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Skylark Diner

RPMcMurphy Oct 19, 2009 07:58 AM

So, I never thought I'd be writing a post about a diner. We stopped in a couple of weeks ago and were super surprised. Apparently they have a new chef, Craig Shelton, formerly of Ryland Inn, a James Beard winner, etc. etc. I'm not sure if he's just consulting or what, but the menu....for a "diner" is fantastic. Changes daily (well, they print a new menu daily, we went 2x in 2 weeks and saw some changes, but not toooo many)

In addition, the sommelier, (yes, they have one, formerly of Stage Left, then CRU) put together a pretty good wine list!

or...you can go in and have a burger and shake, or some pancakes....

The food, is really, really good, and not just for diner food, but surprisingly good. If you've ever thought twice about ordering a bottle of wine at a 'diner', don't, I would at Skylark.

This last time I ordered a Moroccan filet tips, with couscous and merguez sausage (17$), that was just great, and my Wife had shrimp and scallops (17?) that she said were good and fresh, for app, we split some ribs that were also good.




The cocktail menu needs a lot of work, but 2 outta 3 ain't bad!

a few glasses of wine, and the above, 60$, not diner cheap, but well worth it. Great food, Good wine list, in the most unpretentious atmosphere you can imagine. Service is, well...diner service still.

It's one of my new favorite places. (did I just say that?)

Yep, I'd order an after dinner port too.

Skylark Diner & Lounge
17 Wooding Ave, Edison, NJ 08817

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  1. f
    fpatrick Oct 19, 2009 09:08 AM

    Is this the Skylark in Edison we're talking about?

    1. c
      cranrob Oct 19, 2009 09:40 AM

      Craig Shelton? Really? This is major news.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cranrob
        RPMcMurphy Oct 19, 2009 04:33 PM

        here is a link to a menu, dated 9/22, but it changes daily...


        you can see the wine list though, and get a feel for the menu...and yeah "guest" chef Craig Shelton.

      2. JerzeyShore Oct 20, 2009 11:17 AM

        Went to Skylark a few weeks ago at 6:30 AM on a Monday to try breakfast but they were not yet open which surprised me. Had to divert to White Rose System which is a favorite of mine in the area for cheap eats.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JerzeyShore
          BeerWeezil Oct 22, 2009 11:15 AM

          They aren't really a diner so that's why they wouldn't be open at real diner hours like 6:30 am for breakfast.

          1. re: BeerWeezil
            JerzeyShore Oct 22, 2009 04:15 PM

            Thats news to me and maybe some one ought to tell them that they aren't really a dinner as they advertise themselves as one. Take a look at their web link above - skylarkdiner.com ...

        2. ambrose Oct 23, 2009 07:25 AM


          When it became obvious that the Ryland Inn was not going to survive, there were numerous reports that Shelton was consulting for a catering group. The name escapes me but I'm pretty sure it was NOT the one mentioned on the Skylark Diner's web site. Perhaps he is consulting for more than one company.

          Jerzey Shore, if you look at the Skylark's menus, you will realize that this is not your ordinary diner.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ambrose
            RGR Oct 23, 2009 02:53 PM

            That would be Ome Caterers. http://www.omecaterers.com/home.html

            Shelton has been busy:

            1. re: RGR
              yCf Oct 26, 2009 06:35 AM

              Since Americana (E.Windsor) and Colonial (E. Brunswick) are part of the group as Skylark, do they have the same offerings on the menu?

              1. re: yCf
                RPMcMurphy Oct 26, 2009 07:37 AM

                No. Skylarks menu is different. Although, you can of course still get pancakes, eggs, and regular ol' "diner' food, anytime

                1. re: RPMcMurphy
                  jrd303 Oct 26, 2009 08:29 PM

                  Thought I noticed Skylark on both The Courier News and Home News Tribune today while passing by. There's an article online:


          2. a
            albinoni Jan 8, 2010 06:30 PM

            Any resemblance between the food Craig Shelton was famous for preparing at the Ryland Inn, and that served at the Skylark, is strictly coincidental. I have never felt so duped as I did after reading, and falling for, the raves--particularly the four stars Theresa Politano gave it in her review in the Star-Ledger. The sad fact is that the menu promises much more than the execution delivers--example, a plate of braised short ribs, while tender, packed all the flavor of a can of beef stew. This seems to be more of a publicity stunt than a genuine limited run featuring one of the country's most prestigious chefs. Craig Shelton owes his fans an apology, and he owes himself a disclaimer.

            1. c
              chuck98 Sep 11, 2011 01:37 PM

              Has anyone tried the Skylark since Craig Shelton left? I'm wondering if the food quality is still good or if it regressed. The couple of times I was there during the Shelton era it was pretty great.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chuck98
                Ted in Central NJ Sep 12, 2011 05:15 AM

                Yes, I have been there subsequent to Craig's departure, and yes, I do believe that the quality has slipped a bit. While there is no question that the type of offerings, as well as the preparation of the food, are far superior to typical diner fare, I don't think that it is quite as good as when Mr. Shelton was still there.

                Will I still dine at The Skylark?
                Yes, without question, but since it is a bit pricey for this type of ambiance, I will do so only occasionally.

                1. re: Ted in Central NJ
                  BigGeorge Sep 12, 2011 02:54 PM

                  The quality definitely has slipped. I went twice after Shelton left and I was greatly disappointed. The quality of the food is more like diner food than fine dining.

              2. d
                dragonguy Sep 12, 2011 07:28 PM

                my favorite is the lemograss chicken stir fry...yummy!

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