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The Pluckemin Inn


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Anyone been here yet? If so, please share your thoughts/impressions/opinions.

The Critical Diner

"If posts to eGullet became the yardstick of productivity, Tommy would be the ruler of the free world." -- Fat Guy

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Have heard that the place is gorgeous but have not been. Matthew Levin, previously from Moonlight in New Hope, PA is the Executive Chef and the menu is contemporary American. If you go be sure to give us a report.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Have heard that the place is gorgeous but have not been. Matthew Levin, previously from Moonlight in New Hope, PA  is the Executive Chef and the menu is contemporary American.  If you go be sure to give us a report.

it is a handsome place- and huge. but i found the place to be a bit pretentious and snotty. it is interesting for us to eat out at nj places that want to be known as 'fine dining' because we look a lot younger than we are. sometimes our service is pretty terrible compared to when we might dine out at the same spots with our friends who appear older.

it is the one thing about eating out in nj that i hate. growing up in nyc, this is not something i'm used to. for example, i remember a night out at union square cafe where the next table a teen was celebrating her birthday with friends. the waitstaff was friendly, professional, and not condescending.

anyway, sorry if this rant is hijacking this thread. it's just something that has been on my mind.

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So go back to NYC!! I have been to many city places that do not have the time of day for you just becouse it is NYC . NJ restaurants like Plucky are doing things that are stepping away from bad NJ restaurants. The great thing is they are not alone!!! If the service needs help write a coment card.

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Have heard that the place is gorgeous but have not been. Matthew Levin, previously from Moonlight in New Hope, PA  is the Executive Chef and the menu is contemporary American.  If you go be sure to give us a report.

it is a handsome place- and huge. but i found the place to be a bit pretentious and snotty. it is interesting for us to eat out at nj places that want to be known as 'fine dining' because we look a lot younger than we are. sometimes our service is pretty terrible compared to when we might dine out at the same spots with our friends who appear older.

it is the one thing about eating out in nj that i hate. growing up in nyc, this is not something i'm used to. for example, i remember a night out at union square cafe where the next table a teen was celebrating her birthday with friends. the waitstaff was friendly, professional, and not condescending.

anyway, sorry if this rant is hijacking this thread. it's just something that has been on my mind.

Nanyun--Sorry to hear that you had bad service. In any case--what did you eat and how was the food and wine list?

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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So go back to NYC!!  I have been to many city places that do not have the time of day for you just becouse it is NYC .  NJ restaurants like Plucky are doing things that are stepping away from bad NJ restaurants.  The great thing is they are not alone!!!  If the service needs help write a coment card.

My, my, I see I ruffled some feathers. Did you read my post? I didn't write that the service in NYC is better, just perhaps more age-blind. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out that poor service can make or break a restaurant- especially one that is trying to do great things. Your comment card remark was particularly helpful and brilliant- at least your post provided me with some comic relief.

Rosie- in response to your question:

I went with an oneophile who was dying/drooling over the wine list here. It's pretty spectacular and a great achievement in itself.

My friend had one of the dry aged steaks here- said it was excellent and well-prepared. I had some wild salmon which was great. The menu and preparations were contemporary but nothing that exotic or out of the ordinary.

Our service wasn't bad- but it should have been alot better. Our neighboring table was very demanding and our server didn't seem to remember or care that she had other diners. The hostess, bartender, and maitre d' were all very good. And unfortunately we were not the only guests complaining about the service that night- we heard another group complaining on their way out about a different server.

I think it's still worth a look for some of you foodies. I won't go again, but if you look a big tipper, you might have a great experience. :raz:

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it is the one thing about eating out in nj that i hate. growing up in nyc, this is not something i'm used to. for example, i remember a night out at union square cafe where the next table a teen was celebrating her birthday with friends. the waitstaff was friendly, professional, and not condescending.

I won't comment on the service at the Pluckemin one way or the other since I have not been yet, but I have heard from others that it needs improvement. However, that being said, I think that you're unfairly stereotyping all NJ restaurants with a comment like this. I will apologize as a NJ native for any such experience you may have had here, but I can assure you as an avid NJ AND NY diner that NY has been guilty of the same crime. When I was 22 years old, I dined at Aureole & was seated at the worst table by far and received the worst service ever in a fine dining establishment. The captain looked down his nose at us (I'm sure he was wondering what he did wrong to deserve us & why the maitre'd hated him so), and only returned to take our dinner & dessert order.

But this & a few other incidences were isolated cases, and I would never label all NY restaurants as age discriminatory! -- I also would not say they are more "age blind".

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it is the one thing about eating out in nj that i hate. growing up in nyc, this is not something i'm used to. for example, i remember a night out at union square cafe where the next table a teen was celebrating her birthday with friends. the waitstaff was friendly, professional, and not condescending.

I won't comment on the service at the Pluckemin one way or the other since I have not been yet, but I have heard from others that it needs improvement. However, that being said, I think that you're unfairly stereotyping all NJ restaurants with a comment like this. I will apologize as a NJ native for any such experience you may have had here, but I can assure you as an avid NJ AND NY diner that NY has been guilty of the same crime. When I was 22 years old, I dined at Aureole & was seated at the worst table by far and received the worst service ever in a fine dining establishment. The captain looked down his nose at us (I'm sure he was wondering what he did wrong to deserve us & why the maitre'd hated him so), and only returned to take our dinner & dessert order.

But this & a few other incidences were isolated cases, and I would never label all NY restaurants as age discriminatory! -- I also would not say they are more "age blind".

My original post was either unclear or people just don't agree with me. If it's the latter, then that's cool, but I can try to clear up the former a bit.

We love tons of restaurants here in NJ and eat out often. We feel that we can get steaks, sushi, burgers, and Korean, Colombian, Greek (and more) eats that rival the stuff in the best cities. We have to drive quite a bit sometimes, but we really don't complain that much.

Gourmand2- you're absolutely right, restaurant service is never equal no matter where you are. I don't think all NJ restaurants are age-discriminatory. My experience and my comment have to do with restaurants here that are trying to make a name for themselves- perhaps they are trying too hard? I find the well-established places in NJ provide pretty great and consistent service.

But is it such a stretch to imagine that life in the suburbs can be a bit more provincial than city life? I'm surprised that people on this board think that this is a shocking observation. For example, in the nicer restaurants here, many people will 'dress up'. There is nothing wrong with this, but I do think sometimes that a younger or scruffier-dressed party in a nicer restaurant here will stick out more than in your average big city. (And my example of Union Square Cafe was perhaps a poor one- I'm not talking about places like this or Aureole).

I am sorry Rosie that I hijacked this thread. I won't say another word here on this. Perhaps I should move my rant over to the General Topics thread.

Also, about the wine- I couldn't drink because I am nursing. But I'll try and get back to you about what my friend had- I think she sampled two or three (?) different wines by the glass.

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There are 1000 wines featuring European, Domestic and New World choices.  Percentage of the selections are from owners’ personal collection.  What did you drink and how was the wine service?

In response to the quote, Rosie is correct about the number of selections. But wrong about the owners collection. He did by wines at auction to flesh out the list that we, American BD, cleared for them. All of the wines were bought over the past 18 months from distributors and held for the opening.

I have not eaten here as yet but I have done a wine education seminar. List is thoughtfully put together, quite expansive in its breadth, priced very fairly and many wines are bargains in comparison to other "fine dining" mark ups in NJ and especially NYC.

Just my $.02

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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Phil: I'm not questioning the validity of your statement but the following is a direct quote from the Fact Sheet that I received from the PR agency representing The Pluckemin Inn.

"Beverage Program: 1000 wines featuring European, Domestic and New World choices. Percentage of selections from owners’ personal collection"

Just wanted to let you know where I received that information.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 7 months later...

even though i complained about the service about this place earlier in this thread and caused a little stir, i went back here for my company holiday party and we were all blown away.

the hors d'oeuvres were wonderful- seared tuna with osetra caviar, chicken skewers, kobe beef, and on and on.

dinner- butternut squash soup, salad of apple pears, maytag blue, hazlenuts, fish (red snapper) wonderfully dressed, and can't remember dessert- some odd-looking chocolate concoction.

everything was beautifully plated and the service couldn't have been better. the food was original, delicious, and the portions were not too small (i eat alot).

there were a few different wine options but i drank the petite syrah all night. so good. apologies for not remember the vineyard- it was a long night.

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Pluckemin Inn received 4 stars in the Sunday Star Ledger May 29, 2005.

The article said that the there are 15,000 bottles on their wine list.

The restaurant states it has 1,060 wines on its wine list, and its cellar contains 15,000 bottles. That would seem quite reasonable, considering that some of its auction purchases were for less than case lots, and other purchases could be for multiple cases.

Among the treasures obtained by Mr LaGrassa are Les Gaudichot (1929), and several 1920s and 1930s verticals of La Tache from the Doris Duke cellars. According to the auction catalog, a few year-lots of the Gaudichot had just 3 or 4 bottles.

Pluckemin Cellar Wine List from Cellartracker

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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  • 3 years later...

Wow, this is a big bump from the archives...

An NYC food pal asked me about The Pluckemin Inn and I gave her my personal reaction (haven't been, the location isn't all that convenient to me, and it seems like it might attract an older crowd), but I promised I'd find out what other folks' thoughts/experiences have been recently. I understand that they have a new(ish) chef and that's he's got some impressive credentials--enough so that some of his staff is commuting from NYC and Brooklyn to work with him.

Has anyone been in the last 6 months or so? Impressions? Thanks in advance!

Curlz

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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  • 1 month later...

FYI ... from various web sources:

David Felton, previously at the Pluckemin Inn, Bedminster, is the executive chef at Ninety Acres Culinary Center at Natirar, 2 Main St, Peapack-Gladstone (908-901-9500).

In the Hard Act To Follow Department..... , the vacancy created at the Pluckemin Inn by the departure of long-time chef David C. Felton ranks high. (Felton has signed on with the much-anticipated Natirar Resort & Spa, the 491-acre Somerset County property being developed by Sir Richard Branson, head of Virgin Group.) But enough about these others. The arrival of executive chef Juan Jose Cuevas is a coup for the plucky owners of the Pluckemin Inn, Carl [passed Jan '09] and Gloria LaGrassa. A native of Puerto Rico and an honors graduate of the CIA, Cuevas has a stunning resume: sous chef at Lespinasse, executive chef of Blue Hill in Manhattan, opening chef of 81 in Manhattan, to name a few. But enough of resumes. This guy's food is pure rapture. His salads are much more than the sum of their parts, his pastas ditto. His slow-cooked duck puts most others to shame. His halibut with pancetta, whole-grain mustard and Sauternes jus is meltingly delicious. At lunch, he elevates fish and chips, hamburgers, and sandwiches to rarefied levels. And, having arrived this spring, he is just getting started.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natirar

http://ninetyacres.com/

http://www.njmyway.com/index.php?option=com_wordpress&p=1381&Itemid=53

http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2009/11/natirar.html

Edited by jim07044 (log)
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