This past holiday weekend, David and I decided to go out for dinner. Since the weather was gorgeous, I really wanted to eat outside, preferably in a place with a good view (we see enough traffic during the week). I remembered reading about a place in Northern New Jersey a while ago that boasted perfect Manhattan skylines and a polished menu (it was reviewed favorably by the New York Times, which is no small feat) so we decided a trek was in order.
Haven Riverfront Restaurant and Bar is literally riverside–the Hudson is only a few steps away from its outdoor patio (and smartly raised indoor dining room). True to its promise, the New York skyline spills out in front of you no matter where you dine (you can pick out just about every building from it if you look hard enough, it’s that well-placed), though you are actually directly across from the 90s in the city if you look at a map. The decor, menu (crafted by Chef Ibrahim Sanz), and vibe is incredibly well thought-out and contemporary, and feels like it could be at home in Manhattan itself. The whole area (called Edgewater Harbor) has a unique feel–it’s very-up-and-coming, like the City spilled over across the river, with lots of high-rise apartment buildings and upscale shops.
We were very hungry when we arrived and tore into the bread–could have been our empty stomach doing all the thinking but it was so good, soft and hearty at the same time! I almost couldn’t pick a cocktail they all sounded so good, but once I spotted a caipirinha I knew I couldn’t pass it up–this one was made with acai. David had a bourbon drink with elder-flower liquor and blackberry jam. Both were well-mixed and sweet, though you could still taste the distinct alcohol.
For starters we ordered an oyster tasting and it was phenomenal (and the absolute perfect size–we got to taste two of each type, Atlantic, Pacific, and Kumamoto). The stars of the show were easily the Pacific crassostrea gigas. They were huge, creamy, and incredibly sweet. Next up were cooked appetizers. The pan-seared scallops were served with Spanish chorizo and potato foam, a pairing I at first thought was odd but was actually delicious. I love it when a dish tastes best when all the ingredients are present in one bite and that’s exactly what went on here. Every flavor was perfect together. The Maryland Crab ‘puppies’ were very good too–a creamier version of a normal crab cake.
Due to the warm weather we both weren’t really feeling heavier entrees so we decided to order matching sandwiches. I had an Atlantic skate fish po’boy with incredible accompaniments: marinated cucumbers, tomato, lettuce, and a garlic-lime tartar sauce. David had a crispy chicken sandwich with bacon, artisan american cheese, tomato, coleslaw, and a spiced onion jam. They were both fried, but incredibly light and not at all greasy. I almost always regret ordering sandwiches out–they’re either too bread heavy or unbalanced or drenched in a sauce that causes everything to slide around–but these were perfection.
For dessert we ordered a warm brownie with vanilla gelato and a chocolate croissant bread pudding with a vanilla sabayon and Bourbon sauce. Both were yummy (the cocoa nibs scattered over the brownie and ice cream provided just enough elevated crunch to make the plate special) though the flavors seemed to muddle a bit. Perhaps we were just too full to be able to pick them all out!
I really loved Haven (as I’m sure you can tell) and would go back in a heartbeat. The service was wonderful–everyone was so nice and attentive, even though it was busy. The location, especially on a gorgeous day, can’t be beat. The bustle and glitter of New York is so close you can almost touch it but just far away enough for things to stay quiet and calm. If you’re heaving over the George Washington bridge (or in Northern New Jersey) give it a try!
Haven Riverside Restaruant and Bar
2 Main Street, Suite G
Edgewater Harbor, Edgewater, NJ 07020