Two new dining venues open at Lantern Hill

Bistro 1720 and The Crown wine bar expand dining options

Created date

September 27th, 2019

Two new dining venues open at Lantern Hill

This October, Lantern Hill’s sixth residence building, Bell Pavilion, opens its doors and welcomes its first residents. But that’s not all. Along with 167 brand-new apartment homes, Bell Pavilion also opens Bistro 1720 and The Crown bar, just two of many amenities Bell Pavilion adds to the campus focused on active, maintenance-free living.

On October 18, New Providence Mayor Al Morgan and several special guests will attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the restaurant and bar, which will be open for dinner to all Lantern Hill residents and their guests three days a week. 

Modern take on comfort classics

The Bistro 1720 menu, curated by Executive Chef Justin Pearsall and Dining Services Director Jason Fernandi, puts a modern take on American and Italian classics sure to please any palette. 

The grilled meatloaf—a blend of veal, pork, and beef—grilled over an open flame and topped with crispy onions served over chive mashed potatoes is a fresh take on comfort food. 

The pan-seared scallops are mouthwateringly tender and served over a wild mushroom and asparagus risotto. The accompanying orange balsamic glaze delights the taste buds. 

Lasagna, osso bucco, ribeye, and a lightly seasoned and grilled New York sirloin are hearty options, while lighter fare includes shrimp tacos and ponzu salmon. Sandwich options like roasted turkey, grilled meatloaf, and an Italian sub served with fresh arugula on an herb focaccia continue the theme of modernized classics. 

“I wanted to put a modern take on familiar foods so they seem high-end while remaining nostalgic,” Pearsall says. “Because we’re located just outside of New York City, our residents expect a creative dining experience to suit a variety of tastes and preferences.” 

Fresh and seasonal

It’s important to note that the menu items listed here come from a sample menu. The real Bistro 1720 menu changes with the season in order to put freshness first. This is part of Lantern Hill’s Signature Dining program promise, which embraces fresh, made-to-order, resident-focused menu offerings, executed at the moment of service to deliver an exceptional dining experience. 

“Signature Dining empowers our chefs to cook with more creativity and meet special dietary needs or requests of our residents,” Fernandi says.

Resident dining committee chairman and former Scotch Plains Mayor Gabe Spera says the dining experience at Lantern Hill meets or exceeds expectations. “We have quality food, quality chefs, well-trained servers, and a varied menu,” Gabe says.

Marianne Herrigel couldn’t agree more, but to her, there’s an added benefit. After 65 years of marriage and meal planning, she welcomes the opportunity to choose when she makes dinner or eats out. 

“It’s delightful, really, to be out during the day doing things that we want to do,” she says. “And although I love to cook, it’s nice to not have to cook if I don’t want to. I have a nice kitchen where I can do anything that I want to do. Or I can pop into the apartment at 5 p.m. and say, ‘Let’s go down and get dinner tonight.’” 

When she and her husband Glenn moved to Lantern Hill in July 2016, they could choose from two on-campus restaurants.

Now, with the addition of Bell Pavilion, Bistro 1720, and The Crown, they have a choice of five unique venues, whether they want breakfast, lunch, supper, or a pre-dinner cocktail.

Residents can also easily find menus and nutrition information at their fingertips using the My Erickson app for smartphones and tablets. 

“They’ve made significant improvements, and the food is very good,” Marianne says.

What’s in a name?

Like Bell Pavilion itself, named for Bell Labs across the street, Bistro 1720 and The Crown have a story behind their names. 

Bistro 1720 pays homage to the year New Providence was first settled by a Puritan colony. According to the town website, “In 1759, a crowded church balcony collapsed. It was considered a miracle that no one was seriously injured in the disaster. The miracle was soon referred to as a divine act of ‘providence.’ The small town thereafter became known as ‘New Providence’ and included present-day Summit and Berkeley Heights.”

The Crown’s name refers to Bell Labs' nickname as “The Crown Jewel”—arguably the leading research organization in information technology and communications.

Let’s eat at Lantern Hill

The New Providence retirement community features three distinctive dining venues and two wine bars for its residents and their guests. 

Chef’s Table offers a casual atmosphere and pub-style menu in Union Square.

Tall Oaks Restaurant and Embers Wine Bar offer a combination of banquet, table, and counter seating in a more formal, upscale dining venue located in Union Square. 

Bistro 1720 and The Crown bar offer casual fine dining 4:30 p.m.–8 p.m. three days a week in Bell Pavilion.

—Julia Collins