Restaurant inspired by the ‘sociable’ cuisine of Vienna opens in NJ
Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner runs the Michelin-starred Wallsé, the Austrian fine-dining spot in New York City, and is now bringing his talents to New Jersey.
Gutenbrunner is opening a Viennese restaurant, Charley, in Harrison. You can expect Charley to be much more casual than Wallsé.
I was able to speak with David Barry, hospitality investor behind Charley, about what you can expect from Charley:
Where did the name Charley come from? What was the inspiration?
"We were looking to create a neighborhood bistro with inspired food and beverage offerings. My youngest son's name is Charley. His personality is curious, sociable, yet relaxed — very much the spirit of the bistro we were looking to create. I thought Charley was the perfect name to represent a human and approachable neighborhood spot."
What is special about Charley? What kind of experience should customers expect?
"Charley is rooted in the culture of a Viennese kaffeehaus — a place where all walks of the community would gather from day to night to exchange ideas. While Viennese cuisine is historically important and delicious, it's rather unique in this area. Not only does Charley interpret great Viennese cuisine and approach it in new ways, but you can feel the strong community when you step into the bistro. Anyone should feel welcome to come in for dinner or a drink. Charley also expands onto a covered outdoor patio with fireplace, so it's a great place to grab a cocktail in the winter."
If someone was coming to Charley, what would Kurt recommend?
"Kurt recommends starting with the Berlin Currywurst — a shareable dish with spiced bratwurst and fries. Then ordering the shitake spätzle for your entrée — a delicious pasta dish with brussels sprouts, root vegetables, and alpine cheese. And the Linzertorte for dessert — a hazelnut tart with fresh raspberries and schlag (whipped cream)."
What are your signature dishes/offerings customers should know about?
"To share with the table, we suggest the Flammkuchen, an Alsatian flatbread, that comes in bacon ("Farm") and mushroom ("Forest") varieties.
"The wiener schnitzel is a staple of Viennese cuisine, and Charley has a classic presentation served with a delicious potato-cucumber salad and lingonberry jam.
"For a drink, we highly suggest the Freudian Slip, our take on a mule, or a cold Bitburger beer with extra foam.
"And you can't miss dessert. Charley's apple strudel has been perfected by Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner and is not to be missed.
"We'll be adding brunch and lunch soon to make Charley a full coffee-to-cocktails environment."
You can visit Charley at 202 Angelo Cifelli Drive, Harrison, NJ 07029 and follow along on Instagram @Charley.Bistro.