“We thought we’d get our footing, establish the restaurant and slowly get the word out by fall,” says Wayne Birner, Escape’s manager. “But everything happened quickly and we’ve been quite busy practically since we opened.” Indeed, the restaurant was recently named by diners on opentable.com as one of the top 10 restaurants “fit for foodies” in Northern New Jersey.
Whether you’re already a die-hard Escape fan, or have been wanting to find out what all the fuss is about, you can make reservations starting today for the restaurant’s inaugural “Chef’s Dinner,” to be held on October 9th. The 5-course meal, with wine pairings, “will expose diners to the true locavore dining experience with multiple chefs whose focus and passion is farm-to-fork dining,” says executive chef and owner, Bryan Gregg.
Birner says another “Chef’s Dinner,” is already in the works for November. No word yet on which restaurant will partner with Escape.
Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center of Morristown, which helped Chef Gregg through his personal experience battling cancer.
The first five-course meal, a collaboration between Chef Gregg and executive chef Michael Weisshaupt of Fiddlers Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, NJ, will feature produce from Bracco Farms, in Pine Island, NY, and wine from Heights Beer & Wine Emporium in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. Reservations are required and seating is limited.
The following farm-to-fork menu will be presented:
Creation of the Chefs, to be decided.
Cured Red Mullet, Pickled Turnips and Red Quinoa
(90+ Cellars Lot 69 Sancerre, Loire Valley, France, 2012)
Lacquered Jurgielewicz Duck, Local Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Smoked Squash
(90+ Cellars Lot 81 Pinot Noir, Carneros, California, 2011)
Barnegat Scallops, Parsnip, Vanilla, Pickled Beets and Lobster Powder
(90+ Cellars Lot 93 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, CA, 2012)
Elysian Fields Farm Lamb Saddle, Eggplant, Spinach Puree, Smashed Potatoes and Olive Lamb Jus
(Wine Pairing: 90+ Cellars Lot 80 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, California, 2011)
Location: Escape, 345 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair
Date: Wednesday, October 9th at 6pm