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The Bernards Inn-Bernardsville


Rosie
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We had a memorable dinner at The Bernards Inn this weekend. We asked Chef Edward Stone to make a tasting menu and it was wonderful. We had no idea what we were going to eat and could not have chosen better dishes ourselves.

Our tasting menu consisted of the following:

We started with tuna tartare with quail egg and fleur de sel. The quail egg was in the shell and poured over the tuna at the table.

Next was a warm oyster with spinach and saffron. The sauce was addictive. I could have had this as my main course.

Perfectly cooked Florida red snapper rested on a goat cheese risotto cake and was surrounded by yellow tomato sauce.

Then we had a loin of farm raised rabbit with a white bean cassoulet and Dijon rosemary jus. Thumper never tasted so good!

Griggstown pheasant was presented with foie gras (what could be bad) and a poached pear with celery root puree.

Cervena venison was our last tasting before dessert and it came with a pink peppercorn puree, baby brussel sprouts and a chipolte demi glace.

Dessert was a crème brulee tasting consisting of a classic and ginger crème brulee and raspberries.

We were there 3 1/2 hours and enjoyed every minute. Don't wait for a special occasion to try this restaurant. The service and food were excellent. For a very special evening you can stay the night. They have a special package that includes dinner, the room and breakfast the next morning.

Phone: 908-766-0002

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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The Bernard's Inn offers a tasting menu six nights a week. The menu changes daily and it must be ordered for the whole table. On Saturday they serve it after 8:30 PM. Cost is ๛ for the six course tasting menu and 贎 with wine which includes a dessert wine. You can order the tasting menu when you arrive at the restaurant. You need to request a fish or vegetarian tasting menu a few days in advance.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 3 years later...

i have not been here yet. Going to a family function there this Saturday.. Dont really know what to expect in terms of dining arrangements or the amount of people attending.. I know there is a cocktails from 6 to 7 and then dinner.

Edited by Daniel (log)
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The Bernard's Inn offers a tasting menu six nights a week. The menu changes daily and it must be ordered for the whole table. On Saturday they serve it after 8:30 PM. Cost is ๛ for the six course tasting menu and 贎 with wine which includes a dessert wine. You can order the tasting menu when you arrive at the restaurant. You need to request a fish or vegetarian tasting menu a few days in advance.

Your prices appear to have gotten garbled -- at least on my machine. Can you try reposting?

Thx.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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The Bernard's Inn offers a tasting menu six nights a week. The menu changes daily and it must be ordered for the whole table. On Saturday they serve it after 8:30 PM. Cost is ๛ for the six course tasting menu and 贎 with wine which includes a dessert wine. You can order the tasting menu when you arrive at the restaurant. You need to request a fish or vegetarian tasting menu a few days in advance.

Your prices appear to have gotten garbled -- at least on my machine. Can you try reposting?

Thx.

I noticed that also but since the posting was from 2001 I don't have the info and if i did it would be out of date.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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The garbling most likely is from how the the character set is set for the board. Basically, it's not "translating" right. Bernard's Inn is a fabulous place..I have been there many times (not recently) but I would love to go back.

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Went there last night. Not a bad drive from the city.. I unfortunately was served off a preset menu.. Had a lobster bisque and steak.. It was fare at best. The place looked great, however this menu was not.

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I unfortunately was served off a preset menu.. Had a lobster bisque and steak..

It really is too bad that you were selecting from a preset menu. Was it a private party or were you in the dining room? When we were there this past January, I had a hard time choosing what to eat...I thought both the ala carte menu and the tasting menus looked very creative, and the food was unbelievable. Don't know how many people you had in your party, but maybe your host was trying to accomodate the majority of his or her guests by staying simple.

I think a few things have changed here since the thread started in 2001, because Rosie noted that the entire table had to have the tasting menu during her visit, but that wasn't the case when we were there. There were 2 of us that had the tasting menu and I think the other 4 had the ala carte menu. There is also new ownership and a new chef.

Edited by gourmand2 (log)
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We celebrated our wedding anniversary Friday evening at The Bernards Inn - it had been some time since our last visit there, plus we'd never had an anniversary dinner there. (We'd celebrated someone's birthday and Valententine's Day in the past.) Plus, since there was a new chef at the helm - who formerly worked at Restaurant Nicholas - we were curious to see what kinds of changes had been made - and their impact, if any.

The first sign of change was in the lobby: the table by the dining room door that used to hold a dessert menu and samples of that evening's dessert offerings was now occupied by giant chocolate Easter eggs.

Next, there was the matter of the tasting menu, which I made certain to take note of, since someone asked about it. Last few times we were there, a copy of that evening's tasting menu was placed on the table, along with that evening's list of wines available by the glass and a list of specials for that evening. On Friday, although there was no printed list of specials, there was a "wines by the glass" list. The only reference to a tasting menu was an entry on the menu that read, "Tasting Menu - $85 (I think)" I wound up asking the server about it as we were about to place our order

We began by ordering a bottle of Rosenblum Cellars Rocktile Road Zinfandel 2002; which featured dark fruit (esp. raspberry) and a very long finish that tasted of bittersweet chocolate. A very enjoyable bottle.

The amuse was a tuna tatare served over a salad of chopped carrot and red pepper with a plum wine reduction. This tasted great and went very well with the wine (esp. the plum wine reduction).

First course was a corn chowder aka soup du hour - without the seafood dumpling that was offered (the menu featured dumplings as accompiaments to several of the entree selections). It was a winner: generous portion that had both sweet and spicy overtones. We really enjoyed it, even if it wasn't a match for the wine.

For salads, Ken had the beet salad while I had the mixed organic greens. The beet salad included red and yellow beets, and goat cheese. Ken found the yellow beets quite sweet (which he liked), while the goat cheese was slightly salty. Both salads would've been better (at least for us) with a little less dressing.

Entrees were beef tenderloin for Ken and salmon filet for me. The salmon was served atop with a delicious morel mushroom sauce

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We celebrated our wedding anniversary Friday evening at The Bernards Inn - it had been some time since our last visit there, plus we'd never had an anniversary dinner there. (We'd celebrated someone's birthday and Valententine's Day in the past.) Plus, since there was a new chef at the helm - who formerly worked at Restaurant Nicholas - we were curious to see what kinds of changes had been made - and their impact, if any.

The first sign of change was in the lobby: the table by the dining room door that used to hold a dessert menu and samples of that evening's dessert offerings was now occupied by giant chocolate Easter eggs.

Next, there was the matter of the tasting menu, which I made certain to take note of, since someone asked about it. Last few times we were there, a copy of that evening's tasting menu was placed on the table, along with that evening's list of wines available by the glass and a list of specials for that evening. On Friday, although there was no printed list of specials, there was a "wines by the glass" list. The only reference to a tasting menu was an entry on the menu that read, "Tasting Menu - $85 (I think)" I wound up asking the server about it as we were about to place our order, and she just gave us an overview. Ken said he noticed that other servers described it to other diners.

We began by ordering a bottle of Rosenblum Cellars Rocktile Road Zinfandel 2002; which featured dark fruit (esp. raspberry) and a very long finish that tasted of bittersweet chocolate. A very enjoyable bottle.

The amuse was a tuna tatare served over a salad of chopped carrot and red pepper with a plum wine reduction. This tasted great and went very well with the wine (esp. the plum wine reduction). The rolls - particularly the sour cream and chive - were very tasty.

First course was a corn chowder aka soup du hour - without the seafood dumpling that was offered (the menu featured dumplings as accompiaments to several of the entree selections). It was a winner: generous portion that had both sweet and spicy overtones. We really enjoyed it, even if it wasn't a match for the wine.

For salads, Ken had the beet salad while I had the mixed organic greens. The beet salad included red and yellow beets, and goat cheese. Ken found the yellow beets quite sweet (which he liked), while the goat cheese was slightly salty. Both salads would've been better (at least for us) with a little less dressing.

Entrees were beef tenderloin for Ken and Roasted Maine Salmon filet for me. The salmon was served atop quinoa and aspraus with a delicious morel mushroom sauce. The tenderloin came with a potato and spinach dumpling, aspirtation (said to be a cross between asparagus and broccoli, but tasted more like broccoli rabe, though less bitter), and red pepper marmalade (which more resembled a sweet red pepper relish). The tenderloin was a little ough: although it cut easily enough, it was a bit difficult to chew.

Desserts were berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries) for Ken and chocolate souffle for me. The berries were not sweet, but improved a little when Ken mixed them with the accompanying sabayon. My souffle was advertised as being accompanied by caramel ice cream.

Alas, this was not the perfect evening we expected. It took longer than we would've expected to be taken to our table - even after Ken arrived from finding a parking space. The table was never decrumbed after we finished our entrees. The wine steward never made any effort to ask whether we liked our wine - even though we noticed she was speaking with other diners at length. My souffle was pretty much set in front of me, with no other assistance in serving - I was basically left on my own. Worse, although I had asked for a different flavor of ice cream - vanilla instead of the caramel - the souffle showed up with the caramel; which the server eventually noticed.

We were also dismayed to see no tea menu, although Ken noticed that someone at another table was served a teapot with a strainer - which was different from the tea bags he got

To add to the disappointment, even though Ken had mentioned our anniversary when he made the reservation, there was not a word or other gesture of congratulations. Oh well.

Although they may seem to be nits, these were things that we felt shouldn't have happened in a restaurant of this stature.

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We celebrated our wedding anniversary Friday evening at The Bernards Inn -

Alas, this was not the perfect evening we expected. 

We were also dismayed to see no tea menu, although Ken noticed that someone at another table was served a teapot with a strainer - which was different from the tea bags he got

To add to the disappointment, even though Ken had mentioned our anniversary when he made the reservation, there was not a word or other gesture of congratulations.  Oh well. 

Although they may seem to be nits, these were things that we felt shouldn't have happened in a restaurant of this stature.

Happy Anniversary! You were right to expect better service than you apparently received at an establishment with the reputation and prices of The Bernards Inn. We dined there once, also to celebrate an anniversary, and found the service a bit like an assembly line. We ordered a tasting menu which was dropped off course by course and wine by wine without explanation of either. We saw more of the busboys than our waiter. Our experiences at the Ryland Inn and The Stage House have been much better than our evening at The Bernards Inn. These were not just "nits" amd they shouldn't have happened.

KathyM

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I'd gone here back in September 2003 for a wedding, and found the food to be absolutely fantastic. Amongst other things, I had a fabulous lobster bisque, and an apple sorbet with a dried super-thin slice of Granny Smith apple.

Quite possibly one of the best dining experiences I had.

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I'd gone here back in September 2003 for a wedding, and found the food to be absolutely fantastic.  Amongst other things, I had a fabulous lobster bisque, and an apple sorbet with a dried super-thin slice of Granny Smith apple.

Quite possibly one of the best dining experiences I had.

I would have to agree with you because my dining experience was amazing as well. I really love this place & wish Helena was able to enjoy her experience just as much...especially on such a wonderful occasion as her anniversary. It's such a romantic spot tucked away in such a busy little town!

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I've lived in Bernardsville off and on since I was ten, and my mother still lives there.

IMHO the Bernards Inn has really gone downhill in the past three years. The food is nothing special, and sometimes the waitstaff is downright surly.

We held my mother's 70th birthday celebration there (just a quiet, small group of eight people), and the staff did nothing to make her feel special, or make the evening more celebratory. A shame - time was when one could enjoy a very special evening there.

On the other hand, the bar is beautiful. It is a very nice place to go for a martini and conversation.

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I would agree w. the poster who commented about the

excellence of the cuisine and experience in 2003. There

has been both a change of ownership and chef since that

time; these leave me agreeing with Nancy.

Our last experience [a few months ago] was at best, mundane.

I doubt we'll return again.

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Lowell and I attended the “Pepper Bridge Winery” dinner with winemaker, Jean Francois Pellet and proprietor, Norm McKibben at The Bernard’s Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville. We had never heard of Pepper Bridge from Walla Walla, Washington and were delighted to have discovered this fabulous winery. We sat with the proprietor and learned that Washington is the second largest producer of premium wines in the US and Walla Walla is the fastest growing appellation in Washington State. Pepper Bridge specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines. Their sister winery is Amavi which produces the Syrah which was my favorite wine of the evening with the cab coming a close second. The URL is http://www.pepperbridge.com.

Executive Chef Corey Heyer presented the following menu which he will also prepare tonight at The Beard House, NYC.

Cocktail Reception: lemon and ginger scented foie gras “truffles;” smoked salmon on pumpernickel with lime creme fraiche; rabbit terrine with sauterne gelee; coriander marinated lobster and mango on crispy wonton; and Parmesan cheese crisp with roasted peppers and black olives

(Demi Sec, Moet et Chandon, Nectar Imperial, NV Epernay)

Asparagus salad with hazelnuts, black truffle vinaigrette and crosnes (a small crunchy white tuber also known as knotroot or Chinese artichoke) (Amavi Cellars Semillon 2003)

Morel mushroom soup with foie gras ravioli, spring peas, and crispy shallots

(Pepper Bridge Winery Merlot 2002)

Braised veal cheeks melted leeks, spicy polenta, star anise, and orange jus

(Pepper Bridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2001)

Kobe beef short ribs with celery root gratin, fava beans and spiced wine reduction

(Amavi Cellars Syrah 2002)

Strawberry and banana tart, tres leche, and rhubarb sorbet

(Pepper Bridge Winery Late Harvest Semillon 2002)

Executive Chef Corey Heyer did an outstanding job matching the wines and food. I especially liked the tender veal cheeks and Kobe short ribs. Dessert was a perfect light ending to the dinner. If you haven’t been to The Bernards Inn put this restaurant on your must try list. Phone: 908-766-0002.

Also--the bar seems to be very popular and was still crowded when we left at 10 PM.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Executive Chef Corey Heyer presented the following menu which he will also prepare tonight at The Beard House, NYC.

We were fortunate enough to attend the James Beard event on Wednesday evening, and Rosie, I couldn't agree with you more. I also had no prior experience or knowledge of Pepper Bridge Winery and was extremely impressed with their wines. The syrah was also my favorite, but the semillon came in a very close second. Not surprisingly, I fell in love with the late harvest semillon...dessert wines always find their way into my heart!!

Chef Heyer presented his menu flawlessly (which I find can sometimes be very challenging at the Beard House), and once again, I'm in agreement with Rosie and thought the food and wine were paired perfectly. As a matter of fact, the proprietor of the winery said that it was by far the best food pairing that he's ever had with his wine. I'd find it difficult to choose a favorite dish, so I won't. Suffice to say that overall it was one of the best wine dinners (all things considered...food, wine, service, etc.) that I've attended.

--I have a few pics of the food & kitchen action, but I don't know how to post them. I'd love to add them if someone would be so kind to guide me.--

Edited by gourmand2 (log)
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