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Stone and Rail...Glen Rock


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#1 E.L.A.

E.L.A.

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Posted 09 July 2018 - 02:19 PM

I've been remiss in giving this restaurant it's own review -- and it deserves it, without question. I went for the opening and I've gone back numerous times. Stone and Rail opened with a lot of expectations and fan-fare -- and now they are up and running.
 
Adam Weiss is known as an excellent chef, and after Esty Street and Due, it was only a matter of time before he landed somewhere and started his next project. During some interview, he said he was going to be in the kitchen/head chef at "a new gastropub" in Glen Rock, the expectations started, people started looking forward to this place opening, etc. However, there were just a couple of people who thought, and even hinted -- Adam's experience was more in the "fine dining" arena (vis a vis Esty Street, and Due) -- and perhaps Adam was stepping out of some perceived comfort zone. What? Huh? This guy is a real pro!!! Adam is doing it and doing it great! I don't throw that word around a lot and I feel it's very overused -- but he is great! He designed a menu with a diverse, interesting range, some might say eclectic, but there is a strong depth and scope. Simply put, everything I've had there is excellent!
 
It's a big place, relatively speaking, nicely decorated, very good casual feel, and comfortable -- and you can absolutely go there for the food! Yet, you will have a very nice experience. From the "small plates" to the shared plates, to sides, entrees, and desserts -- everything is creative, has got that gastropub focus and flair, and the food has layers of flavor and loads of taste!
 
The burgers are excellent and there are other sandwiches which are also very interesting, very flavorful and tasty. The sides are also excellent. From the bar, there is a very good offering, good depth and scope, of craft beers. I had dinner there last night, and we started with the shrimp and grits and the bang bang calamari. Both excellent -- flavor and nuances, taste, and you just wanted more and more. The calamari was very nice -- lightly fried, just the right amount, a light crispness, lightly merged with the bang bang dressing, a sweet Thai style aioli sauce. It had just the right amount of "bite" but doesn't go anywhere near the overwhelming, overpowering sauce/dressing you find elsewhere. The shrimp and grits was excellent -- grits, with polenta, touched with chopped scallions, hints of garlic, capers, and a nice light broth -- just the right firmness and density, with some tasty, plump, nice shrimp on top. I also had the hanger steak -- I think it was lightly marinated with a chimichurri type sauce, it had a few pats of a seasoned, herb butter, and it was done exactly as ordered...a lot of flavor and a lot of taste! It came with an excellent version of parmesan/truffle fries -- shoe-string fries, which I normally don't like, lightly dusted with parmesan cheese, so that it "coated" and stuck to the fries, and hints of a truffle oil. Very good fries, a very nice version, as everyone, everywhere gives you fries. And...at the end...for dessert -- the s'mores zeppolis was like some sort of thing that you think you are going to be addicted to. 
 
The service was very good, attentive, and as I said, the place has a very nice environment -- high hats near/around the bar, regular tables in the main dining area, and now with the nice weather, the large windows in the front and size of the place are opened, so the high hats that go along the outside of the bar area, are right there, open to the outside. They also have a few tables outside. Very good size place. This place is excellent!!! Just go!!! Make a reservation, as each time I've been there, they are regularly booked and turning away people who don't have a reservation. Don't dismiss the "casual" or gastropub labels as overused, gauche, or nouveau -- Adam is doing it, and doing it very, very well, and this place is the real deal gastropub!!! And you will have a nice time -- go with friends, share some dishes, sit by the windows, have a beer -- and you will have a very nice time. What I like is that you have a nice place to go to, nice setting, casual, -- and the food is excellent! Whether you want a burger, a steak, fish and chips, fish tacos, chicken, small plates, appetizers, an interesting flair, like Adam's version of pulled pork poutine, or whatever -- it's going to be very good!
 
I've been there several times -- and I am going back!