It’s not often I stumble upon a restaurant that makes me feel equivalent to the way I do eating a fresh piece of broccoli from my garden. Last night, however, I had this experience at one of New Jersey's most hidden gems.

White Birch, located in Flanders, is farm to table and ridiculously delicious. So glad I have friends in North Jersey whom I visit from time to time so I get to experience great eateries from that part of the state!

The restaurant is literally on the side of the road and I’ve passed it before on my way to their home but I finally decided to pull over to check it out.

Upon my arrival the restaurant was quite empty which made me feel skeptical. That feeling vanished pretty shortly after my first cocktail, however, which was a New Fashioned which contained Penelope Bourbon, fig, orange and rosemary bitters.

The menu items are made with a plethora of locally sourced farm fresh ingredients such as cheese, vegetables and even daily catches. What is unique about White Birch is that the ingredients for each dish change quite often.

The restaurant does their best to support as many small businesses and farms as possible which made me eager to return and see how the menu changes.

There were a couple of standout items on the menu. My dining companions went nuts for the house made Epi Bread with Duck Fat Butter, the Charcuterie board which featured heavenly truffle cheese and the Grilled Octopus.

Judi Franco photo

We will never forget the black bass with snow peas, sweet peppers, Asian cabbage, Thai chili sauce. Nor will we forget the baked halibut that contained pineapple, English peas, watermelon radish, basil, and rhubarb hibiscus broth. And did I mention they have $15 wine tasting flights on Wednesdays?

I can’t explain how amazing it felt to know every bite I took at this place was locally sourced, fresh, and nutritious.

If you live in the Flanders area or are dying for a farm to table meal this place is it. With a great outdoor space White Birch is perfect for family gatherings, or keep it casual and have a romantic date. I cannot wait to head back for another satisfying meal and show my friends this place.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

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