Nicholas Barrel & Roost, Red Bank, NJ:
A Restaurant Review

Nicholas Barrel & Roost, Red Bank, NJ

 Nicholas Barrel and Roost restaurant ---- an upscale
Chef-Inspired casual dining restaurant with
stunning rustic, farmhouse decor and an acclaimed chef

Nicholas Barrel & Roost
160 Rt 35 South
Red Bank / Middletown

Nicholas Barrel and Roost: Restaurant Highlights

Fare: New American - Comfort Food

Price: Expensive

Food Quality: Exceptional, well executed, artfully presented menu prepared with fresh, quality ingredients.

Service: Outstanding. Professional, and attentive.

Ambiance/Decor: Upscale, gorgeous,  yet casual with a modern farmhouse ambiance

Overall Rating: 3 1/2 Stars - One of the best restaurants in Central Jersey .

Note: Four star Rating System from 1/2 Star = poor to Four stars = Best in Class

Dress: Casual

Noise level:
Moderate - loud - Background music tends to be loud

Recommended For:
 Diners who enjoy a trendy, upscale, yet casual setting with a well-executed comfort food, and an excellent bar menu

Not Recommended For:
 Diners who prefer "Old World" fine dining, or a BYOB with a traditional menu served in huge portions

Recommended dishes: 
When available, for dinner entrees, The Grilled Australian lamb Chops, The Crispy Halibut, and The Prime New York Strip.

Full-service bar. An exceptional selection of wines. Specialty cocktails, bourbons, and craft beers are also available

Formerly the highly acclaimed Restaurant Nicholas, located on Red Bank/Middletown border, in August 2020 Executive Chef Nicholas Haray and wife Melissa have reopened as Barrel & Roost with a revamped menu and a redesigned interior.

After an extraordinarily successful run of over twenty years, they have transformed their "Old World" Fine dining restaurant into a trendy, upscale Chef-Inspired Casual Dining restaurant.

The famed Nicholas Haray received his formal culinary education at The Culinary Institute of America and later honed his culinary and sommelier skills under famed Chef Jean-Georges in NYC. He is also the author of "The Nicholas Cookbook", and a very competent sommelier with weekly articles in the Asbury Park Press. 

Before teaming up with her husband Nicholas, Melissa worked at Tabla, as a Service Director in New York City, and at several notable wineries in Napa Valley, CA.

With "Old World" fine dining, and its stuffy ambiance no longer in vogue, they have latched onto the new trend of upscale chef-driven, casual restaurants, increasingly in demand by millennials.

Barrel & Roost is a popular go-to spot for diners to enjoy great food with family or old friends, or to grab a drink at the bar for date night.

This new concept of chef-driven dining features an upscale, casual ambiance serving an approachable, more casual menu with creative food preparation using high-quality ingredients.

While retaining several of the most popular dishes from Restaurant Nicholas, the menu now features more comfort food with a twist, including brick-oven pizzas, short-rib burgers, bar snacks, a raw bar featuring oysters from both coasts, soups, sandwiches, and a limited selection of small plate seafood, meat, and pasta dishes.

The food is well executed, artfully presented, and prepared with fresh quality ingredients. When available Chef Haray uses local seasonal farm-to-table produce, wild-caught seafood, & meats raised without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones. 

Complimentary bread is not offered for dinner.

The interior of The Barrel & Roost is stunning with a modern farmhouse vibe. The main dining room is cozy done up with beamed ceilings, rustic candle-style chandeliers, banquettes around the sides of the room, and dark wood flooring. 

The prominently placed bar area features an attractive square-shaped bar with an overhead, hanging light fixture of bulbs inside green-tinted gallon jugs, and 3 large screen TVs, lined with high-top tables.

For private events, they have a very cozy, rustic, barrel room for small groups.

During the warmer months, there is outdoor dining on the stone patio with tables spaced comfortably apart that connect to the bar area through large folding doors. 

The wait staff is professional ---- well trained, friendly, and anticipatory, but not intrusive.

Child-friendly with a Kids menu 

Restaurant Nicholas is open seven days/week for lunch and dinner with Brunch on Saturday & Sunday beginning @ 10:30 am

(updated: March 2024)

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