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ESCAPE Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.escapemontclair.com
  • Phone: (973) 744-0712
  • Hours of Operation: Daily Hours: Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 10:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Southern
  • Executive Chef: Bryan Gregg
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Personal wines welcome, Takeout, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Willow Street
  • Parking: No
A word from ESCAPE
Escape is a innovative locally sourcing restaurant that specializes in "southern fine cuisine"
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "The three of us were blown away by how splendid our dining experience was . The freshness of the food was unbelievable . We dined on mussels, BBQ ribs , local cheeses , fried chicken , BBQ tofu and a creative carrot cake dessert. Everything was simply prepared and delicious . We were first time diners but were treated like we were family or long lost friends . The service is accommodating ,attentive and super friendly. After one fabulous meal this is now our GO TO RESTAURANT. I am nervous about writing such an excellent review because we will not be able to get a resy in the future."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "I went with my sisters for my birthday and everything we had was delicious! I had the duck breast, which was perfectly cooked and had seasonal vegetables alongside. The best surprise was the corn brulee, so good! Farm to table has never been better."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "This was our first time at this local BYO - recommended by a friend. Although it ws very quiet, we were assured that the lack of customers was atypical, as it should be. The farm - table dishes were excellent - fresh, creative and beautifully presented. Glad we discovered this tiny, neighborhood byob gem"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Went to Escape Saturday night ford was delicious service was great..Portions are NORMAL...the only thing was my husband wanted Fried chicken and they ran out of it...They said they were making more..not sure why he could not wait for it and get what he wanted??? I would return food is very good..I had scallops and they were yummy!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "The idea of locally sourced food is good, the food itself tastes good, what was lacking was reasonably sized portions. I ordered an appetizer, size was ok, my husband’s was tiny. Main course was miniscule. I've had similar dishes elsewhere that were 2-3x the size and had some kind of vegetable. There were really no vegetables besides garnish. I had a second serving of bread to try to fill myself up. It didn’t work. I usually don’t eat bread or dessert because I am usually full with an appetizer and main course. They tried to make up for it by giving me a free desert. This meal was to celebrate our wedding anniversary and when we couldn’t get into CulinAriane, we decided to come here. Big mistake. I felt terrible for having chosen it."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "My wife and I went here for her birthday dinner, and it did not disappoint. The food was outstanding, the service excellent (care of Michael, who ran the front of house), and the experience absolutely pleasant. If not for some knuckleheads behind us, it would have been a flawless dinner out. Bravo"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Expected a very good meal, and instead got an excellent one. No need to "grade on the Montclair" curve vs NYC, this is the real deal. The farm-to-table theme is being done everywhere, a little heavy handed here, but the results speak for themselves. BYO like nearly everywhere."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Escape is now firmly ensconced in the Montclair fine dining scene. The food is excellent, the menu creative as is the plating. The staff is warm and welcoming. It is particularly good on a week night when the crowd is much smaller and service much more consistent and attentive. Really, the bread basket, house made pickles and butter are worth the trip alone. The cheese plate is a must. The Mac and cheese and the grits side dishes are signature. All protein entrees are prepared at the perfect temperature. And given the local farm to table nature, the summer offers a bountiful menu of produce and seafood. The room itself is a bit challenged but does not detract from the overall experience. Great to have Bryan and team in the neighborhood."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Food outstanding and creative; starters, entrees and desserts. Request for dairy free striped bass preparation was no problem, staff knew ingredients and management happy to grant requests. Will be back for all important 2nd time."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "On rainy summer week-night my husband and I were the only customers. Maybe the intermittent downpours kept people home. Or maybe they knew the food was just OK and prices were outrageously expensive. First cornbread and biscuits appeared warm and delicious, so good we asked for more. Second serving - stale and cold. Trout appetizer (meal) good but side order of cheddar cheese grits with peas was unsatisfying. Husband's steak fatty. Small, muted quilts on brick wall dreary. Previous restaurant had big, bold artwork on wall. Delighted to make reservation five minutes before arrival. After eating uninspiring meal for $64.00 (no drinks, no dessert, not even two main courses), I understand why the restaurant was empty."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "The grits, asparagus and crab entree goes well with a berry compote for dessert. The host is knowledgeable about the menu, which changes weekly, sometimes daily. It's an aptly named restaurant, since you can escape the regular fare offered in Montclair and feel transported to the South. I'm from NC originally and loved the selections of locally-grown produce, the texture combinations for each dish, and the ingredient combinations."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Our first time here. Almost all the starters and almost all the entrees were weird combinations of ingredients, some very rare and unknown. Our party of 4 dine out a great deal. The fact that we all ordered fried chicken was testimony to the lack of general appeal of the menu. The host refused to substitute anything for my friend's declining her sweet potato. All he could do is to omit the yams entirely. The dish chosen for the chicken was completely unsuited, and the chicken was dried out. Desserts were miniscule. Biscuits and "madeleines" were excellent. Noise level grew to be intolerable as the crowd increased. Service was slipshod. Menu items chosen to suit the chef rather than to appeal to the patrons. Hardly likely to return."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "My husband and I decided to try Escape on a whim last week and are exceedingly pleased with our choice. We enjoyed the chic décor, casual atmosphere, excellent food and the friendly, attentive staff. Everything we ate (starter, main, dessert) was delicious, though the seared foie gras deserves a special shout out - it melts in your mouth and the accompaniments are perfect. I greatly enjoyed a tender savory duck breast in a far more ample serving than expected, and my husband was happy with his chicken. It's a BYOB so you can choose your own wine, beer or spirits pairing with the food. Wine service was expertly handled by our waiter. We are planning to return as soon as our overcrowded calendar allows."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Food was good but for what we paid( $200 for four people including the tip but NO dessert), the portions were quite small (my husband's scallop dish at $29 contained four scallops!). We were thinking about going out for pizza when we were done...."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "very expensive for the small portions you receive. Perhaps its the farm to table concept. But no big difference in quality."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "A couple of outstanding food surprises.Definitely made my palate smile."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Dishes are prepared with local farm ingredients. Tasty and fresh. Nice presentation. Very relaxed atmosphere."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "One of the reasons I've enjoyed dining at Escape is their attention to vegetables and their vegetarian menu. This has disappeared to be replaced by token vegetarian offerings. Would you serve a steak on a plate on it's own? Why would you serve a piece of tofu without rice or vegetable or any accompaniment? The corn bread madelines are nice, but they are not bread. When you offer soft eggs it is nice to have something to mop up the yolk."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "I had lunch with a friend at Escape this week. It has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants in Montclair. The scallops were fresh and cooked perfectly! Great service as well."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "We enjoyed this farm to table dining experience. The food was all very good. Clearly it appeals to a younger crowd who started filing in around 8:30. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "First time at Escape and we found everything to be good but not outstanding. The place is well appointed but a bit dark and quite small. We were greeting upon arrival and shown to our table. Our server was polite and well versed on the menu. We took his recommendations and ordered the duck and trout as mains. We also had shared the Crab, Hominy, Tomato, Pea Shoots to start and the carrot cake for dessert. Other than the Crab Hominy Tomato and pea shoots, which we thought was quite bland, the rest of the food was good but not memorable. The carrot cake appeared to be deconstructed and the portion minuscule. That said it was good overall. It could be we just chose the wrong main courses. We will certainly give Escape another try at some point"
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Was looking on opentable for a place to have lunch on Memorial Day and decided on Escape. They had a specialized menu for the day so we were excited to try it. For appetizer we had the crab salad which was absolutely amazing.. Next we enjoyed a side of the most delicious corn bread I have ever had. For my entree I chose the BBQ chicken and my friend ordered the pulled pork.. OMG so amazing... We also shared sweet potatoes and collard greens as well... For desert we has the roasted fruit with sponge cake again delicious!! Staff was super friendly... Decor very nice and simple... I will definitely be back to try their regular menu.. "
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "I went there for the first time this Sunday. The prefix menu is less than 20$ per person. The food was delicious and the staff was friendly. Going back for sure! "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "If you are a vegetarian you may want to steer clear of Escape. There is a vege menu for those who don't eat duck or fish, but they didn't have items available the night I was there. Prices are very high too."
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "We get better service at the diner. For a $50/pp dinner this was absurd. They should train their waitstaff to be accurate and available. We were constantly having to ask for our waiter as he was never in eye-sight. Then they brought out our entrees and served them to the table next to us. The food was good - but the portions were small. Next!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We enjoyed an outstanding meal here. Everything from bread basket to water choice to main dishes was fabulous. You are clearly in the hands of dyed-in-the wool foodie at this restaurant. Can't wait To go back."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Food too fussy, all too sweet and creamy( not just desserts) Silly plating. Odd ingredients. Trying too hard and taste less important than presentation. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "great food. NYC quality. Any NYC transplants must go here for a taste of the good ol days"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "From the home baked hot cornbread and biscuits to the somewhat "fru-fru" desserts, Escape was a neat place to dine at on a Sunday evening. We had a little difficulty understanding the "front of the house" in a mumbly- fast speech pattern, however the chef is creative and spot on with his menu served on white curvy dishes that don't hold the silverware well. We did find that the soft shell crab was a bit too salty and the tasty was served as large chunks and no warmer than room temperature. Very sleek with no fabric except for the napkins."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "While the food is very good, the service was lacking. We started off with a very nice waitress but she disappeared after taking our orders and we needed to ask for everything after that. The service was very slow and inattentive. BTW - they gave us some cookies after dessert - way too sweet and couldn't eat. With so many other good restaurants in Montclair I would only recommend this restaurant with reservations. They really need to pay attention to the service!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Perfect portion size allowed us to try the full tasting menu. Delicious ingredients. It's been here a year and we never spotted it. This immediately goes into our top Montclair restaurants list, current order: Culinariane Escape Petit Paris Pig and Prince (going down the list due to rather greasy meal of late and uncooked quail on another occasion)"
    Dined on 4/21/2014
  • "Went to Escape for Easter brunch with 4 friends and had a delicious meal (as always). Brunch was a 3-course prix fixe menu for $28 and we sampled the crab pimento cheese (to die for), the crab cake (where's the filler?), the mussels (could have bathed in the broth) for starters and the fried chicken (likely the best there is in the northeast), the EM burger (amazing) and the scallop Benedict (seared scallops and eggs Benedict - yes, please). The fact that we were able to bring bubbly was just an added benefit."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "We went on a Thursday, and enjoyed a nice dinner. The portions were adequate sized, but I would have expected bigger given the price point of the dishes. The cauliflower puree soup with basil was the highlight of meal for us. The main dishes were good, but not outstanding. Both needed a little extra seasoning to really bring it home. The mac n'cheese side dish was large shells with a 4-cheese sauce. good, but the shells made it more like a meal, and less like a "mac 'n cheese" side dish. The complimentary homemade break and pickles were nice. BYOB also made it more affordable, but was still more expensive than I thought it should have been. We may go back, but not before trying a few other places first."
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "Accomplished cooking wedded to the freshest ingredients, a farm-to-table set-up that's both trendy and delicious--so why is this place so empty? It's not cheap, but then, neither are a dozen other fine Montclair restaurants. And Escape really is up there."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Positives: Excellently prepared dishes. BYOB with a wine shop delivery service. Quiet, relaxing ambiance. Knowledgeable wait staff. Negatives: Surprisingly expensive. It doesn't come off as a $30+ entree joint - but it certainly is. The prix fixe was listed on-line as $45 but was $51 when we came in. Also, the prix fixe comes with smaller portions and cannot be shared/split. Some menu items require an additional charge if ordered as a part of the prix fixe. All these stipulations not stated up-front left me disappointed. I asked the waiter what the cheese selection was for the night and he refused to tell me. The plate had 3 thin slices of very similar, boring cheeses. I've had many plates similarly priced yet provided much more value."
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "But I didn't. I love farm to table food, the quality is so much higher and the combinations are more interesting. In this instance I just didn't like the combinations. It was OK, nothing was horrible but nothing was fantastic either. I expected bigger taste from all of the fresh food but the combinations of things left much to be desired. It was unsatisfying and just OK."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "I have been here several times and the restaurant is always fantastic. My only comment this time would be that the menu was somewhat redundant. This was difficult because it is a small menu and I had guests that weren't used to this. However, in all my experiences here, this was only one time that made ordering a little tricky. In any case, the food was delicious as always and I can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Haven't a perfect night of service and food quality in a ling time, it was quite the escape! :) Oh and if you forget the wine, there's an actual wine list provided by the local liquor store that delivers in about 2 1/2 minutes after you place your order, how great is that? !"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Great menu of seasonally inspired dishes sourced from local farms. Very refined cooking technique and great flavor balanced with good acidity and freshness. Elegant food."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "BYOB in Montclair! Delightful neighborhood restaurant. Great service. Feels like a Greenwich village hideaway. Food portions small but interesting. Definitely worth a try."
    Dined on 3/22/2014