Monday, March 02, 2009

Review: Restaurant Serenade

Type: Contemporary French
Location: 6 Roosevelt Ave., Chatham, NJ 07928
Phone: (973) 701-0303
Price Range: Expensive
Liquor License: Yes

Serenade is a great place to go for special occasions, or to entertain guests. Lunch, dinner, and tasting menus are available. I've been there several times, but only for dinner. The menu changes seasonally. Prices range from $10 for salads, up to $21 for other appetizers. Entrees range from $27 to $38. Desserts are all $10 each.

The last time I was there, I ordered the lobster, with no appetizer, and no dessert. Portions are sufficient, but not oversized. Had I ordered dessert and an appetizer, someone would have had to roll me out of there in a wheelbarrow. I'm not sure how the others in my party managed to pack away three courses. I'm told the peach cobbler was delicious, and unexpectedly light.

I think the reason for classfying this restaurant as "contemporary" French is that the dishes aren't smothered in butter or cream sauces, and are lighter than old-style French fare. The veggies (other than new potatoes) that accompany each dish may not always match what's listed on the menu, but they always go well with the featured item of the dish, and are neither undercooked (a la the "nouvelle cuisine" fad of the 1980s), nor overcooked.

Every dish that anyone in my party has ordered there over the years was cooked to perfection. Service was attentive, but a little slow last time I was there. In all fairness, however, the place was very busy with at least two large parties in the same room in which we were seated.

This restaurant has deservedly gotten rave reviews from the NY Times, among other publications. I would highly recommend it for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc., but consider it a bit too expensive to become a frequent dining destination.

No comments: