Nicholas Harary is one of those names that is known by anyone who likes top-of-the-line dining and fine cuisine. He and his wife were owners of the extremely exclusive award-winning Chef Nicholas in Middletown for 20 years. And now, they’ve pivoted in the most successful way with Nicholas Barrel and Roost in Red Bank.

It's a 180 from the dining experience that chef Nicolas was offering in Middletown, but still earning raves nonetheless.

Earning a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, originally Nicholas went to California to learn wine and eventually arrived at Jean-Georges. Conceiving Restaurant Nicholas, he and his wife and partner Melissa decided, “every place opening in New York is high-end fine dining. People work in the city, but live out here, so let’s bring it to the suburbs,” he says.

They ran one of the most exclusive white cloth fine dining establishments in New Jersey. Then it was time to pivot. And pivot they did, with the new, exciting dressed concept.

Nicholas Barrel & Roost via Google Maps
Nicholas Barrel & Roost via Google Maps

While there are plenty of amazing restaurants spread across the state of New Jersey, sometimes you just stumble across one that stands out amongst the rest.

The restaurant is located in Red Bank and is run by Chef Nicholas Harary and his wife who decided to move past white tablecloth dining and provide diners with a different kind of eating experience.

This restaurant is truly the perfect place to bring friends and family with a beautiful open floor plan and wooden detailing you will feel as though you are eating at your kitchen counter. The restaurant is also the perfect spot to bring a picky eater as the menu has everything and more to choose from.

In terms of drinks, we ordered the “Melissa's Poolside Stash,” which was a refreshing cucumber beverage as well as the “spring spritz,” which was definitely one of the strongest spritzes you’ll be served in your life, in a good way.

For appetizers, try the “NOT My Grandma’s Crudité,” which is a delicious platter of veggies and hummus, the “House Baked Bread,” and of course, you have to taste a few of the pizzas.

Everything at Nicholas Barrel and Roost is cooked to perfection and makes me wish I ate closer to this place so I could enjoy it more often. But since its opening, people have been driving from all over the state to try it.

For dinner we ordered “Crispy Halibut,” and my friend had the “Nicholas Burger,” and a couple of other items until we gladly moved on to the banana split sundae and cookie skillet for dessert.

When I tell you every inch of this meal was amazing I am not exaggerating in the slightest. If you are ever in Red Bank, make sure you eat at this place. In true Nicholas tradition, this place is a winner.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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