A note about the vegetables. Etc. gets its produce from its own farm in Manville, New Jersey, providing a farm-to-table dining experience. You might not think that getting farm-fresh vegetables would make such a difference in taste, but you would be wrong. Those vegetables were so fresh they practically stood up on your plate and danced and the taste was nothing short of incomparable.
For the main course, we enjoyed an Etc. steak special, with crispy potato salad and asparagus and a Three Peppercorn Filet with onion rings, arugula and mustard sauce.
Having requested my steak well done, my peppercorned filet was butterflied in an effort to keep it juicy. With twice the amount of surface area, my steak was more than just a little peppery, but our waitress kept magically appearing and refilling our water glasses. The onion rings were huge, maybe four inches across, and while I have never eaten arugula before, I am now a devoted fan. Both the raw crunchy leaves and the ones that were delicately steamed by the heat of my steak were incredibly good. But the stars of the main course were the lightly peppered thick, juicy Etc. steak, which my husband pronounced “astounding” and the crispy potato salad, which had a gentle coating of exquisite tarragon mayonnaise. While I dislike asparagus intensely, I tasted one and it was the only time in my entire life that I have ever enjoyed asparagus.
Despite overindulging, we managed to make room for dessert. The S’more, a small mason jar layered with graham cracker crumbs, a thick chocolate ganache and a layer of marshmallow accented by a chocolate cookie stick was innovative, creative and a visual delight but it was the Peach Galette that stole the show. While it was described as an almond macaroon topped with a balsamic peach ice cream, the description didn’t do it justice. It was more like a very light, almond flavored hamantash, topped with lightly prepared peaches, which were also scattered around the bowl, finished with a scoop of fluffy peach mousse. Without a doubt, it was one of the most incredible desserts I have ever eaten.
The food at Etc. doesn’t come cheap, with appetizers ranging in price from $9 to $18, entrees clocking in at $25 to $39 and desserts priced at $13. There is no question that a meal like this is a splurge both from an economic and a caloric standpoint but for those moments when you are taking a business client out, celebrating a special event or just feel like treating yourself right, Etc. is the place to go. Warshaw, who emerged from the kitchen mid-meal to greet the diners, is incredibly gifted, and with his passion for pairing unique flavors with seasonal produce, he manages to put together a dining experience that is nothing short of stellar.
1409 Palisade Ave., Teaneck, N.J.
Certified by Rabbinical Council of Bergen County
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About the Author: Sandy Eller is a freelance writer who writes for numerous websites, newspapers, magazines and many private clients. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
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