The Fox & Falcon has landed in South Orange. Yeah!

By on February 12, 2019

The Fox & Falcon has landed in downtown South Orange, New Jersey to much acclaim.

Located upstairs in a space that’s had a hard time hanging onto a restaurant despite the fact that its in the middle of downtown and has ample parking.

Why will Fox & Falcon soar? The vibe is Cheers-like with friendly waiters and ample seating, under soft golden light. This will quickly become your go-to place.  It’s got what we need.  Great food and drinks, open late, and terrific service.

Sit at the bar and order upscale mixed drinks, interesting wines by the glass or beer.  You can order an entire dinner if you wish, but they have a couple more large dining rooms with more golden light, cheerful waiters, and interesting choices.

The restaurant selections are inspired.  I was happy to see both skate and sliders, as well as fluke with fresno chili and pinenuts.  You can instantly see somebody’s Italian mama in the background.

No wonder.  This restaurant is owned and operated by David Massoni, whose family is half Italian and half Irish.  Looks to me like David brings forth the best from both cultures. He has operated restaurants in Manhattan as well as New Jersey.  His skills are deep and wide.

David Massoni brings us elevated simplicity.  We love it.

We started with a plate of quick fried fennel with a Dijon Tarragon Aioli for the table.  Then moved onto dishes we know and love.  I ordered Meatball Sliders made from top quality beef on a finely made bun with mozzarella and what they call a Sunday Sauce.  Yum.

For our vegan friend,  they offered a gratin of root vegetables with spinach, roasted garlic, feta and bread crumbs. There were handmade noodles imported from Italy and served with Bolognese sauce, or pancetta, or mussels and jalapeno, or cacio e pepe.  Generous servings, just like grandma would want you to have.

They offered a Pan Roasted Chicken, a burger, and up to a Grilled Prime Ribeye. The menu will change with the seasons, and  take advantage of all the Garden State has to offer in terms of locally sourced foods.

Since we were celebrating a birthday,  they brought us a special dark cake with a candle.

The chef is Matt Ruzga,  who came out here to the burbs after a 5 year stint at Manhattan’s Del Posto where he learned everything from the experts in hospitality and cooking,  Joe and Lidia Bastianich.  Chef Ruzga served as executive sous chef there for more than 3 years, after training at Johnson & Wales where he studied subjects including knife skills, to Fish Cookery.

This is all good news for our home town,  South Orange, New Jersey,  the best kept secret outside Manhattan where you can find top quality food and drink in a friendly setting and the prices are at least 50 per cent cheaper than they would be in New York.  Thank you.

The food is refined and well thought out.  The service is stupendous.  The room makes everyone look beautiful thanks to carefully planned golden light. They have music on certain nights (ask).

The fox and falcon has landed and aren’t we lucky?  They keep New York style hours, and offer New York style service.  Yahoo.  Go!

The Fox &  Falcon

19 Valley Street

South Orange,NJ 07079

973 419 6773

Open daily

Restaurant  M-F  5 pm – 11 pm and S&S  11 am to 11 pm

Closes at 10 pm on Sunday

Bar is open 7 days a week from 4 pm to 2 am

Happy Hour   M-F  4 pm-6 pm / 11 pm to 2 am.

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About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”