Happy Saturday everyone! How has the weekend been treating you so far?
Last night I was so fortunate to have received the opportunity to go to a local wine and bistro in Westfield, New Jersey for some appetizers and drinks. Being located in northern New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy had left us without power, heat, and water for ten days. While it was inconvenient and challenging, it certainly does not compare to the devastation and heart-break many other people endured, and my heart truly goes out to all those who have suffered. However, after having life disrupted for almost two weeks, I really looked forward to having some normalcy back and to go out, relax, and have fun!
Relaxation, fun, and so much more was found at 16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro!
When you first walk into the restaurant there is a wine bar with couches, bar tables, and a friendly staff that welcomes you with warm smiles. The back dining rooms are cozy and absolutely gorgeous with bookshelves, beautiful stone and woodwork, a fireplace with an antique radio, and lights and, “tree branches,” covered with brightly green, “leaves,” on the ceiling.
We took a seat at one of the trendy bar tables in the front, where there were many couples as well as groups of friends enjoying the live entertainment of a pianist and thoroughly enjoying their food and drinks. The atmosphere was lively, and I immediately fell in love with this eclectic restaurant!
Once we were seated a tentative and knowledgeable waiter greeted us with a flask of spring water which he poured for into glasses as well as a small, warm loaf of bread served with a garlic infused olive oil for dipping. While I did not taste the bread, it smelled delicious!
After speaking to the waiter we decided to order a bottle of 2008 Castello Monaci “Lianti” Salice Salentino from Puglia, Italy for the table. Following a taste, the waiter carefully poured the bottle into a decanter before serving us. A full-bodied wine, similar to a Cabernet, this wine was fantastic!
With our drinks set, it was time to eat! The menu was quite large and offered an abundance of appetizers, salad, and entrees, so we decided to pick two appetizers for the table to taste.
Healthy eating is possible while dining out, and 16 Prospect also proved that it can be flavorful and reasonably priced!
Our first appetizer was a dozen Long Island steamed clams served with a drawn butter, and they were simple and extremely satisfying! The clams were expertly prepared with absolutely no fishiness, and the butter complemented them perfectly!
As much as I loved the clams, our second appetizer, marinated and roasted artichoke hearts made with chopped tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and basil stole the show!
Topped with a little freshly shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese, they tasted rich, decadent, and heavenly!
After finishing our appetizers, we continued to listen to the music, enjoy the company, and relax in a fun and classy environment!
16 Prospect has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants, and I can not wait to go back for more fabulous food, wine, and entertainment!
Question of the Day: Do you enjoy white wine, red wine, or neither?
Quote of the Day: “I love everything that’s old, – old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.” – Oliver Goldsmith