Common Lot

4.6
439 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
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 439 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
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5.0Dined 2 days ago

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

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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5.0Dined on May 31, 2018

This place has really found their groove. Consistently outstanding food and service. A wonderful dining experience with an always unique menu. Just keep doing what you are doing!!

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5.0Dined on May 31, 2018

we sat upstairs for a lovely leisurely meal. the far corner table afforded a private spot in a crowded room. the servers were warm and knowledgeable. each course which we shared was well executed the deconstructed strawberry pie was a delightful finish

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1.0Dined on May 29, 2018

My wife and I started with the Tuna Ceviche which was good, but was also the highlight of the meal. We then shared the Burrata...with an ant that limped out from under a piece of lettuce as I was finishing my serving. The ant crawled into a crouton, possibly to die since it looked injured (I'm fairly certain I ate part of it). I did not make a big scene but did try to get a waiter or other staff member to acknowledge me. It took several minutes before the host came over (remember, the space is quite cozy so I'm not sure how I became invisible) and I explained and showed them the issue. The host apologized and removed the plates from our table.
I'm not squeamish by any stretch, but feeling certain that I ate a part of the ant made it hard for me to continue the meal. But I was out with my wife and we had a good bottle of wine, so I soldiered on.
I had the lamb shoulder while my wife had the Halibut with clams. She enjoyed her main while I felt mine was a bit bland. We passed on dessert but ordered coffee. Our server brought us our coffee (only the 2nd time we saw her that night-the host served us and cleared our plates) and left a timer with us to let us know when to plunge it (French Press). I thought it odd that I was given the timer rather than the server keeping track of when to serve the coffee. The host then brought over a plate of small cookies and some ice cream and strawberries as an apology for the ant incident. The Burrata did not make the bill but everything else did.
Here's my philosophy on free dessert as an apology-it doesn't cut it. I already declined dessert so giving me something I don't want is disingenuous. If I don't order dessert, don't bring me dessert. If there is an uninvited guest at dinner, the meal should be free. It seemed that the restaurant just didn't know how to handle this type of situation-or it happens so frequently that they're immune to the discomfort of the guest. Either way, we will not be returning.

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Absolutely delicious. Not one bad choice

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Great meal for a date night. Common Lot offers a good array of small plates allowing you to share and taste different foods (from a pickled octopus to sweet chili pork belly). Plates including entrees were elegantly done and the service was great, very attentive but not overbearing.

Food flavors vary pulling flavors from different parts of world which reflects owner/chefs story.

Its BYOB, with a liquor store right down the street.

Restaurant itself is not too large, so you'll want to call ahead as it fills up quick.

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5.0Dined on May 24, 2018

Inventive dishes and great ingredients. Ate here a few times now and everything the table ordered has been very good indeed. I look forward to my next visit.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Can’t say enough great things about this place! We love how we can stay local but still enjoy food that’s up to par with NYC standards. It’s BYO and the cuisine is extremely wine-friendly. Highly recommended!

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4.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Really interesting food, a bit pricey, and the place was a little too impressed with itself - our waiter seemed annoyed when we ordered differently than he suggested -- Relax dude, it's food.

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5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Fabulous food. It is amazing. The best restaurant in NJ and maybe NYC too. Fabulous amazing and different and elegant friendly service. No loud music!!

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5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

One of the best foodie places in NJ. Everything interesting and tasty.
Only one complaint>>>fake flowers. They looked pretty but looking
closer are fake...real flowers would suit the place a lot better

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5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Best around, worth a trip.

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4.0Dined on May 17, 2018

Was here to celebrate a new job. The apps are great...will definitely go back.

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5.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Great dinner. Will come again

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Absolutely flawless dining experience!

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3.0Dined on May 9, 2018

Went hear about s year ago
The menu was fresh and creative
None of the items we enjoyed at that time are t available anymore. Now I would rate the menue as in line with other good restaurants. Prices are high and I didn’t recognize the innovation as during their first year

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2018

Everything was wonderful. Creative, delicious food. Liked the small plates very much, you can taste more of what they make. Prices are a little high.

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3.0Dined on May 3, 2018

It was okay, not that great and not horrible, Okay.

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5.0Dined on May 3, 2018

Everything was excellent. Prepared perfectly and fantastic, complex flavors. Only wish they would put the bag of chips and egg back on the menu.

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5.0Dined on May 2, 2018

Food is amazing- creative and different. Everyone very friendly and nice. Not cheap but well worthwhile.

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5.0Dined on May 1, 2018

The food was excellent and the service was great as well. I would surely recommend Common Lot to all of my friends and family.

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Fabulous food and atmosphere. Couldn't have chosen a better place for a big group birthday celebration.

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3.0Dined on April 27, 2018

Cold and rigid. This restaurant had a lot of hoopla and accolades surrounding it the year it opened. This was our third time dining at Common Lot since it opened, and after previous disappointments, I wanted to try it again. I can now say with confidence that I think it's always been overrated. Apparently the word is out. There were many empty tables at 7:00 pm on a Friday night in Millburn. When we arrived, we were offered a table upstairs that backed into the entry hall. ALL of the other tables were empty, so we requested a move. The waitress left us standing for a few minutes, came back, and then offered us a worse table next to the kitchen walkway. When we pointed out every other table was empty, we were told "no", we couldn't be moved since they were all "timed". So we sat in the second worse table. We noticed right away that it was super cold. I requested on two occasions to have the blowing cold air turned down, to no avail. I finally retrieved my winter coat and wore it throughout the remainder of the meal. There was nothing pleasing about the Spartan décor, which borders on cafeteria-style. Strangely, the waitress removed the fresh flowers in a vase on the table immediately after we were seated. The salt & pepper shakers were removed hastily after dinner as well - we remarked that perhaps they'd had a theft problem. The menu is limited but interesting. The "smalls" (appetizers) were really good. My halibut could have used more flavor. We ordered the "tart for two" for dessert and giggled after its arrival that it was really meant for 1 1/2 people due to its rather small portion size for 2. The service was good. We would have enjoyed it more if it were not for the shivering cold, and the rigid attitude. It is conveniently close to the Paper Mill Playhouse. Unfortunately, we won't be returning and would not recommend. Better local choices include Basilico and the occasionally open Carriage House, on the Paper Mill property.

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Excellent food, great atmosphere and excellent service. Common Lot is BYOB, which is really nice since you can choose your beverages ahead of time. (There's a liquor store very close by in case you forget to bring something.) Highly recommended!

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

This was our first time at Common Lot. We heard that the food was excellent. It was a pretheater dinner with my family. The service was wonderful. Our waiter explained why the name Common Lot, he went through the dinner menu thoroughly and was very attentive. The food was excellent. We ordered 2 appetizers to share among the 4 of us. We had the twice cooked pork belly and the sashimi of the day which was salmon with scallions and tiny cut cucumbers in a ponzu seasoning. Both were outstanding. I could have had more. They have a shared entree which my husband and son ordered - thedry-aged rib eye which they dry there (you can even see where they dry it). I had a taste and it was seared and cooked to perfection. I had the halibut which was pan seared and in a wonderful asian flair sauce with seasonal vegetables. My other son had the Arctic Char which ws light, flaky surrounded by a green herb sauce. It was amazing. Oh and it's a BYO so we brought our favorite wine from or favorite winery St. Francis Winery in Sonoma. We would love to go back soon.

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5.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Everything was fantastic. Best meal I’ve had in a very long time.

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