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Garlic Rose


Daniel
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Was in Madison for a wedding this weekend.. I came upon this place garlic rose. I was excited to try it when unfortunately it was closed. I have heard of places in La and Colorado called the Stinking Rose. Has anyone tried this place and is it worth driving back one night for dinner from the city.

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Rachel and I ate there twice about 4 or 5 years ago. Definitely pre-eGullet in terms of relating my last experience there. We enjoyed it a lot, but you need to be a hardcore garlic fan. I haven't heard anything positive or negative about the place since, though.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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...you need to be a hardcore garlic fan....

I don't quite agree with Jason about this. We had lunch at Garlic Rose, in Madison, this past May. We were there as part of a group of 12, celebrating a friend's receiving her PhD. :smile: At this point, I don't remember exactly what we had, but several apps were ordered "for the table," and we each ordered our own main course. All the food was well-prepared and very tasty. As for the garlic, though I am a fan and have no problem with strong garlic flavor, I found that, at least with the dishes I tasted, it was used quite subtly to enhance the flavor without being particularly overpowering.

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We live close to the Garlic Rose. My wife and I went once, and won't be going back any time soon. The food is fine, at best. It's loaded in garlic, so if you like that, it's ok. But I wouldn't waste the drive from ny for that food.

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I think this place is great. The food is delicious and not loaded with garlic. A lot of the dishes are made with roasted garlic so the raw garlic taste is not pervasive. The service is good and staff is friendly.

We were at the Stinking Rose in San Francisco last summer and we had a great time. We ate dungeness crabs in garlic which were terrific.

I think Garlic Rose is worth a try. I wouldn't sit in traffic but on a nice day I would go to Morristown, shop at Century 21 - no tax- and eat at Garlic Rose. Be sure to make a reservation. Enjoy!

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I have been to both the one in Madison and the one in Cranford or Westfield. One is BYO and one has a liquor license.

Food was good at both, I live in the area. I certainly would not drive from NYC for it. I have several friends who like it more than I do.

I personally don't think they overdo it with garlic since most dishes use roasted garlic as stated above. Both times I have gone were in the past year and the restaurant is usually very busy according to friends who frequent the place.

Msk

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Actually, we once visited the Stinking Rose in San Francisco and I remember thinking the Garlic Rose in Madison was way better -- food and atmosphere. The only item I didn't care for the many times (more than twice, definitely) we went there was the garlic ice cream. I thought it might be made with roasted garlic and therefore sweet, but it wasn't and the raw garlic overpowered the vanilla ice cream base. I remember particularly enjoying the pork chops there, and the garlic/onion soup.

Oh, but I agree with most of the above, it's not necessarily worth a trip out from NYC just for dinner. But there's a lot to do in the Morristown/Madison area that might be worth a day trip.

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Had an incredibly imbarrasing moment here, was coming back from the men's room and I stepped out of the way of an oncoming waiter only to knock a wine bucket filled with wine and melted ice into someone's lap. Ouch!

Never went back but I remember they had excellent scalloped potatoes, this was in 1997.

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  • 3 months later...

Just got back from the Garlic Rose in Cranford and we were really pleased with the experience.

We loved the warm bread with the garlic dip. I could have made a meal of it!

I was the only one who got an appetizer - I got the Garlic Angels on Horseback - shrimp stuffed with lump crab stuffing & wrapped with apple smoked bacon, served with seaweed salad & remoulade sauce. There were only 3 on the plate but my one friend loves seafood so I gave one to her. She loved it, as did I. I wasn't thrilled with the sauce - tasted too much like tartar sauce! eek!

I really liked the seaweed salad, which surprised me.

Our dinners came with salad of mixed greens and roasted garlic red wine vinaigrette, which was very good but a little too vinegary for me. They offered to garnish it with grated parmesan cheese (which was already grated and sitting in a bowl by the entrance to the restaurant, right by the people waiting in line to be seated, next to the bowl of mints. It was a little off-putting.)

My one friend got a special of Chicken Oscar, a boneless breast with crabmeat stuffing and I don't recall the details of rest of the dish. She liked it but thought they were a little light on the crabmeat. My other friend got the Baked Garlic Harvest Stuffed Chicken which is a boneless breast stuffed with sun-dried cranberries, fresh rosemary, green onions & roasted garlic cream cheese, topped with a garlic & herb walnut crust. She adored it.

I got the Filet Mignon Au Poivre which was delicious. We all raved about their "Gilroy Potatoes" which were creamy and garlicky scalloped potatoes with lots of crispy parts. MmmmMMM! And each dinner came with broccoli and carrots and a whole roasted head of garlic on each plate.

We all want to go back and try other dishes. Personally, I want to try all the appetizers!

Their dinner menu is here

Just a footnote - we arrived at 4:45 and there were only a few tables occupied. When we left at 6 the place was full, and there were people waiting.

Not sure if anyone besides me cares about this but - the chairs were very comfortable, and armless. :smile:

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Chris (my bf) & I have eaten at the Garlic Rose in Madison about 4-5 times. I haven't purchased a new Entertainment card (http://www.entertainment.com) this year, but in previous years the Garlic Rose offered buy one get one free entrees- I believe up to $17, and the best part? You could re-use your card all year long for this deal. This was AWESOME. If they still offer this via the Entertainment card, I would say the Garlic Rose alone is worth the purchase of the card.

Anyways- I second the love on the Gilroy Potatoes. Yum! I love scalloped/au gratin style potatoes, so these are a pure slice of heaven.

The Garlic Rose dip they give you with the bread is excellent- more than enough for an appetizer.

For the salad, we always asked for the caesar dressing, as neither of us are big fans of vinagrette style dressings.

From my memory, my favorite entrees involved pork chops or filet mignon, and I believe gorgonzola cheese on top (or stuffed)- I usually order from their specials menu too.

Basically, if you love garlic, this is the place to eat!! I can't wait to go back again, but just remember not to make any *intimate* plans afterwards- you will reek of garlic for sure :biggrin:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Went back to Garlic Rose in Cranford today (Saturday) for lunch. Another tasty (and garlicky) adventure!

We started, once again, with the amazing garlic dip and the warm bread. They sell the dip "to go" but by the time we finished the meal, we didn't think we'd be wanting garlic for a while - especially not chopped raw garlic and herbs in oil. It's quite potent!

They had a stone crab bisque special ($6.95) which I got. It had a touch of brandy, and was quite good. My friend got the "stacked chicken" ($9.95) which was a boneless breast sauteed with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, fresh garlic & basil in a lemon veloute sauce, topped with melted brie. She really liked it, but said she would have chosen a different sauce. It came with a nice portion of their "gilroy" scalloped potatoes.

I got the "veal garsala" ($15.95) which was scaloppine cuts of veal in a roasted garlic, Marsala wine wild mushroom sauce. There were loads of slivered mushrooms and sides of sauteed baby spinach and the yummy gilroy potatoes *swoon*.

When I think about it, I realized I ordered wrong, as I tend to like my meat without sauce. I love the taste of meat. Next time I would get the sauce on the side. But again - that is just me, I'm sure, as the sauce was tasty, but I felt it overpowered the tender, delicious veal.

They put a whole roasted head of garlic on each plate, as usual. We just squeezed the sweet cloves into our mouths throughout the meal.

I do love that they give us a carafe of water with plenty of ice. And they kept it full throughout the meal. The room was really chilly, though. A few people (including my friend) ate wearing their coats! Maybe we should have asked them to kick up the heat a notch?

For dessert we split a "toasted almond cake" ($5.95) - sponge cake soaked in Amaretto, layered with marscapone cheese and sliced almonds, drizzled with a caramel sauce and topped with whipped cream. It was like an almond tiramisu. Heavenly!! We savored every bite.

Another great meal at Garlic Rose!

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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  • 3 years later...

I think the food is good at TGR but on a busy night they pack you in like sardines and that just makes for a less than great dining experience. The have a great garlic soup served in a little bread bowl that is awesome. As far as the garlic, they have definateley toned it down compared to when they first opened. They used to serve a head of roasted garlic with every entree, and now its by request only. I would keep TGR in your restaurant rotation, but wouldn't travel too far to eat there. More of a convenience thing if your going to Madison or Cranford areas.

President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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I have to agree, it's ok, not great now. Last couple of times I went, I was disappointed.

And I am really sad that they no longer make the garlicky scalloped potatoes - which were sooo delicious, and accompanied every entree. I haven't been there in nearly a year though - maybe they've brought them back?

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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I had not been in years. Went to the one in Madison years ago and thought the garlic overwhelmed. I went to the one in Cranford this past Friday and they have cut back on the garlic. They also state on the menu that they will prepare your dishes with level of garlic you want. We did not ask for anything other than their norm and it was fine. Good place, good food, not ass kicking food but good and I would return. One issue for me is there were too many chicken dishes on the menu and not enough red meat or seafood dishes. I would like to see more variety. Oh and service was excellent.

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