I recently had the pleasure, once again, of brunching at the gorgeous Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station. The menu, while concise, offers choices so appetizing it makes it incredibly difficult to select a meal.
The Ryland Inn’s executive chef, Craig Polignano, who started working at local New Jersey restaurants at the tender age of 13, attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. After completion of his culinary studies, Chef Polignano began working in the kitchen of The Ryland Inn then expanded his culinary repertoire as sous chef at Copeland in the Westin Governor Morris in Morristown, chef de cuisine at The Bernards Inn, and executive chef of the Stonehill Tavern. After his California stint, Chef Polignano returned to New Jersey and now spearheads the kitchen efforts at The Ryland Inn.
The Ryland Inn’s culinary staff uses local and sustainable ingredients to create farm-to-table menus reflective of the seasons. Everything from the bread service showcasing incredible pastries and house made preserves to elevated breakfast dishes to the creamiest, tastiest risotto we have had to lovely pasta and main dishes, we were once again, wowed.
On this last visit, our table sampled and shared multiple dishes. Chef Polignano sent our table the most perfect amuse-bouche—soft scrambled eggs, with uni, lobster and topped with caviar (pictured above). It completely set the tone for the rest of our meal. Some of our favorites were the risotto ($13), the smoked trout salad ($13), poached eggs ($17), rock shrimp polenta ($21), French-style scrambled eggs ($15), and the house-made slab bacon ($7).
The risotto was a pure creamy delight with its wild mushrooms, black truffles and broccoli rabe—a must-order dish. The trout salad was refreshing with just the perfect amount of smoke on the flaky fish and served with tangy horseradish, crunchy green apple and earthy beets. The poached eggs dish is the restaurant’s version of eggs Benedict, but better with the addition of Prosciutto. The scrambled eggs are literally melt-in-your-mouth and are served with spring garlic, crème fraiche and paired with house-made sourdough.
The cocktails at the Ryland Inn are very special and should be ordered. During this visit, we enjoyed the Milk Punch ($11) which was creamy, fall-ish in flavor and packed a bit of a punch from the Clyde May’s Bourbon. The Hailmary ($11) is a Bloody Mary laced with the right amount of tangy horseradish. Our group also enjoyed champagne by the glass during our meal.
The Ryland Inn’s service is polished, helpful, and very attentive without being overbearing.
Dining at this top New Jersey restaurant is a luxurious experience with no small details left unaccounted for. This is a very proper brunch and likely the best in the area.
Sunday Brunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All prices are subject to change.
The Ryland Inn
111 Old Highway 28