Even before you get through the door you know you are in the zone, far from the madness, closer to nirvana, because this restaurant radiates class, elegance and comfort. All indicators point to being wined, dined and regaled by a knowledgeable and engaging staff whose sole purpose is to make your day.
Light Horse Tavern is in a historic section of Jersey City but it feels as though you are in Manhattan. The decor is full of soothing, organic materials like brick, wood and wrought iron. The main dining room is a two-story marvel cornered with towering windows. Indulge in some friendly voyeurism while dining on the balcony overlooking the bar and first floor. A more sheltered chamber, equally as rich in comfort can be found behind the bar area. All rooms are available for private parties. Catch the live music Sunday - Tuesday, and check out Events for special performances.
The fare here, whether you are examining a lunch, dinner, tavern or brunch menu is surprising and fanciful. It is chock-full of inventive flavors imparted by spices and herbs like saffron/lemon/basil, or jus of citrus or sage. The judicious use of mushrooms can be appreciated like art, as in the coalescence of sweet golden beets and crème fraiche with savory wild mushrooms and sublime truffles. Most of the pasta is hand-made, but you will forgive the prepared Chestnut Pappardelle synthesized with braised veal, pearl onions and maitake mushrooms in a scented orange veal jus. How could you not?
Dream-like feasting in real-time dining is the gift of Executive Chef Ian Kapitan, who trained under the auspices of Susar Lee in Toronto. Escalating his culinary imagination with Craig Shelton at the Ryland Inn, and rocketing gastronomy in eateries such as Vong's in Manhattan, Chef Kapitan continues to draw slavering reactions with his sublime creations.
Wine is a passion here. Sommelier Erin Robert Clyde is continuing the Light Horse legacy in the art of the grape. Owner Ron Smith is proud to mention Wine Spectator's recognition of their collection with an Award of Excellence for several years running, and New York Times reviewer David Corcoran has included the restaurant in his Top 10 Round-Up.
Celebrity sightings are a regular occurrence, but just show up and you will be celebrated by a formally trained staff.
The Light Horse Tavern is located at 199 Washington Street. Call: 201-946-2028, or visit: lighthorsetavern.com. Park on the street or in a lot one block east on Morris Street. Bring in your receipt for validation.