Common Lot

4.6
465 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
A place for family and friends to gather and share great food and conversation. The restaurant is elegant but unpretentious, creating a minimalist but convivial environment. Seating options are the main dining room, with its view to the buzz of the open kitchen; the upstairs Chef's Library, featuring Ehren’s extensive collection of cookbooks; or the four-seat “Kitchen Pass” with its intimate perspective on meal preparation (note Kitchen pass reservations are only by phone or email, and 48 hours notice is required for specific dietary requirements) The food is contemporary and reflects Ehren and Nadine's international experience, training and dedication to the craft of cooking: seasonal flavors, locally foraged produce and fresh ingredients made with exceptional care and resulting in cosmopolitan dishes.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Global, International
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Tue–Fri 12:00 pm–2:00 pm
Dinner
Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(973) 467-0494
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ehren Ryan
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Essex Street
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Parking details
public parking lot across the street
Additional
BYO Liquor
What 465 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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3.0Dined 2 days ago

Aug 2018

Excellent Food - Amateur and unpleasant service

Pretentious "policies" and an obnoxious Maitre D':

Can we have more bread - "against policy"
Another set of wine glasses -" against policy"
Turn down the Muzak please - "sorry cant"
Turn down the AC the please - everyone on our floor is cold -"eh"

Paper napkins are out of place in a restaurant with these prices.

Food is truly wonderful though - amongst the best in NJ.

I'd love to come back sometime after they completely purge the serving staff and get people who understand customer service. Maybe they can hire the next batch from 90 acres.

Too bad - we had high hopes

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

First time there and loved it! Might have liked a pasta choice...
Morgan was our server...perfect
James the host...couldn't have been better!

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

The lamb is to die for. Pricey, so we don't go that often, but only once were we a little disappointed.

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

Ordered nearly every item on the lunch menu and everything was creative and delicious! Great service and very nice ambiance. Not inexpensive, but well worth the price.

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4.0Dined on August 3, 2018

We always wanted to focus on the appetizers in this place, such a great selection. Today, we did it, no main course, but 7 appetizers. All had a great and surprising combination of tastes and textures. Tuna tartar and duck liver parfait stood out. And we had space for two desserts. Great, friendly and impeccable service! Will come again. Thanks for a great experience.

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5.0Dined on August 2, 2018

We had a late reservation but our schedule freed up earlier than expected and the restaurant accommodated us with no problem (just a warning that they would need the table in about 1.5 hours). We got the burrata which was really good, with an awesome pesto and the scallops for starters. The chicken skin on the scallops is my new favorite thing. For dinner we had the lamb shoulder. It's easily big enough for 3. My wife is having some for lunch 2 days later. We have lots of random bottles of wine from past parties so BYO was no problem, and something you should be prepared for in Essex County anyway. I don't even know what we had, it was fine and opened up very nicely with the lamb. We were too stuffed for dessert, though our servers assured us we had enough time to enjoy one if we wanted. We will definitely be back with a larger group and more wine to take advantage of the large table in the middle of the dining room

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2018

Lamb shoulder was insane

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5.0Dined on July 31, 2018

Have been here for dinner several times-always excellent. First time for lunch. A very interesting lunch menu, and equally top quality and presentation compared to dinner.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

Food was easily on par with some of our favorite restaurants in NYC/BK. Frankly, on the food alone, this was the best we've had in NJ since moving here two years ago. The crudo was next-level. Steak for two was cooked to perfection: perfect sear on the outside, rare on the inside, fat was rendered perfectly throughout, and the cut had marvelous marbling. All dishes were beyond good, focusing on flawless execution over trend following and novel inventiveness. Inventiveness here is a flourish, an unexpected note played perfectly, not a heavy-handed novelty. The service was not fussy, but fast, attentive, and on-point. The design of the space is very pleasing as well. Table for two was spacious and not too close to its neighbors. Great place for everything from a casual dinner with friends to a date. Our new favorite spot in Essex County—by a wide margin. The only ding on Common Lot is the noise level. They should put sound tiles or fabric on the ceiling. Few restaurants in NJ seem to get this right, though.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The food was excellent without being pretentious.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

This is consistently one of the best dining experiences for us. You can not get food like this outside since of the best NYC restaurants, and we have been to most of them. The duck liver parfait with brown sugar crumbles was amazing and the double fried pork belly really blew my mind. Go here as soon as possible and try as much as you can. We will be go back again and again.

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4.0Dined on July 25, 2018

Food is great always. Selection is limited but interesting. Service was not up to accustomed standards.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Everything was delicious and service was awesome! Space a little tight though but would definitely recommend!

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5.0Dined on July 19, 2018

LOVED our night at Common Lot! Next time, we hope to sit at the kitchen bar stools so we can watch the chef(s) prepare the food! With that said, we loved our meal from beginning to end, the service was perfection, and our table was quiet and romantic. Can't wait to go back for more artisan cuisine in my home town! Thank you!

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Warm, welcoming, knowledgable service, delicious food, and a relaxed atmosphere. Great experience, thoroughly enjoyed.

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4.0Dined on July 13, 2018

For a casual restaurant serving New American food, I was impressed. The flavor profiles were amazing, surprises with each bite, great textural contrasts, pretty to look at, yet never stuffy. With the open kitchen, it’s young and hip, and there is a real passion for understanding the nuances of great food. It’s a gem! It’s definitely now one of my favorite restaurants, period!

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5.0Dined on July 12, 2018

There are not enough characters to explain how amazing this place is. I brought my bf for his birthday and he hasn’t stopped telling people about it. The food, the staff, the ambiance were all just amazing. Our server, i think her name is Morghan was so kind and would check on us frequently. I believe it was either the owner or manager that came to us and asked if we wanted to move our seat due to other guests who were loud. He made sure we were comfortable and even apologized. And the food, sooooo so good! We will definitely be coming back and of course bringing friends!

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3.0Dined on July 11, 2018

The dinner was good, with the food good tasting. However, the noise during dinner ruined our evening. The owners have to address the noise level, especially with 2-3 big tables with everyone at each table virtually screaming to one another. Without addressing the noise level, we won’t be returning.

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2.0Dined on July 6, 2018

They changed the menu again and now it seems all they try to do is to charge expensive dishes without living up to The expectations. Nothing stands out at all.... the food is really disappointing. We have been coming to this place since the day it opened, and I can honestly say they are losing talents in the kitchen, you can tell right the way from the food.... not worth the money at all... definitely going to other restaurants in the town...last time here!

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5.0Dined on July 4, 2018

Great service and delicious food. I made a reservation for 9 pm on a Tuesday. Received a call from the restaurant asking if I would like an earlier time because after 9 pm the kitchen would be winding down but I could not change. We were running a few minutes late after 9 pm so I called the restaurant to find out if it was still ok. The person on the other end was very courteous and said, “of course, we are waiting for you and thanks for letting us know you are 2 minutes away”. We ordered salmon sashimi, roasted cauliflower, tuna tartare and seared scallops as appetizers and halibut as main course. Everything was delicious and foodie quality. Service by wait staff was outstanding. I would go back again and try their other dishes. This would be a great place to go as a larger group and share several items from the menu.

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5.0Dined on June 30, 2018

We loved Common Lot! The menu is interesting without being precious. The small plates we ordered were some of the best, do not miss the pork belly. Entree portions are substantial and delicious. Loved dessert but then again I always do!!

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

Food is very fresh, very inventive. Presentation is spectacular. Service is attentive without being overbearing. Will definitely return.

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

Enjoyed a nice lunch with shared plates and the delicious tacos. All the plates were prepared very well with great flavor and presentation.

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5.0Dined on June 27, 2018

One of the best meals I've had in a while! Really innovative, tasty menu. Perfect for pre-Paper Mill dinner. And the bottle delivery service—still getting used to the whole BYOB thing, so that was a delight.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2018

Arguably the best food being served in a restaurant in New Jersey with only a few peers even remotely close to it in quality, creativity and consistency.

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Excellent food, service and atmosphere. Will definatly return.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Wonderful experience overall!

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Phenomenal food. Superlative dining experience. Kudos to Nadine and Ehren Ryan.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

We’ve been to Common Lot 3 times Now and they never disappoint. Delicious food and great service. It’s BYOB and a little pricey but totally worth it. We’ll be back again and again.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Wonderful first meal for my father’s 81st birthday. The manager could not have been friendlier when he called me to confirm the reservation. Upon arrival, I was greeted warmly. A special table was set aside for us. The waiter was professional and knowledgeable. Each dish from the kitchen was better than the next. We enjoyed every appetizer, every entrée, and the desserts. Seriously, the desserts were creative and completely different from what I was expecting but completely delicious. On the way out, one of the busboys accommodated us by taking our picture on the front steps so that we could have a photo of the occasion. I cannot wait to go back with other friends and I have already told my friends about this restaurant. I know this review sounds completely fake but trust me I just had a great time and I’m looking forward to going back.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

The chef has masterfully captures the essence of so many flavors and combinations. The team couldn’t have been more professional and helpful. Whether it’s a first date or a special meal in the middle of the month-Common Lot nails it every time.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Recommended to us by another chef. This place fulfilled expectations and more! Reminiscent of CA Napa style restaurants in terms of menu, vibe and decor. Also reminds me of Union Square Cafe in terms of local, seasonal fare..highlight and showcase the food with delicious flavor combinations. BYOB a HUGE plus.

We did the the Chefs Table / Kitchen Pass which was an even better experience. Highly recommend doing that but will return to sample their regular menu!

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3.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Plates were small

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3.0Dined on June 6, 2018

Incredible atmosphere and great service. Food was disappointing vs. last experience last November. It was a bit 'oily' and didn't seem to have too many healthy options on the menu.

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2.0Dined on June 5, 2018

The service was terrible - they rushed us out of the restaurant (started mopping while we were there), and the service was unprofessional. Food was only ok - fish was not particularly fresh.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

We are part of a “Supper Club”; six of us pick a different reataurant every month or two to try. We have had some great finds, but this place was one of the best! From
the moment we walked in we felt welcomed. The atmosphere is warm and modern, with two levels for seating. The dining area is spacious and bright. We had wonderful options, including many that were sharable. From the octopus, pork belly, beef tartar and sushi appetizers to the steak and fish entrees, the food was beautifully presented, fresh and delicious! We can’t wait to go back!

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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Excellent overall experience. Food and service were excellent. The Lamb shoulder is the best

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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Creative but approachable food in a stylish setting. Chef offers seasonal farm to table ingredients with a global perspective. So happy to have Common Lot in our neighborhood.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

The restaurant was recommended by a box office person at the Paper Mill Playhouse. My husband and I were on our way to see a production of HALF TIME. The restaurant was a five minute walk from the Millburn, NJ Transit station, and eight minutes by foot to the Paper Mill Playhouse. It was the perfect place to eat before a show. The staff made us feel welcome from the first moment we walked in. They were professional and attentive. The restaurant is spacious and uncrowded, with sunlight cascading in from all sides. The kitchen is open, so if you're lucky you will be seated where you can watch the meals being prepared. And the food was exquisite! We started with two appetizers -- thick mushrooms that were quite meaty, and a dish of scrumptious scallops. Our entrees were wonderful -- especially the Halibut, which was the best I've ever tasted. Afterwards we shared a chocolate mousse dessert. The place is a BYOB, but we tried three lemonades and they were excellent. We were quite pleased with the superior cuisine.

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Superb from start to finish! Atmosphere, seasonal menu, and service makes it a wonderful experience.

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