Patria means “Homeland”. For guests at Rahway’s newest eatery, you’d think all of the folks cramming the tables, were indeed from Latin America. The restaurant is managed by Director of Operations Fabian Huerfano who honed his skills in Manhattan at Pipa, Lucy’s, The original Patria on Park Avenue, and Yerba Buena Perry.

Folks might just remember Fabian, for he was a fixture at the closed New Jersey Landmark Restaurant: The Ryland Inn in Whitehouse.  

Enter the very happening, trendy, Patria bar, and imagine you are in a smart New York restaurant-lounge. Surrounded by walls of brick, you’re bound to notice containers of fresh fruit which are used to muddle and combine with their various mixology drinks. For example, a watermelon Mojito, which is blended with cubes of watermelon, mint leaves, lime juice, and rum, is one of their most popular drinks. Along with a variety of cocktails, Patria prides itself on serving the popular Don Q rum

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Rahway’s newest dining and drinking establishment has three different atmospheres to suit each moment. A lounge described in shades of dark shadows with red track lighting, is the place where friendly patrons often wander from a happening bar into another lounge which opens after 10 p.m. That’s the place where guests can listen to the Top 40 sounds of today’s music, hang-out and enjoy the comraderie of a an older, more sophisticated crowd. 

The Red Room, which is on the lower level, is reserved for private parties, or various groups who want to get together, to enjoy tapas, sangria, and Latin Music. According to Miguel Vazquez, Operations Manager, “Patria does its best to appeal to all of it’s guests at all times.”

Designed as if you were dining in a restaurant in Spain or Portugal, wooden tables, which are actually hand-made, are surrounded by comfortable chairs with leather seating. Softly lit, with shades of red track lighting, you’re bound to hear acoustic Spanish music as you dip your fork into plates and bowls filled with appetizers. 

“Our Chef, Andrew DiCataldo of Fanwood, is a culinary star,” said Dawn Ondi, Office Manager. “We’re very happy to have him on our team.”

On a recent visit, guests enjoyed appetizers of Black Bean Soup, ($6.00),  Arepa Con Queso, ($8), with open flame, toasted yellow corn cake, filled with cheeses over baby spinach, and roasted pepper-tomato relish, ($8.00), Surf and Turf Skillet, with shrimp and beef sirloin seared in a cast iron skillet with potato, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a spicy roasted tomato sauce, ($12.00).

The most popular entree is Plaintain-crusted Tilapia, with garlic, lemon, cilantro butter sauteed spinach, and maduros, which are ripe plantains, ($19.00), and Bronzino Veracruz, a whole boneless Mediterranean sea bas, pan seared with capers, black olives, tomato and white wine served with roasted baby potatoes and green beans, ($22.00).

Desserts feature flan of Flan de Cueso which tastes like cheese cake with a caramel topping, tres leches a three milk cake, a white cake soaked in a blend of three milks with a hint of rum, and warm caramel apple tarte. ($5.00),

Patria is a different kind of a restaurant, one that really should be visited for a really nice dining experience.

 

Location: Patria, 169 W. Main Street, Rahway

Call: 732.943.7531

Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday. Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.

Cuisine: Latin fusion featuring the best of Spain, Mexico, Peru, and all other South American countries 

Fresh Lobster Mania every Wednesday: 3 Courses Include: Lobster Bisque, Lobster Ceviches, Whole lobster, $24.00 per person

FYI: Smart casual attire. Street parking, and parking on the premises. A definite place for a fun casual party, celebration, or corporate affair.

Accepts reservations. Guests are invited to check with Open Tables: Patria Restaurant & Mixology Lounge.

$$$$: Dinner for Two: $68 (not including tax or tip).