Yellow Plum: Inventive, Classic Addition to Bloomfield Restaurant Scene

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (14)

burrata at yellow plum

It’s seasonal: order the burrata & heirloom tomato appetizer now!

Many bemoaned the loss of Bar Cara in Bloomfield when it shut its doors mid-July of this year. However, as the bright umbrellas and patio tables attest, the father-son team of Dennis Lukic and executive chef Chris Lukic have risen to the challenge to ensure Broad Street wasn’t left with a culinary void for long. Yellow Plum is a worthy addition to Bloomfield’s collection of eateries, and its menu adds flavor and class for the entire family.

Yellow Plum has kept the divided, peek-a-boo layout that Bar Cara had. It feels elegant without being stuffy. The bar is classic, well-stocked, and feels welcoming for a solo drink or to meet friends.

Once seated in the dining room, patrons are greeted with fresh bread and two choices for dipping. There was an olive oil and balsamic dish which was lovely, but our entire party loved the white bean and garlic dip. Truly delicious! In response to our inquiries about child-friendly options, our server assured us that the chef, Chris Lukic, was happy to adapt any plate, but that the macaroni and cheese was a favorite with children, and the homemade pasta could also be served with a red sauce or butter. Options of a grilled cheese or the BLT sliders were also recommended.

My kids went with the macaroni and cheese and pasta with red sauce. We all agreed that the macaroni and cheese was the very best we’d had. Ever. The red sauce, served on the same homemade pasta as the macaroni and cheese, was rich and tasty, so “red” isn’t at all a fair description. It had mild spice and a true depth to its flavor.

Smoky lobster pasta is a favorite at Yellow Plum.

Smoky lobster pasta is a favorite at Yellow Plum.

My husband and I argued over who would order the Burrata and Heirloom Tomato appetizer; I won. It was lovely, surrounded by olive oil and lightly seasoned. The Burrata appetizer is perfect before a heavier entree. Losing the Burrata appetizer to me turned out alright for my better half. He enjoyed the Crab Cake and Pork Belly. The one improvement would be to allow the crab cake a chance to show off its own flavors more, without other savory distractions.

A roasted corn risotto arrived, hot and a rich yellow. The risotto was beautiful, and the rice was a perfect consistency. The lobster pasta  had wonderful layers of flavor. I asked our server how the lobster obtained its smokiness, and soon the owner, Dennis Lukic came out to explain the process. Clearly very proud of his son the chef, we heard about the details and ingredients that go into each dish.

According to the elder Lukic, the menu will adjust to the seasons, allowing Chef Chris Lukic to both improvise with new flavors while retaining the clear favorites. The lobster pasta, ordered often and again by many, will be around for a while. Other favorite dishes include the scallop appetizer, the skirt steak entree, and the BLT sliders.

yellow plum

The signature cocktail is named for its home – Yellow Plum.

Not to be outdone by the creative dishes at Yellow Plum, the bar deserves a special mention. First, it is gorgeous and inviting. When we visited, several patrons were eating and enjoying drinks at the bar. And while the wine list was tempting and well-chosen, I couldn’t resist trying one – okay, two – of the cocktails. The Intermezzo is light, a little fizzy, and happily delicious. And the signature Yellow Plum cocktail is fresh and tasty.

Yellow Plum is billed as casual dining, and the friendly, attentive staff and comfortable, classy decor are all the best that casual has to offer. The prices for entrees run from the low-20s to low-30s. Appetizers are about half that. The children’s meals are reasonably priced at $6 and up. Cocktails hover around $10, with a variety of beers, wines and spirits available.

Check out Yellow Plum while the weather is perfect for enjoying drinks and a meal on the patio with friends. Then return with the cooler weather to see what autumn brings to the table.

Yellow Plum is open for lunch and dinner every day but Sunday at 1099 Broad Street in Bloomfield, NJ. (973) 893-3681

14 Comments

  1. POSTED BY kbanda  |  September 19, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    Sounds wonderful but out of my price range unfortunately. Happy to know another high-end restaurant has found a home in Bloomfield. Wishing the new owners the very best and much success.

  2. POSTED BY bloomfield mama  |  September 19, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    Children? Sigh. I loved that you’d go to Bar Cara and have amazing food and it was an adults type of place. It’s where we parents go to get away from kids. Bars are sorely lacking in this area, so it’s disappointing that one of the few is marketing to families.

  3. POSTED BY mimimichalski  |  September 19, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

    Enjoy their food and their cocktails! Looking forward to many more visits!

  4. POSTED BY Kristin  |  September 19, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    Bloomfield Mama: I don’t want to misrepresent Yellow Plum. When we went with the kids it was at 5pm on a Sunday. It’s definitely not a “kiddie-place”!

    As I mentioned in the post, there is not children’s menu, but they will provide child-friendly portions (with parent-friendly prices).

  5. POSTED BY ali9ia  |  September 19, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

    There were children at Bar Cara too, and they were welcome. If you want to avoid them, just go after 7:30.

  6. POSTED BY frobnitz  |  September 19, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

    It sounds like it’s out of our price range as well, as kbanda posted, but we do welcome a new restaurant to the area and wish them success. We will definitely try it for lunch though.

  7. POSTED BY winechick  |  September 19, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

    @frobnitz- Lunch is no cheaper than dinner. Went for lunch, paid a fortune and definitely not running back.

  8. POSTED BY mimimichalski  |  September 19, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    Definitely not a place oriented to kids or family, although it is nice that they try to accommodate them if they do come. It is similar to Bar Cara in its sophistication and ambience, and the owner is very welcoming. Sure, it isn’t cheap, but the food I have had there has been worth it. If you liked Bar Cara, you will like Yellow Plum. Bar Cara wasn’t exactly cheap either. :-)

  9. POSTED BY frobnitz  |  September 20, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

    Thank you winechick. Guess it’s back to the Nevada for us!

  10. POSTED BY yougottalovehim  |  September 21, 2013 @ 10:52 am

    Went on Sunday and it was closed. Ridiculous. My favorite day of the week to enjoy dinner out. Won’t be back.

  11. POSTED BY anne prince  |  September 21, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    They are closed every Sunday, open Monday-Saturday. If I had to compare it to a comparable establishment, I would say it was like the Pig & Prince in Montclair.

  12. POSTED BY hereiaminnj  |  September 21, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    Didn’t Kristin post above that she was there at 5pm on a Sunday? Confusing–and the fact that they don’t have a website up yet with even the most basic info (e.g., hours and menu) is mind-boggling!

  13. POSTED BY gidget54  |  September 24, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

    Very disappointing. Looked forward to experiencing the newcomer. But found it overpriced for little portions, and an overall underwhelming offering of things on the menu. Tried it a second tie thinking there would have been a reprieve- left after one drink at the bar because nothing inspired us to stay.

  14. POSTED BY Kristin  |  October 05, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    We’re returning tonight – sans kids – to try the fall menu. I’m kind of shocked at the complaint regarding small portions. Ours were sizable, as were the portions we saw at tables around us. Several dishes are definitely on the pricey side, and so for us it’s a place to linger and enjoy. That’s why I’m glad it’s within walking distance; I want to enjoy the cocktails without having to worry about driving home.

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