Ariane Kitchen + Bar: Elevated Comfort Food in the Heart of Verona

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Ariane Kitchen & Bar (AKB) serves up seasonal comfort food in the heart of Verona’s downtown area at 706 Bloomfield Avenue. Its familiar but innovative menu has made it one of the most popular restaurants in the area. After long careers in the food industry, the husband and wife team of Ariane and Michael Duarte opened AKB in 2014 as a place where they would want to spend their evenings. With Chef Ariane heading up the kitchen, this female-led restaurant is inspiring other female chefs to become leaders in the industry. Read on to learn more about Ariane Kitchen + Bar in Verona.  

About the Owner

Ariane Kitchen

(Photo credit: @arianekitchnbar)

Owners Ariane and Michael Duarte have lived in a number of places throughout the country but call Verona home. Ariane is a Verona local and represents the third generation of her family to reside here. 

Chef Ariane has gained notoriety over the years being featured on a number of television shows. She competed on Top Chef during its fifth season, won the premiere season of Cook Your Ass Off, and beat Moroccan French chef, Adil Fawzi, and Bobby Flay himself on Beat Bobby Flay. Chef Ariane has also made appearances on Today Show, Iron Chef, and The Tyra Banks Show.

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In a male-dominated industry, Chef Ariane is one of the many female chefs across the U.S. changing the kitchen dynamics. Seeing Chef Ariane not only compete on these shows but win – is inspiring girls to enter and succeed in the industry.

ariane kitchen

(Photo credit: @arianekitchnbar)

She says, “My advice to young female chefs is be confident, listen to your teacher, read, never stop trying new things. Know also that you will mess up, you won’t like everything you hear, but this will only strengthen you. And, always love what you do.” 

Chef Ariane credits her experience on Top Chef as the inspiration behind the confidence she has in her career. She says that the competition made her come out of her shell and was a great learning experience. It taught Chef Ariane to think quickly on her feet and she left the show with many life-long friends that are still present in her life to give her advice and love.

The Menu

Ariane Kitchen

(Photo credit: @arianekitchnbar)

The most-ordered dishes on the AKB menu are the juniper-cured pork chop, cornmeal-crusted oysters, sesame-crusted seared rare tuna, and the AKB burger. Chef Ariane describes her food as “seasonal and clean. I say what you see is what you get.” She notes that the menu and the great service her staff provides are what set AKB apart from other restaurants in the area.

ariane kitchen

Ariane Kitchen

(Photo credit: @arianekitchnbar)

We love the “AKB ever-changing flatbread” because it is a great nod to how seasonal and fresh the restaurant’s food is. AKB’s creative menu is complemented by its innovative cocktails. Make sure to try “The Murder Hornet” for a sweet heat that will have your taste buds dancing.

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The Atmosphere

Ariane Kitchen Bar

(Photo credit: @arianekitchnbar)

AKB has a modern and eclectic atmosphere, tying together bold print-covered benches with industrial touches and lounge lighting to create a unique vibe. It boasts a beautiful outdoor space with comfortable seating and moody string lights.

ariane kitchen

(Photo credit: @arianekitchnbar)

 The outside of the building is all brick, blending into the other buildings of the area. Don’t drive past this restaurant though – it’s more than worth the stop!

Ariane Kitchen & Bar takes reservations for its indoor, outdoor, and bar seating on Resy. To check out more, follow the restaurant on Instagram at @arianekitchnbar.


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Kristina is a real estate agent at Keller Williams NJ Metro Group in Montclair living right next door in Cedar Grove. In her free time, she is involved in the rescue dog community, volunteering as the Adoption/Foster Coordinator for Wise Animal Rescue. Kristina also spends time exploring businesses in Essex County and is dedicated to helping newbies to the area find their new homes, new favorite spots, and new rescue pups!