You'd think finding a very good cocktail in this state should not be hard, but when you've been spoiled with world champions like New York City's Employees Only, Pegu Club, Flat Iron and the like it is a self imposed hardship.And, sadly many NJ bar tenders just don't have the skill to make a credible Martini.
Nevertheless, when Nell and I were looking for a spot for our regular Tuesday night out, which always includes a bar, I started to search. Found a post on Chow.com on "Unique Cocktails in NJ" that mentioned a good bartender and mixologist, Andrew, at Park West Tavern in Ridgewood, NJ.
I checked out the Park West web site, cocktail menu looked intriguing. We were on our way.
Cocktails were great and so was the atmosphere, service and food. We'll be back.
The space is warm and inviting, just like their web site promises, to the right a large dining area and to the left the long bar and lounge area. The bar was packed at 6:30 on a Tuesday night so we took a couple of the low seats and a table in the lounge area. Noise level was low, even with a busy bar, which I appreciate.
Our waiter, a distinguished gentlemen, decked out in white shirt and black tie, could have as easily been found at the Algonquin Hotel, Blue Bar,or the Oak Room at the Plaza. But fortunately for us he was here at Park West.
Started off with an Old Fashioned '1884' Bulleit Rye - Maraschino Liqueur - Brown Sugar - Orange & Angostura Bitters and a PWT V & T
Housemade Rosemary Vodka - Q Tonic Water - Hint of Lime. Both very well done.
Our first dish was the Rib Eye Spring Rolls with Roasted Mushrooms Caramelized Onion White Cheddar. The meat was nice and tender with a very good marinade, wraps just crisp enough. The dipping sauce was a little to vinegary for me, thought it should have been richer tasting.
After that we noticed the raw bar offerings and just had to try some oysters. We chose the west coast selection and were very pleased. Fresh as can be. The mignonette sauce lacked flavor, too little vinegar I thought. And we had the lobster roll, which was good in every way except the lobster was a little tough. And I love the roll toasted in butter.
With these we switched to a cocktail called The Park Royale, Cava Sparkling Wine and Organic Hibiscus Syrup, and a Kettle One Dirty Martini, would have ordered Tito's but not carried here.
Still hungry, next dishes was a delightful Sashimi Tuna Salad, with
Avocado /Mango / Jicama, Miso Soy and Ginger Vinaigrette. This was very good. We like to mix things up and also had one of Park West's delicious burgers and their sensational fries.
Believe it on not we still had room for dessert and we enjoyed this:
30 Oak Street, Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Hours of Operation: 11:30am – 1:30am Park West Tavern