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Oct 26, 2011 11:27 PM

Daryl wine bar really reopening v2

I guess I am still on the email list, and from the following message it seems daryl is reopening soon:

As a previous visitor to, and valued customer at, Daryl Wine Bar & Restaurant, we would like to let you know that we are re-opening!

We will be sending out further updates over the next few weeks

Twitter, etc., confirms.

When I last checked, they had a dinner menu, and some stuff going online, without prices.

If they bring in half-price wine at happy hour, and small plates at the bar I'll come back.

If not, I most likely will not.


Daryl Wine Bar & Restaurant
302 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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  1. In a town filled with great restaurants, I never felt Daryl's measured up. We are big New Brunswick fans and after having gone to Daryl's twice (I always give a new place at least 2 tries to be open minded and fair), I was not impressed and thought they did not not do a great job . Great huge wine list, but the somalier was not able to do a great job in helping and the first night we went there was no somalier. Hello "wine bar"!

    5 Replies
    1. re: austinuk

      Opposite opinion. Probably because of the timing.I. found the waitstaff to be more knowledgeable about wine than most restaurants. The choice of pours 2oz., 4oz, 6oz. gave great flexibility in selecting wine to match the dishes. Also, if you liked the wine, you could purchase it at store prices. At the end, when David Drake was not longer involved, I agree it was a disaster.

      I definitely want the small plates menu before I try it again.

      1. re: BigGeorge

        I think that Daryl's problems were two-fold. First, they couldn't figure out what they wanted to be. They tried high end dining with David Drake, and that didn't work for a number of reasons. Then they went with the small plates, which weren't bad at all, but they couldn't possibly cover their overhead on the volume of business that they were doing.

        Second, to call yourself a "wine bar" and not have a full-time qualified sommelier on staff was a joke! The staff was pleasant and tried to accommodate as much as they could, but they clearly lacked the wine knowledge needed for a "wine bar". They had a lot of sommelier wannabes on staff, which really undercut the concept.

        When they reopen, I hope that they take the "wine bar" label seriously and hire a full time sommelier who can be on site at critical times and also train the staff so that they are accurately and consistently knowledgeable about the wines being served.

        I liked Daryl and wish them well. I just hope that this time they have a better grasp of what they want to be and hire competent staff to make the place a success.

        1. re: NJNycPhilaFoodie

          It would appear from the latest posting on facebook, that they have decided to concentrate on being a restaurant which happens to 'do' wine...

          1. re: vowelgirl

            From their FB page and the restaurant's website:

            Daryl reopens!

            Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 7:00pm

            Daryl Wine Bar & Restaurant, new brunswick, nj..

            Daryl Wine Bar & Restaurant
            302 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

            1. re: Curlz

              Their web site now says that Daryl Wine Bar will reopen this Sunday, December 11.

    2. From Rosie Saferstein's blog on

      "David Viana, previously sous chef at David Drake in Rahway, Due Terre in Bernardville, and Uproot in Warren, will be the new chef de cuisine at Daryl, 302 George St, New Brunswick. Zod Arifai, chef/owner of Blu and Next Door, both in Montclair, is the owner/executive chef."

      3 Replies
      1. re: ambrose

        very interesting if zod truly has a hand in this

        1. re: aklein

          He certainly does! Why would you think otherwise?

          1. re: Curlz

            I gotcha... was just wondering if he'll really put his fingerprint on it or just act as an owner with another chef running the show...

      2. Yes, it is true. Zod Arifai, chef/owner of Blu and Next Door, both in Montclair, is the owner/executive chef of Daryl in New Brunswick. Looking forward to having his memorable cuisine.

        Next Door
        556 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rosie Saferstein

          as per the Blu website " as we prepare to open our new restaurant Daryl in New Brunswick, NJ, Blu and Next door will be closed until January 2012"

          1. re: Nursemegg

            getting the feeling this is going to be Blu@New Brunswick, which is not a bad thing