After we went to Antique Bar & Bakery in Hoboken for brunch few weeks ago, we were really looking forward to trying their dinner menu. We had a reservation at 7pm with Opentable.com, but were told that seating would be between 7pm and 8pm and that we could sit at the bar. We arrived 15 minutes earlier (it was a Friday) and got indeed seated at the bar, although I noticed some empty tables behind us. And guess what: 10 minutes after and a cocktail down my throat, we sat to one of these same tables. I could not not think that it was a way to make people order drinks...Anyway, we were really wise to go early as, at 7:30pm, the place was packed, with tons of people waiting in the bar area and no table available. For sure this place does not need advertising! Ambience wise, it is between a bar and a neighborhood restaurant, the noise level being pretty high, the 60s music played via Spotify being quite loud. But that was the only negative, the service being good and the food outstanding.
At the bar, I sipped their Stone's Throw From Manhattan composed of coal filtered bourbon, smoked cherries, sweet vermouth and a burned lemon. This was pretty good, quite strong.
For appetizer, we decided to share their spaghetti squash carbonara, with pancetta and a crispy poached egg. This was a very interesting twist on the classic Italian carbonara, a lighter version that was very good, with lots of cheese and a delicious poached egg.
Then, for my entrée, I surprisingly ordered their hanger steak. I say surprisingly because I usually do not order steak if I am not eating in a Steakhouse, let alone hanger steak, my favorite cut being the ribeye. Unfortunately, they only serve it for two (a table close by got it and it looked succulent). The steak came with a sauce that I picked from few interesting choices: mine was a compound butter made with some bread crumbles (it is called bread & butter). Quite good, but I wish it was served warmer so the butter would start to melt. Anyway, I got the trick: I put the butter on the skillet on which the steak came and it slowly melted. The star was definitely the steak that was perfectly cooked medium-rare, tender and juicy. I did not regret my choice and recommend it.
Know that it does not come with a side. So, we shared their Greek fries that were French fries with feta, an interesting combination.
Jodi on her side went for the Lasagna edges, burnt butter mushrooms, hard herbs and cheese toast. This was also a very interesting dish, quite creative, that had lots of cheese and mushrooms, but I admit that I was expecting something a bit different, like a lasagna prepared the same way Parm prepares its baked ziti, with the edges fried in a pan.
Last was dessert. Most of them cost more than $20, but you quickly understand why: it is family style, enough for 4 persons. At first, we wanted to try the cookies and milk, but there is peanut butter that Jodi does not like and unfortunately the dough is prepared in advanced and cooked to order. What they told us is that we can call them ahead and try their dough without the peanut butter, a nice idea for sure. So we decided to share their dirty chocolate cake that was amazing, with each table next to us asking what this was, mesmerized by the beautiful presentation, but most importantly by the amount of frosting on it! Yes, there was an equal amount of frosting compared to the moist cake and, this created a quite light but very chocolatey dessert. Of course, the two of us could not finish so we brought it home and had it the next day. Well, even the next day this cake is sublime: the frosting is hard (it was soft at the restaurant) and the cake was still moist. This is definitely a dessert I recommend.
We left and were glad to walk a bit after a great dinner. Antique Bar & Bakery is a little gem. Too bad that the word is already out though and I would love to see a second location where hopefully reservations can be honored on time...
Enjoy (I did)!
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Antique Bar and Bakery - 122 Willow Ave, Hoboken, NJ 07030