Next Stop “The Station” in Mountain Lakes

 I’m excited to share a new restaurant with all of you today! A few weeks back I decided to venture outside of my Morristown comfort zone in order to get some new dining perspective. One of my foodie friends and I decided that we needed to try something new and refresh our taste buds from the same old (while very good) restaurant repertoire. We drove up and over to Mountain Lakes, NJ to give The Station Restaurant a taste test.

The historic building that the restaurant resides in was indeed the old train station. This cobblestone structure next to the tracks lends the restaurant a nostalgic type charm. The menu is large, if not almost a bit overwhelming. The food fare ranges from American, to Italian, to formal steakhouse. Typically these types of menus frighten me a bit! How can a chef show careful consideration to so many different varieties of dishes. However; I continued my positive outlook because during my pre-read of the restaurant one tidbit about the chef captured my attention.  The Station calls themselves a “from scratch” restaurant. This means they make everything on premises or it is delivered fresh. There were also promises of no microwaves, pre-cooking, or shortcuts. You would be surprised at the rarity of this type of cooking in today’s restaurant world.

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We sipped on our selected wines from their sizeable, by the glass, menu and carefully picked our meals. To start we went for the firecracker calamari. For me this selection was about getting redemption from a meal I had earlier in that same week. I was having a cheat day in the middle of my wedding diet and I ordered fried calamari. It was a total waste of a cheat because it was not fresh, over salted, and overly fried. So here I am two days later wanting to satisfy my original cheat. It was definitely a risk! But, one that was more than worth taking. The calamari was fresh, tender, and had the perfect amount of coating. But the part of this dish that was outstanding was the olive, tomato, caper, and balsamic tapenade that was scooped on top. It was briny, sweet and spicy and what we didn’t collect on our calamari we mopped up with the fresh bread.

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The calamari plate was no small dish. In all honesty that could have been our entire meal and I would have walked away happy. But, we had already ordered large dinners that were on their way. I picked one of the many steak options and my friend picked St. Peter’s fish. The hangar steak was probably the version of this cut of meat I have had to date. Hangar steak is so often served chewy and tough. The chef made it sliced thin, char-broiled on a grill, and so juicy and flavorful that no matter how full I was I kept taking more bites. The sautéed spinach had a large kick of garlic which is always a plus in my book. The scalloped potatoes were paper thin ribbons layered in between luscious creamy cheese and a crisp outer layer. I was near the point of having to be rolled out of the restaurant by the end of the meal! My companion said her fish was so light and tasty as well. We were definitely patting ourselves on the back for branching out and making the short drive.

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There was no possibility of dessert but, it wasn’t needed to know that this place would go on the “return to” list. I think I detailed my meal for a full fifteen minutes when I got home to my fiancé and I have certainly been spreading the word to local friends. So here I am letting you all know the same….go try The Station! You’ll be happy you did.

For more information visit their website: http://thestationatmtlakes.co/

…all for the love of the dish

Missy

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