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American Fare


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Was wondering about American Fare in Maplewood, 07040. I dined there last night, and was very happy with my meal. Not a review, more of an account. Shared apps of mussels in white wine/shallot broth, and potato gnocchi with aged gouda, garlic, and sage. Mussels were ok, but didn't strike me as truly memorable. Not bad, just nothing i'd go out of my way to order again. The gnocchi on the other hand was delicious! I don't know how much i could eat as it was a truly rich taste, however i enjoyed every piece and dipped quite a few pieces of bread in the sauce :biggrin: For an entree i had free range Duck prepared two ways, roasted(i think, bad memory, sorry) and leg confit. This was over some sort of wild rice and in a black currant(or blackberry-type fruit) sauce. Man, am i bad at this :wacko: . The breast was nicely medium rare, although one larger part was almost frighteningly rare, and i was happy with this. The confit surprised me as i had never had this before(neophyte to french dining), and i could have eaten plates upon plates of the stuff. My dining companion had poached salmon, and seemed to enjoy, but as i've never been a large consumer of salmon(other than as sushi), i payed even less attention to their meal than to mine :wink:

This is a byob, and the wine we enjoyed with dinner was a 1999 Domaine Les Pallieres, Gigondas. I'm even less experienced referencing wine tastes, however it was enjoyable to us both, however it tasted better towards the end of dinner than the beginning, so i assume we possibly should have let it "breath" a little before-hand. Realize this should have been at the beginning, but the setting was a small store-front restaurant located between a movie store and Carmelita's of Hoboken in the middle of town. Small, but not cramped interior with around 12 tables. Waiter was extremely attentive(not annoyingly so), and would definitely go back as well as reccomend to others. This evening started out as a trip to Le Jardin, however they were closed(i've never dined there). And my friend chose American Fare over Joycelenes, and i do want to try there(haven't yet). Will welcome any other opinions on the restaurant, or any critiques of my paltry attempt at writing :cool: thanks for reading

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

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We ate at American Fare a year ago, and our experience was not as good as yours. The service was very UNattentive, the tables are one on each side with an aisle down the middle, so it's fairly uncomfortable as well as un-aesthetic; the food was just OK; not a good price/value quotient.

We have had a much better experience at Celebrated Food just down the block where the ambience, food and service were far better than American Fare.

And Jocelyne's is on another level from both of these places. Top notch is all areas. Slightly more expensive, though. (Well worth it)

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We've been to American Fare 4 or 5 times and the food seems to be slowly going downhill, although their duck is usually very good. I wasn't aware there was a change in ownership. With all the talk of it on this board, I think it's time to try Jocelyne's.

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  • 2 weeks later...

american fare was sold three years ago. however, they had hired a dining room manager who, it seems, decided he was the owner. the chef/owner was typically chained to the stove, and as such was unable to rein in this terror of the dining room. having been a long time customer of Ed's we took this in stride and brought this to his attention. the manager was promptly fired nd ed took complete control of the front and kitchen operations. granted during the time of the dining room monster the food may have suffered some but since then it has been nothing but top notch.

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Bearstew, thanks for bringing this thread back up. I was planning to ask if anyone had visited American Fare, since I had dinner with the chef last night (a rare day off for him) in Manhattan. Phil Gassarro has been cooking at AF for over a year, and Ed has been giving him ever greater responsiblity in the kitchen while he focuses on the front of the house.

I'm a friend of Phil's wife, who also hostessed at the restaurant occasionally. He's a really sweet guy and very passionate about cooking. I haven't yet been to American Fare so I can't comment on his food. But I think he'll be happy to know he's on the eGullet radar.

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Thanks for the information Cathy. I haven't been to American Fare in the last year and have not tasted Phil's cooking. I am glad that you clarified all of this. Sounds like the restaurant is worth a return visit.

This also points out why it is important for restaurateurs to let me know when they have a new chef so I can post the information on Table Hopping With Rosie. :smile:

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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good question rosie, as you know, and i know from having many friends in the restaurant business, a great many things and a ton of cooperation from all the staff of a rest. have to happen concurrently for any one person to do his or her job in the manner it should. a lack of communication or a miscommunication and a whole service could come tumbling down like a house of cards. apparently, this is what was happening, the manager thought making people wait for their tables( not good or chic when you're hungry) and giving "new york" attitude was good business. this would only serve to predispose people to look at things from a skewed slant. telling people that they should eat their food the way "we" like to make is another

all these things could put the kitchen in the "weeds" needlessly.

thanks for the oppurtunity to defend a friend and a fine bistro

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re: ownership at A-Fare is solely by the chef. I'm not exactly sure what his name is, but I think, it's Ed. Also, bear stew can be wonderful, rich, richer than beef, fuller than venison, the only thing I could compare it to would be a old fashioned boar navarin. Bear meat is as well marbled and tender as any Angus beef, it just has to be handled and respected for what it is. I have eaten bear many times and have just been blown away by it's flavor and richness. (much family in the north). Is there any truth to the rumour that A-Fare may be moving to different location?

always fun to chat

J.A.N.

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