I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Washington would have served in their heyday a nice roasted chicken, maybe some homemade chicken soup and of course, a Cherry Pie for dessert. I’m pretty sure Charred Peach Salad or Crab Asparagus Ravioli was not on the menu. Lucky for us, at George & Martha’s American Grille in Morristown all the bases are covered. This restaurant offers traditional items (sometimes with a twist) while also presenting visitors with innovative and new dishes to try.
At a recent media dinner, we were presented with a slew of bite-sized appetizers and dinner options to truly get the full experience of what Executive Chef Michel Desjardins has in store. While the restaurant is owned by Villa Enterprises, who also owns The Office Beer Bar & Grill, this location definitely strives for individuality. Chef Desjardins talked his guests through each dish with pride and expertise.
Appetizers started off with a Country Chicken Vegetable Soup ($6) that was simply delicious with it’s homemade chicken stock and in-house prepared spinach dumplings. A crispy Baby Iceberg Wedge ($7) salad was next and, although pretty basic, it shined with the addition of a pickled onion topping. Although we both enjoyed the Iceberg salad, the Charred Peach ($11) salad was our “greens” winner. The browned peaches that were oh-so sweet complimented the bitter arugula bed perfectly. Fried sweet potatoes covered the salad and became a clever mimic to croutons.
Some attendees around us were already talking about the Crispy Crab Cake ($10) that followed our salads and right away I knew why. The panko-crusted pan-seared patty was full of tender lump crab that was seasoned slightly enough to let the flavor flair. The meat fell right apart when forked which did make eating them a bit difficult. However, with the accompanying corn jalapeno salad, each forkful was quickly recovered and devoured. Last, but certainly not least, was the Fresh Spinach Artichoke Dip ($7). If I could have jarred this and taken some for later that night or the next day I would have! Note that Chef Michel uses fresh, not frozen, spinach here while emulsifying it in a fontina, parmigiano and roasted garlic béchamel sauce. And if that alone wasn’t enough to make you grab a spoon, he serves it along side crispy homemade potato chips that were salted and fried to glistening greatness. What a way to end the starters line up.
For our first sampling of dinner entrees, we were given George’s Grilled 14 oz. Pork Chop ($21). Although the meat was a touch too tough for me, I did enjoy the spinach risotto that was served with. It showed kitchen skill in that it was both al dente and creamy. Another spark here was the roasted peaches placed beside the chop for they sweetened and lightened up such a hearty dish. The 8 oz Hanger Steak ($18) soon came out and this was cooked much more to my liking. The grilled tomato gratin and mashed potatoes that surrounded the meat were good enough to stand alone yet truly accentuated the beef. A moist Roasted Goffle Farms Chicken ($13) was the next entrée for us to try. The summer succotash of white beans, tomatoes and fresh herbs, was a thoughtful partner for the protein as it was dressed just enough to let the chicken take the leading role. The next entrée was my favorite of the night: Crab Asparagus Ravioli ($19). The pasta rounds came doused in a roasted corn and leek cream sauce that I couldn’t get enough of. It was almost pure silk in texture and coated each ravioli beautifully so. I found it difficult to find the crab in the ravioli but enjoyed the asparagus filling immensely. The final dish for us to taste was the Pan Roasted Barnegat Sound Scallops ($23). Underneath the seafood was a tart and crunchy apple celery salad that was tossed in olive oil. It was clean and bright in both flavor and appearance but most importantly provided a stage for the scallop to star. And boy was it the star; plump, juicy and seared to impress.
Desserts were included in our take-home bag and before we even hit Rt. 287, we were fighting over the last bite. The individually wrapped chocolate brownie served with cherry compote was just as I like my brownies to be: dense, chewy, filled with walnuts, and moist enough to leave your fingers a little greasy! I opted to eat the brownie sans compote since my chocolate frenzy began after the first bite!
As you can clearly see, dinner was enjoyed here at George & Martha’s American Grille. They paid attention to almost all details and provided us with great service, ambiance, and of course, cuisine. I particularly admired their dedication to using local ingredients and was all-ears when they spoke of their “mobile garden” of fresh herbs and vegetables. So after trying an insane number of dishes, being educated by Chef Desjardins, and looking over their menu online, I can assure you I’ll be back to George & Martha’s soon and my only request is to see you there!
George & Martha’s American Grille
67 Morris Street
Morristown, NJ 07960.
They are open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. More information included dining specials and information about hosting private parties can be found at www.georgeandmarthas.com
Disclosure: Food and beverages were provided to all media attendees free of charge. All opinions and ideas for this post are my own. No reviews or mentions are ever promised in exchange for invitations to media events.
Gina Glazier is a born and raised Jersey Girl. She recently earned her Master’s degree in Reading & Literacy and currently teaches 5th grade. Gina lives with her husband Matt who is her number one fan and shares in her passion for the culinary arts, minus the cooking part! Her “culinary life” became a reality a few years back when she was chosen to be a guest ofThe Star Ledger’s Munchmobile. This ignited Gina’s desire to be around food and all its counterparts all the time, meaning restaurants, cookbooks, TV shows, cooking, etc. Gina says her “biggest and most monumental experience” was being a part of The Star Ledger’s Pizza Patrol two years ago where she traveled the entire state, eating at 3, 4, sometimes 5 pizzerias a night for just about 6 months! You can check out her Hungry Teacher adventures, on her blogwww.ahungryteacher.blogspot.com.