Stonewood Tavern offers creative American cuisine with a strong Mediterranean influence, particularly when it comes to classic Greek dishes.
Appetizers like shrimp Santorini and succulent are both robust with the flavors of feta cheese, garlic, olives and rich tangy yogurt.
The tender fried calamari allows for multi-cultural options with the choice of marinara sauce or a sweet and spicy glaze of teriyaki ginger with scallion and tomato.
With all the global menu influences coming out of the open kitchen, the barn-meets-industrial chic décor is unexpected, but warm and charming with slate floors, rustic beams and walls lined with wood slats stamped from a wide variety of vineyard logos and rough-hewn stone.
Entrees include a full rack of barbecued ribs that were falling off the bones, much like the bowl of lamb shank osso bucco served in an ample pool of orzo pasta with a smoky red wine tomato sauce. Another great pasta choice was the il piatto mix of shrimp, chicken, sausage, broccoli rabe and tomato with white wine and garlic.
The gyro platter was the only dish that seemed a little off with heaping slices of meat that had an unappealing grey color, despite being flavorful, and not enough pita and greens to balance the plate.
Although the vaulted open space can get crowded, there are cozy booths, a sizable bar and a more intimate lounge area with high-top tables for smaller groups or singles just looking to belly up for a pizza, a burger or a satisfying sandwich, like grilled cheese with caramelized onions and slow-roasted short ribs on grilled country white bread.
The service was as good as the food at Stonewood with a wait staff that was friendly, attentive and well versed in the menu. This, combined with truly delicious food, can mean a wait for a table on weekends, but the good news is that a sister location is poised to open in nearby Sparta this fall.
Stonewood Tavern, 239 Route 206, Andover, 973-347-7300, stonewoodtavernnj.com. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
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