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Farm foodie getaway in NJ?

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  • jmarx May 12, 2010 09:54 PM
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Hi everyone-

My boyfriend is turning 30 in June. We are both foodies. He LOVES to eat, will eat ANYTHING, and is a great cook (excellent; has taken a few classes, nothing too formal).

We try new restaurants all the time, but I would LOVE to take him somewhere really, really special. He gets sick of pomp and circumstance at fancy restaurants- he's just into the food. Are there any restaurants that are literally situated on a farm? I have seen shows on TV- is there anything like that in reality? My dream visions are to tour around a farm, maybe meet the owners/chef, sit at a chef's table, lodge nearby...

I just read about a place called Natirar (Raritan spelled backwards) but I can't find out anything about it. It seems you have to be a member. It's a farm in Raritan with a restaurant and I think, an inn or something... Also, Elements in Princeton?

We live in the Morristown/Maplewood areas but would travel and make a weekend or night trip out of it. I'd love suggestions- let me know if you think of anything!!

THANKS!!!!

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  1. Just found "Out Standing in the Fields." Looks amazing- would definitely be my kind of option, but nothing near me for a long time... Thx! :)

    1. I think the Naritar place is called "90 acres" ...they did a couple of write ups about it in the NJ papers....
      http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ss...

      check around on CH, i don't remember the reviews being all that shining

      1. I know this is the NJ board so I will comment that 90 acres is casual and what you are probably looking for, get more info here: www.ninetyacres.com BUT if you don't mind a little (and very easy) drive to Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow NY area I would suggest you check into Bliue Hill @ Stone Barn. Don't think of it as too formal, it has never been "stiff" for us. The farm is a great way to work up an appetite before your meal or a great way to work off some of the calories after your dinner. Sunday lunch, although often hard to snag a reservation, is a fantastic option.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Spiritchaser

          I was going to suggest this place - I've never been but I've been wanting to for ages. It seems to fit the bill based on Jmarx's post, from what I've read about it.

          Jmarx, just based on my experiences living in the Northeast, I think you should consider taking a trip up to Vermont for a long weekend - I think there would be something along those lines there. And if you want to go the comfort food route, I believe there might be some opportunities in Lancaster County, PA - possibly among the Amish. I haven't been up to VT (or New Hampshire) in a while, but I remember that local organic food was a big deal there, and I know I've heard that there are Amish families that cook farm-style dinners for tourists - you may be able to find a very good quality setup.

          1. re: Spiritchaser

            Excellent suggestion, Spiritchaser! I had not thought of this simply because the OP specified NJ. However, I think it's the best choice nearby.

            I cannot think of any place in NJ that fits the bill. Ninety Acres might be the closest but there's no farm, no tour and no lodging, although there is lodging nearby. And you do not have to be a member to go there.

            Here's a recent NY Times review of Ninety Acres:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/nyr...

            1. re: Spiritchaser

              I second Blue Hill Stone Barns....close enough to NJ...and excellent. i was there a few weeks ago for my birthday (surprise from my wife - best-gift-ever-). DEFINITLY not 'too formal'. As a matter of fact I saw people with jeans (although I wouldn't recommend it)

              The grounds are beautiful!

              1. re: Spiritchaser

                I've read about this place so many times and I've always wanted to go but haven't gotten around to it yet. But yes, it was the first place that popped into my head when I read the OP.

              2. BLUE HILL IS EXPENSIVE BUT WONDERFUL
                ONCE A MONTH BLOOMIMG HILL FARMS ORGANIC RUN BY GUY JONES HAS AN ORGANIC VEGETERIAN DINNER FOR ABOUT SIXTY BUCKS
                ALSO HAS AN OUTDOOR PIZZA OVEN AND FARM STAND
                NOT TO BE MISSED
                sorry for the cpas

                1. You might be interested at events up in Ct called Dinner at the fFarm. http://www.dinnersatthefarm.com/Dinne... I've never been but it sounds interesting. Basically a big communal dinner set at a local farm.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: annl

                    i remember reading about this place in the nytimes...sounded great...would love to know how it is.

                  2. THANK YOU everyone so much for the wonderful suggestions!! Blue Hill and Dinners at the Farm look PERFECT- only problem is, Blue Hill is booked up almost completely on the weekends for May/June/July (except for 9:30 and 10pm dinners). I will definitely have to go there another time.

                    I would absolutely be willing to travel 1-2 hours, especially since we'll probably stay the night somewhere. So, if someone knows of something in PA, NY or CT, any of these should be fine. Should I post on those boards too?

                    Keep the ideas comin!
                    :)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jmarx

                      Opentable lists all of the reservations at BH@SB so if you didn't find anything available it's accurate BUT they do maintain a waitlist and because of their cancellation policy you would know 2 days prior if you got a spot (just a thought).

                      1. re: Spiritchaser

                        also can add: you can eat the full menu at H@SB at the bar...not nearly as enjoyable (and its hard to plunk down 125$/person while eating on a high chair) but it is an option.

                    2. Since you are willing to travel..there is a farm in PA called the Glasbern Inn...Excellent restaurant right on the farm and most of the food on the menu comes from their Farm directly. My bride and I have been there many times and have never been disappointed. It is about 1 1/2 hr from Bergen county located in Fogelsville PA. The guest rooms are situated all over the farm and the restaurant is in the main Barn. Not cheap but a wonderful place to visit.

                      1. I got a reservation at Blue Hill at Stone Barns for Mem Day Wknd! I'm so excited- it's at 9:30 so I'm planning on going during the day to tour around the farm. We'll be staying two nights at the Tarrytown House Estate. Any other suggestions of what to do in the neighborhood while we're there?
                        THANKS everyone!! I'll let you know how it is!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jmarx

                          If you like beer there is Captain Lawrence brewery in Pleasantville, a really short drive away (I think this may get deleted because it isn't really food information) so I'll add that you should make sure you arrive to dinner a little early so you can hang out in the bar area with one of their incredible cocktails and just ease in to a fantastic evening of fresh and inventive food.