By Rose SgarlatoSPARTA — Just in time for celebrating the holiday season, Sparta has a new dining option, Stonewood Tavern.The stylish bar and restaurant touting New American cuisine opened last month at 191 Woodport Road. It marked perhaps the sixth reincarnation of this space. Most recently it housed Il Forno, prior to that Doc’s and many more before. The space has now experienced a total overhaul.Owner Helen Matthews is used to turning a place around. This is not, as they say, her first rodeo. She partners with her husband, who chooses to stay under the radar. Both grew up in the restaurant business and have owned several places together, including the first Stonewood Tavern in Byram that opened three years ago.“It’s a lot of hard work in the beginning. You have to create a customer base,” said Matthews. “The restaurant business is in our blood, it’s just what we know.”The success of the Byram location motivated the couple to expand their horizons to nearby Sparta.“We love this area and were looking for something with a banquet space," she said. "And many of our customers in Byram are from Sparta, so this made sense.”The family friendly environment “has a little bit of everything with Greek influences,” Matthews said. “We offer seafood, steak –something for everyone. In this location, we decided to add a sushi bar.”Best sellers include: Grilled Octopus, Lamb Osso Bucco, Skirt Steak, Salmon Spanakorizo and Branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass). Off-premise catering is available and a Happy Hour menu is featured Monday Through Friday, 3 to 7 pm and all day on Sunday. Matthews puts a personal touch and decorated all the interiors in the locations including a gorgeous new private party space in Sparta that can fit up to 100 people.“We can do anything in this space: Sweet 16, holiday parties, private office meetings. We have many private events booked already,” she said.The opening is going well, she added, and customers have been very receptive:“We believe in good quality food and great service. Our goal is for people to walk out happy.”Stonewood Tavern is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Stonewood Tavern Sparta: 191 Woodport Rd Tel 973-726-0100 <URL destination="http://www.stonewoodtavernnj.com ">www.stonewoodtavernnj.com</URL>Stonewood Tavern Byram: 239 Route 206 Tel. 973-347-7300.