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'Dining Room' Looks to Make a Splash in Long Valley

Restaurant Village owners bringing latest iteration to 1 West Mill Road.

It just needed “something,” Andrea Maletta-Bussel said.

That’s what she and her husband, Steve Bussel, said whenever they sat inside Splash Seafood and Pasta in Restaurant Village.

The Bussels own Restaurant Village and have been overseeing Splash for the last three and-a-half years. But Maletta-Bussel, the Village’s marketing director, said it was time for change.

On Feb. 4, the day after the Super Bowl crowd dissipated from the restaurant’s bar, Maletta-Bussel shut the doors and took on the project herself.

“I wanted it to feel like someone was dining at my house,” Maletta-Bussel said. “You can see the attention in the details; it has a totally different mood.” The entire interior of the restaurant is being redesigned by Maletta-Bussel herself.

It’s that mindset that was the catalyst for the restaurant’s new name, which will be called Andrea’s Dining Room, and has already been amended on the Restaurant Village website.

One of the problems with Splash, she said, was that too many customers thought the restaurant was seafood only. The name change, she says, should make an immediate difference.

Much of Splash’s menu items will remain the same but additions are on the way. One major addition is a grill being installed to the kitchen, which will allow for more steaks, chops and grilled fish, Maletta-Bussel said.

One of the restaurant’s most popular items–brick-oven pizza–will still be available as well. And for the Splash faithful, a simple request of an old item no longer on the menu can likely be fulfilled by just asking for it. The same kitchen staff and head chef from Splash will be in charge of Andrea’s Dining Room as well.

Prior to Splash, the building on the corner of West Mill and Fairmount Roads was The Gulf Coast and The Chesapeake before that.

The newest iteration will be different if nothing else, Maletta-Bussel says.

“I can promise you, there’s nothing like it around here,” she said. “It’s like something you’d find in New York City.”

Grand opening is currently scheduled for March 12.

Liberty March 03, 2013 at 07:01 PM
They did have porch seating at one time--it was very nice on a summer's night.
Sue Underwood March 13, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Good luck with your new venture! My experience with one of the past renovations was that the decor consisted of all hard surfaces and no fabric to dull the sounds so the noise was magnified greatly and when dining with my family of four we had to shout across the square table to hear each other but we could hear the conversations of the other diners as well. It was so stressful and grating on our nerves that we never went back! so I hope you mix a variety of textures in your decorating. I love stone but have some soft materials too. Remember that before the food is even tasted if the ambiance is "painful" then the diners won't care what the food tastes like.
Suzanne Glassman March 14, 2013 at 09:33 PM
I know the owner and I'm sure the restaurant will be beautiful. She has fabulous taste! Can't wait to see the new decor! Good luck!!
Karen March 26, 2013 at 03:16 PM
I think gluten-free is a great idea. Also, salads with different healthy ingredients like apricots and such mixed in. No one will have what you will have. Saw someone with trout. I'm trying that next time. Looked great. Karen
Pamela Porter July 16, 2013 at 01:40 PM
I was taken her on a first date (eek!) last week and it was lovely. Beautiful furnishings, and the mushroom/asparagus risotto was delicious. Very nice, unobtrusive service. I'd definitely come back again.

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