We know plenty of exceptional restaurants but can’t recall any better than the Ninety Acre Culinary Center. Our recent dinner there with good friends Kevin and Sue was one that ranks very high on our list. Three of us started with a salad. Mine was the Shaved Salad ($10) which included cauliflower, green apple, Manchego and black lime. It was delicate and just plain great. Kevin raved about his Venison Carpaccio ($12). We all had a fish entrée. One was the Barnegat Lighthouse Scallops ($28).
Two picked the Roasted Chatham Cod and I had the Pumpernickel Crusted King Salmon ($25) with winter radish, organic mushrooms and cardomum butter. I have never had a better Salmon entrée. We split two desserts. One was a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pyramid ($9) and one was the Coconut Panna Cotta ($9). Both were amazingly good. The tab for the four of us including drinks and gratuity was just about $250 which was more than reasonable for the food and the entire experience. The service was impeccable and we never felt rushed.
Their wine list is extensive and fairly priced. In addition to the main dining room they have a comfortable bar area with a separate bar menu. They also serve great looking wood fired pizza ($10-$12). The Center features an open kitchen area with many young, enthusiastic people handling the cooking.
The Ninety Acres Culinary Center sits on 90 acres in the middle of 500 acre Natirar property that was formerly owned by the King of Morocco and is now a county park. The Center housed in a historic carriage house, opened in December 2009 and consists of the restaurant, cooking school, wine school and 15 acre working farm from which the restaurant expects to get many of items served. The 1912 estate is being transformed into a Luxury Resort & Spa in addition to the Culinary Center.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines and one of the world's exceptional entrepreneurs, is involved in this truly unique venture which was inspired by a visit to Branson’s Necker Island by the project’s founder and New Jersey resident Bob Wojtowicz.
Reservations are a must. The drive through the County Park to the Culinary Center is probably close to a mile up a winding, quiet road. To truly appreciate what a special place this is we recommend you get there while it is still day light so you can enjoy the whole environment.
If you enjoy fine dining this has to be your next special night out. The dress code is casual and kids will feel comfortable here.
Ninety Acres Culinary Center at Natirar
2 Main Street. Peapack-Gladstone, NJ