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“Such a pleasant experience!”

Scotch Plains Tavern
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Ranked #8 of 18 Restaurants in Essex
Restaurant details
Reviewed 2 March 2018 via mobile

Thursday night and I didn’t feel like cooking, but the hubby had to leave for work by 7. What to do? Try the new place down the road. We had heard some less than great reviews but we’re game for giving it a try. We were pleasantly surprised. We arrived a little later than early bird hour to a mostly empty dining room. We were greeted warmly and seated immediately. The new decor and ambiance was promising as was the friendly service: Jess got us started and Molly took care of my every question ( and gf me had a lot). I ordered the eggplant sandwich which was made with gf bread crumbs and served on a gf roll- by request. The roll was one of the better gf ones I’ve had- not crumbly or dry. The eggplant was a touch greasy but not enough to leave a film on my plate. The hubby ordered the MOP burger (mushrooms, onions,peppers) medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. We both had a turn of salt over our plate but otherwise the flavors were there. Both meals were served with French fries and coleslaw ( maybe a different option would have gone better with my parm) and the coleslaw was very flavorful- and you know I’m picky about my coleslaw. It was a little runnier than I like, but I’ve got mayo issues.
Oh, and they had happy hour specials. Can’t beat that. All told a filling meal and a drink each for $50. Can’t wait to go back to try the bar area.

1  Thank 267denisec267
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (36)
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23 - 27 of 36 reviews

Reviewed 18 February 2018

Four of us went here on a recent Saturday night for dinner after making reservations. The place is attractive with clean, modern lines, and presents a distinct, aesthetic upgrade from the old Oliver's Tavern that previously occupied the space. The manager is a pleasant, customer-oriented fellow who seems to care about business. The place is loud though, and it was difficult to hear each other, even though we dined downstairs and the live music was upstairs. The waiter was terrible. He was an older, skinny white guy with glasses who smoked a lot, and didn't seem very concerned about much other than his tip. He was bothered by questions concerning food allergies and ingredients, and after responding to an ingredients inquiry with an announcement that he "didn't know," he waited to see if we would meekly accept that answer and stop bothering him. After we sat there in incredulous silence and quizzically considered his bizarre, dismissive attitude with blank stares, he finally acquiesced and grudgingly announced that he would check with the kitchen about the ingredients. The worst part was that once he brought the palatable yet unremarkable food, he immediately disappeared for 25 minutes without stopping to check how the food was or if we needed anything. The food was mediocre. Worse yet, the clear absence of condiments at the table, including salt and pepper, should have been addressed before he brought out the food, but it wasn't. And the lack of those condiments rendered the bland food as tasteless as the dismissive waiter. When he finally did return, he smelled like he had fallen into a smokestack at a tobacco factory and then laughed about the lack of condiments when we brought it to his attention. It may have been okay if any other waitstaff had come within shouting distance during his extended absence as we might have flagged down a passerby; but none did and getting one's attention over the rancor would have been impossible. After we finished, he was uncharacteristically punctual about bringing the bill, running my card and checking his tip (I gave him 15% which was 10% too much), and he looked like he was going to call up his boyfriend and throw a hissy fit because I didn't give him enough. I may return to Scotch Plains Tavern just to check out the upstairs, and I may even give them one more shot for dinner if I can avoid that waiter ... but management needs to get on its game, provide training, and monitor its people. Two stars for this visit. Let's see if they can improve.

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6  Thank PatchMeister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2018

The restaurant looks great inside. A comfortable atmosphere to enjoy a delicious meal. To start, we had the Sesame Crusted Crab Cakes appetizer - outstanding! Next, we enjoyed the following: Corned Beef Rueben, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and the Fish & Chip Platter - very good! (a generous portion ... we brought some home) All this food was washed down by a few locally crafted beers - great choices! Our waitress was Jess, she was outstanding, thank you!

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Thank ZMAN15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2018

First visit review ///Scotch Plains opened up in the old Olivers space.

PROS: all the staff that worked with us were friendly and knowledgeable about their menu - we go there early and the service was attentive; new owners did an OUTSTANDING job of refitting and designing the space (love it); tables are well spaced and comfortable; both our meals were tasty, including their freshly prepared potato chips (must try) ; salads are entree size, so be aware; i had a flatbread, also a nice dinner size. Big crowd upstairs - but you would never know - soundproofing is working!

CONS: PARKING is a problem - although the dining rm was not busy, there was clearly a large bar crowd upstairs - so the owners need to figure this out - I am not going to start off what I want to be a relaxing dinner with aggravation about parking again - will just go elsewhere; staff service started to deteriorate as the dining room got busier (it was packed by 6:30/7 on a Friday and people were waiting to be seated), so while our apps/entrees came out in a timely way - by the time it got to coffee and dessert we were clearly waiting over 15 min and trying to flag down server to find out what was going on - another thing, for a new spot, never saw a manager or owner walking the floor asking how things were - kind of unusual for this kind of local place, so that was a little off-putting feel; after enjoying the apps/entree - was sorry I got dessert (that I had waited for ) tasted kind of stale and was a sorry note to end the meal.

I will go back to try again and see if I can get a better overall experience - as I said, the parking is a nuisance, so getting there earlier is probably impt - maybe due to the fact they have a happy hour .... and maybe the staff is still not used to adjusting to increasing dining room occupancy - the manager clearly needs to be in that dining room more when it gets full - just sayin

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1  Thank xenonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2018 via mobile

This was our first time since the new ownership and remodel. The place has a nice fresh look to it and our waiter was attentive and helpful. Both of our dinners were very good (one burger & one wrap), the coleslaw very fresh. The side of French fries were very disappointing; they were very soft - nothing crispy about them. Will definitely go back, will just ask for something different than fries.

2  Thank Peridot63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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