A new spring menu which retains some favorite dishes as well as decorative enhancements in the restaurant, have increased the appeal at Escape, where executive chef/owner Bryan Gregg is celebrating his third anniversary serving innovative farm-to-table food. We were recently invited for brunch and there is no escaping the fact that the new environs and exemplary meal had us smiling.
CHEF BRYAN GREGG INSTALLS CHANGES AT ESCAPE IN MONTCLAIR
The new décor establishes the farm-to-table atmosphere with the tables artfully set with brown burlap cloth topped with butcher’s paper, blue place mats, dishcloth napkins and Mason jars used for water glasses. Blue drapes that hang from the ceiling separate the room into more intimate spaces. Tin watering cans hold a sunflower and greens and the farms, where the locally sourced ingredients are procured, are listed on the menu. Truly a farm-to-table experience.
We started with a side of warm, sweet cornmeal madeleines and light biscuits, which were presented in a cast iron skillet with butter and crunchy pickles. A cold bowl was filled to the brim with Bibb lettuce boosted with chunks of blue cheese and thinly sliced apples dressed with a light mustard dressing. Green swirls of basil oil, finely chopped chives and a raft of bread topped with a dill sprig added color to a striking, piping-hot parsnip soup beautifully presented in a tear-shaped white bowl. Spinach and mushrooms filled an omelet accompanied by addictive fried potato cubes with onions. Two fried eggs with rich looking, deep-orange egg yolks sprinkled with finely chopped chives and a sprig of dill, sat atop cheddar grits. This was a well-executed dish with the edge of the egg white having a crispy edge; just the way I love my eggs.
The two-course, $19 brunch menu is available on Saturday from 11 AM to 4 PM and on Sunday from 11:30 AM to 4 PM. Children under 12, $10.
Other changes at Escape can be found here.
345 Bloomfield Avenue
EXECUTIVE CHEF DAVID DRAKE
Chef David Drake—who we have been following since his days as opening chef at the Frog & The Peach in New Brunswick and who was previously the executive chef of Alice’s in Lake Hopatcong—is the new executive chef at Light Horse Tavern and the soon to be opened Green Hook, both in Jersey City. Drake has also worked at Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains, Restaurant David Drake and was executive chef at the Daryl Wine Bar in New Brunswick, New Jersey until 2009.
EXECUTIVE CHEF DAN PALSI
Dan Palsi is the Executive Chef of Waypoint 622, 622 Green Avenue, Brielle (732-528-6665). Chef Palsi was previously the executive chef at Manasquan River Golf Club for almost 20 years.
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