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A Grand Experience

The bold tastes of fine cuisine

Created date

November 24th, 2015
Chef Shamus Hill
Chef Shamus Hill

Mission fig wrapped in Serrano ham with balsamic gastrique, roasted pumpkin tart with baby spinach and gorgonzola, and the piece-de-resistance: seared moulard duck breast with drunken mission fig jam. 

Tastes like fall. 

Fine dining, at home

That’s exactly what Chef Shamus Hill wanted to accomplish with his fall Grand Cuisine wine dinner menu of gourmet New American flavors. He paired each of the six courses with select American regional reserve wines and port for an evening to be remembered. 

“It was nicely attended, and we got rants and raves from everyone who did,” says Edward Wang, director of dining at Crest, the Erickson Living community in Pompton Plains, N.J., that hosted the event.

Attendees dined on roasted squash and crab bisque served in petite pumpkin gourds and finished with fresh garden herbs, smoky pancetta, and chai-spiced crema while Frank Sinatra crooned in the background.

Wang and his chefs plan the upscale dining events to “take residents to a different plane of fine dining that they receive here on a daily basis,” Wang says. 

They held monthly lobster dinners from spring to early fall. Each event sold out, hosting about 50 people to rave reviews. 

“Moving forward, we’re thinking about offering a surf and turf,” Wang says.

He says the best part about the Grand Cuisine events is that residents need not travel far from home to experience upscale cuisine and service. 

“Our servers dress in black tie, and it’s an overall finer experience than everyday dining,” he says.

Traveling Grand Cuisine

For those who do want to experience local fine dining, Wang and his team design traveling Grand Cuisine events to upscale area restaurants.

“It’s a great program because we can support our local restaurants,” he says.

They have dined at Lunello in Montville, Sangiorgio’s Italian Bistro in Kinnelon, Blossom Asian Bistro in Mt. Arlington, Rosemary and Sage in Riverdale, and Smoke Rise Inn in Kinnelon.

“What’s fun now is that residents are coming to me with suggestions, so it’s becoming a great event that people really look forward to,” Wang says.