May 10, 2011

Restaraunt Review

55 Main
55 Main Street
Flemington, NJ 08822-1489
(908) 284-1551

Open Mon-Tue 11:30am-3pm; Wed-Fri 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-9pm;Sat 5pm-10pm

This past Saturday evening my husband and I were joined for dinner by a couple we have been friends with since Grace and Michael came home from Kazakhstan. We had dinner at a contemporary restaurant in downtown Flemington NJ. Its street address is actually the name of the establishment, 55 Main.
I had made a dinner reservation for 6:30 and had absolutely no problem in getting in at that time. When we arrived there were only a handful of people dining so I began to get a little nervous over my choice of dining spots for the evening. Upon entering, our dinner companions were very impressed with the decor of the restaurant for it is very sleek in style with low lighting. The restaurant itself is long and narrow with booth seating along the walls in the back part of the space. Up front there are smaller tables scattered about the wider area of the restaurant.  We were met by our server and promptly asking if we had brought wine, and if so was it red or white so she could bring the proper glasses to the table. I didn’t realize it was a B.Y.O.B establishment but luckily enough we had a bottle of Smoking Loon Cabernet in the car.
There were a few specials that evening and one of the choices was a butter fish served in a crab and lobster risotto served on top of a butter sauce. I had the butter fish and Chris ordered the yellow fin tuna with wasabi on sticky ginger rice and Asian vegetable sauté topped with wasabi aioli. Our dinner companions also ordered the butter fish and a sweet sausage and pasta dish with peas and tomatoes and a touch of cream and Parmesan cheese. Both of which they enjoyed very much. The butter fish had a fantastic flavor and it was seasoned perfectly. To be honest I really didn’t even need the risotto and it was a bit bland in comparison to the fish. I also had a salad of dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and crumbled goat cheese on a bed of mixed greens, tomato and red onion with honey truffle oil vinaigrette. This was very enjoyable although I did have to ask for more of the dressing to accompany my salad.
Service was excellent, the price was a bit on the higher side but it did reflect well the quality of the food and service. And the fact that the restaurant doesn’t have a liquor license actually brings down the cost of dining at 55 Main. So for two soups and two salads, an excellent set of entrees and 3 desserts with one cappuccino, including any tax and tip, our cost for a night out with friends totaled $90 per couple. I think this is a very reasonable amount and we all agreed that it is a spot in which we would definitely dine again.
Oh and by the way, from the time we were seated for our 6:30 reservation to the time we departed at 8:45 the restaurant was buzzing with activity and diners. So my recommendation would be the 6:30 time slot on a Saturday evening at 55 Main!
Rating...****1/2 out of 5!

Spanakopita - Spinach Pie

I love this dish made with fresh spinach, dill and parsley all tossed with  feta cheese and nestled between layers and layers of crisp filo dough. The trick to working with the filo is to keep it moist and cover it completely with olive oil after each layer is placed. This dish also has a bit of an earthy flavor because of the hint of nutmeg in the spinach mixture. Make sure your dough is completely thawed before using.


2 lbs of fresh spinach
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 c. onion chopped
2 T olive oil for sauteing
6 scallions sliced
1/2 c.  fresh dill chopped
1 c. fresh flat leafed parsley chopped
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups of crumbled feta cheese
Filo dough thawed
olive oil for spreading on the filo dough during the layering process

In a large pot sauté the garlic and onion in the 2 T of olive oil until soft and onion is transparent. Add the spinach in batches and cook until wilted. Place the wilted spinach in a colander and press out any excess liquid. Once all the spinach is wilted toss with the parsley dill and scallions then go ahead and add the egg and seasonings and toss again. (It may actually be easier to use your hands to toss.) Finally add the cheese and mix again, set aside.

In a 13 X9 inch glass baking dish, spread olive oil on the bottom to cover and lay down your first sheet of filo dough. While working with the dough dampen a paper towel and lay over the top of the open dough to prevent drying. Spread olive oil on the top of the sheet and then place another sheet on top and spread on olive oil. Repeat 5-6 more times. Then spread the spinach mixture on top. Make sure to again squeeze out any water which may have accumulated in the bottom of the bowl while it was sitting. This will prevent the bottom of the pie from becoming soggy when cooking. Then go on and repeat the filo dough layering process 7-8 more times. Cover the top sheet with olive oil and place into a hot oven heated to 375 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes until the top of the pie is a golden brown. Then remove from the oven and let the spinach pie cool slightly before slicing.

Enjoy this dish with grilled chicken legs and thighs which were marinated in a combination of Miracle Whip and Greek salad dressing. (I prefer Gazebo Room Greek Dressing & Marinade) Whisk the two together and marinate the chicken for 2 hours. (You can also par boil the chicken before marinating to cut down on the grilling time.)

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