Seeking Opinions On The Manor in West Orange, NJ.
I just happened to browse at their website and the menus. I've never dined there and I'm thinking about dining there next week or so.
Any opinion on the restaurant (especially whether to go for the buffet or the a la carte) would be appreciated.
Sorry to bump a 2 year old thread, but I gotta chime in.
Dropped by today with my company. Went for the a la carte section, contrary to all that have been to the buffet.
Was completely blown away. Easily one of the top 5 dining experiences of my thus far young culinary life. Exceptional 5* service, friendly and knowledgeable waitstaff. Decor was very nostalgic IMHO, brought old world charm to this guy who's used to the contemporary los angeles style. But no matter how good the service and decor is, it's all about the food. And The Manor delivers.
We pretty much had an entire onslaught of the menu. The bread was ok. Unique, but not really my style. I prefer the warm soft type bread. Anyway...
I'll speak for myself primarily, chime in to other dishes when necessary.
Had oysters on the half shell. half dozen, fresh grated horseradish on the side. perfect, rekindled my love for oyster. did not ask what kind they were however.
ceasar salad made tableside. perfect. crunchy. light dressing. delicious. We originally only had it for 2 people, but the presentation blew us away and we ended up getting enough for the whole table.
main entree was rack of lamb. absolutely perfect. delicious crust, tender, rich. couldn't get enough. tied for best rack of lamb i'd ever had (turner new zealand being the first)
homemade ice cream. good, but not the best i've ever had.
they also had a piano player who played coltrane - wonderful things. Should I mention it cost about 50% of what a similar meal would cost in los angeles?
we had 4 bottles of wine. I didn't see the bill, but I'm an accountant and i guesttimate it around 6-700 pretip. w/o wine probably 500. I think you could get by for about 60-80pp. worth every dollar for the service alone.
I have never been to the restaurant portion, but I have been going to the buffet for at least 20 years. I think their buffet is one of the best in the country. The seafood and the deserts are top notch. I have never taken anyone their who has been disappointed or even had anything bad to say about it. But you can not just show up. Reservations are a must and jackets are required.
The Manor is consistantly rated as a top resaurant but I think they are trapped in a 1960's time warp. The buffet has lots of food but the recipes all date to what my parents thought was haute in 1968.
As with most buffets I am always surprised at the amounts of food consumed by patrons. One big selling point is they have lobster on the buffet - big deal.
I love The Manor. It is one of my favorite restaurants. The buffet is absolutely terrific. If you go, you should plan on stopping by Highlawn Pavilion which is owned by the same family. Highlawn is located on the Eaglerock Reservation also in West Orange and you will be treated to a beautiful view of the NY skyline.
I believe that is why it's called "Our Famous Lobster Buffet".
It's available Tuesday through Saturday evenings, and not on Sunday's where The Manor serves a Sunday Brunch and Family Buffet later in the evening.
It's not the best food in the world, but for 44.95-54.95(Fri-Sat), you will not ever find a better offering of food for less.
I agree with MS...this used to be one of our "special occassion" places...but not only is the food dated, they jamb you in like sardines...so that when you try to go to the buffet, you run the risk of either bumping into someone or wearing your food...those big wheeled chairs are comfortable, but make it impossible to get up easily when everything is so cramped...if you don't like cold seafood, the rest of the buffet is mediocre at best...I've had better food at the cocktail hour of most weddings...