EDGEWATER, N.J. — Archetypus in Edgewater is working to maintain its zen, cave-like atmosphere on Old River Road while being a nightspot for locals.
The Mediterranean and Latin-influenced menu features fresh-squeezed fruit juices, infused teas, exotic coffees, large-portion platters decadent desserts, and softball-sized Nasto's-brand ice cream sundaes with toppings and sauces.
Guests are welcome to sit in one of three candle-lit rooms and listen to instrumental and international music in cozily-nested caves for private or romantic dining experiences. It is a walk away from the Hudson River and a local park.
“We are often being asked, 'what is the theme? What is it supposed to mean?'” said Azori "Po" Ovu, who manages the venue.
"The real purpose of it is to be organic and to be undefined."
"They won't let you call ahead but me and my girlfriend waited waited like an hour because we wanted to come back after a friend's birthday," said Joe Valle.
"It's just romantic. We shared a slice of cake. The caves feel like wombs," he said.
The restaurant asks patrons to be mindful of noise, cell phones, and disturbances, and they reward good behavior with free desserts on occasion.
“I’ve been coming here on and off for a few years now,” said customer Jay Fitzpatrick. “I like that they are open late, and they have really good blackberry ice cream."
The space was originally known as Enigma 37 years ago, but revamped In the early 1990s.
Archetypus later added on an additional room in the back, and it has a patio that incorporates the Palisades as a backdrop for its summer decor.
“I hope to write myself out of the equation one day," Po said.
"I think I could write a manual that other places could follow - that anyone can follow - on how to act, and how to treat each other - to let it come from a place of love."
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