Pictured Above: Seared Fillet of Wild Maine Black Sea Bass, Glazed with Japanese Plum Wine served over Bok Choy in Lobster Broth with Shiitake and Enoki Mushrooms

Perryville Inn is a hidden gem…maybe not for the locals of Western New Jersey, but for this Manhattanite its a wonderful discovery. Imagine a colonial brick Inn (1813) set on top of a grassy knoll; inside is oak, class, coziness, outside a gazebo with a table for two. Its dreamy.

I was brought here by my favorite couple on a hot summer Thursday. A live band jammed outside, the sun shone down and we started with a bottle of Beaujolais. By the end of the night we were at the indoor oak bar drinking Mourvedre discussing food politics with Chef Paul (proprietor). Side note: some of the bar area has double sided seating which makes conversing with a group easy…rather the traditional line up of bar stools.

Last night the couple and I had dinner inside of the formal dining room and we were joined by the restaurant manager. Not only was he charming and good-looking , but he was able to tell us a lot about exactly what we were eating and where it came from. Lovely.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • Healthy Options: 5 out of 5. Very possible and easy to walk out without feeling full. My dish was light, no butter in the broth, probably a splash of chardonnay.
  • Food: 4.5 out of 5. Sea Bass cooked and paired with remaining ingredients perfectly. The lobster broth could have had a stronger flavor, but this isn’t a valid complaint.
  • Service: 3.5 out of 5. Attentive waitress but her demeanor didn’t match the quality of the food.
  • Seating: 4 out of 5. If the room was full of patrons it would be too large, but since the crowd was small the seating by the window was quaint. The seating outside is spacious with beautiful natural surroundings.
  • Ambiance: 4 out of 5. Cozy, romantic. Too bad I am with a couple but have no date of my own.
  • Price: 4 out of 5. You get what you pay for. Entrees are priced in the mid-twenties but worth it.
  • Extras: amuse bouche with sundried tomato pesto atop a crostini, delicious white bean spread instead of butter, for dessert the lemon tart is fresh and zesty

both borderedOVERALL: A great dining experience…especially if you can chat with Chef Paul!