3 West in Basking Ridge has been on our list of restaurants to try for awhile now.  We finally got around to trying it last Friday and certainly weren’t dissapointed.

As per usual, we checked out the reviews on Yelp to get a sense for dress and what to expect.  It’s actually amusing, but there was one review by Dominic F. that made us want to try it.  Although he only gave the restaurant one star, he said, “Another thing that i thought was funny is i ordered a miller lite and was told “we don’t serve that here”…a VERY snooty place.”  Sounded perfect for those of us that actually enjoy the taste of beer and aren’t just drinking for the sake of drinking.

3 West is part of the same restaurant group as Trap Rock, a local restaurant and brewery in Berkeley Heights we’ve been to before.  3 West serves beer from Trap Rock, as well as a seasonal Magic Hat Jared had never tried.  Hence why they don’t serve watered down sorry excuses for beer.

The atmosphere of 3 West is lovely.  With a fireplace in the center of the restaurant that all patrons could see as well as a kitchen that can be viewed through lovely farm house style windows, the ambience is up scale without being untouchable.

The manager seated us, and we were immediately taken care of by part 1 of our serving team.  I believe his name was Mike.  He took our drink orders.  The second half of our serving team, Laura, I believe, was super dynamic and a real pleasure.  I decided to be bold and order the Pumpkintini.  However, upon first sip, I knew it was not going to be very fun to drink for someone like me that’s not a huge liquor fan.  Laura asked me how it was, and when I admitted I was sure it was a good drink, it just wasn’t for me, she offered to take it back.  Let me just preface this by saying I would NEVER return something to the kitchen or bar, no matter how wrong it is.  I usually just chalk it up to being my fault.  I told her it was ok, but she very politely insisted, telling me a lot of people weren’t into that drink.  She totally saved the evening for me, and handled it in a way that didn’t embarrass me!

The food at 3 West was as delightful as the wait staff.  Usually the specials menus aren’t that interesting to me, but this specials menu was so fabulous, I ended up ordering my entire meal from it.  Jared and I both started with a soup from the specials menu.  I had the butternut squash, which is my favorite soup, and it did not disappoint.  Laura pointed out some great dinner choices from the specials menu and regular menu. She was so knowledgeable, she actually caused Jared to switch his choice to one of her recommendations!  We both got a steak dish featured on the specials menu.  Steak is not my usual, but she talked it up as being a thinner variety, which sometimes I’m in the mood for.  And the sides certainly made the meal for both of us.  Mine came with a side of mashed sweet potatoes with caramelized brown sugar that was to die for. Jared’s came with an herbed polenta cake that was absolutely fantastic.  Overall, Jared’s steak had a bit more flavor than mine, but it was cooked to my liking, and definitely a treat.

Dessert was probably the best I’ve ever had.  We weren’t super hungry for it, but decided to split the Caramel Brownie Sundae.  Usually, brownie sundaes are pretty blah to me, but it’s always something Jared and I can agree on, since he’s not a chocolate fan.  This was literally a sundae, served in a sundae dish, with pieces of brownie mixed in with vanilla ice cream and delicious, legitimate caramel.  Simply stunning.

After our meal, the manager came back over to see how we had enjoyed it, and we actually told him about the review and that that was the reason we came.  We also took the time to complement him on his staff.  Although the restaurant got very busy by the time our meal was wrapping up and things were a bit slower, I never felt as if the attention lagged.  Great service makes a difference at a place like this, and 3 West certainly has it down to a science.

While the food at Trap Rock is not really that fantastic, I was pleased to see that 3 West did not disappoint in any area from the food to the drinks.  Thanks for a great experience!

My rating:  10/10

3 West
665 Martinsville Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
908-647-3000
http://www.3westrest.com/

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