Picnic on the Square Hits the Ridgewood New Jersey Dining Scene

Restaurants  / 

Restaurant dynasties? So not a Bergen County thing. Until now.

Renowned chef Christine Nunn (first of Picnic Caterers, then of restaurant Picnic in Fair Lawn) now opens Picnic on the Square in Ridgewood. And it doesn’t disappoint. The BYOB features a dynamic menu based on the current harvest– bringing dining in Ridgewood to a whole new level.

Located near the train station in what was formerly Ridgewood Fare, the space is limited (intimate) but they did a very nice job with keeping the decor simple yet elegant. Exposed brick, white tablecloths and interesting lighting fixtures create an ambiance that feels both upscale and relaxed. The real draw here, though, is the food – and the menu changes every day.

The appetizers we sampled included the Lobster Rolls ($18) and Salt Poached Pears (($10) with Stilton cheese, candied pecan maiche and vinaigrette. The Lobster Roll came with large chunks of meat with just a light touch of dressing, insanely flavorful and definitely worth the trip in and of itself (nostalgic New Englanders, anyone?). The pear salad, with salt-soaked pear slices, pecans and Stilton cheese, was a sublime, rich, and incredibly interesting combination of flavors.

For dinner we tried the Seared Dayboat Scallops ($32) served with butternut squash risotto and sage brown butter, a Pair of Colorado Lamb Chops ($36) over lamb shank orzo “risotto” capers, dried tomato, olives and feta, and the “Menage a Squash” ($22) – butternut, spaghetti and acorn squashes with cranberries, pecans and blue cheese. Whereas most restaurants serve a pretty bland vegetarian option, this was NOT the case with Picnic. This dish was deliciously unique and full of melt-in-your-mouth flavor – a true masterpiece of a dish. The scallops were perfectly prepared and served with a huge portion of butternut squash risotto. But we have to say, Nunn really brought it home with the lamb. The chops were extraordinary and the orzo risotto she served it with was an exquisite way to enhance the flavor of the meat.

So whether you’re a meat lover or a veggie girl, there really is something for everyone on this incredible menu. Welcome to Ridgewood, Nunn – we hope you stay!

Carla Sullivan is the dining editor for Bergen Mama and the founder of Minimunchers.com, a dining guide for families in NYC. She is also a mom of three living in Ridgewood.

Picnic on the Square
26 Wilsey Square
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
open Tuesday – Sunday, 5pm til Close

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