Archive for the ‘*Petra’ Category

A Taste of Montclair

June 3, 2007

For every celebration, my mom and I venture to a new restaurant in her town, Montclair, NJ. Since the mid-’90s, Montclair has been fancying itself a little SoHo. My mom was just telling me about this new shoe and clothing store around the corner. Her words went something like this: “They had great shoes….I think the name of the store is spelled K-o-r-s….” My goodness, Michael Kors is down the road from the fire house. Is no suburban space sacred?!

Even before it became a hip place for bored New Yorkers to take over (yeah, I said it!), Montclair was a haven for lovely restaurants. Some have been around for ages (like Italian favorite Al Di La), while others are newer kids on the block. We had been eyeing one of the younger ones, called Epernay, for about a year before trying it out.

They offer a beautiful setting for any day, so I chose it for Mother’s Day. My mom had a hearty Onion Soup with Gruyere Cheese, overflowing from a little pot. There was barely room for the broth for all of the succulent pieces of onion and melted cheese that filled the pot. I had the Local Organic Greens with Aged Sherry Vinaigrette. Although the veggies were a little limp, the vinaigrette added a sweet-salty flavor to this light opening dish.

For the entree, my mom had a hard time choosing among the dishes and waited until the waiter came for the order to make up her mind. She ended up choosing the Roasted Salmon White Beans & Chorizo Sausage with Grain Mustard Sauce. She loved the salmon, which was perfectly crisp on the outside and tender inside. The chorizo was not the high point, as she found the texture a bit too hard compared to the rest of the meal.

I went with the heart attack on a plate, the Hanger Steak with Bone Marrow, Haricots Verts and Mashed Yukon Gold Potato. The bone marrow was definitely a plus! The hanger steak came medium rare and along with the beans and potatoes made for a hearty meal. The serving came in slices small enough not be too overwhelming to finish in one sitting.

For dessert, we had an Apple Tart Tartin and a Lemon Tart, along with a cappucino and a double espresso. The lemon tart was surrounded by this delicious raspberry (?) sauce. The sweet and tart tastes matched up really well. The apple tart was not as sweet as I thought it would be. The tart was chunky and filling. My mom was worried that it would be too sweet (she has diabetes), but really it wasn’t. To top it off, the tart came with heavy cream, which was decadent, but I felt that the tart was not sweet enough to really make the cream stand out as an addition.

Epernay has daily specials such as Bouillabaisse and Trout Amandine, four different kinds of steak and three different kinds of mussels. If ever you are in the neighborhood, you should defintely try it out.