Just a week behind schedule, restaurant maestro Chris Cannon is turning the key and opening the doors to Jockey Hollow, his palace at Morristown's old Vail Mansion, tonight. The supersized historic building has undergone a $5 million renovation, and is now host to four restaurant/bar concepts that are connected but separate. Only the oyster/wine bar and the Vail Bar, a 1920's inspired cocktail lounge will open tonight, to be followed by the main dining room and the basement event space shortly. For now the main attraction is an extensive wine list, which boasts 50 bottles under $50, and a seasonal cocktail menu.
The food offerings will expand when Alto and L'Impero alum Kevin Sippel opens The Dining Room, but in the meantime there are oysters from Jersey's 40 North Oyster Farm and a full raw bar, plus a decent-sized bar menu. Appetizers include buffalo milk bocconcini with prosciutto, and butternut squash, and scrambled eggs with black truffles, lardo, and country bread. For dinner there's a rendition of the now de rigueur chicken, prepared here with citrus pepperonico, a confit leg, and lacinato kale, along with a couple of fish and pasta options, and a burger.
The team plans to start hosting private events in the basement Rathskeller soon. There's still no official opening date for Sippel's Dining Room, which will likely be the main reason to trek to New Jersey, but the website says the restaurant will start taking reservations for the space November 1. 110 South Street, Morristown, New Jersey