays where we would have been closed anyway, the timing was the best of the worst.”

The restaurant now has new flooring and wall décor with the overall effect remaining warm and inviting. Tables are socially distanced with a maximum capacity of 100 guests, and an outdoor seating area can accommodate groups large and small who prefer more COVID-19 precautions.

Restaurant owner Sam Eriske notified the community of the reopening date via Facebook and postings on local synagogue bulletin boards. Facebook comments were all positive, with prospective diners eager to return.

The restaurant features a newly enhanced menu with additional fish options, new pasta and beef dishes, a kids menu, and more—in addition to their original full menu of traditional delicious and authentic Turkish cuisine. There is also a full selection of vegetarian, beef/chicken and sandwich lunch specials.

Can’t decide how to begin your meal? The Bridge offers combination plates and an appetizer mix so you can sample from an array of tempting hot and cold appetizers. It is easy to fall in love with the homemade fresh bread and roasted pepper dipping sauce.

You may have difficulty picking out your main dish as well, with more than 50 poultry, beef, lamb, fish, pide (stuffed dough) and vegetarian options available. The menu now includes mouthwatering descriptions of each offering and clearly lists which options are gluten-free and/or contain sesame or nuts.

Combination platters for main dishes are also available so you can enjoy more of your favorites. The moussaka is always an excellent choice, and the ali nazik (ribeye shish kebab served with creamy smoked eggplant and tomato sauce) is a customer favorite. The tavuk pirzola (chicken chops kebab) is so good that even people who are not fans of chicken love it. Any kebab or kofte dish would be an excellent menu selection. The portions are very generous, so try to remember to save some room for dessert; the baklava is fresh and tender and sweetened to just the right level.

While the menu has changed, the charming ambiance has not. While formal enough for a business meeting, the atmosphere has plenty of warmth and charm for a birthday, anniversary or other family celebration, and continues to be family friendly. Garber noted that, perhaps more than the food, “it is the relationship with the customer” that is so important. The staff at The Bridge make the meals extra special with their service, knowledge and warmth. The staff remember your preferences from visit to visit and welcome you with a warmth and sincerity that enhance the dining experience.

The Bridge is open for lunch and dinner service from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Sunday to Thursday, and for lunch on Friday. The full menu is available for takeout and home delivery throughout the area and beyond. They also offer catering services for family events, corporate functions, special occasions and more. The Bridge is under the strict supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Raritan Valley. Bishul Yisrael is also available upon request.

To make a reservation, contact The Bridge by calling 732/418-9000 or visiting them online at http://www.bridgerestauranthp.com

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