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90 Acres - Wonderful

I think I've found my new favorite in NJ. Just had a wonderful meal at 90 Acres. We didn't order off the menu, instead we opted for thier "Bring Me Food" tasting menu, very similar to Blue Hill @ Stone Barns concept of using whatever is at peak flavor to compose the dishes.

Chef Felton actually brought out every dish himself and explained his intent, a very nice personalized touch.

Our menu consisted of a nice simple salad with shrimp and cucs, a perfectly soft cooked eggs with garlic scapes, a nice swordfish dish, and then a very beautifully cooked piece of Neiman ranch beef with the most incredible char I've ever experienced, the beef melted in your mouth but that char gave just the right amount of "crunch", wow. All this followed by a nice simple cheese course, and a beautiful blueberry "trifle".

Wine suggestions were spot on and the cocktails before dinner were wonderfully creative, we sampled each others and I can say I would have been happy with any one of the 4 we tried.

Very happy with everything relating to food and drinks. The serive was good to very good at times, still needs a little polish. The front desk staff is the weak link, we were kept waiting for about 15 minutes for absolutely no reason and then they failed to seat us in the tasting area section even though I specified in the rez that we would be having the tasting. It was rectified but it was a very clumsy start.

Cannot wait to get back there.

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  1. Sounds great just asking what did that set you back? $$

    1 Reply
    1. re: coldbeer

      For 4 people, all getting the tasting menus, 4 before dinner drinks, a very nicely priced bottle of white, one additional glass of red for my beef dish, two coffee, one tea, one espresso before tip, about $425.

    2. Sounds great. Must give it a try.

      11 Replies
      1. re: bropaul

        $425 for four people, After 4 BMF experiences I can tell you that is not accurate at all.

        Break it down

        It is $75 per head for the bring me food menu

        That is $300 to start

        Cocktails are $15 on avg so another $60

        Nicely priced bottle of wine $75 minimum

        an extra glass of red $15

        2 coffee tea and espresso $22

        Tax on $472 is $33

        That is $500+ plus tip so this is a $600 meal and you did not go very deep on the wine list

        Please don't get me wrong, we have had this menu 4 times now and I agree it is approaching some of the best experiences in the state, the service is the biggest drawback still, both the front desk and the wait staff need refinement.

        But there is no way anyone should think you can do this for a little over $100 per person plus tip and that is the impression I took from spiritchaser's post

        Personally I have never had a BMF bill less than $700 for 4 people.

        The main restaurant you can do that in easily but it is a completely different experience

        1. re: carlylecat

          Plain and simple you are wrong and I have the receipts to prove it.

          1. re: Spiritchaser

            Yeah, unless the website is wrong, the drinks, for one, are 10/11 bucks. And I suspect one could get a bottle of wine for less money than noted in the illustration above.

            1. re: tommy

              Correct, I think I remember the most expensive of the 4 cocktails was $11. And as I stated in my first response I did not include tip. We looked at the wine list orignally but then gave the Sommelier carte blanche on a recommendation and I think it was a $47 bottle of Gruner Vetliner (but I would need to check the receipt for an accurate price/wine). Additionally, I don't know where the $11 coffee/tea was but it's wasn't at my table.

              1. re: Spiritchaser

                My point is budgeting $31.50 per head for tax, cocktails, wine, extra wine and coffee/tea/espresso will not be a usual experience here.

                I just wanted to share that my experience and in MHO , most people will spend more like $50 per person on top of the $75 minimum if they drink cocktails and wine here (and yes my cocktail there does cost $15, I did not realize the specialty ones are that much less and $11 for 2 coffees, a tea and an espresso is probably low)

                Spiritchaser did a good job on shorting the wine list but I don't think that will be the call by most folks going here.

                1. re: carlylecat

                  "Spiritchaser did a good job on shorting the wine list but I don't think that will be the call by most folks going here"

                  Why not?

                  1. re: Tay

                    Thanks Tay, I was wondering the same thing.

                  2. re: carlylecat

                    One doesn't need to make assumptions. The menus are online, other than the wine list (and coffee). Presumably, Spiritchaser's cost was accurate, and helpful, contrary to the quasi-analysis provided. If anyone is counting pennies, they can certainly check the website, and also call the restaurant to get an idea what the range of the wine price is.

                    Assuming what people might or might not spend is not terribly helpful or practical. Just about anyone can "afford" a 100 dollar bottle of wine. But a lot of people look for values, regardless of the type of restaurant. For example, I very rarely spend more than 80 dollars on a bottle of wine at a restaurant, and I spend an inordinate amount of money on food and drink in restaurants.

                    Thanks, Spiritchaser, for sharing the info on the cost of your meal.

                    1. re: tommy

                      The four of us did a walk up at 5.30 PM last night, and were seated outside quickly.

                      Service and arrival of mixed dinner of two entrees and 3 app's were coordinated very well.

                      Wine list, extensive with $38 the cheapest, and many more expensive wines. Our white was served just barely cold enough and needed to be iced.

                      We had, Hamachi, Grilled Octopus, A pizza (Pork Belly), Scallops,Halibut, 1/2 order Spaghetti Carbonara, two bottles of $60 Sancerre, with tip about $360.

                      Food presentation was better than average.

                      We all agreed our meals tasted OK, nothing over the top.

                      We rated our meal just barely a 7 on a 1-10. Foodies will be disappointed

                      Ninety Acres will remain on our list but are are in no hurry to return.

                      -----
                      Ninety Acres at Natirar
                      2 Main St, Peapack-Gladstone, NJ 07931

                      1. re: tommy

                        I am sorry, I obviously made a mess out of this whole discussion an did not communicate well

                        Lets just agree and let people know that 4 people eating BMF at 90 Acres will cost around $500 to up to $700 all in if you have cocktails, wine and coffee, the variance depending on where you hit the wine list which runs from $38 to $150+

                        I totally agree with Brucefanz's assessment of the main dining room, I think if you try the BMF experience you will find a different level of dining, but will pay a lot more for it escalating your $360 to $500+

                        1. re: carlylecat

                          Went for a quick dinner Friday night - 2 of us at 9 PM

                          The place was packed as usual....but service was outstanding, our table ready when we arrived, sat at one of the two tops against the wall, tables next to us just finishing up

                          Had cocktails and the bread arrived asap - home made lavash was awesome, other breads all fresh and delicious.

                          Ordered a lentil soup that was unique and ended up a bit fun, a combintaion of salsify, lentils and english peas...had a hint of lemon in it that played off the course lentils, bitter greens and crunchy peas...just a touch of cheese that gave it some rich texture, one of the best soups I have had this year.

                          My wife had the wagu beef entree, big chuncks of tender & tasty medium rare steak surrounded by potatoes in a round bowl/dish

                          I asked for a special vegetarian dish and they delivered a sautee of winter root vegetables surrounding a mound of pearled farro that sat atop a swoosh of fruity marmalade. Very well constructed and certainly an original dish. I ate every last bite with a big smile on my face.

                          We skipped desert but both had a nice assam tea and left at paying a $127 check for two cocktails, soup, salad, two entrees and tea including tax and a 20% tip.

                          Saw friends at the bar and stayed on for a while there and the party seemed to be going strong when we left at 11 PM

                          Just MHO but the place seems to be in one of those moments that restaurants get into where they have hit a great stride and things are just working out really well.

                          I would highly recommend getting this on your list now if you have not given it a try.

          2. Had dinner for the first time at 90 Acres last night. The setting is gorgeous. The surrounding property is really serene and beautiful. The restaurant itself has a great vibe. Good choices in decor, lighting, furnishings, everything. Only complaint is that it was VERY loud. Much more suitable to a fun dinner out with friends than an intimate romantic evening for two.
            For apps, we got the grilled octopus and the gazpacho. Both were good. The octopus was very tender, but was lacking any char. The gazpacho was tasty and obviously very fresh. The tomatoes were whole, rather than blended which was surprising, but actually very nice and added to the overall freshness of the dish.
            Our main courses were the grilled pork chop and a pasta with fresh lima beans, fresh mushrooms, and sweet corn. The pork chop was HUGE, very nicely charred and seasoned, but the accompaniements were a bit bland. The pasta was not well seasoned, but the highlight was the fresh veggies. The corn was perfectly white and sweet and tasted like it was just picked minutes before serving. The lima beans were crispy and perfectly green, and the mushrooms, too, were wonderful.
            For dessert, we had the peanut butter ice cream sandwich and the coffee ice cream sundae. Both were good, but nothing special.
            Overall, I would say that the highlight of 90 Acres is definitely the setting of the restaurant. The food, itself, is not earth shattering. Very, very fresh ingredients, but no complex or creative menu items or preparations.
            Atmosphere 9/10. Service 8/10. Food 7/10.

            -----
            Ninety Acres at Natirar
            2 Main St, Peapack-Gladstone, NJ 07931

            1 Reply
            1. re: madgreek99

              I've posted elsewhere on this board that we did the BMF Chef's Table at 90 Acres in May. Since we were seated in the special section in front of the kitchen, there was no problem with an excessively high noise level. I do, however, agree with you about the cuisine. The food we had, while quite good, was not rave-worthy. So, something of a disappointment. And, yes, the interior space is very impressive. We didn't see much of the property surrounding the restaurant since by the time we arrived, it was dark out.

              Ninety Acres photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com