Monday, July 19, 2010

Restaurant Review: Halycon

I realized I never posted a review of Halcyon, a seafood restaurant in Montclair that L, J and I ate at last month. I was very excited to be eating here, since I harbor a simmering distrust of seafood in the desert, given that it has to be flown or, worse, trucked, in from somewhere else, so I was really looking forward to being near sources of water and seafood you could trust to really be fresh.

It was delicious! We were there on a Wednesday, and the place was not crowded, but L and J have been there on weekends when it has been packed (jazz combo in the upstairs lounge). I can understand why it would be, since the food was fantastic. We started out with the lobster 'cigars' and the mini crab cakes. These were the best crab cakes I've ever tasted--I wished they weren't mini!  And no grumbling that you don't like lobster, Big Sis; try this and you will. Outstanding. I'd be seriously tempted to just eat several orders of each of these and head on straight to dessert.

For dinner, I had the snapper (one of my favorite fishes), J had the giant prawns (and boy, were they big) and L had the swordfish. Again, each dish was outstanding, although I liked the swordfish better, and L liked my snapper better, so go figure. I thought the swordfish was just so succulent, the marinade or herbs or whatever it was cooked in so flavorful that it beat the snapper, which was very good, hands down. Two delicious bottles of a riesling were the perfect accompaniment (sweet, but not cloying, and wet enough that you wanted to just down your glass and have another like it was iced tea).

And of course, there were desserts. J, like me, always checks out the dessert menu first, so that you can order your entree accordingly. Why waste room on a veg that might be better filled by a fantastic sweet? L had the berries and cream (that's almost a health food in my book and not really a dessert), J had the chocolate mousse cake (delicious) and I had the bread pudding (outstanding). Three words: to die for.

Yea, pricey, but if you have anniversary or a special evening planned, Halcyon might be the ticket for you (especially if you and Mr. Special like sea food). I'm not sure if it was slow because it was a weeknight (because there couldn't be another explanation, given the quality of the food), but no one tried to hurry us at all. The decor is urban metro, elegant, but the waitress was very friendly and accommodating (we had to wait quite some time for L to come from the hospital), and none of that uber-metro snobbiness that can make me feel very uncomfortable in other restaurants.

Not into seafood? It's worth a trip for coffee and dessert. And the bathroom was nice, too.


  1. I don't grumble. I simply have had lobster 10 times and 10 times it's sucked. So I have learned my lesson the hard way: I will never order lobster. IF, however, someone else does and I taste it and it tastes good, well then, AWESOME! I will be the 1st to say it was good. But you'll never catch me ordering it again.
    And Mr. Special is not a seafood person so we will most likely not be visiting said establishment...

  2. Well, there are a few meat dishes on the menu. He could eat meat or even a salad while you eat seafood. It wouldn't kill him. Although the prices would probably give him a heart attack...

    Restaurants have such a hard go of it, I hate the thought of losing another. Do we really need another Red Lobster, when you could eat here instead?