Bonjour! I have stumbled onto a new fusion restaurant that is write-up worthy. I discovered a place where French bread and focaccia lay side by side in your bread basket. You’ll also find classic moules marinières and artisan pizzas comingled on the same menu. Ma Maison in Millburn, NJ is serving up French food with some Italian fusion.
I found myself at the restaurant after a mini web search for restaurants in the Millburn area. I was searching for a girl’s night location and I stumbled onto this unique brasserie. The concept caught my attention and reservations were promptly made.
My first impression of the restaurant was their chic décor. You’ll feel like you stepped off the streets in Paris into a trendy little café. Both of us girls were swooning over the três magnifique atmosphere.
The menu was a bevy of hard decisions as my eyes jumped from savory pasta dishes to French cuisine standards like duck l’orange. As I pondered my decision I dipped crispy focaccia in olive oil (about 3 slices of bread…I clearly didn’t hate it!) Had we remembered to bring a bottle of wine to this byob establishment I would have been sipping in between my gratuitous bites. We decided to share an Italian appetizer and go French for our main entrees.
The first course was a special of shrimp with tomatoes and artichokes. We were presented with a pretty plate of 4 jumbo shrimp, juicy tomatoes and briny artichokes. I may or may not have sopped up some of the sauce with more of that focaccia (oops!).
I continued my meal with a second course of seafood. The menu boasted four different types of mussels served with a side of frites. I couldn’t pass them up. I chose the Mussles Ma Maison which was paired with pernod, shallots and fennel. This may have been intended as an appetizer but it was more than plenty for a full meal. I did not even finish the nearly 30 mussels (I didn’t count but if I took a guess…). I loved crunching on the fresh, slightly anise scented, fennel slices. The mussels tasted fresh and were tender. The side of French fries seems like an afterthought but for turning this course into a meal I suppose it works. I recommend using the fries to soak up some of the extra juices from the mussel pot. My girl’s night partner ordered the salmon. I can’t speak for her when it comes to taste but she finished her plate off obligingly.
In the spirit of bikini season we chose to pass on dessert ( I had just ate about half of a loaf of bread afterall…oh and fries…). As we sat and continued to talk for an hour after our check arrived the server continued to happily fill our water glasses. I never felt rushed to leave which I was very appreciative of. As we paid our checks we both made promises to return to each other. Another truly enjoyable evening in the books!
For restaurant information head to their website: http://mamaisonmillburn.com/mamaisonmillburn/index.html
…all for the love of the dish