After long and intense days of planning menus, sautéing, reducing and plating up to prepare great meals for others, what do the chefs from some of the most popular Union County restaurants enjoy on their day off?
“Take out” or “anything prepared by someone else” was the initial and unanimous response from many of the chefs we spoke to.
“I don’t like to cook on my day off,” said Chris Boyle, Chef at 16 Prospect, Wine Bar & Bistro, located in Westfield which he co-owns with his brother Chef Tim Boyle.
He said he’s more likely to enjoy a meal at one of his favorite restaurants such as Balthazar in New York City.
“One of my favorites is a grilled chicken sandwich with avocado and bacon, an order of oysters on the half shell and a German Weise beer with lemon,” said Boyle.
Boyle has worked with some of the most respected chefs in the area, including Craig Shelton, former owner and chef of the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse, and Chef Dennis Foy at Mondrian in New York City and the Ryland Inn. He also worked with James Laird, Owner and Chef of Restaurant Seranade in Chatham.
According to Boyle, a real favorite at 16 Prospect is the salmon Provencal, a seared fillet of salmon from Westfield Seafood, prepared in a virgin olive oil with basil, fennel, tomatoes and olives.
The salmon Provencal and the hanger steak are the most requested dishes, said Boyle.
“The hanger steak is served with sautéed spinach and garlic and smashed red potatoes – a real bistro dish,” said Boyle.
For Boyle, New York is a favorite place for exploring culinary delights.
“New York City is such a great restaurant city. Sometimes I go for fine dining, but most of the time I go to a simple bistro with good food, like my place,” said Boyle.
Though he prefers dining out on his day off, if he had to cook at home, he said eating with the family is always nice – especially when everyone takes part in the preparation.