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Pig & Prince...Montclair

ELA | Feb 4, 201509:32 AM

So...Pig & Prince...

Very nice place -- very, very nice space. Expansive, high, vaulted ceilings. Michael Carrino -- who won Chopped in 2009 -- has a really nice place here. Yes, very interesting location -- the old Lackawana Railroad Terminal...yes, the real terminal. LOL. It's located at 1 Lackawana Plaza...know where you are going, as my GPS/Navigation took me to a different location. Anyway, the main dining room is in the main terminal area, where people used to walk, run, sit, wait for their train, etc. You have very high, vaulted ceilings, brick, archways, woodwork, etc. Very nice. Really nice. A great space.

You have a long, beautiful bar on one wall, tables in the middle of the floor, and several high-back leather banquette style seats along the other wall. The place is decorated very nicely -- almost classy like due to the architecture, finishings, etc. -- and you enjoy sitting here. This is not fine dining though -- it's gastro-put type setting, upscale casual, etc. It's not at all noisy, which you might expect. On the other side of the bar, similar to a two sided bar, you have an adjacent area, they call it the "tap room" with high-top tables; a very nice room if you want to be a bit removed from the main room and what's going on. Nice set up.

On to the food -- it was very good. We had a salmon tartare appetizer, which was very good. High quality, fresh, nice flavor and taste. It was served with small crostinis, tiny/mini vegetable pieces, and mustard seeds. We also had the braised pork short ribs -- very good, flavorful, with apple, a tomatillo puree, and some other seasoning. Whatever it was it had nice flavor and taste, and was very tender. A very nice dish and very nice execution. I'd rate these two as the tops here. We also had two pastas -- one, a casarecce typed pasta, with a pork bolognese and a small amount of whipped ricotta, and the second was a risotto with sausage, butter, and seasoning. They were sold out of a lobster tagliatelle which I was looking forward to. The pasta dishes were good. I was expecting more flavors, more robust, given bolognese, home-made pork sausage, and the seasoning. Don't get me wrong, it was not bad at all, but I was expecting a bit more in flavors, taste -- not as "plain" or even, I hate to say, "bland". Nowhere even close to a reason not to go back though, and I will.

They have a nice offering of their own cured meats, which I passed on this time, but will certainly try next time. The menu is very interesting -- nice flair, with that "gastro-pub" type quality. Nice dishes, interesting dishes.

Service -- the hostess, from the time I called and left a message, to the time she called back, right up to when I arrived and left -- she was excellent. She does a very good job, takes pride in her work, and added a lot to the experience. Now, bartenders -- ummmm, I am not so sure about this. It's a long bar, and it was relatively empty when we arrived, and even by the time we left, the bar wasn't crowded at all. It's a Tuesday night. The bartenders, two of them, were not so responsive. Once there, he was nice, polite, offered sampling of wine, etc. But he wasn't "on it" so to speak. I ordered a martini "painfully ice cold" and we joked about it...it wasn't. Ordered it a little dirty, I watched him make it...it wasn't. OK, again, not reasons to not go back. They weren't aware what was sold out. They seemed to a be a bit sluggish. We had to ask for refills on water constantly. Both "young" but I think need to be more responsive, more on their game, and more client/customer focused. The entire staff looks young. Not a problem. The right people could be great.

We didn't have dessert. Overall -- very nice place. Very good food. Service this time aside from the hostess needs a bit of work.

I like the place. I will go back.

Pig & Prince Restaurant and Gastro-Lounge
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