VINE, BASKING RIDGE
We were surprised to see so many people decked out in their best at Vine in Basking Ridge as it is a rarity to see men in suits and ties, even on a Saturday night, at a New Jersey restaurant. While the atmosphere and patrons were upscale, the food and menu were straightforward and a perfect place for those not looking for elaborate cuisine.
Service was exemplary. Some of the dishes we had were acceptable, but some were not. The zuppa di clams in a light tomato were fresh tasting, and a colorful baby-spinach salad with roasted pears and walnuts, Roquefort cheese and a Dijon vinaigrette were the best of four appetizers. An appetizer order of rigatoni with a vegetable/meat ragu in a pink sauce was sweet, an unexpected flavor. Maryland crab cake needed a crispier crust and a more assertive sauce than the accompanying red-pepper coulis. Duck breast was crispy with delightful accompaniments of roasted pear, bok choy and sweet potato hash. No complaints either about the short ribs with string beans, whipped potatoes and a Barolo wine reduction, an unpretentious dish, done well. However the bronzino filet was bland, overcooked and lacked any taste of a Moroccan glaze that was listed on the menu. Pistachio gelato was devoured; the apple-cranberry crisp and the cookies presented with the bill were not.
Vine is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner, Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, they are available for private parties. On Mondays, for a la carte dining, patrons can BYO without a corkage fee.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
95 Morristown Road (Route 202)
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