Comfort food and upscale eats
Gaslight unveils new menu on west side of town
by Caren Matzner
Reporter Editor
Jun 27, 2010 | 3132 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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For many years, the Gaslight restaurant served elegant Italian dishes at Fourth and Adams street on the west side of town, with a bar area up front and two quieter rooms in back. Two years ago, the owners of the well-known Brass Rail restaurant on Washington Street bought Gaslight and added more variety to the menu. Now they are unveiling some new, unique changes.

Gaslight is still considered by them to be a less upscale eatery than Brass Rail, but it has some unique items of its own and shares the Brass Rail’s attention to savory combinations.

Young chef Jon DaRocha has whipped up some unusual dishes, under the guidance of Brass Rail chef Douglas Gough.
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The crab and watermelon salad is light and perfect for summer.
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On a recent Friday evening, we were seated in the newly remodeled back room, a spacious area with art posters and a skylight. DaRocha was eager to show off his new creations, and the restaurant was about to start a tapas menu on weekends as well.

Appetizer

We were first served special rolls with a sort of strawberry butter. I am always happy when a restaurant helps stave off your appetite early.

What we ate next was probably something everyone should try this summer if they eat out in Hoboken: A crab and watermelon salad. Like some of the new dishes, it has been tried out as a special and was well received by patrons.

The portion was ample and it was a very good light summer dish – the crab was fresh and complimented by the chopped watermelon. It actually reminded me of a lobster salad I had at New York’s famous Nobu – only, at Gaslight, you won’t have to cross the river and shell out $30 (it was well worth the $10).

We also enjoyed our pork empanadas ($8). Other items on the tapas menu, bar menu, and appetizer menu include ham and swiss croquettes, fried manchego and apples, shrimp and kalamata olive skewers, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and quesadillas.

Entrees

We sampled two popular entrees – blueberry barbecue salmon ($16), and a traditional comfort food item: turkey meatloaf ($15). Both came with interesting sides, as well.

My husband, a seafood fan who can be picky about unusual preparations, was nonetheless pleased with the blueberry barbecue salmon. Just like across town at the Brass Rail, this Gaslight meal combined the sweet with the tangy. The thick blueberry barbecue sauce was the perfect smoky topping for the tender seafood. It also came with smoked bacon hush puppies and roasted asparagus (which was buttery and delicious.)

I’m not a big meatloaf fan in general, but if it’s cooked like this, I’m all for it. It was tender and spicy, with an amazing side dish of “crawfish creamed corn.” I like both crawfish and corn, so I enjoyed the creamy combination. It can be ordered (along with most of the restaurant’s other sides) as a side dish to another entrée, as well. Red bliss potatoes also came with the entrée.

Dessert

The menu lists a host of desserts, including the chocolate volcano cake that is a popular holdover from the old menu . We went for something that was sweet and tart and out of this world: Key lime bars with a side of pineapple granita, or shaved pineapple ice. The key lime was sharp and tangy, probably a 10 on the 1-10 sweetness scale, with a contrast of tasty crust and icy pineapple to cool my palate.

Other features

The restaurant offers brunch on weekends (from eggs benedict with crab meat to crème brulee French toast to burgers).

They also hold special events and tastings.

The wine list is extensive, complementing their array of cocktails, including “Key lime pie” and “spicy ‘Rita.”

Gaslight is located at 400 Adams St. the corner of Fourth and Adams streets. Check out their website at www.gaslightnj.com or call (201) 217-1400.

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