The next time you are looking for a restaurant in Morristown, whether you are with family, friends, or someone special…GO TO ORALE. Orale Mexican Kitchen officially opened their new Morristown location at 56 South Street (formerly J&K Steakhouse), on Tuesday, April 4. Orale operates additional locations in both Hoboken and Jersey City. Their management team is enthusiastic about making Morristown another success story. In a corporate blog release, Orale provides the following description of their incredible dining experience: “Your palate will dance with our savory menu reflecting our current favorites and an exclusive different type of nuance.” One visit to this fantastic establishment is all it takes to confirm Orale’s assertions.
Orale makes a striking impression from the moment one walks through the front door. A look to your left reveals an exquisite, fully-stocked, white marble-topped bar with seating for 25 guests. Straight ahead you’ll find a tidy hostess stand where an attentive employee waits to seat you. The short walk to your table gives you moments to take in the beautiful murals designed by local artists throughout the dining areas. Orale boasts small touches of décor magic, such as monkey statues for light fixtures, kaleidoscopic tiled walls, hammered metal ceilings, throw pillows on booths, and ceiling fans crafted from skateboards. Vibrant color pervades the entire experience, culminating in the trademark Jarritos wall. Colorful Jarritos sodas are arranged linearly and then illuminated from beneath, creating an mesmerizing rainbow effect.
Orale is filled with interesting design successes, each contributing to an open and inviting space, avoiding any feeling of being crowded or overly-indulgent. Those desiring an intimate dining experience are also provided for at Orale. Private seating is available in an 8-person glass-enclosed dining area, which is actually a clever adaptation of J&K’s prior wine room. Larger groups of up to 45 can mingle in an additional private dining space dubbed the Mo-town room.
Generally, one might expect a newly opened restaurant to lack the cohesion necessary to deliver phenomenal experiences right out of the gate. Orale proves an exception to this rule as the food, drinks and service are already best in class. Cocktail lovers can not miss the Smoked Old Fashioned (bonded whiskey, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, agave, smoked syrup and Mexican bitter blend). Great food is provided before orders are even taken through the delivery of Orale’s chips served with three house made sauces. Don’t sleep on the sauce! The house made sauces include a fresh cilantro-based green sauce, a darker smoky sauce packing serious heat, and an addictive creamy chipotle sauce that belongs on everything.
Ultimately, the chips serve as a mere compliment to the jaw-dropping truffle hot honey guacamole. The unique, near-perfect flavor combination is nothing short of mouth-watering. Guac fans can rejoice at Orale as their menu features a choice of nearly a dozen options. Guacamole flights are even offered for the indecisive, allowing a sampling of either three, five, or seven varieties. Main courses continue the theme of outstanding flavor. Working through the entirety of the Orale menu is a long-term goal but early impressions of the TWO POUND truffle ribeye burrito and Orale’s tacos could not be more positive!
Takes Juan to Know Juan and Carnitas tacos are two items that deserve a special mention. The Carnitas dish features pieces of crunchy pork belly, marinated red onions, and salsa verde & cilantro. Pork belly provides a crisp bite with some chewiness, the salsa and onions lend a lighter flavor softening the dish. The freshness of the cilantro provides the perfect foil for the salty pork belly and the end result is an unmatched balance in texture and flavor. Partaking in the Takes Juan to Know Juan tacos is a transcendent experience. Corn tortillas are covered in melted Chihuahua & Oaxaca cheese before thin sliced pieces of roasted brisket are added alongside a soft red cabbage slaw, scallions, and serrano cornbread. This impressive creation sits atop what can only be described as a truly sublime sauce. Prepare your palate for the fantastic discovery of Chipotle Cola BBQ sauce. Mexican coca cola, made with real sugar cane, is the backbone of this revelation. Think ideal amounts of sweet, salty, tangy, and smoky all combined together. Taste of this magnitude is seldom experienced and long remembered. Those looking for further motivation to try Orale should know they embrace Taco Tuesdays by offering ½ price on almost the entire lineup for those paying with cash!
Endeavoring to develop a great atmosphere is one of the most difficult tasks a restaurant can undertake. Sitting in the Orale dining room it is clear a tangible buzz is already forming. Throughout Orale’s 3000 square foot restaurant, one can see enthusiastic customers enjoying themselves. Excitable chatter and universal warm smiles confirm Orale is positioned for sustained success at its newest location. Orale correctly summarizes the guest experience at their restaurants in saying, “Our Mexican cuisine really hits the spot with the spices and flavors you normally have to travel back for…And that was our goal: to ignite your palate with fiery bites, a hearty foodie experience and create an environment that makes you want to come back for more time and time again.” Try for yourself: you will not regret a moment.