By Nicole Bitette
Owners of A Toute Heure in Cranford, Andrea and Jim Carbine, have recently decided to launch their newest venture, 100 Steps Supper Club + Raw Bar on Centennial Avenue.
Each year, the husband and wife pair, who share a love of all things oyster, take a break in January to get ready for the next year. During the break, the two would spend a day enjoying a nice craft beer and some oysters.
“The bummer was that there just isn't anywhere in this area to do that. The closest oyster bars are in NYC or down the shore - so we built our own,” Andrea said.
The menu of 100 Steps is heavily focused on oysters and the raw bar, but the small plates created by Executive Chef Kara Decker are also what make the restaurant unique.
“Both Executive Chef Kara Decker and Chef de Cuisine Robyn Reiss needed an opportunity to stretch and grow as chefs and this allowed us opportunity to do that with them,” Andrea explained.
She added that the small plates allow diners to try two or three items that won’t make them feel overly full and the opportunity to share dishes among the table.
“The idea of the menu is to share amongst a table - the tables that come try some oysters, share plates like the killer octopus, the cockles, the little crispy clam belly - and then a couple of desserts,” Andrea said. “Those are the tables that get a great feel for what it is the cooks are doing here and have a great experience!”
Andrea says they both plan to have a heavy presence in both restaurants, which is one of the reasons they chose to open a second business in Cranford.
Currently, A Toute Heure has only 12 tables and the Carbine’s find it difficult to seat everyone who wants to dine there. So, she and Jim felt it would be a great opportunity to refer customers to such a close location and to be able to check in to both restaurants at night.
“We have ATH here, our home, our kitchen gardens – it’s a great community that has supported us immensely over the past 7 years,” she explained. “We couldn't imagine doing this anywhere else.”
The Carbine’s are also excited to walk the dining room of 100 Steps and see how visitors are enjoying the menu.
“We spend a lot of time working with crews in the front to focus on hospitality - its not about just good service, people want to feel like they are having a full experience - they want to discuss the menu, understand their food, and enjoy their night with us - its our job to make that happen,” Andrea added.
100 Steps Supper Club + Raw Bar is located at 215 Centennial Avenue.