Probably some of the nicest outdoor seating you'll find in New Jersey. I mean, what a view. But is there anything worthwhile beyond that view? Our first visit suggested that there could very well be a decent restaurant here.
It sure doesn't hurt having Chef Kenny Trickilo running the show. I've been a fan of his since his days at Bistro 55, back in its heyday.
It looks like the chef brought along some of his dishes, including the duck confit grilled cheese sandwich, and the roasted garlic with blue cheese. Unfortunately that great pork chop didn't make its way over to Liberty House.
The beausoleil oysters were perhaps in the top 5 of all oyster experiences of my life. Beausoleil are typically briny, bright, clean tasting oysters, and these were no exception. They were chilled, but not too cold, and all of that beautiful liquor was still in the shell instead dumped into the ice. Absolutely outstanding, and if this serving was any indication of how they treat their oysters at Liberty House, it could certainly be my go-to place for sauvignon blanc and oysters in the summer months.
A friend ordered the soup special, which was a cold melon soup of some sort. Refreshing, but a bit too sweet for his taste. It would have been fantastic in a glass with 3 ounces of gin, however.
Tuna tacos came 4 to an order. Raw tuna with seaweed and spicy mayo. Perfectly acceptable, although I'd prefer the tuna flavor and texture to be more pronounced.
The burgers were ordered m/r and came out a bit more on the medium side. They were also not very juicy. Other than that, they were acceptable, and served with a good, light fluffy bun, and very sweet pickles. I have a feeling if cooked a bit less, these could be really super burgers. With one of the two burgers ordered, we subbed sweet potato fries for the cottage fries, both of which where exactly what they needed to be.
One of my favorite dishes at Bistro 55 was the duck confit grilled cheese. This was just a fantastic sandwich. Thick country bread stuffed with brie and duck. The version at Liberty House didn't impress as much. I'm not sure if it was different in some way, or it was just off for some reason. It was fine, don't get me wrong, but not as good as I remember from my Bistro 55 days.
The cocktail list is certainly a step up from most cocktail lists, which sadly seem to focus on flavored vodkas and overly sweet concoctions, suitable for college parties more than serious contemplation. This list does the same to an extent, but also has more tequila than you'd think, and fresh lime juice, which is fine by me. However, a few of the drinks came out a bit too sweet, even though we stressed that we wanted unsweetened fresh lime juice. Next time we'll sit at the bar (bar dining is almost always preferable), and provide some additional oversight and instruction.
The selection of wines by the glass is robust and broad. You'll not have to choose between 3 California chardonnays and a pinot grigio as you do at too many restaurants. Sancerre, prosecco, sauvignon blanc from 3 continents, riesling, albarino, malbec, tempranillo all make an appearance by the glass. Lots of food-friendly choices here. Bravo, Liberty House.
The beer list is essentially non-existent. Boo, Liberty House. I'd like to see some craft beers filling the list here.
The view really is wonderful. The outdoor seating is comfortable and cosy. I got the feeling I was on vacation, what with this out-of-the-way location and magical setting.
Overall Liberty House really impressed me. We're looking forward to returning. And if you're planning an event, have it at Liberty House, and invite me.
Liberty House Restaurant : 76 Audrey Zapp Drive : Jersey City, NJ : 201.395.0300