Morristown is a small town about a 30-minute drive from South Orange, where Tina lives. The town has several good dining spots, and for Tina and J’s weekly date night, which I was invited to crash, we went to Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, which is a nice restaurant located in a beautiful historic building in the heart of Morristown.
Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen is divided into four different areas: The Oyster Bar, The Dining Room, The Vail Bar, and The Rathskeller. Each area has its own unique atmosphere, so there is something for every taste and occasion. We had booked a table in The Vail Bar, which is an interesting combination of upscale dining in casual bar settings. The Vail Bar has TV screens showing sports, and when we were there, old-school rap music was playing at full volume (although they turned it down a bit, when we asked). The food was definitely not your average bar food, and on the menu were oysters and a range of nicely executed, pretty looking food, that raised the bar for any future bar food for me.
We started with cocktails and then ordered a variety of plates to share. Tina and J had been at Jockey Hollow many times before (the staff even remembered which cocktails they usually have), so they already knew what to order, and that you’d definitely need two servings of the Thai-style squid, which is absolutely amazing. We also ordered a steak dish, a roast duck dish, a pasta dish with crab and a fish dish, and it was all delicious. When we got to dessert, we were already full, but no date night is complete without dessert, so we shared a dessert that I can’t remember the name of, but it was the size of a main course, had lots of chocolate, and tasted very good.
When we were there, it was a bit chilly, so if you’re dining at the Vail Bar during the winter months, it’s probably a good idea to bring a jumper or a blazer.
Tina recommends that you order one of the pasta dishes, some oysters, and the octopus. I checked the menu today (March 2023), and unfortunately, the Thai-style octopus is no longer on the menu. However, after trying the Thai style octopus, I wouldn’t hesitate ordering any octopus dish on the menu, because there’s no doubt they know how to cook it to perfection at Jockey Hollow.