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Locale in Closter

A group of 8 mothers had a great time eating in Locale's outdoor space.
The food was honestly really good especially for the price. There were tons of seafood in my pasta with real lumps of crab. All the fish(trout, swordfish and bronzino) were cooked nicely in old fashioned way with lots of butter and lemon and caper. Grilled octopus was one of the best I've tasted and very generous portion too. Eggplant stuffed with cheese was tasty. The desserts too were all delicious. key lime tart was excellent and so were the creme brulee and mango panacotta.

The only thing that bothered me slightly was their waiters. One was plain idiot who had a hard time getting our order where we had to repeat our order at least 3-4 times to get it right. Another was plain rude and irritated when we asked for things like another plate of spreads for bread as they only brought one for the entire group and when we complained that the ice coffee was too hot and too watery.

Despite some of these minor problems, we really enjoyed the time and the food and I plan to go back very soon.

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  1. Great post...thanks for sharing.

    1. I usually dine at Local for business lunches. The menu is small but the food is really good. I have gotten a rude waiter before. He has this snobbiness about him that makes it seem like he is the customer and I am there working for him.

      5 Replies
      1. re: NJfoodLover

        have heard that the food is very good, but the atmosphere / staff comes off snobby. pass.

        1. re: yogi70

          Isn't that so sad? This is a classic example of why the restaurant fail. It seems so obvious but either the owner doesn't see it or don't care or don't know..should take lessons from Mr Danny Meyer.

          1. re: Monica

            Very sad. Service can prevent people from returning -- no matter how good the food is. If an owner doesn't see it -- that's a problem; and a big one for the owner. If the owner doesn't care...he/she might soon enough...when they are closing having gone out business, LOL.

            1. re: ELA

              Actually this time, the service was much better. Not as polished as it should be but still, I saw them trying and no attitude or anything. It was pretty efficient and waiters were much more pleasant.

        2. re: NJfoodLover

          That's just unacceptable. Period. I am polite to waiters/waitresses...but if they are rude to me, I have no problem letting management know.

        3. My sister in law was in town from LA so my husband and I took her out for Sunday lunch. Seriously, this restaurant needs more attention and love. I don't want it to close! Again, the food was exceptional! Grilled octopus on a bed of flavorful arugula and fennel was so good. tender and crispy as grilled octopus should and the light dressing went so well with the super fresh salad. Barolo braised beef short ribs with parsnip puree was so so good, tender, moist..bursting with umami and generous in portion at $18...a bargain!
          My sea scallops were excellent too with crusty exterior and tender and juicy inside. Homemade papardelle with duck, wild mushroom and madeira wine sauce put a 6 yr old in quiet eating mode.
          Dessert of apple tartine and creme brulee were also excellent. The apple tartine was sort of like covered apple pie and the exterior was flaky and buttery. Please go and support this restaurant! Finally, a restaurant that has great food in NJ.
          oh, they also have excellent bread which is rare. A restaurant with good bread basket is always a good sign.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Monica

            I've held off saying this, but it may explain some issues concerning the employees and service.

            I have heard the food was good at Locale....friends have suggested i go there, but before they opened I was at the local Closter Driving Ranges and walked across the street for a beverage while they were having construction done on their cafe there....The place I went for a beverage was @ Burger King. While on line, a manager of Locale was there soliciting the employees to come work at Locale. I thought that was poor form and the reason why I have not gone there.

            I have when businesses poach employees....especially unqualified ones.

            1. re: fourunder

              What a tacky thing to do....but still the food is so good!

          2. For me, with certain restaurants, or certain times I am going out, it is also very much about "the experience" so to speak. That's just me. For those places, bad service can absolutely ruin the evening. No matter how good the food is, if I have to wait for long periods of time, am neglected, am being treated poorly or rudely, etc. -- it impacts and ruins the meal and experience. Sure, you can say "how important is it, the food is excellent" and so on -- but it gets frustrating.

            I had this recently at a sushi place in Montclair, Nori. After a great experience and a great meal prior -- this time, with a party of 6 or so, and for a birthday, the service just ruined the meal. Even more was that the sushi was sub-par from the prior visit. However, I can assure you, if it were not -- the service ruined the meal and the experience!

            Unfortunately, this is too common.