Updated on 9/1/20
This restaurant was conceived five years ago after my partner and I discovered available space in the heart of the neighborhood we grew up in. After years of working in another’s kitchen, the freedom to make every decision for myself was such an enticement that I took the plunge, opening Turtle + the Wolf three months later. As is usually the case when opening a new restaurant, we were served humility daily while learning to operate our own business. Fortunately, we were blessed with a welcoming community that allowed us the time to grow. We didn’t take that for granted and worked hard to improve ourselves from the top down. Over the past few years we felt that we were beginning to hit our stride and becoming the restaurant we set out to be. Alas in March of 2020 we were forced to chart a different course forward. While many restaurants (and other small businesses) have closed for good, blessedly we have been able to maintain our business through our take-out service. We thank you for all of your support during this time while we learned a new style of service with a new set of rules.
As we enter into the next chapter of this journey with the return of in-person dining we look forward to seeing all of our guests again. While our mission of being your reliable neighborhood restaurant remains unchanged, as we move forward in the rebuild of the American dining scene we do so with the knowledge that there is necessary change needed within our industry and our society at large. While we may not have the answers or the solutions, we will continue to listen to the issues. Finally, we unequivocally support the changes required to ensure that not just our restaurant remains a safe and happy place but that the world outside of our walls is one as well.
We are currently taking reservations by telephone only @ 973.783.9800
Reservations are available on our PATIO only for dinner on Fri, Sat, and Sun.
Our first seating is 5pm daily with our last seating at 9:30pm.
All reservations are weather dependent.
We do not provide heaters so please dress accordingly.
We are offering our a la carte menu for dine-in and curbside pick-up
as well as our famous Lo’s Fried Chicken Dinner for Two.
Our posted menus are subject to availability and change.
We do our best to accommodate food sensitivities so please let us know if you have any special needs.
It’s a frequently asked question. The simple answer is that the turtle and wolf were two of the clan symbols for the Lenape Indians. As these were the indigenous people to the area that is now Montclair, I thought this was a cool way to give historical context to the restaurant and its location.
As I did further research, it became evident that the turtle and the wolf were indeed appropriate symbols for a restaurant. Diving down an existential rabbit hole, I learned that the turtle totem, among many things, symbolizes determination, persistence, and the ability to stay grounded in moments of chaos. This resonated with me since most professional kitchens hold a frenetic energy, bordering on insanity. The best chefs* around are those who can maintain their composure and stay on track when the wheels are falling off.
The wolf, as a spirit animal, represents instinct and an appetite for freedom. I feel that cooking is an instinctual, creative medium as much of the food I’ve most enjoyed was prepared by not following a recipe. Being free to follow your instincts, driven by your senses is in my mind what being a chef is about.
I also just thought it sounded cool.
*The author in no way recognizes himself as one of the best chefs around. He is just a dude looking to cook good food and have fun doing it. See you soon at Turtle + the Wolf!
American Cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients sourced as locally as possible, when possible.
We require a credit card for parties of 6 or more and there is a 48 hour cancellation policy.
We accept dinner reservations for all party sizes. We do not accept brunch reservations, please join us as a walk-in.
Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express.
We do and we welcome gourmets of all ages.
You will find a link at the top of our website that will assist with online purchasing. Online gift cards will be sent electronically. You or your recipient should expect them instantly!
If you wish to purchase in person, please stop by the restaurant during normal business hours!
Tom Nussbaum, a very talented friend of the family and Montclair community, is known for a variety of work including sculpture, drawings, paper cuts, prints, children’s books, animations, functional design objects, and public artworks.
His sculpture and works on paper have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States, and internationally. Since 1987 he has completed over thirty site-specific commissions located in a variety of public settings including public plazas, train stations, schools, hospitals, environmental centers, and playgrounds. Locally, his work can be seen at the Edgemont Park Playground, NJTransit Bay Street Station, and in the permanent collection of the Montclair Art Museum.
All the artwork in the restaurant is for sale. For more information, please visit; www.tomnussbaum.com
Our wait time varies from day to day, but it is best to get here early to guarantee a seat. Please note, we only seat complete parties.
The owners (Lauren Hirschberg and Matt Trevenen) were raised in Montclair and are proud alums of Montclair High School (’98)
We are a BYOB restaurant so feel free to bring your beer or wine to enjoy with your dinner.
Dinner begins at 5pm Tuesday through Sunday. The kitchen closes at 10:00pm Tuesday- Saturday and 9pm on Sunday. Occasionally we will stay open a bit later or close a bit earlier as business allows so always call before you drop in if its towards the end of our normal dining times.
There is plenty of parking in the rear of the restaurant as well as ample space on the surrounding streets. Those parking in the back can enter the restaurant through the rear entrance.
Turtle + the Wolf is available for full restaurant buy-outs for evening or daytime events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on menu options and pricing.
We are always looking to meet new people, especially those with a love of food, drink, and hospitality. Please send a resume along with a brief intro about yourself to email@example.com
We do offer catering for most sized groups. Please give the restaurant a call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will hold your table 15 minutes past the time of your reservation. After that time, we cannot guarantee your table will still be available. If you are running late, please call us and we will make our best efforts to adjust things for you but we do have to be mindful of our other guests and their reservation times.
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