Morristown has had some exciting new restaurant additions in the works for the past few months. Stirling Tavern is one of these endeavors! It took over the beloved David Todd’s space on South Street. I was a big fan of David Todd’s so they had a lot to live up to in my mind. Once I learned that the renowned Stirling Hotel would be taking over the reins I had high hoped for good things to come. (I haven’t been myself but have heard only great things!)
I had great plans to get there as soon as the new iteration opened however; the holiday season got in my way. I was pleased to finally get a dinner date on the calendar to try it out. With a few months under their belt, I also figured the kinks would be worked out and the kitchen settled in. I’m not sure there ever were any glitches but, my service ( aside from being a little slow due to the rush of people) and food were pleasant and without hiccups.
The interior has been redone to take on a retro rustic vibe. Simple farm tables and wood paneled walls are paired with nostalgic artwork to complete the look. The menu is refined bar food meets classic New American. A variety of snacks and starters could easily fill your tables as the whole meal. There four different takes on mussels and a handful of burger options. The main course selection is small and focuses on comfort. Just to name a few, you’ll find dishes like white wine infused mac and cheese, cast iron half chicken, and wild boar ragu. There are also a handful of salad options that can be topped with protein for the full meal effect.
The restaurant also boasts a large craft beer selection and some signature cocktails. Unfortunately, I am trying to limit my drinking for the month as a bit of a detox so I did not indulge on this visit (Which is just another excuse to go back soon!).
My visit was a casual week night catchup with one of my girlfriend’s. I say this because we ate light, although it still allowed us to get the essence of the restaurant. We started with the VooDoo Wings. They were dry rubbed in what they deem their “secret spice blend”. They were crispy but WOW, were they spicy. I loved the combination of herbs and spices but I think next time I may need to ask to be tossed in a little less rub. After no less than five glasses of water and a few napkins I polished off my half of the wings. I also liked that there were generous bites of chicken on each wing. It gave your mouth a break from the spice.
I don’t want to discourage you from the dish, because I will absolutely be getting again. Just be prepared for the spice or ask for a tone down!
We each decided on one of their salads topped with steak. I went with the Baby Kale salad topped with fennel, blood orange, pine nuts and a white balsamic dressing. It was a relatively small salad but in all honesty it was the perfect size when served with a protein. My steak was cooked excellently to medium. It was tender and went great with the peppery fennel and the bursts of orange. I polished off every last morsel. My friend chose the Baby Arugula Salad with bosc pear, bleu cheese, walnuts and a champagne vinaigrette. She too had no difficulties finishing the plate.
After sitting back on my comfortable couch bench seating, I reflected on my meal. I think Stirling Tavern is going to do just fine in this town! The staff is friendly, the bar area is welcoming, the food (from what I’ve tried) is delicious, the dining room is cozy, and the prices are reasonable. There’s not much more to ask for.
Welcome to the neighborhood Stirling Tavern and see you soon!
…all for the love of the dish