There is a tradition in my family that goes back generations. I carry on that tradition with pride and there is nothing that makes me happier than "dinning at the bar" at a well run Pub, Inn, Bar, Restaurant, Gin Mill, "Gastropub" what ever you choose to call it. If there is a nice bar, with a friendly bartender, comfy stools, good food, and a nice selection of beer, wine or spirits I am in.
Today, my favorite of such establishments in the NY-NJ area is the fabulous "Gastropub" called Salt in Stanhope, NJ.
The passionate creation of Bradley and Laurie Boyle, Salt delivers on all points, friendly people, a flavorsome interesting menu, and lots of good beer on tap and over 50 to choose from in bottles. I just love this place.
I had heard the buzz on Salt which opened in the Spring of 2008. But never made it out there. An afternoon trip to Burke's in Sparta brought us to Salt's neighborhood so we decided to stop in. We arrived at 5:30 on a Saturday night. There were still plenty of seats at the bar, but we overheard that the first seating of the evening was fully booked with the first available table was opening about 9:00.
No sweat for us, as I said we love the bar, but if you are planning to dine on the weekend, call ahead. The word has gotten out with great reviews in the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal as well as local press and blogs.
The restaurant is very brightly and colorfully decorated with all sorts of memorabelia. We were greated by the cordial hostess and the warm smile of our young female bartender. She entertained us with her wry sense of humor and impressed us with her deep knowledge of Salt's huge beer list.
I started with a good old PBR draft, just 2 bucks, it was real good. Diana had a beer called Purple Haze which was recommended in place of Blue Moon, with Orange, Diana's favorite. The beer is American style wheat beer with raspberry puree and was very satisfying.
We ordered some classic bar food, fish and chips and a burger. Both dishes were oustanding alone but were made even more exciting with the delicious "Salt" hand cut fries and a selection of delicious home made sauces, mustard, ketchup, Guinness braised onions, sriracha aioli & sundried tomato aioli and of course perfect tarter sauce.
I then tried another lager on draft, a German pilsner by Radeberger, very good. It was poured in a wonderful glass. See cover photo.
Owners Brad and Laurie Boyle are no necombers to the restaurant business. Their previous restaurant Bula Restaurant in Newton was highly regard by critics of the New York Times, Zagat Survey, and The Star Ledger. Bradley is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and worked in many of Manhattans finest restaurants. Together they have created what I consider a perfect drinking and dining experience. Live entertainment is also a great part of the Salt scene.
Here Brad talks about how he selects beers for the extensive Salt beer list.
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109 US Highway 206
(973) 347 7258