Home LifestyleCareer Le Salbuen: A European Inspired Eatery in Montclair

Le Salbuen: A European Inspired Eatery in Montclair

by Lauren Wilson-Policke
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If you’re looking to get a taste of Europe without the flight and jet lag, then the chic and cozy eatery at 97 Walnut Street in Montclair, Le Salbuen, is your spot. Debuting in May 2012, owners Chef John and Christina Salierno have been serving up an array of global-inspired, organic, gluten-free, local farm-to-table meat and vegan dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner six days a week, the menu is full of seasonal dishes using local and organic produce, meats, dairy products, and artisanal goods using ingredients from local farmers that they know and trust. Read on to learn more about Le Salbuen, a European-Inspired restaurant in Montclair.

Le Salbuen

{Photo credit: @lewillow83}

The food is as unique as their Owners’ backgrounds. Christina’s Portuguese roots and John’s Brooklyn melting pot upbringing meld together to create flavorful and inspiring dishes. The eatery’s name is also a blend of the couple’s background – their last names. Salierno for John and Buenano for Christina. They decided to add in the “Le” to give it a French flair.

How It Came To Be

le salbuen

{Photo credit: @lewillow83}

Surprisingly, the Saliernos didn’t have culinary experience prior to opening the restaurant. But what they did have was passion, drive, and creativity. “Montclair didn’t have a place like ours in 2012,” says Christina.

“There wasn’t a place where you could order from a full vegan, carnivore, and gluten-free menu, all in one place, so we created it. Our mission was to be creative and make healthy food taste great” she continues. The duo credits much of their culinary creativity to their world travels. They would travel to Europe and get inspired by the cuisine in Portugal, Santorini, Ibiza, and St. Tropez. When they returned home, they would recreate these dishes for fun.

Read More: Sweet T’s Southern Eatery: Signature Comfort Food in Montclair

But food isn’t Christina’s only passion, it’s fashion as well. She opened a carefully curated boutique around the corner from the restaurant named Le Willow 83 in May of 2015. “I love clothing!” she exclaims. “When I first opened the restaurant, I’d dress up every day. I’d cook 12 hours in cute tops and bottoms for at least a year. But after getting burned too many times and my clothes getting ruined, I changed into my chef gear. Clothes make me happy.”

The Food

Le Salbuen

{Photo credit: @lewillow83}

The menu is what the duo describes as “American Eclectic with a Portuguese and French fusion.” With an array of savory breakfast items like the frittatas, omelets, and the must-try Croque Madame Empanada — that’s jam-packed with organic, pasture-raised eggs from Sandys Egg Farm in Pennsylvania}, ham, Valley Shepherd NJ gruyere cheese, and olive lemon aioli there’s something for everyone on the menu.

Don’t miss out on Le Salbuen’s selection of freshly baked bread and pastries from the beloved Balthazar in NYC. If you prefer to start your day on the healthier side, we recommend trying the assortment of organic juices and protein drinks – offering everything from the “Detoxifier” — jam-packed with kale, celery, zucchini, apple, lime, ginger, and cayenne or the “Roots” Juice, with beet, carrot, apple, turmeric, ginger, and celery.

le salbuen

{Photo credit: @lewillow83}

If you are popping into Le Salbuen for lunch get ready for some colorful, organic salads, savory sandwiches, or indulgent dishes like Bolognese Pappardelle or Braised Duck. Be sure to arrive on an empty stomach for dinner service because if you’re like us, you’ll be eyeing everything on the menu.

Speaking of duck, Le Salbuen’s Hudson Valley Duck Tacos are out of this world. We also highly recommend the Organic Grass-Fed Dry Aged Beef Burger with Shaved Truffle, the Raw Organic Carrot Salad, Duck Fat Frites, and the Organic Braised Short Rib. And, you’re in luck — it’s BYOB! Don’t forget to bring your own wine to complement the delicious and unique flavors.

The Vibe

Le Salbuen

{Photo credit: @lewillow83}

It’s not just the meals that the owners put their personal spin on — you’ll find it in the unique, personal, and carefully curated ambiance that they have created. The duo has utilized salvaged bricks from Brooklyn in their interior design, barn wood plants from Pennsylvania, and beautiful wall murals by local artists.

See More: Zeugma Grille: Delicious Mediterranean Cuisine in Montclair

Christina even documented the labor-intensive process of her transforming the exterior of the restaurant with a fresh coat of paint on the restaurant’s Instagram. In 2019, the couple decided to expand and take over the neighboring space to offer additional seating.

Le Salbuen

{Photo credit: @lewillow83}

The grand opening of the newly expanded space was delayed until October 2020 due to COVID-19. But in the same vein, Le Salbuen offers indoor and outdoor dining options with plenty of heaters for those chilly nights.

Le Salbuen is open Tuesday-Friday 9:30AM-3:00PM Saturday from 9:30AM-3PM, and Sunday from 9:30AM-2PM. Stay up to date with Le Salbuen via Instagram at @lewillow83.

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