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anyone been to artisan kitchen in lebanon central jersey?

http://www.artisan-kitchen.net/menus....

Came across this while tooling around on Open Table and thought it looked interesting. Anyone been?

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  1. I hadn't heard of this place (thanks for the tip), but the menu looks interesting to me too. I'm making a point of getting there for lunch next week.

    1. We have friends in North Jersey and we live in Monmouth County. Our friends choose Artisan-Kitchen to meet. Sort of a half way point.
      We're going in a couple of weeks. Menu looks very inviting!

      1. I read about this place on another forum. It seems to have snuck into town without much publicity. The menu does indeed look promising and I think I too will give it a try next week for lunch.

        1. Have not been yet but it is on my radar... The chef and his team have some really strong pedigrees, and it is reflected in the menu! Could be a sleeper to fill the void that the Ryland left!

          2 Replies
          1. re: chefty

            Chefty, welcome to chowhound! I see this is your first posting.

            I drove by this place on the weekend. I don't know anything about the food or service but the location is somewhat different from the Ryland Inn's. LOL.

            I checked out the restaurant's web site but couldn't find anything about the chef and his team. It sounds like you have some background information. Where did the chef come from? Local or outside the county? Even though the restaurant is in a shopping center, it looks nice from the outside. I do think though that the name is unfortunate. When I first heard it, I thought it was a kitchen design place!

            1. re: mountebank

              The chef is from Town in NYC, and the sous's have both worked at the River Cafe, and some of Jersey's better restaurants. A friend, who works for a high end food purveyor, told me about them. If there location does not sink them out of the gate, they will impress some people!

          2. check out tom246's recent post.

            1. the chef is from the tewksbury Inn, about 10 min away.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chefatpeck

                The 3 main chefs are from the area and all came from the Culinary Institute. Many of my work colleagues have been and had gotten great feedback. Can't wait to go when I'm home in August.

              2. My wife and I enjoyed a lovely dinner there last night. Don't let the strip mall location put you off of this fine dining gem on Route 22 in Lebanon, NJ. The dining room is all warm earth tones with subdued lighting. With the shades on the windows, one enters the room and is transported to an elegant cocoon of culinary delight.

                In my opinion, the extras provided by Artisan Kitchen easily justify the somewhat expensive prices. For example, warm rolls are accompanied by not one, but three spreads. On our night, these were white bean, fresh sweet butter with a special crystals of salt sprinkled on top of the ramekin, and first press spanish olive oil. Preceding my appetizer was an amuse bouche of tomato foam gazpacho with watermelon. Although this particular dish left me cold (no pun intended), the thought was appreciated. Another amuse bouche followed of a single small short rib ravioli in an exquisite sauce that was truly lip smackingly good. I ordered the "Foie Gras Torchon/bing cherry/cocoa/pistachio/brioche toast" for my appy. I had to look 'torchon' up here (http://www.rakko.org/cuisine/foie_gra...) afterwards, because I was unfamiliar with the 'torchon' preparation and was accustomed to only pate and seared. However, the chef's preparation was spot on according to this description and delicious. The blend of sauces was subtle, as I didn't really detect any cocoa notes.

                My entree, "Suckling Pig/farro piccolo/cherries/spiced endive", was divine. The thing I love about suckling pig is the crispy skin, and this did not disappoint. An almost translucent, golden skin, with a tasty thin layer of fat, concealed the tender pork meat beneath. I cleaned my plate and was very satisfied. My companion ate the "California Guinea Hen/ maitake/white polenta/savoy cabbage fondue" and also found it delicious, although she commented that the dark meat, rolled into small cylinders, was a little salty.

                For dessert, we enjoyed a chocolate something (it is not on their web menu, and I can't remember its name). With a double espresso, I enjoyed it heartily, but I warn you right now that I'm a chocoholic. I didn't realize when I ordered that two chocolate truffles were also on their way with compliments of the chef, or I may have skipped dessert in homage to my waistline.

                We chatted at length with the owner, Angela, after our dinner and discovered that the restaurant is a family affair of sorts, with all of the chefs, etc., friends from high school or college or very close to each other in one way or another. The interior decor, which again, I found very pleasing, was all home-made, with Angela doing the painting herself, and the kitchen staff chipping in to make the banquettes, etc.

                I hope all the 'hounds out there support this new place. We in the Clinton/Tewksbury/Whitehouse/Raritan area really deserve fine dining establishments like this one. Without strong support from our community, I fear it may not last in its location in the Lebanon Plaza. I really hope the Artisan Kitchen will be around a long time so I can proudly take visitors there and prove that although I live in the boondocks, we also have fine restaurants here among the deer, foxes, cows and horses.

                1. I've been to Artisan Kitchen three times. I went to dinner once and brunch twice. I would highly recommend this establishment to anyone. The food rivals that of any american restaurant I've ever been to. My only regret is that the lunch menu is only available Monday through Friday. I wish it were available Saturdays, as it would be my only opportunity to get there. Don't let the strip mall location deter you, once inside the atmosphere is very cozy. I honestly feel that once people start to discover this place, it may turn into one of the premier restaurants in New Jersey.

                  1. Was there this week . . . service excellent, food spectacular. Ordered appetizers, entrees, dessert tasting and cheese tasting . . . worth every penny. Don't be deterred by strip mall location . . . the restaurant itself is lovely. Can't wait to go back.

                    1. We drive out to PA on I-78 to visit my son at college occasionally and were looking for a decent place to stop for dinner. Thanks to Chowhound contributors, we found Artisan Kitchen and have eaten there a few times in recent months. If we lived a little closer this would be a destination restaurant. Yes, it's located in a very weird strip mall, but the food is creative and delicious, and the service excellent. Plus it's nice to enjoy our own wine with someone else's cooking.

                      1. Unfortunately I don't have the same enthusiasm as some regarding the Artisan Kitchen. I recently had dinner there and found the food very good but extremely expensive. the service however was very poor. The woman that waited on us disappeared for quite some time, and often, during the meal, which is difficult to do considering the small size of the restaurant.

                        Being a BYO we brought a bottle of chard which they kept chilled out of site of our table. Knowing we had quite a bit left in the bottle at the conclusion of our dinner, we had to asked for the bottle... not once, but three times. Gee, I wonder what they do with the wine when patrons forget and don't ask??? Happy Staff!!!! Didn't seem like a coincidence. Anyway, price, service and wine donations... won't be back. (this is a copy of my reply to another post requesting info about the Artisan Kitchen in November)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: StantonChef

                          stanton chef are you guys open or closed ?

                          1. re: Chefatpeck

                            I believe it has closed - I've seen no action near the place since the holidays. The website is still up but when I called the number, I got a generic answering machine message, certainly not one an active restaurant would use. And I called during lunch hour on Friday.

                        2. The food was wonderful such a shame they closed down.