a toute heure-Cranford NJ
A local bistro in Cranford N.J. Tuesday night only ,mussel pots served 5 ways..My selection was 20 or so plump and tasty in a chorizo, saffron broth with a touch of cream..And order of ATH frys. I made an excellent choice..
Although the menu has other offerings, I was there for the mussels..The restaurant is BYO, although the couple at the next table offered me a glass of Cakebake sauvigon blanc in exchange for some of my frys...
About 15 tables, and they where all taken..Nice crowd...A knowledge service staff added to this fine meal..
We met our good friends here last night for a fun filled evening of eating and drinking. The food and service were very good and several dishes were standouts.
If you have not been, A Toute Heure is a small dining room dressed up in a country French décor. A long list of local purveyors are listed on a blackboard to keep with their “local food” tradition.
Considering the size of the room, the tables are spaced adequately. We arrived for our reservations and were seated promptly.
An assortment of bread is served with two different butters, one infused with honey, the other with herbs. Both were delicious.
We ordered apps and entrees and shared a bit of everything. Creamy polenta topped with a Quattro pheasant egg and grilled ramps with a chili-garlic rosemary vinaigrette.
White star growers fresh butterhead lettuce with chopped farm egg and focaccia coutons in a creamy horseradish vinaigrette.
Hand made, baked flatbread with pickled ramps, crisped bacon lardoons and shaved parmesan.
Of course there was an app portion of Kara’s mussel pot which included PEI mussels tossed with spicy chorizo sausage in a saffron cream sauce.
All the appetizers were very good with the creamy polenta and mussels being the standouts. The sauce of the mussels was sopped up with the bread. Yum!
Entrees included two orders of pan seared scallops paired with a roast yellow top turnip mash and a radicchio, endive and cilantro salad with shaved red onion in a creamy herb vinaigrette.
The ATH duck burger: Ground Hudson Valley duck seasoned and topped with marinatd mushrooms and a cilantro mustard spread on a brioche bun with a large side of frizzled onions.
ATH “Porchetta” was tender heritage pork loin rolled around house made pork sausage, breadcrumbs and fresh herbs, with creamy parmesan risotto.
All the entrees had nice distinct flavors, only quibble was the risotto could have been a bit more tender. The standout entrees were the scallops and the duck burger which were both creative and delicious.
We ordered a couple of desserts, a threesome of homemade ice cream, maple walnut, burnt caramel and chocolate. Maple walnut was light on flavor but the others were perfect. A “honeycomb” tart with sweet caramel and candied nuts topped with a scoop of burnt caramel ice cream was one of the best desserts we have had recently.
A pot of perfectly roasted French Press coffee finished off the evening.
We had decided that it was to be a Cabernet night and the 2002 DeMartino and 2003 Seavey quenched our urge.
If you have not been A Toute Heure is well worth the trip to Cranford.
A group of wine-loving friends met at A Toute Heure Tuesday evening for dinner and a Bordeaux blast. The restaurant staff couldn't have been more accommodating, and the food was outstanding. Two of our group of 9 had mussels, one an entree portion, one an app portion. imho the app portion was generous enough to be dinner, especially if it was preceded by one of the excellent appetizers.
The house salad of mixed greens with a chunk of crusty bread smeared with goat cheese mousse was a great way to start my meal on a warm summer night. The vinaigrette was not super wine-friendly, but it was tasty. I chose the roast chicken with egg for my main. The free-range chicken was phenomenal, and a great partner to the wines.
We had the table for the evening, which was great, and arranged for ahead of time. A great way to spend an evening. We all will be back. ;)