BOUTIQUE ESPRESSO BISTRO The ground connection opens at Harborside Financial in Jersey City


Brings Java to New Heights

Tip: Check out the high-tech coffee machine

By Sally Deering

Scott Gillman, owner of Ground Connection

Just a few weeks open and already at Ground Connection at Harborside Plaza 10 in Jersey City there are people walking through the doors of cafes, cafes, Danes, cupcakes, sandwiches and salads. Owner Scott Gillman, who has been in the restaurant business for several decades and owns the Markers restaurant, also located in Harborside Financial, sees his new coffee shop as a place where people can get a cup of freshly baked coffee. make a la carte espresso and friendly service. from the moment they enter to the moment they leave.

“Our espresso coffee is Toby’s Estate coffee in Brooklyn, one of the largest coffee roasters in the country,” says Gillman, amid a group of customers queuing up at the counter to get their daily javas. “Each cup gets steamed milk and each espresso is made at a different temperature depending on its size.”

Ground connection Ground Connection is considered a modern cafe offering special coffees in small batches, leafy tea and herbal teas, cold brewed coffees and tap teas. Sandwiches, sides, soups, pizzas and baked goods are prepared daily.

“Part of the reason we call it Ground Connection is the connection we want to establish between our employees and our guests,” Gillman says.

Customer service is extremely important to Gilman, who provides his staff with extensive training on the aspects and benefits of running a good restaurant, meaning the customer is the most important person on the site.

“I try to teach staff to obsessively focus on the guest from the entrance to the exit and surprise them in the middle,” Gillman says.

The menu offers coffees, eggs served in many ways, oatmeal, French toast, grilled burgers, special sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and salads.

Fried eggs with bacon, fontina, avocado and green sauce are served all day; other egg sandwiches include smoked salmon, NJ Classic (two fried eggs with American cheese and Taylor ham); Sausages, eggs and cheeses and egg and avocado with cheese. (Between $ 5 and $ 6.50)

For sandwich options, there is the Cheeseburger Café, which is served with “crushed” and cooked Angus certified beef, American cheese and tomato; the Bacon; and Mushroom & Onion burgers; the grilled chicken avocado club and the Falafel burger. (Between $ 7 and $ 8.25)

Special sandwiches include roasted turkey, Cuban pulled pork, Spanish pepper chicken, mozzarella, spinach and tomato and pretzel crusted zucchini. (Between $ 8 and $ 9.50)

Salads include Italian minced with grilled chicken; Cobb salad with grilled chicken, chicken Caesar with kale and the Falafel Bowl (crispy falafel balls, hummus, Israeli salad, red cabbage salad, chopped iceberg, avocado, pickles, Tzatziki and spicy sauce). ($ 8.50 – $ 9.75)

Grounding also has sides, like crispy skin on french fries; Side salads and soups. (Between $ 3 and $ 5.25).

The star of the program is coffee served in 12, 16 and 20 oz. cups. There’s Drip Coffee made with Toby’s Estate Brooklyn Blend; Café au Lait, Café Mocha and Americano. There is Espresso Shot coffee and brewed teas, Chai Tea Latte, Green Tea Latte and Hot Chocolate. (Prices range from $ 2.25 for a 12-oz drip coffee to $ 5 for a coffee with green tea milk.) Espresso is served with fresh steamed milk of 3, 6, 8, and 12 oz. cups with a selection of added syrups such as Madagascar vanilla, Belgian chocolate, milk candy and hazelnuts, all made at home. Between $ 3 and $ 4; syrups of 50 cents each.

Alex Mastrando is the director of the Ground Connection coffee program; serves a small latte on request to a customer (usually served in the larger cup). He makes the milk steam, feeling the temperature of the jug of milk as he makes it; and then touch the jug at the bottom a couple of times.

“It’s to get the air bubbles out,” Mastrando says, making a heart design in the cafe.

Cafes and cafes are considered “Third Wave,” meaning they are specialty cafes, “relationship” cafes, says Gillman, where boutique cafe owners like him establish relationships with their vendors, in this case Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn.

Gillman is a very busy restaurateur and oversees his Markers restaurant in Harborside Plaza, and there is also another ground connection in Hackensack. He says the reason he opened Ground Connection in Jersey City is to bring good coffee to the community; and give them an alternative to other boutique cafes.

“I want people to come and experience Ground Connection and make their own decision,” Gillman says. “We serve a big cup of coffee and food that is made from scratch. It’s fast, casual. We try to do things very well. We even use fresh farm milk from our oats ”.

All coffee is a balance, says Gillman. “We may charge a little more, but we put more into it.”

If you go there

Ground connection

Harborside Plaza 10

3 Second St, JC

(201) 515-6240