First time dad Paul hasn’t been out too much lately, so Ashley set up a day full of unique ideas for a date night in NJ.
New Jersey was shut out last week when the list of finalists for a James Beard Award was announced. Why? Well, that’s a story for an opinion column.
But there’s a New Jersey-centric dinner starting at 7 pm, on Monday, April 16 at the Beard House, located at 167 West 12th Street in New York, in which four top toques from the Garden State are cooking, along with two chefs from Pennsylvania.
Called “Jersey Road Trip,” the dinner spotlights Anthony Bucco, of the forthcoming Felina in Ridgewood; Ben Nerenhausen, of Mistral in Princeton; Ehren Ryan, of Common Lot in Millburn; David Viana, of Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge; and Eric and Mark Plescha, of Charcoal BBQ in Yardley, Pa.
All chefs lead farm-to-table restaurants, and the menu they have created reflects that.
The hors d’oeuvres: Fried Chicken Skins with Chicken Liver Mousse, Lemon, and Thyme; Warm Buttermilk Biscuits with Young Spruce, Cultured Butter, and American Sturgeon Caviar; Beets with Béarnaise, Horseradish, and Dill;
Crispy Tête de Cochon with Pickled Vegetables; Smoked and Beer-Battered Forty North Oysters with Housemade Bread-and-Butter Pickles.
The dinner: Salmon Tartare with Ponzu Gelée, Grapes, Sesame, Nori Cracker, and Micro-Herbs; Radiatore Pasta with Benton’s Bacon Bolognese, Arugula, and Yolk Sauce; Hudson Valley Rabbit with Beets, Horseradish, and Dill; Lamb with Sea Urchin Chowder, Peas, Fava Beans, and Lamb Prosciutto; Burning Ember–Toasted Umami Pie with Maple, Mushroom, and Brown Butter.
The dinner is $135 per person for members and $175 for nonmembers; this includes wines, tax and tip.
To reserve, call 212-627-2308. For more information, visit jamesbeard.org.
By Teresa Politano / For Inside Jersey
THE VIBE: Intimate, casual BYO, designed as modern rustic, enlivened by vibrant artwork
STANDOUT DISHES: Bison tartare, fried chicken skins, dry-aged rib-eye, lemon semifreddo
Ehren Ryan is not like the others.
New Jersey is certainly diverse, as are our restaurants. Yet, most of our chefs are much alike in one distinct but important measure: They’re New Jerseyans. Even those who are from elsewhere have eased in — spending years here — growing up, working. Among the rare exceptions are those who share our altitudinal gradient; they’re from New York or Philadelphia.
He came to us via Australia, India, the Philippines, Canada and Hong Kong.
Most importantly, he came to us from a Michelin-starred kitchen in one of London’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Sketch is really three restaurants in one, an Alice-in-Wonderland experience, eccentric and quirky but still, and you sense it as soon as you walk in, steeped in a certain incalculable British propriety. You may not know the rules, and the rules may change nightly, but the rules certainly exist.
So, Ryan was nervous when he opened Common Lot in Millburn, unsure how we’d react to a menu that was more fine dining than not, in a restaurant with communal seating that was more casual than not. Not sure if we’d like his cheeky “bag of egg and crisps,” or respond to a chef whose previous customers counted themselves among the global elite in a city that prides itself on its innovative cuisine. Ryan is a cheese sommelier (yes, that’s a thing) who fiercely defends the rigor and discipline and the Escoffier sauces of a French kitchen. How would New Jersey respond?
Restaurant Keeps it Simple in Millburn by Christine Sloan
By Eric Levin
“A decade ago, we created the Top 25 to augment the Jersey Choice Restaurant Poll in recognition of the dynamism of New Jersey’s dining scene. Every year since, the scene has grown more competitive, contemporary and varied, creating a boon for Jersey diners and a greater challenge for us to select the best of the best. But, hey, it’s a wonderful problem to have.” Read More…
By: Dawn Del Russo
“I have been wanting to try a place in Millburn, NJ called Common Lot for a while now. I checked out the menu online and it was intriguing. The idea that it is an open kitchen also got me. I love when you can see what they are cooking. I decided to give it a try for lunch. I know dinner is always the star meal, but figured, if they can get lunch right, I would certainly go back for dinner.” Read More…
EHREN RYAN IS A RISING TALENT, SERVING A TASTE OF THE WORLD TO THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY WITH HIS NEWLY OPENED RESTAURANT, COMMON LOT.
Born in Sydney, Australia, the young chef was inspired by his high school teacher to pursue a culinary career. Accepted into The Hotel School, Ehren Ryan spent his college years gathering real-world experience, working for popular Sydney restaurants while attending class once a week. Graduating with a degree in commercial cooking after four years, Ryan was hungry to build on his foundation. Traveling to Europe, Ryan began making a name for himself by working in upscale restaurants across the continent.
In a recent interview, Ryan explained how valuable his time in Europe was, specifically crediting his experience with renowned restaurant, Sketch in London, established by master chef Pierre Gagnaire: “I was never exposed to that type of food before, the foie gras, the truffles…the rich food and plating.” The high-end work in Europe taught Ryan discipline, precision and the demanding responsibilities of running a restaurant. Familiar with the industry and confident in his abilities, Ryan set out to open his own restaurant with his wife and partner, Nadine.
By Vicki Hyman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
From deep-fried hot dogs to fresh caught seafood, from street food from all corners of the globe to every style of pizza you can imagine, there are countless ways to pig out prohibitively in New Jersey. But where to start? With lots of input from (and much arguing with) a handful of fellow Garden State food lovers, we came up with the ultimate restaurant bucket list — the 51 restaurants any self-respecting New Jerseyan should try before they die.
Many are among the state’s top fine dining destinations, but there are also roadside diners, pizzerias, barbecue joints, ramen bars, a hot dog stand and even a clam shack. Beyond sensational food, we also took into consideration dreamy views, peerless service, singular interior design, and just plain Jersey quirk.
12. Common Lot, Millburn
Open not even a year and a half, Common Lot has rapidly cemented itself as one of the hottest tables in the state with luscious and adventurous seasonal dishes in a stylish but down-to-earth atmosphere.
From high-end restaurants to cozy diners, the winners in the first Garden State Culinary Arts Awards reflect the state’s amazing dining diversity.The Frog and the Peach in New Brunswick won for Best Restaurant, Drew Araneo from Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport won Best Chef, while Common Lot in Millburn took Best New Restaurant honors… Read More
HAMILTON, NJ – Common Lot of Millburn was named Best New Resturant on Saturday at the Garden State Culinary Awards. The original candidate list was released in February, and then the top three vote-getters in each category were announced in April. The candidates are voted on by about 100 independent judges from around the state – journalists, food writers, cookbook authors and other culinary experts… Read More