Restaurant Review

The Fox and Hound Tavern

People who like the Tewksbury Inn and the old Chatfields in Gladstone will love the Fox and Hound Tavern. My first visit is unfortunate, because we’re seated between the back door of the tavern and the men’s room, where we’re subject to constant foot traffic. We almost don’t return. What a difference a change of seating makes. A few weeks later we sit in the charming dining room, with its crimson walls, white wainscoting, hunting prints, and two roaring fireplaces. All is quiet and peaceful, and the service is much better than in the tavern.

The menu, which is the same throughout the restaurant, surprises me, for when I hear tavern I expect casual fare. The Fox and Hound does offer a burger, but it’s a grilled Black Angus burger, and the steaks are either a blue-cheese–crusted tenderloin or a skirt steak with spicy chimichurri sauce. The quality of Chef Jonas Gold’s dishes also surprises me—until I learn that he worked for top chef Michael Schlow, who owns Radius and several other restaurants in Boston, and for Stanley Novak at the Harvest Moon Inn in Ringoes.

Chef Gold’s versatility is evident in dishes as varied as Thai chili grilled shrimp with roasted plantain and green-onion jasmine rice, and blue cornmeal–crusted goat cheese–chili rellenos with a red and yellow pepper purée; the flavors in both dishes meld perfectly. Inside-Out Spicy Yellowfin Tuna Rolls served with wasabi-flavored flying-fish roe, seaweed salad, and a soy-ginger dipping sauce is also good. What a pity, then, that the expertly prepared Portobello mushroom tortellini in a delicious creamy garlic sauce are ice-cold inside, and that the ale-and-onion soup lacks flavor. Far better is a special of an individual acorn squash filled with chunks of crabmeat, breadcrumbs, and spices, baked and served in a small pool of beurre blanc and chopped hazelnuts.

The pan-roasted chicken with macaroni and mixed vegetables is recommended. Pan-seared and breaded monkfish medallions, served with spaghetti squash and shiitake mushrooms, are excellent. Pan-roasted cod presented in a broth over a bed of spinach topped with a garlicky parsley mixture and surrounded by clams is also good. But the beef tenderloin is covered with too much blue cheese, which totally overpowers the meat. The Mongolian spiced rack of lamb, too, is overwhelmed by seasonings and its tamarind glaze is thick and gluey.

As for desserts, the crème brûlée, Chocolate Decadence Tart, and cheesecake are all good. But opt for the apple strudel, with whisper-thin layers of pastry, apples, sugar, and walnuts, which tastes just like one a Czechoslovakian friend of mine used to bake.


Reviewed in: February, 2006

Restaurant Details

  • Cuisine Type:
    American - Fusion/Eclectic
  • Price Range:
  • Ambience:
    Old tavern, elegant dining room
  • Service:
  • Wine list:
  • The Fox and Hound Tavern
    69 Main Street
    Lebanon, NJ 08833
  • Hours:
    Lunch: Mon-Fri, 11:30 am-5 pm; Sat, noon-4 pm
    Dinner: Mon-Thurs, 5-10 pm; Fri-Sat, 5-10:30 pm; Sun, 4-9 pm
Required not shown
Required not shown