55 Main, Flemington: Worth a trip?
Has anyone been there lately, say, within the past three or four months? What are your thoughts? We love exceptional food. Is this the place for us? We're out-of-towners who'll be staying in Stockton.
We ate there about a month ago, and all four of us had excellent meal, would certainly recommend it. Much closer to Stockton is the Sergeantsville Inn (if you want to sound like a local, pronounce the first syllable "sir", not " sar"). Very pretty old stone inn, good food, and usually some odd game on the menu - saw kangaroo on the menu once, and passed. Walk over the bridge in Stockton just before sunset for some of the prettiest view anywhere, then get an ice cream at Dilly's Corner and walk back. Stockton Inn is reliable if not great, and there is a new Italian, Via Ponte, that someone else posted a good review on.
That's funny about how to pronounce "Sergeantsville". A few weeks ago I attended a comedy night at the Sergeantsville Firehouse. When one of the comedians (from NY) made the mistake of pronouncing it "Sar"geantsville, he was loudly and emphatically corrected by about two hundred people. He probably won't make that mistake again.:)
BTW, I second the rec for the Sergeantsville Inn and the walk over the bridge to Dilly's Corner for ice cream. And if you make it there, walk around to the back - there is a little path down to the towpath along the river that is a nice place to take a stroll while eating your ice cream.
I've had lunch at 55 Main. It was very good and I will definitely go back but I don't know that I would call it exceptional. I think maybe I'd have to try more food there to really make that call.
I've been to 55 Main in Flemington twice for dinner and twice for lunch. I enjoyed lunch both times but dinner both times was pretty bad. The first time, my food was so salty that I could hardly eat it. The second time, my main course was just so-so. Both times, dessert was awful. In addition, the decor in this place is atrocious, as is the service. My waitress mispronounced most of the ingredients when reading off the specials. She also told me that one of the entrees came in a coulis (pronounced it couliss) sauce as if coulis was an ingredient. I guess this is a little nitpicky, but when I go out to dinner and spend this much money, I expect the wait staff to be much more professional. The plating was terribly sloppy, the bell staff was rude, I could go on and on. I just don't know why this place hasn't been called out. Maybe my experiences are the exception, I'm just hesitant to try again. It's a lot of money to spend to be so disappointed. Anyone else have a bad experience here?
Last night I visited 55 Main. It has been one of a several times I visited since their opening, August 2007. The place was near full the entire 2.5 hours I was present.
As always, the portions were large and fresh and CIA graduate, Chef Jonas Gold scurried between cooking in the kitchen and kibitzing with his customers.
The group started with PEI mussels (served 3 ways (thai chili, red sauce, white wine sauce) - we chose the white wine. The mussels were plump, tender and tasty. There was just the right amount of red pepper to fire up the taste buds but not drown out the taste. The ravioli with braised beef was a big hit as always and the black bean soup started ok … though it progressively improved as the bottom of the bowl was neared.
The Caesar salad was perfect as always, with the unique tastes of the anchovies, mustard and cheese all shining through. Unfortunately, one of my guests prefers his salad room temperature. Though the salad was on the crisper / colder side, he left no Romaine leaf unfinished.
Still, the bread leaves a bit to be desired, regular dinner rolls. Chef Jonas, bake your own or bring us some bread worthy of your offerings.
The main courses included salmon; cod with spinach, garlic and fried anchovies; seared tuna; and skirt steak. The salmon was good. The seared tuna served with sticky rice and Asian cabbage was excellent though unfortunately 55 Main was out of wasabi. The cod was done to perfection, easily flaking and moist. The spinach and garlic were combined perfectly. The steak was served with a mushroom / onion sauté and reduction sauce – I was told the steak and mushrooms were wonderful. (Chef Jonas’ secret is in his sauces and gravies – all made from scratch and what is in the kitchen)
We were too stuffed for desert though the pumpkin cheesecake did look very appealing…. Next time.
Note: The décor is stark (which I do like), the meals run between $20-25 and BYOB.
Our experience at 55 Main has been much more in line with yours than with madgreek99's.
The last time we were at 55 Main it was a Thursday night and the place was almost full. Service was very good and we had none of the issues described by madgreek99. The one time we had some problems it was because our server was a trainee and her backup had to step in and help two or three times.
I had the wasabi seared tuna and it was truly excellent. I must say I was rather surprised by your comment that your tuna was wasabi-free! :-)) My friend had the scallops and pronounced them perfect. She is very fussy about her scallops so I have no hesitation in recommending this dish if you go again.
Unlike you, I was a little disappointed in the Caesar salad. It's hard to find a decent Caesar these days and while 55 Main's was pretty good I found the dressing to be somewhat thin. I prefer to taste the anchovies!
I'm afraid I can't remember what we had for dessert except that we shared.
Of all the restaurants in Flemington, I think 55 Main is the best. I used to recommend Matt's Red Rooster Grill to people but I no longer do so. Based on our last visit to Matt's, this restaurant seems to be slipping. Friends who went last week said the same thing.
I've been to 55 Main several times for dinner and have found it very good. Exceptional? Not certain I'd go that far. But definitely worth a trip from Stockton. It's BYO, which I always consider a plus.
Has anyone been to 55 Main lately? We were there about five years ago and thought it was very, very good, but for some reason it fell off our radar and have not been back since. We're thinking of going tonight, and I'm wondering whether any CH'ers have been there more recently, what they thought of it, and if there are particular dishes they recommend (or recommend avoiding).