Thirty Acres of Deliciousness
My neighbors have been raving about Thirty Acres since it opened. And, my husband had been nagging me to try Jersey City’s newest eclectic restaurant after hearing all the rave reviews. However, with menu items featuring ingredients like beef tongue and squid ink, I was initially hesitant to try the eatery.
Back in early December, The Jersey City Project held Project: Market, a tented shopping experience featuring food, fashion and other items from Jersey City vendors. Thirty Acres had a booth at the event and were serving a few of their less adventurous menu items, so I gave it a shot.
My husband and I shared their cavatelli with a marinara sauce and corn beef and cabbage with cashews with a maple sauce. After a few bites, I got what all the hype was about. The noodles were handmade and cooked to perfection. The corn beef offered the perfect mix of salty and sweet with a just right amount of crunch from the cashews.
On New Year’s Eve, I got the full Thirty Acres experience. The restaurant offers minimal decor, including wood floors, stark white walls and simple, vintage, schoolhouse-style chairs and tables. The glass walls that encase the restaurant, offer passerbys a glimpse into diners’ delicacies. My favorite decor was in the bathroom. Lined with subway title and an old-school title floor, the private bathrooms have spa-like mint green walls featuring photographs of people serving food across the world.
To drink, I went with champagne of course. My hubby went with pinot noir. They start you off with bread from local Jersey City bakery Choc O pain and butter topped with sea salt. The bread is soft on the inside with a crunchy, flake crust. The sea salt adds a whole new flavor to the butter.
For dinner, I had fettuccine with pork shoulder ragu, green olives (I 86ed these because I’m not an olive fan), pine nuts and straveccio. My husband had the pork loin with apples, brussel leaves, cauliflower and quince almond sauce. All I can say is WOW. In general, I’m definitely one to exaggerate, but there is no exaggeration when I say this may have been one of the best meals I ever had. The pork was so tender, you could cut it with a butter knife, and when you did, juice oozed out. Apparently, the chef soaks the pork loin in buttermilk after he cooks it for extra flavor, juice and tenderness - um, yum! The pasta, ugh, to die for - perfectly cook, sauced and seasoned. It’s got a kick at the end that the pine nuts curb and leaves you with a delicious,nutty aftertaste.
To our surprise, the waitress brought over their famous Kevin’s Mom’s Lemon Bars. She sent the dish as an I’m sorry because they accidentally initially put olives on my pasta (which she immediately sent back and brought me a new one). The crust of the lemon bars revivals that of Momofuku Milk Bar's crack pie (which makes sense since the owner worked at Momofuku Noddle Bar for nearly five years). It was flaky, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth. The perfect way to the end meal.
So key takeaways, here’s the shortlist:
- Come hungry, the portions are generous
- You can BYOB, but there is a $25 corking fee
- Get dessert even if you’re stuffed. It’s worth it
Need more reason to go? Connect with others who’ve been.
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New York Times Article: Seasoned With Invention and Irreverence