Thursday, November 18, 2010
Eating out in Long Valley: Cornerstone Tavern and Grill
If you're looking for a big, hearty dinner or a really satisfying lunch, why go to just any pizza parlor when you can go to the Cornerstone Tavern & Grill in Long Valley? It has so much more to offer than just your standard slice of pizza.
"It has an Italian kind of feel to it," says manager Antoinette Ferrantely, who has worked in some form of pizzeria all her life. "We have a fully stocked bar, and we offer burgers, as well as numerous pasta dishes, chicken dishes, appetizers and soups."
Soups, in fact, are among the biggest sellers on the menu, and there is a tasty variety.
"We have baked potato, potato-carrot, which is my personal favorite," Ferrantely says. "We have the standard chicken noodle, pasta e fagioli and minestrone."
The potato-carrot is particularly special since it has a hint of carrot to it, but it's not overpowering like many other carrot soups you might have had in the past. It's a nice mix that offers a pleasant surprise when eaten with hot bread.
"We usually have a soup special almost every week," Ferrantely says. "Like this week, we're doing cream of broccoli, which is also very good. It will definitely take away the chill of the cold weather. That's what I eat when I'm cold."
In addition to the stellar soups, pizza is a mainstay at Cornerstone.
"People like the pizza a lot," Ferrantely says. "We try to make it crispy. I'm not a fan of doughy pizza, and from what I've noticed from working in pizzerias, most people don't tend to like it doughy, either."
Cornerstone, of course, offers the standard favorites, such as cheese and pepperoni, but it also serves also gourmet pizzas, such as BLT and honey-mustard chicken. Ferrantely attributes the variety of the pizza choices to the fact that people want their pizza to be traditional but different at the same time. People seem to like the change.
"My father has owned quite a few pizzerias, and he started in the '50s and '60s," Ferrantely says. "He tells me that when he first started out, there was no Buffalo chicken pizza, there was no baked ziti pizza. But you have to stay on top of it.
"People like to take a classic and make it into something new. Personally, I like the classics, but I have to say I love honey-mustard pizza."
Cornerstone also has a liquor license, which is somewhat unique among pizza places.
"Everybody finds it to be very convenient, especially for dinner," Ferrantely says. "Sometimes, people come in at 9 or 9:30 or so, and you know, liquor stores are closed, so we try to offer a good, fresh hot meal and complement it with a wine or a mixed drink."
And if you can't make it out to the eatery but love their food, they'll be more than happy to cater it for you.
"We've catered a surprise retirement party," Ferrantely says. "We've also done catering for the holidays, because the holidays are very stressful, so people don't want to cook, and I don't blame them."
As to what the Tavern and Grill wishes to offer Long Valley, Ferrantely keeps it simple: "We want to offer something different to Long Valley. We want to add a different flair to it, but it's always a work in progress."
CORNERSTONE TAVERN & GRILL
WHERE: 71 E. Mill Road, Long Valley
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 908-876-1283
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday
CUISINE: Soups, salads, pizza, pastas
PRICE RANGE: Appetizers, $1.95 to $10.50; baked pastas, $11.75; hot subs, $7.50 to $8.75; pizza pies, $11.25 to $20; gourmet pizzas, $15.50 to $20
PAYMENT: All major credit cards, cash, checks
THE SCENE: This pleasant restaurant has a bar and an outdoor patio for when the weather is nice
ATMOSPHERE: A friendly staff and excellent food make the Cornerstone Tavern & Grill the place to be for lunch or dinner
DELIVERY: Yes, if it's close enough
PARKING: In the lot
MANAGER: Antoinette Ferrantely
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