Drink in Hunt Lodge Vibes at Jersey City Cocktail Den the Archer
It's been a good year for resurrecting the lost soul of Newark Avenue's Ox, the forerunner to Jersey City's downtown dining boom. Earlier this fall the restaurant's former chef and partner, Ed Radich, made a return to Jersey City (you can find him cooking up paella down the block at Raval), and last month — after years in spiritual purgatory as Asian fusion joint Box — the former Ox space was reborn as The Archer.
BEST COCKTAIL BAR: THE ARCHER
The Archer opened just before the new year came and quickly established itself as a local favorite. The place itself is undeniably gorgeous inside, with owners Jesse Weeks and Kent Baker creating an urban-meets-rural setting, and the cocktail menu is rather inventive as well: the New Brunswick, a Jersey City favorite, contains Scotch, lemon, maple, and orange bitters. There's also some taxidermy on the walls, which totally works -- and no, it's not from the game meat offered on the menu.
A Food & Drink Tour Of Jersey City
THE ARCHER Just off pedestrian-friendly Newark Avenue there is a new, slightly hidden cocktail bar that transports you to another world. This world is a world of wild game and expertly composed cocktails from beverage director Natalie Jacob, who works at both Dutch Kills and previously at Flatiron Lounge and now-defunct PKNY. The small food menu showcases less popular proteins like elk meatballs, a wild boar sloppy joe and venison cheesesteak. There is also a rich and gamey duck burger which is balanced nicely with smoked gouda and a bing cherry compote.
But most people are here for the cocktails and a seasonal menu has something for everyone, from the tropical Flying Down to Rio (Cachaca, banana, pineapple, orange, coconut) to the sweet/spicy/boozy 40 Winks (Tequila, Mezcal, Campari, lime, grapefruit, strawberry jalapeno jam, soda).