As anybody who has ever happened across The Bernards Inn will tell you, this gracious inn, nestled in the picturesque Somerset Hills of New Jersey, is a haven in every sense of the word. The rooms are comfortably beautiful, the service warm yet unob-trusive, the ambiance elegantly easeful. The Bernards Inn brings together the best of American country innkeeping with the style and intimacy of a small European luxury hotel. The result: bliss. And the food at the 1907 inn performs the same exquisite balancing act. For over a decade, chef/co-owner Edward Stone has been dazzling guests with his contemporary American fare, flavored with just a soupçon of French finesse. This is truly "stellar" food, as Larry Lazar of the Daily Record put it, in a three-star review. Hilary Harding of the Courier-News gave the Bernards Inn three and a half stars, lauding Stone's "outstanding culinary finesse."
Stone, a CIA graduate, cooked at New York's Grand Bay Hotel (now The Stanhope), then spent five years working with Christian Delouvrier at the Hotel Maurice. When Bernards Inn owner Alice Rochat, in search of a chef whose cooking would harmonize with her "charming" inn (as Valerie Sinclair of The New York Times put it), encountered Stone, she knew right away that his "subtle yet elegant cookery" (as Lazar termed it) was the right match. And it was. Sinclair gave the restaurant a "very good" rating; she loved the seared breast of moulard duck with wild mushrooms and currant sauce, the beef with truffles and foie gras, the lobster steamed in Sauternes with a ginger-lime sauce. Lazar praised the "exquisitely tender, robustly flavorful" venison steak, and Harding called the lobster bisque "heavenly." As Lazar wrote, Stone's cooking is "simplicity exalted to the majestic."
To complement this food fit for a king, Stone's food will be accompanied by vintages from one of the noble families of American wines, The Robert Mondavi Winery.
Assorted Hors d'Oeuvre
Baked New York State Goat Cheese with Frisée, Roasted Beets, Pears, and Walnuts
Lobster and Maine Crabmeat Ravioli with Organic Snowpea Sprouts, Lemon, and Fine Herb Sauce
Pan Seared Scallop with Fingerling Potato Purée and Sherry Wine Reduction
Slow-Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Foie Gras, Blood Orange, and Aged Balsamic Glaze
Roasted Rack of Lamb with English Peas, Wild Mushrooms, Sweet Garlic, and Thyme Lamb Jus
Apple Tatin with Maple Walnut Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce