New Jersey’s acclaimed Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs Resort reopened in December after a complete renovation featuring a stunning new design and a brand new menu. (Photo at top by by Michael Tulipan.)
Since opening in 2004, Restaurant Latour has garnered accolades like multiple inclusions on New Jersey Monthly’s Best Restaurants list, four-star reviews from the New York Times and the Star-Ledger, the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award (since 2006), and a recent induction into Wine Enthusiast’s Hall of Fame.
The New Space
Crystal Springs Resort CEO Julie Mulvihill and COO Robby Younes re-envisioned the space for the modern dining experience. Their goal was to bring the area’s rich forests into the dining room with plenty of natural and reclaimed elements, including real tree bark, stone from local quarries, caribou hides, and more.
INC Architecture & Design, well known for hotel, restaurant, and residential designs in Manhattan and Washington, D.C., was selected to lead the design process and Restaurant Latour marks the firm’s first hospitality project in New Jersey (other area projects include the latest Momofuku in NYC and 1 Hotel in Brooklyn).
Guests step off the elegant, dark-hued elevator into a new lobby built just for the restaurant and are guided through an entryway into the striking new dining room. One of the most stunning features includes wall panels of bark salvaged from fallen trees. At night, the ceiling glows with more than 100 lights casting an even, shadow-free glow on the room. The antique light fixtures on the walls and in the elevator are from the early 20th century and sourced from Europe.
The wool carpet was hand woven in Barcelona, Spain, and took eight months to complete. The tables and chairs are all custom made, with the unique chairs being particularly interesting. Each is upholstered in moss green mohair and has an outside back panel of caribou hide sourced from Alaskan hunters. Many New Jersey artisans had a hand in creating the furnishings including distressed mirrors and plates handmade by Sussex County artisan and potter Bonnie Hull.
About the Menu
There are two menu options available: a four-course prix fixe (plus optional cheese) or seven-course chef’s tasting. Executive Chef Aishling Stevens and Chef de Cuisine Matt Laurich are pushing culinary boundaries with fermentation, preservation, and the best seasonal and foraged items.
Some current highlights include foraged mushrooms with multiple preparations of locally picked mushrooms, accompanied by spigarello and miso fudge; New Jersey lobster with lion’s mane mushrooms poached in lobster stock and Scottish wild hare in three preparations—loin with a farce (stuffing) of leg meat, parsley, chives and egg; roulade first sous-vide and then seared; and a petite rack. The restaurant will also feature a new Homage Dish every month that pays tribute to a different culinary legend. This month’s is squab two ways, stuffed with foie gras and confit leg, with wild sorrel and truffle, inspired by a famous quail dish created by the late chef Joël Robuchon.
There is also a six-seat Somm Table, which offers an entirely new experience at Restaurant Latour. Made from a local quarry stone and supported by reclaimed train trestles, the Somm Table is designed for exploring wine and the world’s finest ingredients. With communal seating and an area displaying wines and decanters, this table is less formal than the rest of the restaurant and especially great for solo diners or guests who do not want the full dinner offered at Latour. A selection of small plates includes three types of caviar, Mangalitsa Lardo, and a bento box of Miyazaki beef—considered to be one of the world’s best and most exclusive meats. Wine Director Susanne Wagner has chosen a list of unique wines to pair with the dishes, available in 3-oz. pours and full glasses. In keeping with its more casual nature, reservations are not required for the Somm Table.
1 Wild Turkey Way
Hamburg, NJ 07419
Editor’s note: Menu is subject to change.