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The Orange Squirrel
The Orange Squirrel

The Orange Squirrel Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.theorangesquirrel.com
  • Phone: (973) 337-6421
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Tuesday - Thursday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm;
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm-11:00pm;
    Late Night Fare: Monday - Saturday:11:00pm 1:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Continental, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Chef Francesco Palmieri, Sous Chef Andy Watterson, Pastry Chef Jason Palermo, Mixologist Oscar Cachaba
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Orange St.
  • Public Transit: NJ Transit Train Montclair Boonton Line, Watsessing or Bloomfield stop
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Metered street parking before 6pm. No meters after 6pm.
A word from The Orange Squirrel
Some things in life stir the senses and leave a lasting impression — sharing delectable meal with friends and family ... savoring an unforgettable wine...receiving personal touches that enhance your dining experience. This is the philosophy behind The Orange Squirrel. Chef/Owner Francesco Palmieri serves his creative culinary interpretations of contemporary American comfort cuisine. His food is freshly prepared with the finest ingredients and a large dose of passion.

The Orange Squirrel has a full bar serving wines, champagne, 25+bottled craft beers and specialty hand-crafted cocktails.

An accomplished and visionary chef, he spent eight years working at top New York City restaurants. The Orange Squirrel received accolades and a top review from The New York Times and in 2012 was named a “Top 25 Restaurant” by New Jersey Monthly Magazine.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "We had not been to Orange Squirrel in a few years, so decided to give it another try with some friends. We immediately realized why we had not been back (after we found a parking spot near the restaurant's awful location). It took 30 minutes to even get a drink after we sat down (and we had to ask for a drink menu). After that, we had to ask for menus in order to start the process of ordering. Service is slow, food is mediocre, ambiance is crowded and loud, beer was warm and flat, etc.. the list goes on. We will never go back."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Amazing, as always. Delicious amaIng food, even my 5 year old loves it"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "We had heard about the Orange Squirrel for a while and are so glad we finally had an opportunity to try it. Enjoyed every facet of the meal. We shared apps and entrees and loved the bar! We will definitely be back. The chef and staff were extremely personable and welcoming; couldn't have asked for a better first-time experience. Bravo!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Just went with friends for my birthday - nice bar, cozy restaurant. Ran out of specials by 8pm at night...bummer. However, they have a nice menu. Got the skate, a pizza, the dry-aged rib eye, scallops and mussels. Scallops cooked perfectly - my 7 year old inhaled them. Was a bit pricey - $18 for 2 scallops seemed a bit gouge-y. If you go, you MUST try the banana bread pudding - that may have been the treat of the night. Service is ok - a little slow for a quiet Thursday evening, and a little spotty - we ordered a beer that never came, unfortunately. This is great meal, but you have to be laid-back and prepared for a longer night. It's a good place to get a delicious meal in a chill environment."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "I've never written a review before but I feel that one is necessary. I visited this restaurant for the first time a few years ago and thought it was great...food and service. All aspects of the experience were amazing. The second time, things weren't as great but didn't think much about it. I visited yesterday with 2 friends and was totally disappointed. The service seemed like they were too busy to ask us if we needed anything unless we stopped him to ask for something. They food definitely wasn't as great as I remember. The veal meatballs were too dry and the duck was undercooked. I hate giving places a bad review but felt the need to let others know that the Orange Squirrel isn't what it once was."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "A culinary gem! I came across the orange squirrel in Eat Ink and fell on love with the concept and overall menu options. The staff is super friendly and knowledgeable and the food was out of this world. I HIGHLY recommend dining here."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "We ate dinner here for the first time, we were very pleased with the food and service. Nice little spot for a good meal."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "I had the skate with brown butter sauce and grapes, and a side of the chef's risotto, and hubster had the rigatoni and sausage in a tomato cream sauce. We both enjoyed what we had quite a bit. Both dishes were cooked as they should be (pasta al dente). For dessert we shared the German chocolate souflee. It was delicious, and rich, though not large enough to share. Portions there are actually meal-sized. Do not expect leftovers."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "We went here for our anniversary on a recommendation. The service was outstanding. The staff was very knowledgeable and helpful with wine and beer food pairings. The menu was inventive. We had the duck and Bronzini, both of which were delicious. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • ". . . the food is worth a visit. Appetizers, main course and desserts were all well prepared. My husband started with the scallops, I had the salmon cake special, then the whole bronzini and duck breast for main course. While food and service were very good, be prepared for a noisy experience. Not a place to go for intimate, quiet conversation. Otherwise, highly recommended."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Pricey for the location, and parking is not convenient. We ordered 5 appetizers/tapas, and were pleased. Found it odd that a chocolate soufflé was on the dessert menu, and not mentioned prior to us placing our order, but we took a gamble. Being a chef, I was prepared for a wait because of the sequence in which it was ordered, but was utterly horrified when I received a tiny, burnt to a crisp soufflé that looked and tasted like a terrible attempt at chocolate lava cake. Severe let down considering we heard/read great reviews about the place, and paid a small fortune to eat/drink there =( "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Food was very good, especially the endive Caesar salad which was terrific. The appetizers seemed more interesting / imaginative than the mains so we basically created our own tapas experience and ate off the appetizer menu. The server was very knowledgeable about the menu, and gave real advice, not just the standard "get the most expensive thing on the menu". Decor was cool and eclectic - owner kinda weird, alternated between being too aggressive (barking out orders to servers right in front of us) and passive to the point of see in like he was stoned. But really nice menu, well executed. Biggest problem? Place is EARSPLITTINGLY LOUD!!!!! We wanted coffee / dessert but couldn't hear ourselves think it was so loud. R"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "The waitress was great, the place has an awesome atmosphere. I was enthused with the food selections. I will be coming back to try the other eats. The salmon was to die for with the pesto mmmmm.Great place I definitely recommend to all my friends."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "The Orange Squirrel is a tiny gem which vies with the very best restaurants anywhere for it's food preparation, attention to details, pleasant and original decor and ambiance. It's designed and best for small parties of two or four. You will get a friendly greeting when you arrive and you should have a reservation particularly because of it's small size. I love the place and admire Francesco Palmieri ,the owner and chef, who is a true artist of the restaurant business."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Food was outstanding as always, but this is the second time that there have been issues with the wine list. Of the three or four selections we made off of the relatively small wine list, they had NONE in stock. After too much time and back & forth, they did provide decent substitutes at similar prices. Why not just print a list of what you have and not waste our time?"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Although the food was good, the noise level was so intense that I was almost impossible to talk to one another. Also, the waiter did not tell us there was a "corking fee" until just before he brought the check. We should have been told when we ordered and he offered to uncork the wine that there was a "corking fee.""
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I would think twice about dining at Orange Squirrel....it's expensive, has just an ok wine list, service including bus and wait staff terrible (so slow our unopened bottle of wine sat on the table for 10 minutes before someone came to open it) and they are trying way too hard to be a foodie restaurant...tough menu! My halibut ($36 entree) was overcooked, the beef barley soup was so salty it tasted like a bouillon out of a jar & even the fries which smelled so delicious where sitting in some kind of gravy oil. If your heading to the area the Montclair restaurants are so much better!!!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We really enjoyed our meal at Orange Squirrel. Food was delicious - there were a lot of things on the menu I could have ordered. Loved the vibe and all the staff were really friendly and relaxed. BUT, we arrived for 8 pm reservations and were done with our food at 9. This may be great for some, but for us it all happened too fast. I didn't even have time to digest my appetizer and my main course was there. May be an odd thing to complain about, but it took away from our ability to savor the food....and turn our evening into a culinary event. This will not impact our desire to go back, but wished we were able to savor the experience more...."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This my second visit and I don't know why I waited so long to return. It was as good if not better than my first visit! except for the parking, there are only raves about this place!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We've been wanting to go to the Orange Squirrel for a couple of years and finally got our chance for a post-Valentine's Day celebration. It was a Monday so it wasn't crowded. Food did not dissappoint. It was spectacular and the portions were reasonable. Service was attentive. There is only on street parking which was a problem especially with large piles of snow i the neighborhood. We had to park a couple of blocks away and the sidewalks leading to the restaurant had large patches of ice. Overall, it was worth the effort!"
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "The Orange Squirrel is our go-to place for every special occasion as well as just a night out. The food is amazing and the service always friendly and fun."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "The food at Orange Squirrel is really good. A lot of attention is paid to detail on the food, and the flavors are exciting. Unfortunately the service leaves a lot to be desired. It was also quite cold in the dining room, because the door to the outside kept opening. If as much attention was paid to the front of the house as to the kitchen, then this place would be incredible"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "been planning to go for years...really like the funky location and the comfy interiors. staff was friendly and attentive. the menu sounded amazing - wish the food backed it up. while the skate entree was tasty, nothing else we ordered seemed to have any seasoning. the prices were somewhat high, but would gladly revisit if the food was perked up. i kept tasting my food, hoping that the flavors would improve - but sadly, they never did. to the chef - this is such a great space - please give it some attention."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We had a terrific meal. The space is tight and noisy, but the overall feeling is vibrant and energetic. The food was excellent and creative. The staff was attentive. The crowd was on the young side--maybe due to the small bar? Overall, would recommend and return."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "It took me a while but I finally made it to The Orange Squirrel. It was every bit worth the wait. Fabulous food in both taste and presentation. Lovely ambience and knowledgable service!"
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "A little disappointing but understandable there was a fixed menu with three courses (two options per course) and a glass of sparkling wine for $65pp. We had the mushroom tempura which was very good although slightly salty and Filet Mignon which was cooked to perfection (both requested medium rare) and for dessert the crème brulee. We wished there could have been more course selections however the food was very good. The atmosphere is intimate and relaxing and the service was excellent. Chef Palmieri stopped by our table to thank us; he is very gracious. We will definitely be returning to The Orange Squirrel and look forward to trying other selections on their menu. It is so nice to find a gem right in our neighborhood."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Atmosphere is more like a local bar. The staff is very friendly and helpful. The food is outstandin, creative and among the best i the state. Can be very noisy on weekends"
    Dined on 12/16/2013
  • "Found the food to be outstanding! Very creative; out of the "norm" dishes, prepared with exquisite detail! My wife and I were very pleasantly surprised on our first of many to come visits!"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "I had a nice experience. The food was really good. We were not rushed."
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "My husband and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and we loved the place. The service was really good and the food was excellent. The Chicken Pot Pie and the Dry Aged Rib Eye were our main course choices and we both enjoyed a lot. We will definitively go back."
    Dined on 11/26/2013
  • "First of all why don't they serve bread?? t's ridiculous not to be given the option. Also I was disappointed with my soup portion,it really couldn't have been more than 2 oz, it barely covered the bottom of my soup bowl. I had the branzino which tasted good however I can't believe they served it to me in the sizzling hot cast iron pan. I requested a plate as I couldn't understand how they expected me to eat it from the smoking hot frying pan?? It was awkward enough trying to debone it myself in the actual cast iron pan. There is nothing impressive in serving it to customers like that especially since no one wants to smell like fish. They should rethink that. Overall the food tasted good but I wouldn't go back."
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "There is a reason why it's been voted one of the top 25 restaurants in nj. The food was excellent, the service was perfect. We plan on going back soon with friends."
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "The review title says it all. The ribeye is quite addictive. It is hard to get a table, but you need to make sure you do!"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "We hosted a group of 8 at this lovely little restaurant based on a friend's recommendation. The menu selections were good, I had the pork shank which was cooked to perfection! Everyone else had a beef selection. Several were dissapointed that the chef sliced the ribeye (why???) That garnered a thumbsdown from a few althought the steak was still very tasty. The noise level is almost unbearable when you are first seated, but before long, you notice that your group has become a little noisy too. It was a a very enjoyable meal. Very pricey though for the location and cramped space. I will return, but NOT when I am hosting - this restaurant is way to expensive to make that mistake again!"
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "Had read so many great things & the menu reads as really enticing. Unfortunately what arrived generally did not live up to and/or match the description. "Salads" weren't salads but "displays" -- yes the food was small & some was quite flavorful but again - not usually as described. I love skate wing & this was mealy & had practically no taste. The sides were "OK" at best. They were out of pinot grigio? The waiter could not---admittedly---pronounce half the menu & the servers seemed to keep forgetting about us - despite a not-so-full house on the weeknight we visited. For the money - will not return. Really disappointed too."
    Dined on 10/10/2013
  • "The food is outstanding and the owner and staff atre unusually helpful and friendly. I would definitely go back. Can be noisy on the weekends."
    Dined on 10/7/2013
  • "I was really looking forward to dining based on friends recommendations, etc. We decided to try some of their signature dishes. My husband had the rib eye steak with the Mac and Cheese and I had their Chicken Pot Pie. Not only did we think everything was just ok, nothing special (husband said my pot pie and mac and cheese was better!), but the prices were ridiculous. With tip, our whole bill came to $120 for two people. We each had a glass of wine and shared the Mushroom Tempura appetizer. For those prices, I expected much much more and don't think I'll be returning again in the future. There are much better options at better prices in the area. Plus - service started out a bit rocky."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "Love going here, always awesome. Chef Framcesco is the best!"
    Dined on 9/27/2013
  • "The food was awesome and the owner came to speak to us personally. The beer selection was awesome and the food was great. TOTALLY GREAT!!!"
    Dined on 9/13/2013
  • "great food. only criticism would be the noise level. way too loud. could barely have a conversation..."
    Dined on 9/13/2013