Jersey Bites was invited to visit Vanillamore as part of a press event and our writer received a complimentary tasting.
A mere month after its opening, Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen is running like a well-oiled machine. The name might suggest that a visit to the already popular space on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, NJ, would be sweets-centric, but savory dishes have equal billing on the menu.
About the Chef
Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen Chef/Owner Risa Magid Boyer and her staff serve lunch, dinner, brunch, and dessert. Chef Risa brings a wealth of experience to the Montclair dining scene. A 2011 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Risa worked at Sweet Revenge (NYC) and held internships at Park Avenue (NYC) and Table 8 (Montclair). She was founding pastry chef at Montclair’s DeNovo European Pub and a pastry instructor/resident chef at Sur La Table. She currently teaches recreational baking and pastry classes at Sweet Expressions in Denville.
About the Space
The sleek yet inviting space features a 12-seat horseshoe-shaped counter with a view of the open kitchen. The counter is truly the place to be and will undoubtedly attract small groups and, eventually, classes. Works by local artists, available for purchase, are exhibited throughout the restaurant. The space also includes a six-screen video installation featuring food photography and in-progress creations.
About the Food
Dessert takes center stage at Vanillamore and guests have several ways to experience the menu. Options include dessert charcuterie boards featuring dark, milk, and white chocolate “salamis” matched with delicate, flavor-packed cookies, compotes, caramels, and confections. Tapas-style presentations of s’mores include house-made vanilla marshmallows on shortbread, tiny pitchers of espresso, buttered rum, and vanilla caramel sauces to mix and match, with a side of spicy hot chocolate. And dessert flights curated around various flavor stories also fall into the can’t-miss category: Crazy for Caramel, Tropical Escape, and of course, Chocolate Obsession.
Savory options ideal for sharing include charcuterie boards with a broad selection of cured meats and artisanal cheeses and the various crostini (don’t miss the roasted cauliflower version). Popular small plates include the popular Brussels sprouts with pancetta, butternut squash and the charred cauliflower. Larger plates for two, including a roasted half-chicken with root vegetables, the skirt steak with house-made focaccia and Brussels sprouts with Caesar dressing.
Weekend brunch includes toasts, quiches, grain bowls and, of course, sweet treats. Afternoon tea, on Tuesdays through Fridays, puts the spotlight on sweet, savory, and petit four options.
Vanillamore, which is a BYO, has worked closely with Montclair’s Amanti Vino on wine pairings so diners can order the perfect bottle for easy delivery to their table. Non-alcoholic beverages feature coffee pairings from Montclair’s Java Love Coffee Roasting Co., and teas by TeaPigs.
Patrons can order cakes for special occasions or pick up treats that are beautifully displayed in glass cases. There are also fun grab-and-go gifts like house-made hot chocolate mix, vanilla bean marshmallows, s’mores candy bars, candied hazelnuts, almonds, and more.
Hours (subject to change):
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to midnight
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen
349 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042