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The Orange Squirrel

3.9
179 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Perfect For:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Special Occasion

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About

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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Continental, Seafood
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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
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Phone number
(973) 337-6421
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Chef Francesco Palmieri, Sous Chef Andy Watterson, Pastry Chef Jason Palermo, Mixologist Oscar Cachaba
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Orange St.
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Parking details
Metered street parking before 6pm. No meters after 6pm.
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Public transit
NJ Transit Train Montclair Boonton Line, Watsessing or Bloomfield stop
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 179 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9based on all time ratings
4.1
food
3.8
service
3.6
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined on August 11, 2016

We went for restaurant week. 6pm reservation. They ran out of figs so offered a zucchini blossom and prosciotto appetizer. Too salty and when asked for balsamic vinegar was informed by server that they didn't have enough. Ordered skate wing which was overcooked and gummy. Told server that fish was inedible and he offered to have kitchen redo it. Waited 20 min and was served cod, which server neglected to mention. Chef came to table to inquire about cod and he apologized about skate. Comped $10 from check and gave me a bottle of olive oil and some oregano. Chef was a stand up guy, but they need to train the service staff.

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4.0Dined on July 23, 2016

We loved The Orange Squirrel. It was our first time there. I am originally from Bloomfield and wanted to try this for the longest time. We were not disappointed. The only downfall was the sound level in the room. Hard to hear our friends sitting across the table! But we will be back! Every dish we ordered was excellent!

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4.0Dined on June 30, 2016

I am ecstatic that I finally tried this restaurant. the chef is passionate, and that comes thru in the flavors. each dish I tried was memorable in its own right, and damn't, I can't wait to return. Super cool vibe, excellent service, and for me, it was almost home style dining. a very small plates here, a couple outstanding desserts there. I left happy. I am eager to return. thanks to all at The Orange Squirrel for what you do!

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5.0Dined on June 25, 2016

Love the food and presentation. Very personal touch. Always love the tastings that surprise you from the kitchen. Looking forward to the next evening. See you soon Orange Squirrel.

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4.0Dined on June 25, 2016

Dining at the Orange Squirrel is fun. Service is friendly. The food is imaginative, not the same old same old, and well executed.

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2016

Excellent food, great ambiance, fun staff. Put this on your list. Amazing find in Bloomfield, NJ - of all places. Bring your friends and your appetite.

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2.0Dined on June 11, 2016

Unfortunately our recent visit wasn't as good as our last. The service was spotty (with each of our meals arriving minutes apart (leaving my wife with a plate of food getting cold while she waited for mine to arrive); the restaurant had run out of sparkling water; and the food, while good, was a bit uneven (with the gazpacho being delicious but the mushroom risotto flavorless).

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2016

Amazing service and knowledgeable staff.

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1.0Dined on June 4, 2016

After having a iffy dining experience last year, we decided to give the Orange Squirrel a second try.
Upon arriving at the restaurant at 6:15 on Saturday we were greeted by the charming hostess, who became an instant Bartender. We ordered martini's; were told they didn't have Grey Goose, which was fine and that they had Ketel One and a few others. We ordered the Ketel One only to be notified there was only enough for 1 drink!!! WHAT? It was 6:15 pm on a SATURDAY! I wonder what they were planning to serve to other guests the entire rest of the evening. Still willing to stick it out we perused the lackluster menu which contained a selection of UNDESIRABLE entrees. As if all this wasn't enough to turn you off, the chef came out of the kitchen with a miserable look on his face and made no attempt to greet us. Amazing that he could be so uninterested when there was only 1 other table with 2 people in the restaurant period. Needless to say we decided to leave before torturing ourselves with a meal.

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2016

My anniversary was made complete at the Orange Squirrel. They made our dinner their a memory and my special request was fulfilled past my expectations. I would definitely return again and would highly recommend this place to any couple who want a nice night out. The service was great and the staff was very warm and welcoming. The food can not be described.....i've never had Trout as good as theirs.

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2.0Dined on May 9, 2016

We visited on the day after Mother's Day plus the menu had just changed (although this was not shown on their website). They were out of many of the wines that I tried to choose (by the glass and bottle) as well as iced tea -- due to the fact that they had been busy on Mother's Day.?! (I get it for the wine, but not the iced tea (brewed, supposedly).

Food was actually pretty good; service was slow and they had very few customers

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5.0Dined on May 7, 2016

I have gone to the Orange Squirrel many times but most recently for their Kentucky Derby event. I'm a vegetarian so they accommodated my diet with their special without a problem. The server Kevin is the friendliest most attentive server I've ever had and you can tell Chef Palmero cooks with his heart and soul and it shows in his plates. Have the Orange Popsicle cocktail, you won't be disappointed!!

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3.0Dined on April 30, 2016

Food was great. Service was well meaning but poor. Terrible communication with the customer.

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5.0Dined on April 25, 2016

The best Filet Mignon I've had in my life! The food was prepared to perfection and the ambience was quaint. I would definitely go back. The Irish Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and Fontina Mac & Cheese are a must!

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3.0Dined on April 16, 2016

Was hoping to find a nice restaurant in the neighborhood. Instead found a place that charged large prices for less than large food in less than nicer surroundings. I can't remember the last time that I left a restaurant just ordering 2 mains, 1 drink and a side, spending over $100 and left a restaurant feeling totally unsatisfied. I simply don't get the model or see a reason to return. Ordered a special for the evening that was terribly oversalted and overpriced for the portion size. My companion's dish, which we asked to be served with sauce on the side was served on the sauce with no apologies or explanation when it was delivered- saying no at the time of taking the order or coming back and saying that it wasn't possible ( it was possible) would have sufficed. I hate to be so negative to a local place but maybe my expectations were set at a higher bar reflective of the prices- but the whole experience would have cost the same at Keens and would have been polished and I would have left sated. The noise level- especially with the door open and street noise was also overbearing. Ah well...

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2016

The place is just the best. We can't get enough of it. Brought friends with us tonight and they loved it too!

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5.0Dined on April 2, 2016

Excellent food and drink! Exceptional service completed the experience

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2016

Definitely would go back. Good food. Fair prices. Attentive service. A little loud when full, but it's great that it's full because it will be around. Don't hesitate. Go.

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2.0Dined on March 19, 2016

Sorry, I wouldn't recommend this restaurant. Our party thought the food was way OVERpriced for the portion size and the flavors were just good, not exceptional for the cost.

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1.0Dined on March 18, 2016

Service was horrible. Only one knowledgeable server. Went for a special night and they didn't make it feel special.

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1.0Dined on March 10, 2016

I couldn't rate the experience 5 stars because I did not even get a chance to enjoy it. I reserved a table for 2 at 1045pm yeah it's a little late but they said they had a table open and the time slot was open until 1130. After I reserved my table I drove there, got there by 1030pm only to find the place closed. I was so confused and disappointed, I have no words especially when you're on a date. Luckily I was able to find another restaurant that wasn't to far. My 2 cent is if your close at least reflect that on open table or contact them and ask them to fix to reflect the proper times that you are open.

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5.0Dined on March 5, 2016

We've wanted to eat here for a while. Tonight we finally had the chance and brought our son visiting from New York. We were so impressed, as great as any 5 star restaurant in New York. Can't wait to go back, sooner rather then later!

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2016

Very Good/Very Bad
The good first. Food is excellent. Veal meatballs very tasty. Bronzino seasoned beautifully. Duck with a sauce that brought out the flavor of the duck. The cappuccino is outstanding. Piping hot and nice size.

Now the bad. Parking terrible. There is none. The restaurant ran half hour behind reservation. They tried to move people but still. 1/2 hr. Not acceptable. Bartender cannot make a cosmo. Probably one of the most popular drinks today. They use a jigger to pour alcohol. At 11.00 for a mixed drink free pour. They try to squeeze every inch of space so plan on a customer or waiter bumping into you repeatedly. The restaurant plays a nice trick by using a demitasse spoon to serve dessert so you think you get a full size portion when in reality it is much less. $9.00 to $11.00.

Pet peeve of mine when the food runner comes to the table and says who got??? This is a training issue. There are codes restaurants use so even if you did not take the order you know who ordered it. If you have 38-56.00 dollar dishes on your menu TRAIN YOUR STAFF.

This is a go once for the experience but you are to close to montclair where there are many great other places.

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1.0Dined on February 26, 2016

My friend came here once before and enjoyed it, I went back with her and another friend, wow it was pretty bad. The service didn't match the prices. The waiter forgot to bring us forks. My friends salad came out wilted, had to send it back. My friends pork chop was too salty and over cooked, my Octopus grilled cheese was strange, you could not taste the octopus, it got lost in a gooey mess. The dessert came out burnt. When we complained about the salad, they replaced it with something else that my friend selected, a beet salad, which was also nothing special, we asked for crackers so we could eat the glob of goat cheese in the center of the plate, the waiter brought 2 crackers, 1 cracked in bites and the other in tact - by this time we were just shocked and had enough and laughed it off. They charged us for the replaced salad but threw in Irish cream shots at the end to try and make it up to us. The bar might be worth it, definitely not the food. I had the pasta with sausage, luckily tasted good enough to eat, but nothing special. I would recommend sticking to pasta here but don't bother with salads or apps. I really think it was an off night at this place, or they just need a new manager and/or chef. It was an inconsistent mess of a meal I would like to forget.

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3.0Dined on February 24, 2016

The menu is creative for New Jersey and the food quite well prepared. While we can accept that it might take some time to get food to the table in order to prepare it freshly, this restaurant's policy of not serving any bread during the meal left us waiting more than a half hour to get anything to eat and almost as long between the first course and our main course, even though the restaurant was almost empty when we arrived and less than half full while we were awaiting our main course. And since the dining room has little ambiance, there's not much in the way of attractive surroundings that you can enjoy while you await the food.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2016

This is our go-to spot for special occasions. Food is wonderful and you always get a little amuse-bouche. This time we went for Valentine's Day and they did a great job keeping their seatings moving without making us feel rushed. Really love this place.

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2016

We splurged a bit and really enjoyed the tasting menu which extended the dinner out nicely and ended with profiteroles. Meal started after a little wait, but not a concern as the bar is a nice hang out area. Had a bit later reservation (8:30pm) so the restaurant crowd thinned out at the end and allowed Chef Francesco to mingle and we enjoyed our chat with him!

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3.0Dined on February 6, 2016

Food is good but NYC expensive on Bloomfield Avenue. Would be a regular but cant justify the cost.

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5.0Dined on February 5, 2016

Outstanding staff! They all were professional and knowledgeable. The amuse-bouche, savory bread pudding, was delightful and set the tone for an amazing meal to come. The brussel sprouts side dish was delicious!

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3.0Dined on January 16, 2016

Heard some much good about this restaurant, we found it noisy, limited menu, and not a comfortable ambiance, not sure why!

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5.0Dined on January 15, 2016

if your looking for the best steak in new jersey search no more!!! Orange squirrel is the place

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2015

My husband and I came here on NYE on a whim... I had previously stumbled across it and had been meaning to try based on the interesting menu/seasonal focus. It was a prix fixe menu and since it was NYE I wasn't expecting what we got! All courses were executed beautifully. Fettuccine Alfredo with duck confit was perfectly al dente and full of delicious cheesy flavor. Mushrooms tempura were a surprisingly delicious and addictive treat. the roasted chicken was juicy, with a lovely crisp skin and tasty au jus and the polenta was creamy and nutty... All so good! Even the greens had clearly come directly from the farm- not the bagged stuff. Dressed perfectly. Dessert was also great! The staff was personal and attentive... A bit of a rush towards the end but I think it's bc they were prepping for the second seating. Overall, great dinner and nice ambience, good staff. Chef/owner took the time to visit our table which was nice. :) Love this spot!!!

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5.0Dined on December 24, 2015

Chef Francesco Palmieri is outstanding! I have been hearing about The Orange Squirrel for a long time. My husband and I celebrated Christmas Eve at the restaurant, and we enjoyed the entire experience. Notably, Chef Palmieri is extradinary. He may be the best chef in the entire New York Metropolitan Area. The preparation was exciting, and the meal was delicious. It was on par with a swank Manhattan establishment. It was also a pleasure to meet Chef Palmieri. His culinary talent is complimented by his professional and personable demeanor. I highly recommend The Orange Squirrel.

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5.0Dined on December 21, 2015

One of the most inventive and singular restaurants in Essex County. Don't miss it.

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2.0Dined on November 20, 2015

Reviews were extremely mis leading. I Found food to be over priced and not the high calibre which many reviews had stated.

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1.0Dined on November 20, 2015

Appetizer took 20 min to show up when restaurant was empty. It was good when it finally came but service, bar and room thumbs down

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3.0Dined on November 14, 2015

Our waiter got one of the orders wrong. Never apologized and seemed angry at us for his mistake. The owner is lovely and gave us the dish at no charge but we were very disappointed.

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2.0Dined on November 7, 2015

They ran out of food that was on menu and we were one of few tables there at night. Desserts were delicious if they could remember to serve you then. Most dishes were over salted or not cooked properly. I had been there prior and was surprised that these issues were relevant since my memory of the restaurant was better than tonight. I will unfortunately not be returning.

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5.0Dined on November 7, 2015

We were so pleasantly surprised with our overall dining experience! The food was elegant and delicious. We haven't experienced a restaurant with such quality, interesting, tasty dishes in that area in a long time. Although we don't live locally, we will absolutely go back and recommend this restaurant to anyone seeking something delightlfully different. Yum!

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3.0Dined on October 31, 2015

I went to this restaurant based on 2 recommendations as well as the reviews and notoriety of the chefs. I would like to think it was simply an off night as the some dishes were over seasoned and others under seasoned. The drink service was a little slow. I would give them a second chance based off the potential i believe the restaurant has.

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