I know that there have been a few naysayers of late regarding Restaurant Nicholas, but I must report that my family and I had a first rate experience there last evening. The amuse bouche was a celery root puree and it was very good, if slightly over salted.
A starter of Fresh Black Truffle Hen Egg Ravioli was spectacular!! One of the best things I've eaten in a long, long time. Seared Day Boat Sea Scallops with Carrot Puree and Pickled Ginger Sauce were very well received as was a plate of Green Asparagus with Abalone Mushroom Ragout
Mains were very good as well. Filet Mignon, "Pulled" Suckling Pig and Pheasant, all were prepared expertly and satisfied each of us. A wonderful selection of artisanal cheeses followed, and desserts were uniformly good, particularly the Cranberry Souffle with Vanilla Sorbet.
Service was excellent, the room buzzed with a small army of servers and captains.
A nice addition to the dining room since my last visit was a spectacular blaze orange lighting fixture that consisted of over 700 hand blown, twisted pieces of glass. The room's banquets have been reupholstered to match and combined, they give the room a newly freshened feel.
The cost for all of this was about $580 (including taxes) before tip, of which $245 were devoted to wine. The relative value remains for you to decide. But for me, I must report that despite recent reports, in my opinion, Restaurant Nicholas remains the gold standard for fine dining in Central New Jersey.
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