Home Essex County Team Behind Laboratorio Kitchen Opening New Maplewood Restaurant Soon

Team Behind Laboratorio Kitchen Opening New Maplewood Restaurant Soon

by Danielle Farina
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There are few better places to satisfy a food craving than Montclair, New Jersey. Whatever is on your stomach’s mind — be it Italian, Southern comfort, greasy diner eats, or international cuisines — is almost always just a Google search away. In the face of such abundance, decision-making can be tough; but tougher still is the challenge for businesses to become certified local favorites. One such restaurant, Laboratorio Kitchen, has effectively won over the hearts and stomachs of Montclair residents since first opening in 2014. Popular for its Italian-inspired, New American cuisine, this upscale eatery is now expanding its Essex County influence with a new restaurant in Maplewood called Osteria LK. Read on to learn more about Laboratorio Kitchen’s new venture in Maplewood, New Jersey.

osteria lk maplewood

About Laboratorio Kitchen

Laboratorio Kitchen opened in September 2014 and is a New American restaurant in the center of Montclair’s downtown. Its name is reflective of head chef and owner James DeSisto’s desire to create unique dishes that combine flavors and cooking techniques from around the world.

laboratorio kitchen meatball

The Ivy at Chatham

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Though inspiration may be globally sourced, Laboratorio Kitchen’s foundation is here in New Jersey: starting with James’ grandmother, who he’d cook alongside every Sunday as a child. Those memories inform much of the restaurant’s seasonally rotating menu, which currently features dishes like mushroom risotto, homemade linguini, ricotta cavatelli, and an array of seafood dishes. See the complete menu here.

laboratorio kitchen montclair

Most of the food is made with local ingredients from farms in the Tri-State area. The secret to Laboratorio’s famous tomato sauce is Jersey tomatoes, crushed in-house for optimal flavor. The extra steps and care taken when preparing its recipes is what sets the food at Laboratorio apart from other restaurants in the area — and why it’s come to be beloved by locals and visitors alike.


The Move to Maplewood

In 2023, popular Maplewood restaurant Arturo’s announced plans to relocate and rebrand. Arturo’s (now Artie’s) remains in Maplewood, but Chef James of Laboratorio believed its relocation “would leave a void in the town” nonetheless. He seized the opportunity to expand Laboratorio Kitchen’s brand and took over the downtown space at 180 Maplewood Avenue.

In Arturo’s place comes Osteria LK, a casual offshoot of its sister location in Montclair. “Osteria” in Italian translates to “tavern” in English, indicating that the new venture will feature fewer white tablecloths and minimalism than its Bloomfield Avenue counterpart, but the same delicious flavors locals have come to expect.

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Chef James shared with The Montclair Girl that Osteria LK is slated to open sometime this spring. Per an Instagram post from two days ago, renovations for the space are well underway.

Of course, we’ll keep you updated as more details unfold. For now, be sure to follow @themontclairgirl on Instagram and TikTok for further updates, and sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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