Tabor Road Tavern...in Morris Plains, NJ
I was there for lunch. This place owned and operated by the Harvest Restaurants people...and I've always been a big fan of theirs. They run excellent restaurants, and their management, business model is top-notch in many respects. I've never had a sub-par meal or experience at any one of their restaurants -- and every single time I've gone to one of their restaurants, it's been excellent.
So, Tabor Road Tavern -- very nice place...very nice atmosphere, ambiance, aesthetics, etc. The place is very nice -- it looks and feels nice. A couple of fireplaces, nice tables and chairs, the tables aren't too close, plenty of room, very nicely decorated and it just has a nice feel, very comfortable. Nice bar area and you almost feel like you are in a very nice, roomy "ski lodge" type of setting. Very nice.
On to the food -- in short -- excellent food! From the salads and appetizers to the entrees. A few details -- we had the Mt. Tabor Salad -- which had a glazed cashew nuts, which "fit" in perfectly. Not too much and just had a nice balance. They had a nice spice to them a well. The salad had smoked bacon, with some nice vegetables, and an excellent blue cheese dressing. The menu said it was a buttermilk blue cheese dressing, but whatever it was, it was excellent. The only complaint about the salad -- we ordered one salad to share, and they "split" it for us and brought out the two servings of salad. No problem, as places sometimes do that for you. However, my one gripe -- and I am hesitant to say it, because I am a big fan -- the two servings were very small. Too small. I don't complain about prices and things like that -- but we both noticed it right away, and it was a very small salad. Four good forkfuls and you were finished.
On to the entrees -- a special note to the roasted panini sandwich which was on the regular menu. This was not a typical, commercialized, mass produced or quickly made sandwich...this was an excellent panini sandwich! A lot of flavor, taste, prepared excellently. It had fresh mozzarella, a sundried tomato pesto, some arugula, and a basil mayo. The chicken itself was excellent -- tender, moist, very good size pieces. I had the Tabor Road Tavern Burger -- this was an excellent burger! It had caramelized onions with pancetta and swiss cheese. It was served with their version of fries -- pommes frites.
I would absolutely go back here...and I plan on!!! Very soon.
That said, one issue -- and as I said I am a big fan of the Harvest Restaurants group and I've always enjoyed all of their restaurants, and never had a gripe ever -- was the service. It was very attentive -- but too much so. Everyone was nice, polite and again, attentive -- but it was overwhelming and intrusive. The waiter came over constantly, and each time when he asked if "everything was ok" -- he ended up by saying "I'll check back in a few minutes" and he did! In-between his frequent checking in, another server checked, like a head wait-staff person, checked in and asked. Then a manager level person did the same.
I am not a perfectionist, and I don't nit-pick, but this was just too much. It did not ruin the meal at all, but in trying to relax, enjoy, have a conversation, etc. -- it was a bit hard. We were asked 3 times if we wanted dessert. After the first time I said no thank you, but we'd like the check please. Another server, who we hadn't seen before came over and asked if we wanted dessert. I said no, we told our waiter and just asked for the check. Then, after a few minutes, someone else came over and asked again. Two additional asks and no check. The service in every Harvest Restaurants place has always been excellent in my opinion and in my experiences -- but this was just too much. Just some constructive criticism. Regardless -- excellent food and I am going back again!!!