Thank you Inside Jersey for featuring us in the 30 Best Meals Edition!

Common Lot Restaurant Featured Inside Jersey: 30 Best Meals

Thank you Inside Jersey for featuring us in the 30 Best Meals Edition!

Here is a look at the cover: http://sections.nj.com/SS/Page.aspx?secid=160785&pagenum=25&sstarg=&facing=false&

Here is a look at the feature: ttp://sections.nj.com/SS/Page.aspx?sstarg=&facing=false&secid=160785&pagenum=29

Millburn-Short Hills Magazine: Common For The Home Cook

Millburn-Short Hills Magazine: Common Lot Recipes For The Home Cook

We are so thankful and honored to have our own Chef/Owner Ehren Ryan’s recipes featured in Millburn-Short Hills Magazine on pages 40-41.

You can find the feature here:  https://www.joomag.com/magazine/millburn-short-hills-magazine/M0237124001449177600

millburn nj restaurant common lot kitchen pass

Common Lot Restaurant Review In EDGE by Andy Clurfeld

True voices in restaurants are in short supply. That is sad. Many diners don’t even know, let alone understand, what a voice in food is. They should come to Common Lot, to learn.

Cook fingerling potatoes, for example, in lamb fat, and that diner will be educated. Duck fat is the fat du jour, has been for more than a decade now in progressive restaurants. But lamb is inherently gamey, and potatoes, a crop that does best in cold weather climes, gain a brave new soul when cooked in something heartier, meatier than the fat of duck. We learn, then, through the Ryans’ rendition of this cunning “small-to-share” starter plate, that meat-and-potatoes, the Germanic-influenced mid-20th-century essential supper of suburban America, how the most basic of the basics can evolve. There is a bit more on the plate to emphasize the evolution: a wash of creamy, rich burrata, of piquant onions, and a little shrapnel—mere shots—of bacon marmalade to set the dish squarely in the 21st century… READ MORE

Common Lot Made the NJ Monthly Top 25 Best Restaurants for 2016

Common Lot Made the NJ Monthly Top 25 Best Restaurants for 2016

We are so honored and thrilled to be included in the NJ Monthly Top 25 Best Restaurants for 2016!
Thank you so much NJ Monthly! This is a huge achievement and we are so proud of the entire Common Lot team.

And we were delighted to host Janice Huff for the photo shoot at Common Lot! It was great to meet you Janice !

Common Lot NY Times Review

NY Times Review | Common Lot Is a Newcomer With a Global Touch

Two visits to Common Lot, a new restaurant in Millburn, convinced me that Ehren Ryan, an owner and the executive chef, is among the most talented cooks in the state. By May, only eight weeks after it had opened, Common Lot was booked for every seating on Friday and Saturday nights through July, and the restaurant does not take reservations more than 60 days in advance.

Mr. Ryan, 31, and his wife, Nadine Ryan, 27, the other owner and the manager, took three years to realize their vision. “We threw everything that we had into it — savings, inheritance and all that we had earned in 14 years of working,” said Mr. Ryan, who was born in Australia and worked his way up from dishwasher at age 15 to chef positions at Dinner by Heston and Sketch, London restaurants that have each received two Michelin stars. Ms. Ryan, a graduate of hotel management school in Austria, earned a certificate as a cheese sommelier in Europe and is devoted to tea. Note the spectacular Cynthia Rowley cups in which some of her teas may appear… Check out the full story here: NY Times Common Lot Review

Chef Ehren Ryan and staff

Millburn’s Common Lot Gets Raves from NY Times, NJ Monthly

Originally Posted In The Village Green

Millburn’s new contemporary restaurant, Common Lot, has received glowing reviews recently from The New York Times and New Jersey Monthly. The Times’ food critic Fran Schumer praised every aspect of the restaurant in a July 15 review, saying its appeal was “irresistible” and giving Common Lot the paper’s highest rating, “Excellent.”

NJ Monthly’s food writer Eric Levin wrote in the July issue that the globally inspired food was a “marriage of old and new [that] works.”

Both reviewers spoke highly of their experiences meeting owners Ehren and Nadine Ryan and learning how they landed in Millburn.  The Australian and Austrian natives moved to New Jersey to stay close to family and pursue their dream of opening up a restaurant of their own… READ MORE

Ehren and Nadine Ryan (he from Australia, she from Austria) bring uncommonly good food to Millburn. Why : Family. By Eric Levin EDITED BY ERIC LEVIN Pc2280200 FOOD New American AMBIENCE Casual, comfy, quietly hip SERVICE Informed, responsive and enthused DRINKS BYO PRICES Small plates, $5-$18; big plates, $22-$32; mains for two $75-$80; desserts, $10 OPEN Lunch, Wednesday-Saturday; dinner, Tuesday-Saturday 27 Main Street 973-467-0494 commonlot.com Pc2280100 Servers appeared to be shaking cocktails tableside as we entered Common Lot in Millburn for our first visit. I admired their technique: arms high, hands a blur. But what they were shaking turned out to be… brown paper bags. And, Common Lot being a BYO, what each server poured out was a glistening mound of potato chips. This $5 Bag of Egg and Crisps—the first item in the Smalls to Share column—comes with a bit of theater, which is one reason many tables order it. The server brings over a plastic-lined paper bag and a white bowl containing a slow-cooked, soft egg. The jiggly white blob is ceremoniously dumped into the bag, which holds a heap of crispy, house-made potato chips. “Don’t try this at home,” quipped our server, sealing the bag and hitting max-shake mode. The chips tumbled out, lightly yolk sheened and flecked with white. On another visit, slightly fewer chips in the bag made for a richer, more sybaritic glazing. Both times, we got more than $5 worth of fun and flavor. This funky starter contains a clue. Crisps, of course, is what Brits call potato chips. Common Lot’s chef, Ehren Ryan, a native Aussie, earned his spurs cooking at Michelin-starred restaurants in London. He and his wife, Nadine, an Austrian, met in 2010, when they worked at the luxury Atlantic Hotel on the British isle of Jersey in the English Channel. The starter is a conversation starter, too, intended to kick off the convivial sampling for which Common Lot’s menu is designed. Conviviality is built into the restaurant’s design as well, with natural materials, wide aisles, larger-than-usual tabletops, a bit more elbow room between them, a common table, plus an open kitchen with four plush armchairs along the counter. The name of the 4-month-old restaurant, the Ryans’ first, is a Brit-speak mashup, combining the idea of “common” (public) “lots” (areas) with the slang of “you lot,” the equivalent of “you guys.” Pc2280300 NEW ARRIVALS Opposite page, co-owners Ehren and Nadine Ryan in front of the communal table. Center, beef tartare with grilled, house-made sourdough bread. The Ryans, who wed in 2014, draw inspiration from all the places they’ve worked or visited, from their native lands to Canada, Japan, France, Portugal, Spain, Thailand and Indonesia. “We are not fusion,” Ehren says. “We use flavors that people are getting to know and like. We strive to do interesting and fun things and cook what Nadine and I like to eat.” That last part—its frankness and simplicity—is almost a badge of honor for their peripatetic generation of cooks and restaurateurs. Fortunately, Ehren, 31, and Nadine, 27, have adventurous palates. Ehren’s best dishes are intensely flavorful, complex and detailed. Yet their balance and focus make them seem less exotic, more like stuff you’d gladly eat every day. Pc2280400 This page, the counter, with four plush armchairs facing the open kitchen, where light pours in from wrap-around windows. One such treat, for which you can thank Nadine, is Ehren’s particularly toothsome beef tartare. (“Nadine loves beef tartare,” he says. “She’s always nagging me to put one on.”) He hand-chops filet mignon from DeBragga, spikes it with pickled shallots, garlic oil and gratifying dollops of caramelized black-garlic aioli, and adds sesame seeds for textural contrast. Pc2280700 A deeper downshift from exotic to everyday was created by sous chef Nick Greiss, 28, a Nutley native and CIA grad, whose Buffalo sweetbreads are to Buffalo wings as pianos are to piccolos, even though both use Frank’s Hot Sauce. Greiss’s tender, spicy, crunchy sweetbreads come with avocado mousse (a riff on ranch dressing) and are showered with crispy leeks. Common Lot’s poached chicken roulade reverses the trick, making the everyday exotic. My eyes rolled when our waiter promised it would be “like the best chicken salad you ever tasted.” He was wrong. The discs of creamy, flavorful meat served with salsa verde, lemon pepper and crackly bits of chicken skin, were even better than the best chicken salad I’ve ever tasted. These dishes and others (like roasted heirloom carrots with yogurt and pumpkin seeds, and charred broccolini with chili and charred lemon) turn the Smalls to Share column of the menu into a hit parade. The next column, called Bigs, delivers flavor and satisfaction worthy of its name. Earthy morels and chanterelles keep ethereal butter-poached halibut from drifting away like an untethered balloon. But if I had just one Common Lot dish to eat every day, it would be the intensely luscious duck leg ragù with gnocchi and shiitakes. The ragù slow-simmers onions, garlic and crushed tomatoes, per tradition. But, says Ehren with a chuckle, “if an Italian saw the recipe, they’d freak, because we reduce two or three cans of Guinness for the ragù instead of wine.” This kind of globalization is a good thing. Pc2280500 Below, simmering, charring, broccolini on the grill. Bottom, a waiter plops a soft-cooked egg from a small bowl into a plastic-lined bag of house-made potato crisps. Pc2280600 He’ll shake it up, comes eggycrunchy crisps, fun for all, even the waiter. Speaking of global, you might be wondering how this well-traveled couple wound up in New Jersey, specifically Millburn. The short answer is that in 2006 Ehren’s parents moved from Sydney to Harding Township when his father, a partner in an international law firm, took a position in the firm’s New York office. Harding is about 12 miles west of Millburn, and Ehren’s parents have many friends in the area. Ehren and Nadine, wanting their own restaurant, had priced the project in Australia, Austria and New York. But the only place that seemed affordable—and near family—was suburban Essex. “My parents have friends in Millburn, and we walked around with them,” Ehren says. “They said they desperately need a restaurant there; they’re tired of going to New York for food.” Pc2300000 NO CUTTING CORNERS Inside the renovated building are delights like chicken roulade and, bottom, braised lamb shoulder with rice, cashews, lettuce and soy caramel. Pc2300200 Pc2300300 Friends of Ehren’s parents own what was a decrepit old building at Main and Essex Streets. “They were going to demolish it and put in apartments. We put our concept forward. It was very businesslike.” The owners renovated the exterior, while Ehren and Nadine sank everything they had into redoing the interior. Guess which Common Lot dessert is a nod to Aussie and British tastes. Not the lemon semi-freddo, not the chocolate mousse. It’s the rice pudding. “It’s my mom’s favorite dessert, and a childhood memory for me,” Ehren says. He serves it warm, which is traditional, but with pistachio gelato, which is not. As with so much of Common Lot’s menu, the marriage of old and new works.

New Jersey Monthly Full Feature Article On Common Lot

Ehren and Nadine Ryan (he from Australia, she from Austria) bring uncommonly good food to Millburn. Why : Family.

Pc2280200

FOOD New American

AMBIENCE Casual, comfy, quietly hip

SERVICE Informed, responsive and enthused

DRINKS BYO

PRICES Small plates, $5-$18; big plates, $22-$32; mains for two $75-$80; desserts, $10

OPEN Lunch, Wednesday-Saturday; dinner, Tuesday-Saturday

27 Main Street 973-467-0494 commonlot.com

Pc2280100

Servers appeared to be shaking cocktails tableside as we entered Common Lot in Millburn for our first visit. I admired their technique: arms high, hands a blur. But what they were shaking turned out to be… brown paper bags. And, Common Lot being a BYO, what each server poured out was a glistening mound of potato chips.

This $5 Bag of Egg and Crisps—the first item in the Smalls to Share column—comes with a bit of theater, which is one reason many tables order it. The server brings over a plastic-lined paper bag and a white bowl containing a slow-cooked, soft egg. The jiggly white blob is ceremoniously dumped into the bag, which holds a heap of crispy, house-made potato chips.

“Don’t try this at home,” quipped our server, sealing the bag and hitting max-shake mode. The chips tumbled out, lightly yolk sheened and flecked with white. On another visit, slightly fewer chips in the bag made for a richer, more sybaritic glazing. Both times, we got more than $5 worth of fun and flavor.

This funky starter contains a clue. Crisps, of course, is what Brits call potato chips. Common Lot’s chef, Ehren Ryan, a native Aussie, earned his spurs cooking at Michelin-starred restaurants in London. He and his wife, Nadine, an Austrian, met in 2010, when they worked at the luxury Atlantic Hotel on the British isle of Jersey in the English Channel.

The starter is a conversation starter, too, intended to kick off the convivial sampling for which Common Lot’s menu is designed. Conviviality is built into the restaurant’s design as well, with natural materials, wide aisles, larger-than-usual tabletops, a bit more elbow room between them, a common table, plus an open kitchen with four plush armchairs along the counter. The name of the 4-month-old restaurant, the Ryans’ first, is a Brit-speak mashup, combining the idea of “common” (public) “lots” (areas) with the slang of “you lot,” the equivalent of “you guys.”

Pc2280300

NEW ARRIVALS Opposite page, co-owners Ehren and Nadine Ryan in front of the communal table. Center, beef tartare with grilled, house-made sourdough bread.


The Ryans, who wed in 2014, draw inspiration from all the places they’ve worked or visited, from their native lands to Canada, Japan, France, Portugal, Spain, Thailand and Indonesia.

“We are not fusion,” Ehren says. “We use flavors that people are getting to know and like. We strive to do interesting and fun things and cook what Nadine and I like to eat.”

That last part—its frankness and simplicity—is almost a badge of honor for their peripatetic generation of cooks and restaurateurs. Fortunately, Ehren, 31, and Nadine, 27, have adventurous palates. Ehren’s best dishes are intensely flavorful, complex and detailed. Yet their balance and focus make them seem less exotic, more like stuff you’d gladly eat every day.

Pc2280400

This page, the counter, with four plush armchairs facing the open kitchen, where light pours in from wrap-around windows.


One such treat, for which you can thank Nadine, is Ehren’s particularly toothsome beef tartare. (“Nadine loves beef tartare,” he says. “She’s always nagging me to put one on.”) He hand-chops filet mignon from DeBragga, spikes it with pickled shallots, garlic oil and gratifying dollops of caramelized black-garlic aioli, and adds sesame seeds for textural contrast.

Pc2280700

A deeper downshift from exotic to everyday was created by sous chef Nick Greiss, 28, a Nutley native and CIA grad, whose Buffalo sweetbreads are to Buffalo wings as pianos are to piccolos, even though both use Frank’s Hot Sauce. Greiss’s tender, spicy, crunchy sweetbreads come with avocado mousse (a riff on ranch dressing) and are showered with crispy leeks.

Common Lot’s poached chicken roulade reverses the trick, making the everyday exotic. My eyes rolled when our waiter promised it would be “like the best chicken salad you ever tasted.” He was wrong. The discs of creamy, flavorful meat served with salsa verde, lemon pepper and crackly bits of chicken skin, were even better than the best chicken salad I’ve ever tasted.

These dishes and others (like roasted heirloom carrots with yogurt and pumpkin seeds, and charred broccolini with chili and charred lemon) turn the Smalls to Share column of the menu into a hit parade.

The next column, called Bigs, delivers flavor and satisfaction worthy of its name. Earthy morels and chanterelles keep ethereal butter-poached halibut from drifting away like an untethered balloon. But if I had just one Common Lot dish to eat every day, it would be the intensely luscious duck leg ragù with gnocchi and shiitakes. The ragù slow-simmers onions, garlic and crushed tomatoes, per tradition. But, says Ehren with a chuckle, “if an Italian saw the recipe, they’d freak, because we reduce two or three cans of Guinness for the ragù instead of wine.” This kind of globalization is a good thing.

Pc2280500

Below, simmering, charring, broccolini on the grill. Bottom, a waiter plops a soft-cooked egg from a small bowl into a plastic-lined bag of house-made potato crisps.


Pc2280600

He’ll shake it up, comes eggycrunchy crisps, fun for all, even the waiter.


Speaking of global, you might be wondering how this well-traveled couple wound up in New Jersey, specifically Millburn. The short answer is that in 2006 Ehren’s parents moved from Sydney to Harding Township when his father, a partner in an international law firm, took a position in the firm’s New York office. Harding is about 12 miles west of Millburn, and Ehren’s parents have many friends in the area.

Ehren and Nadine, wanting their own restaurant, had priced the project in Australia, Austria and New York. But the only place that seemed affordable—and near family—was suburban Essex.

“My parents have friends in Millburn, and we walked around with them,” Ehren says. “They said they desperately need a restaurant there; they’re tired of going to New York for food.”

Pc2300000

NO CUTTING CORNERS Inside the renovated building are delights like chicken roulade and, bottom, braised lamb shoulder with rice, cashews, lettuce and soy caramel.


Pc2300200
Pc2300300

Friends of Ehren’s parents own what was a decrepit old building at Main and Essex Streets. “They were going to demolish it and put in apartments. We put our concept forward. It was very businesslike.” The owners renovated the exterior, while Ehren and Nadine sank everything they had into redoing the interior.

Guess which Common Lot dessert is a nod to Aussie and British tastes. Not the lemon semi-freddo, not the chocolate mousse. It’s the rice pudding. “It’s my mom’s favorite dessert, and a childhood memory for me,” Ehren says. He serves it warm, which is traditional, but with pistachio gelato, which is not. As with so much of Common Lot’s menu, the marriage of old and new works.

There’s nothing common about Common Lot

Chef Ehren Ryan Opens Common Lot in Millburn
By Rosie Saferstein | June 6, 2016

There is nothing common about Common Lot. From the handmade ceramic dishes, jugs and French press pots to the gunmetal silverware and fresh flowers, this exciting new restaurant is uncommon. The space designed by Studio 1200 in Millburn has an open kitchen, long communal table, dramatic lighting and orange shelves (upstairs) that display some of executive chef/owner Ehren Ryan’s cookbooks. The décor is as luscious as the food.

Australian-born chef Ehren and his partner and wife Austrian born Nadine have impressive bios. He has worked at Michelin star restaurants in Sydney, London, the Channel Islands and Austria, including Heston Blumenthal’s London restaurant. Nadine who runs the front of house, worked at the luxury Kristiania Hotel in Lech, Austria.

Check out the full article here: http://bit.ly/common-lot-nj-monthly

The Millburn-Short Hills Magazine May issue featuring Common Lot

The Millburn-Short Hills Magazine May issue featuring Common Lot

Thanks Joanne Fisher for this great write up in the Millburn Shorthills Magazine May edition!

The Millburn-Short Hills Magazine May issue featuring Common Lot

Chef Ehren Ryan and staff

One of N.J.’s most anticipated new restaurants is here, and it’s excellent

By Cody Kendall | For NJ Advance Media
Original Article: http://www.nj.com/food/index.ssf/2016/05/tables_at_common_lot_are_a_hot_commodity.html

It seemed as if everyone was waiting breathlessly for Common Lot to open during the long months that the restaurant took shape at the corner of Main and Essex streets in Millburn.

The work on the brick-sided building with the big glass windows originally was scheduled to be finished in December, but you know how that goes. Finally, following a soft opening in March, the restaurant proved its buzz-worthiness by booking up fast.

The space has a studied casual flair, the perfect setting for “globally inspired modern American” food that is thought-provoking. Often so pretty they seem suitable for framing, each dish demands appreciation before one digs into such colorful compilations as delicately handled roasted heirloom carrots ($10) artfully balanced against each other with a backdrop of honey, cumin, pumpkin seeds and yogurt, or lissome butter-poached halibut ($32) flattered by a morel cream sauce.

“Interesting” ingredients — for example, the soy caramel in the $75 braised lamb for two or pickled kohlrabi and crispy garlic with the salmon sashimi ($18) — are an attraction. “We took a risk and it’s paying off. I think people like the change,” said chef/owner Ehren Ryan, a native of Australia and veteran of cooking everywhere from India and the Philippines to the Channel Islands and England.

He works with his wife, Nadine, who comes from Austria. An expert on cheese and tea who studied hotel management, she runs the front of the house, supervising expertly trained, well-informed staffers. They embody the right degree of solicitousness to make the smooth-flowing evening a pleasure.

Although Ryan patronizes a farmers’ market in town, he isn’t wedded to strictly local ingredients, instead preferring to obtain what he needs for his seasonal menus at whatever purveyor offers the best quality of the items he seeks.

The Ryans at first looked for a place to set up shop in New York, including the East Village and Brooklyn, then switched their attention to New Jersey, where the chef’s family lives. Morristown and Summit were on their radar, but he and his wife decided that “Millburn had the right vibe and needed something new.” The location was perfect, “Just down the road from train station, a five-minute walk from the Paper Mill Playhouse.”

Great care has been taken with the furnishings, featuring hand-forged metal to go with reclaimed factory wood boards. An upstairs dining area featuring a cookbook collection accommodates 28.

The layout in the downstairs dining room that seats 34 is interesting, with a community table in the center, a banquette along one wall and very comfortable semi-circular booths on either side near the entrance at the lower level.

Space for four at a counter looking into the open kitchen comprises the “kitchen pass” area, where spots go for $95. The concept offers a chance to interact with the chef and explore a multi-course menu that is billed as a surprise.

Bread isn’t served, so we went with the highly touted bag of egg and crisps ($5) to get our meal under way. The house-made potato chips are shaken in a bag to mix with a soft 64-degree egg. Sorry, but it left me cold, and was rather messy to eat.

Every dish shows thought. Sirloin ($32) dry-aged in-house gets its mojo from a Reform sauce featuring bits of beef tongue. Sweet little smooches of house-made gnocchi combine with a duck leg ragu ($29), shiitake mushrooms and Pecorino.

Vegetarians are not forgotten. Roasted cauliflower ($22) and cauliflower puree (with purple cauliflower for color) are lifted with a relish of sultana raisins and capers.

Desserts by Alexa Clark (formerly of Local Seasonal Kitchen in Ramsey) are fascinating. You can’t go wrong with the Pavlova, the incredible lightness of meringue ($10) matched with the slick velvet of citrus mascarpone and a dusting of dark chocolate. For the kid in you, there’s the chocolate mousse/peanut butter mousse combo ($10) elevated by dulce de leche and cocoa nibs.

Plum brandy sorbet gives a tingle to vanilla rice pudding ($10). The pudding is served in a covered dish, with the sorbet on the lid so it stays cold. Just lift the lid, put it on the side, and partake of both components.

About the restaurant’s name: you know what “common” means. Think one step ahead to communal, and “lot” in this instance stands for a crowd of people, as well as plentiful and abundance. Common Lot is about a place to meet and share unusual food, an experience with an ambiance on the table and in the room that makes for a unique evening.

IF YOU GO

Common Lot

27 Main St., Millburn. 973-467-0494. commonlot.com.

Hours: 5-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 5-10:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Closed Sundays-Mondays. BYOW. ★★★½ (three and one-half stars) out of 4!