|Ninety Acres Culinary Center|
Located on a 400+ acre park named Natirar (thats Raritan spelled backwards!), Ninety Acres is just a stone's throw away from the Bridgewater/Basking Ridge area. The whole 400+ acre space was sold by the King of Morocco in 2003 to Somerset County, who then leased approximately 90 acres to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group fame (thanks wiki for the history lesson!). He has developed the main mansion into an event space and the stable/carriage area into the restaurant and culinary school.
|Natirar logo (source here) - follow signs for this as you drive on the property|
|View as you enter the park|
|I spot deer!!!|
The main dining room and bar dining area both serve their a la carte menu. For those of you making reservations online and/or on opentable.com, those spots are for the main dining room. Reservations for the main dining room fill up two months in advance for peak times (is Saturdays and Sundays) so make sure to plan accordingly. If you are in a pinch, call the restaurant for a table in the bar area - same menu but less planning ahead needed.
|Elegant main dining room|
|View of dining room from my table|
|Bar area seating - this was packed when we were leaving around 8pm!|
The "Bring Me Food" style dining is the 5-course tasting menu option. You are seated near the large (and gorgeous) option kitchen area at white linen covered tables. As your courses are served the Chef comes out and personally explains the dish. There are only 7 or so tables so if you are interested make sure to call for reservations as soon as possible (no opentable.com).
|"Bring Me Food" seating area with the huge open kitchen in the background|
|Diners enjoying the fire pit on the patio (excuse the blurry pic)|
|Me, my momma, and pear sidecars|
After placing our orders, the bread basket came out. You all know how I feel about bread baskets! Well, my mother is even crazier about the bread basket and pretty much dominated the contents. From the few nibbles I managed to steal, it was great fresh bread with soft butter (I will have to say the butter in no way compares to Blue Hill butter though...).
|Bread basket...my mother is an even bigger fan of bread than me!|
First up were our appetizers. I've been on a severe octopus kick lately so I couldn't resist going with the Paprika Rubbed Grilled Octopus. My mother went with every farm-to-table restaurant's must try: the Poached Egg.
I was actually disappointed in the Paprika Rubbed Grilled Octopus. It came served with watermelon, red onions, and ancho-lime & garden herbs. The watermelon I thought was odd. I'm a HUGE watermelon junkie but I didn't like it with the octopus. In terms of the octopus itself, the texture was not what I was expecting (kind of ...mushy??) and the flavor was lost between the watermelon and sauce.
The Natirar Poached Egg, however, was fantastic. If you come, this is something you need to try! It comes served with pancetta (mmmm bacon!), fingerling crisps, kale, and red onions. The egg was sooooo good and when you break it open, the yolk mixes with the kale, onions, and pancetta and it is everything good about brunch - all in a dish at dinner!
|Paprika Rubbed Grilled Octopus - disappointing|
|Natirar Poached Egg - excellent and must try!|
|Fresh Mozzarella Pizza|
The Prime Rib was excellent - oh so tender, juicy, and flavorful. Served with mashed potatoes and haricot verts. I had trouble getting a sampling from my mom as she was busy devouring it all herself. This was excellent.
My Sauteed Alaskan Halibut showed a lot of promise. Served with kale, chanterelles, farro, and lemon, the halibut was an excellent cut of fish and seasoned well. However, the fish was a bit dry! Overdone maybe? Or more butter needed perhaps(we can always use a bit more butter...)? Either way I spent the majority of my time fighting over the Prime Rib with my mom hehe
The side of mushrooms was a total score. I loved the mix of various types of mushrooms and the preparation was perfection. Love!
|Farmers Plate special for Saturday: Prime Rib|
|Sauteed Alaskan Halibut|
|Side of Organic Mushrooms|
|Dessert menu and list of available produce for purchase from their farm!|
Piggy says Yes!
2 Main St
Thanks for reading - Piggy KK