Four Noted NJ Chefs to Cook at Beard House

Anthony Bucco, Ben Nerenhausen, Ehren Ryan and David Viana will prepare a “Jersey Road Trip.”


New Jersey was shut out last week when the list of finalists for a James Beard Award was announced. Why? Well, that’s a story for an opinion column.

But there’s a New Jersey-centric dinner starting at 7 pm,  on Monday, April 16 at the Beard House, located at 167 West 12th Street in New York, in which four top toques from the Garden State are cooking, along with two chefs from Pennsylvania.

Called “Jersey Road Trip,” the dinner spotlights Anthony Bucco, of the forthcoming Felina in Ridgewood; Ben Nerenhausen, of Mistral in Princeton; Ehren Ryan, of Common Lot in Millburn; David Viana, of Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge; and Eric and Mark Plescha, of Charcoal BBQ in Yardley, Pa.

All chefs lead farm-to-table restaurants, and the menu they have created reflects that.

The hors d’oeuvres: Fried Chicken Skins with Chicken Liver Mousse, Lemon, and Thyme; Warm Buttermilk Biscuits with Young Spruce, Cultured Butter, and American Sturgeon Caviar; Beets with Béarnaise, Horseradish, and Dill;

Crispy Tête de Cochon with Pickled Vegetables; Smoked and Beer-Battered Forty North Oysters with Housemade Bread-and-Butter Pickles.

The dinner: Salmon Tartare with Ponzu Gelée, Grapes, Sesame, Nori Cracker, and Micro-Herbs; Radiatore Pasta with Benton’s Bacon Bolognese, Arugula, and Yolk Sauce; Hudson Valley Rabbit with Beets, Horseradish, and Dill; Lamb with Sea Urchin Chowder, Peas, Fava Beans, and Lamb Prosciutto; Burning Ember–Toasted Umami Pie with Maple, Mushroom, and Brown Butter.

The dinner is $135 per person for members and $175 for nonmembers; this includes wines, tax and tip.

To reserve, call 212-627-2308. For more information, visit

In addition:

Aged Scotch Pairing Dinner: On Friday, April 13 starting at 7 pm, a four-course dinner featuring aged Scotches partnered with dishes created to showcase the brown liquors will take place at Piccola Italia, 837 West Park Avenue in Ocean Township. Cost: $69 per person, not including tax and tip. For details and to reserve, call 732-493-3090.


Easter Brunch: The first Sunday brunch at the new Drifthouse restaurant by David Burke, 1485 Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, will be served buffet-style from 11 am to 2 pm April 1. The cost is $45 for adults and $18 for children 10 and younger. The chef is Robert Burke, former chef of Ama. A la carte dinner service will begin at 4 pm on Easter Sunday. For reservations, call 732-530-9760 or visit


And speaking of Easter Sunday, here are some notable Easter-eats offerings on April 1:

Congress Hall, 200 Congress Place in Cape May, will host a brunch in the festive Grand Ballroom. Also on tap: Easter egg hunts and an Easter egg roll. Brunch: 9 am to 2 pm; $42 per person, $16 for children ages 4 to 12. Reservations: 609-884-6542.

Beach Plum Farm, 140 Steven Street in West Cape May, is offering a farm-to-table family brunch with reservations taken for 10 am, 11 am, noon and 1 pm. Chef Todd Phillips will be using ingredients right from Beach Plum Farm. Cost: $35 per adult, $15 per child ages ages 4 to 12). Reservations: 609-602-0128.

The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel, 25 Jackson Street in Cape May, will offer its regular menu on Easter Sunday with the additions of Easter special items. Reservations: 609-884-5700.

North End American Grill, 206 Olde New Jersey Avenue in North Wildwood, is serving Easter brunch from 10 am to 2 pm. Reservations: 609-435-5691.

Concord Café, 7800 Dune Drive in Avalon, will serve Easter dinner starting at noon,with Easter specials in addition to the regular menu. Reservations: 609-368-5505.

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