As the guests are likely to double-dip, so does the staff! Rieben will be working alongside fellow Cellar owners, Robert Palmer and Jamie Knott as co-owners of Madame, and Chris Abbamondi, the Executive Chef for Cellar and now Madame.
“I’ve been in the States almost nine years now and this will be the first time I’m doing authentic French food here—it truly brings me back to my roots,” says Rieben. When he and Abbamondi started designing the menu, Rieben wanted to include meals that reminded him of his childhood. That’s why guests can expect to see foods like Cassoulet au Gratin. “Cassoulet is a famous dish that my mom often used to make for me as a kid,” he says. The slow-cooked stew, which contains meat (typically pork sausages, goose, duck, or sometimes mutton), pork skin, and white beans, originates from the south of France.
The cocktail menu will feature an eclectic array of delicious concoctions. Take the Duck-infused Rosemary Chocolate Vieux Carre, for example. Made with rye whiskey infused with duck fat, mixed with French cognac, Benedictine (herbal French liqueur), fresh rosemary, sweet vermouth and chocolate bitters, Madame’s skilled bartenders will create an interesting twist on the widely popular Vieux Carre.
“Jersey City has firmly established itself as a go-to spot for fine dining, featuring flavors from around the globe,” Rachel Sieg, Executive Director of the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), told TAPinto Jersey City. “Madame is going to further enhance that reputation, and be a treat for event the most sophisticated of palates.”
Rieben also acknowledged Jersey City’s status a destination for foodies. “It’s developing each year and a lot of people move here from Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, and they expect the quality of food, drink and service that they are used to.”
Madame will be open for dinner from Wednesday through Saturday. On Sunday nights, only the bar, which is called Panache, will be open. (The bar’s name derived from the word meaning “done with flair, flamboyance or style”.) To close out the weekend, Panache will be open for late happy hour and industry night, with a live DJ and entry by a password-at-the-door to bring through the speakeasy feel.