Common Lot

4.6
527 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
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 527 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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DD
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 2

Not my kind of menu. Very limited and odd. Convenient location near PaperMill Playhouse but not worth another visit.

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t
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Wagyu steak was excellent along with the pork belly. A bit too salty on pork belly sauce for my taste, otherwise very nice experience. Will return for the tasting menu.

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EB
London
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food was amazing. Service was a little slow which was a shame.

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RR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

Two 85 year old gentlemen were asked to climb a very steep set of stairs for our standing 5pm reservation, while tables went empty downstairs. We had a 7 pm show at the Papermill Playhouse, which we told them!! Yet, the table we requested on the first floor was still empty at our departure. Folks were just arriving when we left for their 7pm reservations.
Very bad decisions by an incompetent young wait staff.....

We were not told it is BYOB!! We eventually, had wine delivered, one bottle of red and one bottle of white. Only the twist off white bottle, was opened by the staff. No one at the table was asked if they would prefer white or red. The entire bottle of white was poured. The red was still not opened.......another set of glasses was never offered. Very sloppy service for a restaurant of this caliber.
The tuna tartare appetizer tasted like onion sticks from a can. The fish appetizer special was inedible. No time for coffee and dessert. Service was too slow.

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c
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food is delicious, service outstanding! A little pricey, otherwise perfect.

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LM
New York Area
35 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed Common Lot very much. We shared the Brussel Sprouts as an appetizer which were very good. I had the trout which was excellent. My husband had the Branzini which he enjoyed very much. For dessert we had the flourless chocolate cake with a small scoop of chocolate ice cream. We will be back...very friendly staff.

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LC
Miami
19 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a really good experience. We went for lunch before a matinee at The Papermill Playhouse, which was just a five minute walk away. The food is creative and delicious. The service was unobtrusive and excellent. The décor and ambience is simply lovely; I loved it. It was so good I am considering returning next week with some vegetarian friends, because there are so many options. My husband and I had seven small plates, my favorite of which was the pork belly, although all the others - warm sunchoke salad, artichoke dip, cauliflower, steak and duck tacos -- were all quite wonderful.

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VG
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, lovely presentation with original crockery. Food is fresh and seasonal and has a little twist to make it special

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D
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Common Lot never disappoints. The menu changes seasonally allowing you to try new dishes. The market fish was outstanding! The sauces they craft are sublime...so many layers of flavors. In my top 5 favorite restaurants.

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D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After years of dining in some pretty hot spots - this was an exquisite surprise. Wonderful, intelligent flavors, comfortable surroundings - i.e. we could hear ourselves at the table and not everyone else in the restaurant; modernful decor - the best of modern - and the service was perfect. Emphasis on that - perfect service!!!!!

And, again, the food - OUTSTANDING. Thanks for building a great business.

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AB
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Embarrassingly poor service offsets menu. Very creative chef and this place could be great. However, wait staff are unprofessional, indifferent, and inattentive. Better service at the Millburn Diner around the corner. Its a shame because the food is innovative, fresh and stimulating. Maybe they should hire a maitre de to match the kitchen, and find professional wait staff. Still worth going, but be prepared for frustrating experience. For the price, expect a top-notch dining experience all around. Head waiter disappeared after taking order, and never returned except to deliver the check, and place was not that busy. Busser delivered all the food. Staff had no knowledge of the menu or ingredients, and no shame about lacking this info. Was a special occasion that they completely ignored. I have been here many times before, and mediocre service is the norm, but this was the worst. Decided to write this review, maybe they will finally get it.

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OT
New York Area
37 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

I think this place has a lot of potential, but they seem to focus on the aesthetics more than the food.

My wife ordered a crab salad to share. It came in sort of petrified crab shell on a bed of small stones. Interesting presentation. Crab itself was a little salty. I ordered peanut and cauliflower. That was very good.

Our entries were squash and beans, again, a little salty. The other was branzino with potatoes. Very good.

So, if the two dishes would not have been so salty, this would have been a pretty good meal.

Open kitchen gives it a nice look and it's BYO.

I would recommend, but maybe ask about going light on the salt.

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MD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of my favorite restaurants. The food is so interesting and so well prepared. The ambience is wonderful with beautiful table settings, artwork and general decor. Just the best!!!

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J
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the flavor of the seasonal tart for two! I was told that it would only be available until the end of this week - I think it was called a Pavlova with a chai tea flavor. Definitely hope they offer it on the regular dessert menu.

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CC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. We enjoyed our time and stayed until closing. Will definitely visit again!

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FW
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was fantastic, appreciated the flavors and quality of ingredients. Would have wished the staff was more attentive and available.

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k
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Common Lot is my favorite restaurant. The food is creative and delicious. It is a bit of a drive for us and well worth the trip.

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KB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Some hits and more misses; duck liver and scallop appetizers were good, branzino was great but steak tartare, venison, crab salad were all misses.

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LB
New York Area
30 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was creative, perfectly seasoned and executed, seasonal, and good portions. Great service and nice ambiance. We will return

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CG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I brought my bf for his birthday back in July and we fell in love. We finally got a day with both of us off, so we decided to come and enjoy another evening there. It was definitely more quiet than the last time we went, which was so great. The staff are so attentive, caring and very respectful. They had a stuffed crab special “salad” and it tasted soooo good! The pulled pork was delicious, per usual. We are so excited to go back again! With the service alone Common Lot deserves 5 stars. Keep up the good work guys!

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M
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere relaxed and comfortable. Love one is able to see the kitchen at work with the open layout, makes the cuisine approachable. Delicious vegetable small shares plates. Highly recommend the branzino, crispy skin and moist fillet. Looking forward to going back for the chef's table

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Y
1 review
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed our smalls and bigs. Would've rather have gotten different smalls to sample variety of delicious foods :) highly recommend!!

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b
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have dined here multiple times and this place keeps getting better and better each time! They have really found their groove!!! The menu, the incredible food, wonderful and knowledgeable service, I could go on and on. The menu truly changes seasonally and it keeps getting better!! Was worried when they first opened but not anymore! Can’t wait to go back each time I depart. Oh and the desserts are a don’t miss too!! Keep doing what you are doing common lot!

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything. Fabulous food and wonderful service. Can’t wait to go back!

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C
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The place is very nice, however the menu was limited. Went there for a business lunch and neither my guest nor I could find something on the menu that excited us. Service was outstanding and the ambiance is very nice.

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D
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 2

The hype is better than it was .
Was disappointed-

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LF
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

The steak tartare was wonderful as was the pork belly. We order appetizers and our other choices were bland.

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NH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

With all the hype around Common Lot, I was prepared to be wowed. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed. We ordered three appetizers-the scallops, pork belly and cauliflower. The scallops were more ceviche than I expected. The pork belly sauce was delicious-but I think they were over cooked a bit. The cauliflower was good-but was simple. I had the venison for dinner and found the sauce to not be complimentary to the meat and the vegetables that were accoutrement were tiny and not properly cooked. The dessert-the flourless spiced chocolate cake was tasty and had a nice gentle spicy kick. Maybe it was an off night? But for an celebratory event-we will go to Lorena’s next time.

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f
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

1.Asked server to have chef recommend which of two dishs I should order. She declined and said I should choose.
2. Servers should not wipe their noses and then fill water glasses.
3. The sunchokes at lunch both looked awful and had very little flavor. Would not recommend this dish. tacos and sashimi excellent.

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VG
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Really fantastic. Can’t wait to go back. The pork belly appetizer was outstanding!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous meal at the “chef’s table” - watched the kitchen work and chatted with the chef owner and other chefs about the dishes and inspiration for the meal. Relaxed atmosphere with beautifully crafted dishes, art on the plate and a delight for all of the senses. Great joint 50th birthday for me and my date - memorable experience and memorable meal.

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c
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pre theater

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MB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

This used to be one of my favorite restaurants. The service was excellent. The food was prepared well. The portions were extremely small. My boyfriend and I left hungry after each having an appetizer, each having a full size entree and a shared piece of chocolate cake. Definitely not worth the money paid for this birthday celebration.

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d
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Nothing special. We expected a lot..not a lot of food, but a lot of taste. We left hungry and underwhelmed.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was good but very overpriced. Portions were small. We were still hungry when we left. Won’t be back.

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p
New York Area
53 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Each time I visit Common Lot it is a truly fine experience. The food is always fresh, innovative, very well presented, and delicious. For lunch definitely try the twice-cooked pork belly (a fabulous slightly crispy preparation and magnificent sauce), the tacos, the white bean "hummus", and the burrata. Great desserts - we had the chocolate mousse (an amazing preparation) and the mochi with caramel sauce.

Service is always attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly without being overbearing. Seating is comfortable.

Parking is readily available across the street in Millburn Parking Lot 1. You can park for up to 3 hours for $1.50.

Common Lot is only 1/4 mile from Paper Mill Playhouse so it is a great choice for pre- or post-theater dining. (So is Carriage House, located at Paper Mill!)

Highly recommended; you must make reservations for dinner and should do so for lunch.

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D
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very nice, upscale dining. A needed option in the area.

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i
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food
Service and ambiance could improve

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it! Pricey and small portions...but excellent flavors, good variety, great ambiance...overall fantastic. Will be back!

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T
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have been there numerous times. The menu, while limited, NEVER disappoints!! And the staff is superb! Definitely has become a favorite spot!!

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