Chef Iliana Regan’s unique approach to cooking at her popular Elizabeth is self-described as “New Gatherer” cuisine. Hunting and foraging are star features of this local, seasonal menu, and though her multi-course menu changes nightly (sometimes leading to subtle variations in quality) she consistently utilizes ingredients in ways that push the envelope. As proof of her talent, her popular cooking classes regularly sell out, even at $1,000 a pop.
Tucked into a bright interior, festooned with dried branches, river rocks, antlers and pottery, the décor alters with the menu. But the highlight of the space remains its fully open kitchen. Likewise, service is cheerful, warm and attentive, if a touch casual at times.
Dinner is likely to be an earthy ten—albeit manageable—course affair, and might begin with a creamy scoop of wildly fresh cheese set over sorel mushroom purée and topped with a cloud of elderflower foam, spruce shoots and foraged plant bulbs. Later, a bread service featuring soft goat butter, crisp pork cracklings and luscious whipped lardo is memorable to say the least. At the end, a knob of turbot reaches striking new heights dressed with beurre monté and crunchy white asparagus.