Restaurant News

This week Rosie tells us about the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, a Dewar’s single malt scotch tasting/beefsteak dinner at the Park Steakhouse in Park Ridge, a Chocolate Fantasy buffet at the Washington Inn in Cape May, and much more news about NJ restaurants.

THE BERNARDS INN, BERNARDSVILLE

We were recently invited to a dinner for members of the press at the Bernards Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville, to introduce executive chef Corey Heyer’s new winter menu. The inn, which celebrated its 100 anniversary in 2007, is known for its elegant accommodations, fine dining, and exceptional service and has won numerous awards, including the AAA Four Diamond Award, the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence, and the DiRoNA Award of Excellence.

Some of the items presented (all are available on the winter menu) are: gratin of jumbo lump crab with ruby red grapefruit, mâche, hearts of palm, radish, vanilla sabayon, and rye crisp; russet potato gnocchi with frog legs, parsley emulsion, caper berries, Parmesan, and Meyer lemon confit; kataifi-wrapped shrimp with chorizo, grapes, Marcona almond, toasted bread purée, and garlic chips; coriander- and sesame-crusted grouper with salsify, roasted pears, pearl onions, root vegetable pearls, Thai basil, and star anise broth; and crispy slow-cooked suckling pig with Macintosh apple purée, bacon-wrapped peanut-butter-stuffed dates, and black cardamom jus.

Wine director Terri Baldwin, who currently lists 1,500 selections and stores approximately 12,500 bottles in inventory, matched the dinner with 2007 Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) and 2006 Tamarack “Firehouse Red” (Columbia Valley, Washington).

For a very special experience, an overnight Winter Romance package is offered every Friday and Sunday night through March 15. It includes a bottle of champagne nestled in ice along with truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival in your room, a six-course tasting dinner for two paired with wines, and a full breakfast in the Conservatory the next morning. The package is $475 including gratuities; taxes are additional. Availability is limited. For dinner reservations and more information on the Winter Romance package call 908-766-0002.

Coriander- and sesame-crusted grouper with salsify, roasted pears, pearl onions, root vegetable pearls, Thai basil, and star anise broth.

Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein.

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SINGLE MALT SCOTCH AND STEAK DINNER

If you like scotch with your steak, then mark February 26 on your calendar for a Dewar’s single malt scotch tasting and beefsteak dinner at the Park Steakhouse, 151 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge. The following menu will be presented, with each course paired with a different scotch.

Set on each table: celery, scallions, and red radishes with black olive and sun-dried tomato cream cheese dips; wedge of Vermont cheddar; assorted croutons; crostini and extra virgin olive oil

First course (served family style): pumpkin gnocchi with cremini mushroom, black truffle, duck confit, and sage; cavatelli with plum tomatoes, black tiger shrimp, and buffalo mozzarella; porcini mushroom fettuccine veal Bolognese style

Second course: chopped steakhouse salad and hearts of romaine Caesar salad

Third course: certified aged sirloin of beef; roasted honey-glazed Berkshire pork loin; lumpy mashed potatoes; spinach; haricots verts; wild mushroom sauté; and three sauces per table

Dessert: warm steamed bittersweet chocolate pudding

7 PM; $100 including tax and tip. For reservations call 201-930-1300.

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CHOCOLATE FANTASY BUFFET

On February 21, treat yourself to light and dark chocolate desserts prepared by house pastry chef Kathleen Cressman-Pastiu at a Chocolate Fantasy buffet that will be held at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington Street, Cape May. 2 PM; $35. For more information call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278.

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WHISKEY CLASSIC

On March 5, more than 100 whiskies will be featured at a Whiskey Classic at the Madison Hotel, 1 Convent Road, Morristown. 6:30 to 10 PM; $60. For tickets call 908-578-2726.

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EZEKIEL’S TABLE COOKING SCHOOL

Take a four-week class, Cooking Series 102, on Tuesday mornings or Thursday nights, and show your new skills at a party on the fifth week, at Ezekiel’s Table, 974 Mercer Road, Princeton. Chef/owner Marcia Willsie, a graduate of the Seattle Culinary Academy, will teach poultry, seafood, red meats, and desserts. At the end of the series, a Mystery Box Party will be held; attendees will be presented with a selection of items to create a meal around and will then dine together. Tuesday classes are at 10 AM on March 3, March 17, April 7, and April 21. Thursday classes are at 6 PM on March 12, March 26, April 16, and April 23. The Mystery Box Party will be on Saturday, May 2, at 6 PM. $240. To register and find more information on these and other classes log on to www.ezekielstable.com or call 609-240-7712.

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UPCOMING SLOW FOOD NORTHERN NJ EVENTS

On February 27, an Italian Sweet & Sparkling Wine class with cheeses from Valley Shepherd Creamery will be held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 53 East Hanover Avenue, Morristown. 7 to 9 PM; $40.

On March 30, an Italian Super Whites class with cheeses will be held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, 53 East Hanover Avenue, Morristown. 7 to 9 PM; $40.

To purchase tickets to either of these events log on to www.slowfoodnnj.org.

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DEMO AND DINNER WITH CHEF JESSE JONES

Celebrate Black History Month on February 22 with Chef Jesse Jones at Harrar Cafe, 11 Village Plaza, South Orange. A cooking demo and tasting will include spicy shrimp with down-home spoon bread, and fried chicken. 2 to 4 PM; $25. Call 973-580-2203 for more information and reservations. This is a prepaid event.

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DINING DEALS

Sundays through Thursdays, Blackbird Dining Establishment, 619 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, offers a three-course prix-fixe menu for $30. Choices change frequently, so call to ask about menu items. For reservations call 856-854-3444.

Boulevard Five 72, 572 Boulevard, Kenilworth, offers a three-course executive lunch with choices and a menu that changes weekly for $20.09. For reservations call 908-709-1200.

Half-price bottles of wine (dine-in only) are offered on Sundays at Caffe Aldo Lamberti, 2011 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill. Call 856-663-1747 for more information and reservations.

The Flying Fig, 538 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, has the following happy hour specials every Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 PM: $1 off sliders, $1 off the signature Flying Fig drink, and $1 off sangrias by the glass. For dinner reservations call 908-508-1400.

Wednesdays and Thursdays just got better at Liberty House Restaurant, 78 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City (201-395-0300), and Stone House at Stirling Ridge, 50 Stirling Avenue, Warren (908-754-1222), as they are now offering Wine Tasting Wednesday, with a sampling of five wines and complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 5 to 7 PM for $20, and Cocktail Tasting Thursday, with a sampling of five cocktails and complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 5 to 7 PM for $20.

Rare the Steakhouse, 440 Main Street, Little Falls (973-256-6699), has a new lunch menu with all items under $10. Entrées include one soft drink or draft beer.

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

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