Timing might not be Francesco Palmieri’s strong suit. He opened his first restaurant, The Orange Squirrel, in his hometown of Bloomfield, N.J., in November 2008, when the economy was in shambles. Positive reviews and loyal customers kept him going, though, and the restaurant has sustained itself with signature items such as whole roasted bronzini and lobster Cobb salad. Before opening The Orange Squirrel — a name Palmieri won’t explain because he likes to keep his ...

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