The best part about moving?  New restaurant choices.  🙂  Last week, we decided to visit the Stone House Restaurant at Stirling Ridge.  I had seen this advertised in NJ Monthly, and the venue looked gorgeous.  The reviews on Yelp were pretty good, so we took a little drive over.

The pictures don’t lie.  The venue is absolutely beautiful.  The Stone House Restaurant is managed by Landmark Hospitality.  The Web site isn’t very clear about this, but I’m guessing Stirling Ridge is the events section, as they do have a Grand Ballroom and wedding options.  There was also a beautiful outdoor patio that would probably be very lovely when it’s not 50 degrees out.  I’m sure having an event there is expensive, but it really is beautiful.

Now, on to the actual restaurant, which was also very elegant without being stuffy.  The kitchen is open, and the whole interior features natural stone, as well as a beautiful floor to ceiling wine cellar.  We sat in a booth close to the door, which I was worried about at first with noise and drafts, but it actually proved to be quiet and comfortable.  Table seating was a bit cramped, so I’m glad we had the opportunity to sit alone instead of on top of other patrons.

The wait staff seemed young, but exceptionally knowledgeable.  The wines by the glass list was pretty versatile, considering it seemed like a place where they would push the bottles.  I started with a cheese platter, and Jared had an antipasta-type appetizer.  Our server gave us a selection of cheeses that complemented one another very well.  While the platter was a bit much for a one person starter, he was kind enough to wrap it up for us to take home.  Honey, fruit and bread made nice additions to the platter.

Dinner was absolutely phenomenal, and well timed.  The Stone House prides itself on creating meals based around local, market driven food buys.  The wait staff does an excellent job pointing out which dishes feature local vegetables, meat, etc.  Even though the kitchen seemed busy, the pace of the meal moved at very comfortable rate.  I had the pork chops with maple glazed sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts.  Pork chops are my usual, since they often come in a fabulous glaze with sweet potatoes.  Can I just say that these sweet potatoes were to die for?  And the brussel sprouts were fantastic-usually I’m not a huge fan, but these were like little baby ones that complemented the dish very well.  Overall, a fabulous presentation that matched the taste.

The dessert menu actually proved to be better than we thought.  Sometimes at restaurants like this, they only feature the usuals, with some seasonal fruit dessert that doesn’t appeal to us.  However, there was no way we were passing up the S’mores Brownie with ice cream.  A rich, chocolate brownie topped with some kind of marshmallow hardened glaze?  To die for.  And the tea and coffee list did not dissapoint either.

While the Stone House ended up becoming more crowded towards the end of our dinner, our server and the wait staff in general did not seem to ignore anyone to the point of annoyance.  It’s nice to go to a restaurant that takes care of your needs from start to finish, keeping things moving, while also giving you time to relax and enjoy a lovely Friday evening.

My Rating:  10/10

Stone House at Stirling Ridge
50 Stirling Road
Warren, NJ 07060
908-754-1222
http://www.stonehouseatstirlingridge.com/restaurant.html

Note:  While I typically like to provide links to a recent menu, the Stone House actually does a terrible job putting this information on their site.  Menus listed are from 2009, and don’t open on any computer I’ve tried!

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