Valentine6On Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015, several of New Jersey’s most romantic restaurants are offering lovers a variety of dining options…

Avenue, 23 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ: What could be more romantic than dining by the Ocean? And Avenue Executive Chef John Johnson has prepared two special menus for the ultimate Valentine’s experience at the Jersey Shore. “Lovers’ Brunch” (including such tempting dishes as lobster hash and pain perdu) will be served on Saturday and Sunday, February 14 and 15, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. A prix fixe dinner menu will be offered on Valentine’s Day from 4:30 p.m. – midnight. Highlights include Tartare of Organic Salmon, Ceviche of Diver Scallops, Open Prairie Filet Mignon, and Crispy Skin Black Sea Bass. For Dessert: a Chocolate Lover’s Sampler. Following dinner, lovers may head upstairs to Avenue Nuit for cocktails and dancing. Brunch: $30.00 per person, plus tax & gratuity; Dinner, beginning at $48.00 per person, plus tax & gratuity. Reservations: (732) 759-2900.

Grissini, 484 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Couples who crave true Italian cuisine will take pleasure in dining at Grissini Restaurant. Grissini, known for sophistication and service since opening in Bergen County 21 years ago, will offer an abridged version of their à la carte menu. Specials from Executive Chef Giuseppe Lentini will include heart-shaped raviolis; and each table will receive complimentary chocolate-dipped strawberries. Seatings will be available at 4:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Reservations: (201) 568-3535.

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, 110 South Street, Morristown, NJ: The restaurant will mark its first Valentine’s Day with four distinct dining experiences prepared by Executive Chef Kevin Sippel and his team – one for each of the newly renovated Vail Mansion’s rooms. A 5-course tasting menu ($120.00 per person) will be served upstairs in the Dining Room on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of Valentine’s weekend. Couples can alternatively choose to enjoy a 4-course dinner ($90.00 per person) on the main level in the Oyster Bar, or a 3-course dinner ($75.00 per person) in the German drinking hall inspired Rathskeller. Prices do not include tax & gratuity. The clubby Vail Bar in the mansion’s library will be open for singles throughout the weekend. Reservations: (973) 644-3180.

Maritime Parc, 84 Audrey Zapp Drive, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ: Executive Chef/Partner Chris Siversen’s spectacular Jersey City restaurant offers diners extraordinary views of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan. On Valentine’s Day, couples can take in the view and enjoy a contemporary American four-course prix fixe menu. Highlights include: Chilled Crab and Avocado with Mustard Coulis and Micro Kale; Ricotta Gnudi with Kale Pesto and Winter Mushrooms, Bacon-Wrapped Quail with Sunshine Kabocha Squash and Roasted Pear Vinaigrette; Spice-Glazed Duck Breast with Parsnip Spaetzle, Red Cabbage Kraut and Fig Jam; and Dry-Aged Rib Eye with Creamed Greens and Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Desserts feature a choice of Nutella Cheesecake or Honey Nougat Glacé. $90.00 per person, plus tax & gratuity. Reservations: (201) 413-0050

Samba Montclair, 7 Park Street, Montclair, NJ: The tastes and sounds of Brazil will offer lovers a memorable evening at Samba Montclair, New Jersey’s most authentic home-style Brazilian dining experience. Samba will offer its regular à la carte menu, with such popular dishes as Bolinho de Mandioca (pastries made with yucca filled with dried beef and butternut squash), Andioca Frita com Linguica Calabresa e Cebola (fried yucca with Brazilian pork sausage and caramelized onions), Salmão ao Molho de Maracujá (Atlantic grilled salmon with passion fruit reduction) and Feijoada (the Brazilian national dish: black bean stew with prime meat). There will also be enticing dinner specials and pomegranates… Brazilians believe the fruit brings good luck when eaten at this time of year! Reservations: (973) 744-6764.

Strip House at Westminster Hotel, 550 West Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, NJ: Lovers are invited to spend a romantic evening at the Strip House, New Jersey’s most seductive steak house experience. Chef Bill Zucosky’s imaginative menu will include prime cuts of meat, signature side dishes (truffle-creamed spinach, goose fat potatoes) and an extensive wine list. Valentine’s Day specials, which will be offered in addition to the à la carte menu, include: Caramelized Onion Soup, Dijon & Herb Crusted Prime Rib and Filet King Oscar, Alaskan King Crab. For dessert, indulge in such delicacies as Fried S’mores or the restaurant’s famed 24-layer Chocolate Cake. Reservations: (973) 548-0050.

 

Bon Appétit!

 

TAD

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Frog and Peach - Overhead ViewOn Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015, the Frog and the Peach, 29, Dennis Street at Hiram Square, New Brunswick, New Jersey, will be offering lovers a special three-course prix fixe menu with choice for each course…

Amuse: Carolina Shrimp, Andouille Sausage and Creole Mustard Rémoulade

Appetizers (Choice of): Truffled Chicken Noodle SoupCured Tuna Sashimi: Cucumber, Tobiko, Lemongrass Broth… House-Made Veal Sausage: Black Truffle, Parsley, Watercress, Red Wine Mustard… Iced Fisher’s Island Oysters: Vodka Green Apple Mignonette… Baby Romaine Salad: Crispy Local Vegetables, Black Olive Grissini, Late Harvest Riesling Vinaigrette… Roasted Potato Gnocchi: Sage, Pine Nuts, Preserved San Marzano Pomodoro… Grilled Beet Salad: House-Smoked Pastrami, Coleslaw, Beer Mustard

Entrées (Choice of): Grilled Lamb Neck: Kobacha Squash Purée, Black Truffle Spätzle, Escarole, 25-Year Balsamic… Riccioli Pasta: Shiitake Mushrooms, Broccoli, Goat Cheese Fondue, Sun-Dried Tomato… Seared Day Boat Sea Scallops: Sesame Peanut Noodle Sushi, Pickled Vegetable Salad, Miso Vinaigrette… East Coast Halibut: Rockefeller Crust, King Oyster Mushroom, Local Kohlrabi Purée… Pan-Roasted Griggstown Chicken Breast: Winter Pea Purée, Crispy Chanterelle Mushroom, Amontillado Sherry Pan Sauce… Cedar Plank Scottish Salmon: Anson Mills Barley, Cucumber, Smoked Roe, Walnut Romesco… Center-Cut Local Beef Tenderloin: Braised Collard Greens, Ham hock, Asiago Whipped Potato, Zinfandel Veal Jus ($8.00 Supplement)

Dessert (Choice of): Valrhona Chocolate Marquise: Raspberry Coulis, Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream… Classic Crème BrûléeSticky Toffee Pudding: Single Malt Scotch Honey, Earl Grey Ice Cream Peach… Sorbet with Winter FruitsFrozen Chocolate Semifreddo: Peanut Butter Financier… Assorted Cheeses: Fruit Walnut Wheat Bread ($6.00 Supplement)

The cost of the special three-Course Valentine’s Day menu is $85.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

The Frog and the Peach will also be serving a four-course Valentine’s tasting menu priced at $75.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity) on Friday, February 13, and Sunday, February 15. On Friday and Sunday (but not on Saturday) the restaurant’s regular à la carte menu will also be available.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 846-3216.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Wine 3Undici Taverna Rustica, 11 West River Road, Rumson, New Jersey, recently released its upcoming schedule of winter wine tasting events…

Saturday Lunch, February 7, 2015, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Winemaker Massimo Piccin and the wines of Podere Saaio, featuring Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wine for 2014: Podere Sapaio Volpolo 2012. $79.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity).

Volpolo 2011… Volpolo 2012… Sapaio 2008… Sapaio 2009… Sapaio 2010

Monday, February 9, 2015, 6:45 p.m.: Victor Rallo and David Redondi and the wines of Poliziano in the heart of Montepulciano, Tuscany. $79.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity).

Lohsa Morellino di Scansano 2013… Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano 2012… Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011… Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Asinone” 2010… Poliziano “Le Stanze” 2007… Lohsa Mandrone 2006

Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 6:45 p.m.: Victor Rallo and Marianna Carpene: The Masters of Soave; Inama Winery, Soave, Verona. $79.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity).

Inama Soave Classico “Vin Soave” 2013… Inama Soave Classico “Vigneti Di Foscarino” 2012… Inama Soave Classico “Vigneto du Lot” 2011… Inama “Carmenere Piu” Colli Berici DOC 2010… Inama Rosso “Bradisismo” Colli Berici DOC 2011… Inama Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon Riserva 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 6:45 p.m.: Victor Rallo and Giovanni Neri: The King of Montalcino; Casanova di Neri Winery, Montalcino, Tuscany. $79.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity).

Casanova di Neri “Rosso di Casanova di Neri 2012… Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2010… Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino “Tenuta Nuova” 2009… Casanova di Neri Brunnelo di Montalcino “Tenuta Nuova” 2010… Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino “Cerretalto” 2008… Casanova di Neri Pietradonice 2010

*Wines scheduled for any event could change based on availability.

For more information, or to reserve your seats, please call (732) 842-3880.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Ho-Ho-Kus Inn - ExteriorOn Saturday, February 14, 2015, Valentine’s Day will be celebrated in style at the historic Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern with a four-course prix fixe menu of inspired savory selections.

Appetizers (Choice of): Ginger Carrot Soup: Herbed Crème Fraiche, Maple Drizzle… New England Clam Chowder: Charred Baguette, Chives, Orange “EVOO”… Crispy Crab Cakes: Sweet Polenta, Tomato & Red Pepper Stew… Devils on Horseback: Dijon Mustard, Goat Cheese, Bacon… Oysters Rockefeller: Spinach, Cracker Crumbs, Pernod… Southern Italian Burrata: Speck, Peas, Radish, Mint

Salad (Choice of): Poached Pear Salad: Mixed Field Greens, Blue Cheese, Toasted Candied Pecans… Baby Kale Salad: Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Toasted Almonds, Pecorino, Citrus Vinaigrette

Entrées (Choice of): House-Made Spaghetti: Jonah Crab, Sweet Marinara, Santa Fe Chilies… New Zealand Rack of Lamb: Wild Spinach, Sweet Potato Mash, Mint Chimichurri… Wild Alaskan Ivory Salmon: Spaetzle, Baby Carrots, Brown Butter, Chives… Peppercorn-Crusted Steak au Poivre: Herbed Frites, Lemon Dressed Arugula Salad… Ricotta Tortellini: Truffle Butter, Almonds, Aged Saba Balsamic… Roasted Chicken: Warm Bacon Slaw, Siracha Honey Spiced Fingerling Potatoes, Pan Gravy

Dessert (Choice of): Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cheesecake: Chocolate Cookie Crust, Chocolate Ganache, Chantilly Cream, Strawberry Compote… Gluten Free Chocolate Mousse: Raspberry Coulis, Raspberry Sorbet, Pistachio Raspberry Macaroon… Trio of Minis: Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Cake, Cannoli with Crème Anglaise

The cost of the four-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu is $75.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). Reservations are required. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 445-4115.

The Inn is also hosting two other events during the month of February that may be of interest… On Wednesday, February 11, 6:30 p.m. there will be a Port and Chocolate Tasting in the Tavern. The cost is $35.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity) and reservations are required. On Wednesday, February 25, 6:30 p.m., the Inn will host their Monthly Craft Beer Tasting, featuring locally produced brews from the New Jersey Beer Company. The cost is $20.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity) and reservations are suggested. To confirm your participation in either event, please call (201) 445-4115.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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valentine1On Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015, the Farmer’s Daughter Bar & Restaurant in the Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center, 1401 Morris Road, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, will be serving a five course prix fixe dinner with seatings available from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

First Course (Choice of): Potato Leek Soup…. Bay Scallop Chowder… Beet Salad… Watercress Salad

Intermezzo: Pink Champagne Granite

Third Course (Choice of): Beef Tostada: Braised Short Rib, Avocado, Queso Fresco… Fennel Crusted Tuna: Pureed Corona Beans, Crispy Pickled Onion… Oysters on the Half Shell: Half Doze, Cocktail Sauce & Mignonette… Warm Orecchiette: Artichoke, Capers, Tomato, White Bean, Watercress

Fourth Course (Choice of): Crispy Skin Duck: Rutabagas & Parsnip Purée, Pearl Onions, Wild Mushroom Jus, Mustard Greens… Oven Roasted Chicken: Calvados Cream, Potato Risotto, Confit, Onions & Carrots… 8-Ounce Filet: Fingerling Potatoes, Broccoli Rabe, Baby Carrots, Red Wine Demi… Herb-Crusted Snapper: Artichokes, Basil Oil. Fava Bean Ragout… Salmon: Red Wine Sauce, Quinoa, Broccoli Rabe… Stuffed Zucchini: Ricotta Cheese, Almonds, Braised in Tomato Sauce

Dessert Course (Choice of): Flourless Chocolate Cake: Red Berry Reduction, Champagne Caviar… Strawberry Linzer Tart: Fruit of the Forest Jus, Pistachio Ice Cream… White Chocolate Mousse: Red Velvet Cake, Amarena Cherries… Key Lime Vacherin: Raspberry Sorbet, Blackberry Reduction

The cost of the five-course Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe is $75.00 per person, which also includes a complimentary glass of Champagne (plus additional beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (215) 616-8108.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Valentine's Day at HomeThe Pluckemin Inn, Bedminster, New Jersey, will make Valentine’s Day twice as romantic by serving a special four-course prix fixe menu on both Friday, February 13, and Saturday, February 14, 2015.

First Course (Choice of): Endive Salad: Medjool Date, Almond, Bartlett Pear, Jasper Hill Blue… Baby Spinach Salad: Roasted beets, Green Apple, Walnut, Manchego… Smoked Salmon: Fingerling Potato, Fennel, Pickled Cabbage & Mustard… Wagyu Beef Carpaccio: Baby Arugula, Lemon, Parmigiano Reggiano

Second Course (Choice of): Acquerello Risotto: Wild Mushrooms, Fontina Val d’Aosta… Butternut Squash Soup: Crispy Pancetta, Sage, Pumpkin Seeds… Spanish Octopus: Shishito Pepper, Grilled Scallion, Romesco Sauce… Ricotta Cavatelli: Fennel Sausage, Broccoli, Chilies, Pecorino Romano

Third Course (Choice of): Mahi Mahi: Cauliflower, Pistachio, Swiss Chard, Vadouvan JusGriggstown Chicken: Pommes Purée, Hen of the Woods, Brussels Sprouts… Chatham Cod: White Beans, Manila Clams, Escarole, Marjoram Pesto… Angus Sirloin: Root Vegetables, Organic Polenta, Broccoli Rabe

Dessert Course (Choice of): Apple Strudel: Cinnamon, Panko, Honey, Cinnamon Ice Cream… Dark Chocolate Cheesecake: Caramel, Gianduja Ice Cream… Tiramisu Parfait: Cocoa Tuile, Coffee Ice Cream… Angel Food Cake: Raspberry Gelato, Candied Rose Petals

The Cost of the special four-course Valentine’s prix fixe menu is $85.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations for either Friday or Saturday, please call (908) 658-9292.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Valentine6On Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015, and Sunday, February 15, 2015, Restaurant Alba, 7 West King Street, Malvern, Pennsylvania, will be serving a traditional Italian four-course tasting menu.

Antipasti Choice of): Crostini, Lobster & Crab Salad… Tuna Stuffed Deviled Eggs… Poached Shrimp, Blood Orange, Champagne Butter Sauce… Parmesan Arancini, Tomato Coulis

Primi Choice of): Lobster Bisque, Crispy Pancetta, Chervil… Meyer Lemon & Parmesan Risotto… Ricotta & Egg Raviolo, Tomato Ragu… Potato Gnocchi, Gorgonzola Crema… Wild Boar Ragu, Minted Love Letters

Secondi (Choice of): Wood Grilled Trout: Escarole & Pear, Hazelnut Brown Butter…Sautéed Branzino: Blood Orange-Compari Vinaigrette, Celery Root Purée… Adriatic Seafood Stew: Shrimp, Cod, Bass, Mussels… Grilled Magret Duck Beast: Chestnus & Chickpea Ragu, Swiss Chard… Beef Short Rib: Gold Potato Purée, Horseradish Crema, Arugula… Wood-Grilled New York Strip Steak: Potato Gratin, Roasted Mushrooms… Porchetta of Suckling Pig: Anson Mills Polenta, Broccoli Rabe

Desserts will feature a Chocolate Tasting for 2, Artisanal Cheeses, Bread Pudding, and Butterscotch Budino!

*Menu subject to change.

The cost of the four-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu is $80.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

Reservations will be accepted on Valentine’s Day from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and on Sunday, February 15, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Restaurant Alba’s regular dinner menu will be served on Friday, February 13, and Monday, February 16. On Valentine’s Day, the restaurant will not be accepting reservations in the bar. It will remain first come, first served seating with a limited menu available.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (610) 644-4009.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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bernardsinn2During Valentine’s weekend, from Friday, February 13 – Sunday, February 15, the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, New Jersey, will be offering several romantic dining options that can be turned into overnight getaway escapes.

Acclaimed for romantic dining, the Bernards Inn is offering a prix-fixe, three-course menu on Valentine’s Day featuring gourmet selections lovingly prepared by Executive Cher Corey Heyer. Couples may indulge in special dishes for two, including Stuffed Lobster, Roasted Chateaubriand and savory Rack of lamb, or select entrées from the restaurant’s new seasonal winter menu. The romantic evening will include complimentary flowers and decadent chocolates, all amid the gracious surroundings of the redesigned, century-old inn.

Aphrodisiac dishes like oysters on the half shell and drinks like a pomegranate martini – the fruit of fertility – will be offered, along with a wine and Champagne list of 1,500 selections and 45 wines by the glass. The Bernards Inn is also the only restaurant in New Jersey serving Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne by the glass.

Dinner is $118.00 per person, with seatings beginning at 5:30 p.m. Reservations may be made by calling (908) 766-0002.

Guests are also invited to turn Valentine’s Day into a romantic getaway with a luxurious Valentine’s Getaway Package that includes dinner for two, guestroom accommodations, bottle of sparkling wine, one dozen long-stemmed roses, chocolate covered strawberries and ruffles, and breakfast for two. Additional romance packages include: Winter Romance, Date Night, Essential Indulgence, and the Proposal Package. Once again, for more information, or to make reservations, please call (908) 766-0002.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Kimberton Inn

2105 Kimberton Road

Kimberton, Pennsylvania

(610) 933-8148

www.kimbertoninn.com

 In my experience as a professional food writer, restaurants that are famous for their wedding receptions, banquets, and gatherings of similar ilk also tend to be infamous for their eminently forgettable cuisine, significantly less than spiffy environs, and amateur night service. Fortunately, however, the Kimberton Inn constitutes a marvelously rare exception rather than the rule.

Kimberton Inn - Main Dining RoomNot only does this cozy Colonial enclave acquit itself admirably with regard to larger parties, it also provides the perfect romantic venue for couples wishing to celebrate that special occasion. Indeed, the stately building, originally constructed in 1796, charms patrons with its impeccably maintained rustic ambiance, cozy crackling fireplaces, and intimate bar/lounge.

Alluring auras notwithstanding, it is Chef Jim Trainer’s lovingly prepared and beautifully presented cuisine that remains the center of attention. His offerings are pleasantly innovative without being anachronistic; they beguile the palate without bewildering the eye, clearly demonstrating the kitchen’s commitment to componential and proportional restraint.

Kimberton Inn - Sweet Potato BisqueSoups – especially during the bleak midwinter – are always solid choices to start things off. Printed menu options include lobster bisque with cream sherry, New England clam chowder, and caramelized onion soup. All recommended. When it is available, however, you might also wish to consider an evening special that is sure to become a seasonal favorite: sweet potato bisque. The soup is as smooth-as-silk on the palate, rife with natural flavor, and perfectly seasoned, with a dollop of crème fraîche and smattering of roasted walnuts in strong supporting roles.

Other superb prelude possibilities include: fork-tender seared sirloin scaloppini companioned by scallion-potato purée, braised wild mushrooms, and addictive gravy (also available as an entrée); crunchy coconut shrimp served up with pineapple-mango salad, spiced rum syrup, and orange-horseradish mustard; and a perennial menu favorite that we’ve sampled on several occasions… “Probably The Best Salad You’ll Ever Have.” This appetizing amalgam of red leaf lettuce and baby spinach tossed with a sweet sesame-walnut dressing is aided and abetted by tart apple slices, toasted sunflower seeds, and aged Gouda cheese.

Kimberton Inn - Grilled PearsRecently, though, the kitchen has been sending forth variations on a theme of grilled pears. On one occasion, the presentation may be more salad like; on another (pictured), three wafer-thin slices take center stage topped with crumbles of Stilton blue & micro greens and surrounded by spiced walnuts and a port wine reduction. Pears and blue cheese are a marriage made in heaven, and this dish takes full advantages of their natural affinity.

If a restaurant is going to let you down, it usually does so in an all-too-familiar pattern. It absolutely wows you with starters… then, with the arrival of the main courses, falls flat on its asparagus. Fortunately, there are no such worries at the Kimberton Inn. Appetizers, as noted immediately above, are first-rate across the board… but it is the entrées that truly demonstrate the chef’s prowess.

Essentially traditional American with eclectic subtitles, Mr. Trainer’s cuisine is, however, significantly enhanced via a number of gentle creative infusions. The sautéed calf’s liver, for example, is about as down-home as it gets, but it receives an added boost from a rich port wine sauce; the eight ounce center-cut filet mignon is teamed with a fabulous mustard custard and red wine-veal reduction; and a moist and tender prime pork chop is spiked with cinnamon and ginger and finished with a maple-pecan glaze.

Kimberton Inn - Lamb ChopsBut if you really want to dig into meaty matters, I would strongly recommend the naturally raised Australian lamb chops. Lightly encrusted with mustard & herbs, accompanied by a dollop of creamy mashed potatoes & steamed spinach, and finished with a marvelous port wine reduction, this is an absolutely exquisite presentation. The three picture-perfect chops are rich, tender, and just the proper shade of pink. A delightful feast for the eye as well as the palate.

Kimberton Inn - Salmon Filet… But the kitchen is also quite adept at piscatorial pleasures. There are, of course, daily specials, but the salmon, a menu mainstay, is particularly noteworthy. The filet is gently seared with a mixture of five spices and pillowed on a sesame-scallion crepe. Finishing touches include a tiara of lemon-ginger marmalade and citrus-soy glaze. Beautifully prepared and artistically presented. Without doubt, one of the very best representatives of this particular species it has ever been my pleasure to ingest.

Kimerton Inn - Choc Truffle TorteDesserts, which tend to be on the homey side, continue the kitchen’s good work. There’s a first-rate apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, for instance, also a New York-style cheesecake, and homemade Belgian chocolate ice cream. If you wish to go a bit more upscale, I would suggest either the crème brûlée or the chocolate truffle torte. Smooth and silky, this picturesque latter option comes replete with chocolate mousse, artistic squiggles of vanilla cream, and slash of white chocolate.

The restaurant also boasts a very nice wine list to complement your meal. Among the whites, I would suggest either the 2012 Spanish Rias Braixas ($35.00) or ubiquitous 2012 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay from California ($45.00). When it comes to reds, I prefer to go Italian:  either the Allegrini 2009 Palazzo Della Torre ($45.00) or the 2007 La Grolla from the same producer ($65.00). You could, of course, spend more… but these are four extremely reliable wines that won’t break the bank.

Kimberton Inn - ExteriorI first reviewed the Kimberton Inn in the spring of 2007 and have returned on numerous occasions since those initial visits. With its excellent cuisine, personable service, and charming ambiance, this establishment continues to impress… and it remains the perfect dining venue for any occasion.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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Chakra - Interior 2On Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2015, Chakra Restaurant in Paramus, New Jersey, will be tempting diners with a romantic four-course prix fixe dinner menu…

FIRST COURSE (Choice of): Grilled Shrimp Roll: Shiitake Mushrooms, Avocado, Wasabi Mayonnaise… Parma Ham Roll: Spicy Tuna, Wild Arugula, Spicy Miso Mustard… Malpeque Oysters on the Half Shell: Cucumber-Yuzu Concasse, Soy Pearls… Caesar Salad:  Romaine Hearts, Lemon Confit, White Anchovies… Mesclun Greens: Fines Herbes, White Balsamic Vinaigrette… Truffled Duck Salad: Sliced Burgundy Truffles, Apples, Parsnip, Soft Boiled Egg

SECOND COURSE (Choice of): Pumpkin Soup: Diver Scallop, Chestnuts… Horseradish Crab Cake: Snow Pea Shoots, Mustard Seed Vinaigrette… Fried Calamari: Crispy Cherry Peppers, Aioli, Sofrito… Lobster Cake: Snow Pea Shoots, Mustard Seed Vinaigrette… Braised Short Ribs of Beef: Mascarpone, Crispy Onions & Chicken Skins… Grilled Marinated Tofu: Bok Choy, Coconut-Pumpkin Broth

THIRD COURSE (Choice of): Salmon Medallions: Hen of the-Woods Mushroom, Savoy Cabbage, Crispy Sweet Potato, Beurre Rouge… Chili-Cinnamon Glazed Chilean Sea Bass: Potato-Wrapped Shrimp, Baby Bok Choy, Lemongrass NageSurf & Turf: Filet of Beef, Baked Maine Lobster Tail, Orange-Scented Asparagus… “TC Steak”: Cipollini Onions, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Foie GrasSirloin of Lamb: Merguez Sausage, Roasted Fennel Cucumber Relish, Cumin-Sumac JusGoffle Farm Chicken:  Quinoa with Squash, Charred Kabocha Squash, natural JusVegetarian Eggplant Tart: Sacred Chow Tofu, Tomato Bell Pepper Coulis

DESSERT: Dessert Tasting: A Tasting of Eight Different Desserts…Valrhona Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

The Valentine’s Day four-course prix fixe is priced at $112.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). Chakra will also be offering four-course prix fixe menus on Friday, February 13, and Sunday, February 15, bot priced at $89.00 per person (plus beverages tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 556-1530.

Bon Appétit!

TAD

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