This past Saturday evening, E and I got all dressed up and went out for a fancy dinner at a new farm to table restaurant located in Short Hills, New Jersey, called Tillie’s. I drive by it every day on my way to work and only noticed it a couple weeks ago. It is right down the street from an adorable gluten free bakery, Squirrel and the Bee.
The day I noticed Tillie’s existence is the day I made us a reservation!
We arrived right on time for our reservation. Before entering the restaurant, I had my Instagram Husband take a photo of my outfit. It was too cute not to share!
**Like most restaurants in New Jersey, Tillie’s is BYOB
Shoes: J.Crew #shinyponies
Even though the restaurant is on a busy street, you don’t feel that or hear any of the hustle and bustle while seated inside. It feels like you are inside a farmhouse. The wooden tables were set with mismatched silverware and vintage mismatched plates. These were complimented by the marble salt and pepper mills and marble wine coolers. The menus are printed every day as they change based on the local ingredients available. It all just felt so rustic!
Within minutes of sitting, the waiter brought over some beer glasses and offered to open our Hill Farmstead E. A special night out calls for a special beer which traveled all the way from Vermont via New Hampshire to us in New Jersey!
Next the waiter brought out the bread course, house made rolls and house made corn bread with a compound butter on the side. As we ate the (melt in our mouths) bread we surveyed the menu and made our selections.
My first course was the chilled beet salad with shepherd cheese, hazelnuts and white balsamic vinaigrette. The beets were perfectly tender and roasted to perfection. The shepherd cheese gave the salad a nice tang, while the white balsamic added sweetness. The hazelnuts added some texture. It was an amazing little salad. There was not a morsel remaining on my plate!
E ordered the slab bacon. He really liked the smokiness of the bacon paired with the sweetness of the onions and tang of the mustard. He, like me, ate every last bite!
On to the entree course. I was contemplating ordering the vegetable plate but instead ordered the pan roasted tilefish with beluga lentils. I am so glad I did.
The fish was cooked to perfection. It was flaky and succulent. The beluga lentils added some texture as they were cooked al dente. The baby kale added a nice pop of color while the beurre blanc brought everything together.
E was on the fence as to what to order. He is typically a steak and potatoes man but saw that the steak was paired with mushrooms and decided against it (E hates mushrooms).
He decided to ask the waiter what he thought was the best entree on the menu. The waiter highly recommended that E order the shrimp and grits. So he did! E said that the grits were luscious and smooth but also had a nice heat to them. There were seven beautifully cooked shrimp that punched you in the face with flavor. For him it was the sauce that really brought the dish together.
Before we dug into our entree’s the waiter offered to take a photo of the two of us. Who am I to say no to a photo with my E?!
We finished the night with their made to order cinnamon sugar doughnuts with a vanilla bean glaze. They were AMAZING. The doughnuts were sweet and fluffy and the vanilla bean glaze was delectable! As you are well aware, I am a sucker for a good fluffy doughnut…
The doughnuts were the perfect way to end our date night! #agirlandherdonut
E and I were blown away by our entire meal. The food was bold, fresh and local. Three of our favorite things. For a special night out, Tillie’s is perfect! We will definitely be back soon!