Food & Drink

Chef Bryan Gregg to Expand “Tastes” Brand in West Orange as Acclaimed "Escape" Retires

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WEST ORANGE, NJ – Chef Bryan Gregg recently announced an expansion of his “Tastes by Bryan Gregg” brand, which launched in September as a small plates served at Wine Legend in West Orange.

Gregg said Tastes would be expanding its bites to include large plates as well for a full dining experience and will also increase special chef dinners and wine tastings.

“There is so much to come in the up and coming months,” said Gregg, including a white truffle dinner is slated for Dec. 7. The wine dinners this past month sold out. “I am super excited about what is about to happen with the partnering with Wine Legend.” 

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Wine Legend is located in the Whole Foods-K Market shopping plaza in West Orange, where there is a vast parking lot with free parking. Gregg referred to the West Orange venture as “our first location,” so more “Tastes by Bryan Gregg” are in the works. At press time, he would not disclose those locations.

Escape, Gregg’s first restaurant, opened in May 2013 on Bloomfield Ave in Montclair Center and closed on Oct. 31. News outlets and food bloggers heaped praise on Gregg for his take on Southern-style comfort food.

Escape’s fried chicken was a popular topic in local chatrooms, and patrons often mentioned the pickled green strawberries that accompanied the cheese plate. Gregg pickled local unripe strawberries each Spring and used them over the course of the year.

Editors at the now defunct Devil Gourmet referred to Gregg’s culinary craft as “micro-seasonal.” Foraged lambs quarters (a wild variety of spinach), available in June, appear on the menu for a short time. Ramps, which appear in the wild each spring, made their annual appearance as well. Locally foraged morel mushrooms also find their way into numerous dishes during the short period they are available locally.

Alicia Robinson, President of the Montclair Rotary Club, was saddened to hear that Escape is closing.

“Bryan has been a supporter of Taste of Montclair every year since he opened, but with this new venture, we are extending an invitation to be in the VIP room of next year’s Taste of Montclair,” she said. 

Gregg’s generosity extends beyond the local Rotary Club, he often hosted wine dinners in support of charities including Carol G. Simon Cancer Center of NJ.

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