One positive outcome of the whole COVID pandemic is that many restaurants have created new, beautiful, unique outdoor dining spaces. This allows patrons to relish the fresh air, people watch (we all love to do it, don’t lie) and often enjoy a space that has been created to make you feel like you’re in a faraway place – like an island somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Faubourg in Montclair does just that. Not only is the food incredibly fresh and fantastic, the ambiance has you feeling like you’re sitting at a cozy restaurant on the hills in the Greek Isles. Between the outdoor tea lights, the upscale ‘beach like’ netting above, lots of shrubbery surrounding the tables, and tables perfectly spaced cascading downward from a higher elevation down to the street level, and seating along the fabulous balcony, or at the outdoor bar, Faubourg does an amazing job of presenting a fantastic dining experience.
Faubourg’s captivating outdoor space is massive, easily one of the biggest outdoor dining spaces in Northern NJ and can comfortably seat over 150 people. As the summer winds down and the state of NJ offers limited indoor dining, Faubourg will do just fine as it’s a massive converted bank so there’s ample indoor space too. The inside is a beautiful mix of contemporary furniture, unique lighting, and large ornate windows align the front and the ceilings seem to go on for miles. It’s one of the most contemporary restaurants in the area.
In addition to the wonderful atmosphere, the service is always wonderful, and the restaurant is always pleasantly crowded with some of the most well-dressed people. Thankfully some people got sick of wearing their ‘quarantine friendly 15-year-old sweatpants’ attire! There’s really a great vibe overall. People are laughing, having a great time, and forgetting about world, if only for a minute. It’s a very upscale crowd, an after work ‘Manhattan-esque’ feel – lots of suits, beautiful dresses, LV belt and bags. It’s the place to be seen and to wear some of those outfits that have been collecting dust in your closet since COVID started. YES! Let’s start wearing some of those outfits we bought in a haste while not allowed to leave our houses for six weeks straight. Bring it on!
Anyway, it’s worth noting the owners Dominique Paulin and Olivier Muller are hospitality veterans working under Chef Daniel Boulud for many years and it shows in their work. The menu changes seasonally using only the freshest ingredients and bight, clean taste. Since Dominique is from France he does an excellent job at sourcing wines from all over the world, but has a solid emphasis on French wines. The summer menu features many amazing dishes including:
- TARTE FLAMBÉE fromage blanc, bacon – think very very light crust with some cheese and bacon
- CHICK PEA PANISSES herb aioli – think lightly fried chick pea bites with a side of seasonal vegetable forward aioli
- BARBAJUANS swiss chard, ricotta, lemon – here we have five little fried raviolis
- TUNA TARTAR & LIME buckwheat crisp, cucumber – fresh tuna very lightly seasoned with cucumber. No carbs – no heavy sauces. Just fresh ingredients
- HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND FETA cucumber, kalamata olives – the freshest tomatoes possible with a light dressing and chunks of feta
- SHRIMP U10 romesco, almonds – GIANT shrimp with almonds
- COQ AU VIN: chicken & red wine, bacon, mushrooms – large pieces of chicken in a thick red wine based sauce with a few mushroom and onions – it’s a hearty one!
If you are familiar with Montclair you know that it’s hard to find a place with a liquor license, so if you’re looking for a cocktail, this is your perfect place. With people moving out of NYC in doves, the suburbs may become the new ‘it spot’ for the time being. Thankfully Faubourg does a great job of combining the great, high end food we all enjoyed in NYC to a wonderful place in NJ.
Looking forward to seeing their fall menu debut soon. Can we say, delicious autumn soups?!
…And hopefully we’ll all get back to enjoying cocktails in crowded spaces again soon!