Mockingbird Cafe, Basking Ridge
Met our dining friends at The Mockingbird Cafe in the quaint town of Basking Ridge. The restaurant is small but cute and welcoming.
The food overall was very good and service excellent. Owners had previously owned The Limestone Cafe which we had enjoyed several years ago.
Some quick comments on what we had. Starters were fried calamari with fried jalapenos mixed in. Nice idea and tasty but the calamari was a bit soggy. A large crabcake was full of crab, little filler and was delicious. A side of crispy frites to nibble on finished the apps.
Entrees were duck breast with foie gras which was flavorful and rich. Roast chicken with herb lemon seasoning and also a rhubarb chutney which pulled the dish together. Seared tuna was made with harissa which gave it a exotic and savory flavor with a bit of kick. Unusual but good.
Last entree was a flavorful NY strip steak which was a perfect medium rare and delicious.
We shared two desserts, homemade brownie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate hazelnut molten cake with caramel ice cream. The brownie was good, the molten cake was excellent.
The Mockingbird Cafe is well known for their Breakfast and Lunch menu but open up the kitchen Thursday-Saturday evening. Worth a try if your in the area. BYO, no reservations and could not find a website.
Tom, thank you for posting about this fairly new place. It's been on my go-to list since I saw a brief article about it in the NY Times.
Since they don't take reservations, may I ask what time you went for dinner? There's nothing worse than going to a popular place like the Mockingbird and being told that there's a 90 minute wait!
Knowing about the the no reservation policy, plus each couple was driving about 50 minutes, we chose an early dinner time, 5:45 pm. We were the first table seated, it was about half full by 6:30 and full by 7:15. In the summer I think your safe up to about 6:45.
There are about 45 seats in the restaurant (quick count). One important note, Mockingbird Cafe is very much a neighborhood locals type of place. Last night there were several tables that had small children. Nothing wrong with that, just wanted to mention it as some would prefer dining without the little ones.