Chef James Laird of Restaurant Serenade

The Safersteins were invited to a press dinner, and experienced exceptional dishes from a menu that features seasonal and regional ingredients.

Kudos to CIA graduates chef James Laird and wife Nancy Laird, owners of Restaurant Serenade who are celebrating their 20th anniversary in business. Twenty years ago, we thought that the cuisine at Restaurant Serenade was sensational. Today, we continue to be wowed. While the dining room, offering impressive cuisine, is an excellent arena to explore the frequently changing tasting and a la carte menus, the comfy bar area is also a worthwhile venue to discover.

The Safersteins were invited to a press dinner and experienced exceptional dishes from a menu that features seasonal and regional ingredients, (some of which come from the Laird’s, quarter-acre garden) and has something for everyone, be it a plate of cheeses, soups, salads or entrees. Service in the bar was all that one would expect from a fine-dining restaurant. Wine (we ordered by the glass) was poured from the bottle for tasting and approval; water glasses refilled; silverware replaced; and the table wiped between courses.

Some enticing we-must-try-these menu items included creamy avocado fries with sesame seeds and tomato gazpacho; an outrageously flavorful cauliflower steak with tomato, capers, cucumber and citrus emulsion; and crispy French fries that accompanied some of the dishes. The Nancy Salad contained chilled romaine, endive, arugula and tomatoes in a refreshing sherry vinaigrette. Buttery scallops were enhanced with a ginger vinaigrette and accompanied by coconut sticky rice and avocado—a beautifully balanced and satisfying dish. One dish we can’t stop thinking about is the two, tender-roasted rack of lamb chops served medium rare paired with spinach strudel, artichokes barigoule and topped with crispy onion rings. Steak frites were full of flavor, tender and plated with haricot verts, chopped salad and those addictive French fries.

Dessert also impressed. Apricot sauce was the base for a stone-fruit pie containing peaches, apricots and plums in a sweet crust. It was topped with salted caramel ice cream; delicious. Gluten-free carrot cake with walnuts, a cream-cheese frosting and side of caramel ice cream also did not disappoint.

Open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner daily. Yes, you may think of Restaurant Serenade as a special occasion restaurant, but a fine-dining experience can also be had at the bar (no reservations), where reasonable prices prevail.

Psst! Watch for information about a Beard House dinner in early 2017, as well as a series of customer appreciation dinners. Happy Anniversary, Restaurant Serenade.

Restaurant Serenade
6 Roosevelt Avenue

Cauliflower steak with tomato, capers, cucumber and citrus emulsion.

Lamb chops.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to [email protected].

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