Fine Dining Options
I've been tasked with finding a restaurant in proximity to Montclair-Clifton-Nutley area. I've been given three stipulations with regards to that. No italian (because that has been done in the past). No sushi. And the place has to be a white-cloth-type restaurant. Please advise any fine dining restaurants in the area that I can use for this group of 6-8 people. Thanks.
I think it would help to know if you want white tablecloth/white glove service, or if you are looking for an upscale restaurant or if upscale food is most important. Do you want a 'scene' or do you want a quiet place?
My suggestion won't surprise many; go to Blu in Montclair. BYO, VERY creative menu, and you'll find everything from duck to fish--and trust me, amazing flavors and nothing ordinary here! The prices are extremely reasonable for the level of food, AND it fits your criteria.
Personally, I found Culinariane was a lot of hype but not so impressive on the plate, which is where it counts most for me.
Slim pickings in Clifton or Nutley in the fine dining category. Montclair has gone casual/chic in the past couple of years. The closest and best white cloth restaurants to your area would be in Maplewood, about 15 minutes down the road. Verjus, a creative restaurant with some French influences, and Lorena's, New American/French both fit your bill.
Thanks for the responses so far. To clarify I would say I'm probably looking for something more towards the upscale side of things. I guess I'm still a little unclear about the differences between the types of restaurants in terms of ambiance and format.
I've usually considered a place worth while based on how well the restaurant has prepared the food and if the service was relatively attentive. However some of the people in the group seem to put a lot more emphasis on ambiance for a lack of a better word. Since I've never had to base my dining choice on such a fussy criteria I'm not sure what to look towards as an option.
How about the Manor in West Orange? Since some of your group are looking for ambiance, The Manor would fit the bill. They have the seafood buffet on Friday evenings for around $50. a person. The food is pretty good. You could either have the buffet or go into the other dining room for an ala cart dinner.