“There’s an app for that” our waitress Sarah told us as I was taking a picture of the wine label at the newly opened White Maple Café in Ridgewood. “It’s ‘Vivino’ and when you take a picture of the wine label the rating, review, and average price are displayed.” This friendliness and attentiveness throughout our dinner, as well as the splendid food has put White Maple Café, on our must-go-back list. The staff at White Maple Café also gets bonus points for bringing water out to the dogs sitting at the outside tables with their owners. Give this casual storefront restaurant, with reasonable prices, a try. We loved it.
A bowl of warm popcorn was placed on the table when we were seated. Bread was not served.
Four small white bowls sitting on a wooden cheese board held a flight of pickled carrots, red and yellow beets and cucumber chips. We nibbled on these tasty treats while we looked over the menu. Only the cucumber was not spicy. Vegetarian items, and there were many, were marked with a carrot logo.
We ordered the Farmer’s Fixe vegetarian option that gave us bang for our buck. It was three courses for $28 and portions were large enough for us to share the appetizer and dessert along with ordering one entrée for Lowell. We were stuffed when we were finished with our meal.
Various textures were found in the harvest salad containing greens, various beans (I counted four), quinoa, squash, onions, scallions, toasted pepitas and a maple-chili vinaigrette. Sautéed summer vegetables surrounded a special of perfectly cooked and fresh-tasting pan-seared monkfish topped with chive oil. The kitchen graciously substituted quiona for a lemon risotto. Outrageously delicious kale pesto fettuccini (from the Farmers Fixe menu) contained zucchini, warm grape tomatoes, walnuts and goat cheese. We experienced a burst of flavors with each bite. Note to chef: I would love to have the recipe.
Along with soups and salad other menu items include bison-and-beef burger, roasted chicken, Arctic char, mussels, and grilled hanger steak.
Dessert was a light and not overly sweet White Maple cranberry cake topped with whipped cream on a plate decorated with tart cranberry sauce; a perfect ending to our dinner. Other options were cookies and milk; chocolate pudding; apple crisp with maple gelato; affogato, gelato and sorbet.
The décor at White Maple Café is charming with a living wall of plants, white-maple wooden beams and exposed brick, which all add to the homeyness. The clothless tables (some wood, ours was marble) were decorated with a small succulent plant and a small dish of salt. There is also one long communal table. The restaurant is BYO but does sell bottled wine available from Ventimiglia Vineyard (Wantage). Mocktails, house-made sodas and milkshakes are also available.
Chef is Brian McGackin was previously at Grange, Westwood and Terre a Terre, Carlstadt. Owner is Ryan Brining, who attended the Institute of Culinary Education, helped relaunch the Rainbow Room and has worked at Daniel. He left investment banking to follow his dream and we are so happy he did.
White Maple Cafe is open seven days a week for dinner and weekdays for lunch, and will be opening for weekend brunch shortly.
And just a FYI—the Vivino app listed our Forth 2012 All Boys Cabernet Sauvignon wine as being a worthy selection.
White Maple Cafe
47 East Ridgewood Avenue
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Kale pesto fettuccini
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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