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“Mediocre experience” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Equus Tavern - CLOSED

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Equus Tavern
1 Mill Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924
9087663737
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Price range: $40 - $60
Cuisines: Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Mount Airy Road
Whitehouse Station
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Mediocre experience”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2012

We have tried Equus several times. The place looks fabulous. But we found the food to be unremarkable. The waiting staff is not exactly motivated as last time they dropped 2 things near our table. One of us ordered the scallops and a big plate came out with 5 small scallops without any vegetable, rice, potato. My male adult companion was not happy with that. The "Duck confit papardelli" tasted great (I love mushrooms) but the chef must have run out of duck : I put on my reading glasses and found 1 thin shred of duck in it, 1/2 inch long? We do not like to eat big portions, but the amount of food on our plates was very minimalistic. The bill is not minimalistic, it is always higher than other restaurants in the area. Also the menu is disappointing : many dishes come with cheese on top and 1/3 third of the entrees includes beef. Please skip the cheese and butter and red meat and offer healthy choices and serve some vegetables with the entrees!

  • Visited January 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    3
    1
    3
    1
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hilton Head Island
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Attractive restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

Up-scale restaurant with nice bar and attractive, high-ceiling, stone-walled dining room. Varied menu with good food, service and wine list.

Visited January 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough & Villas NJ
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Outstanding Dining Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

Visited the Equus Tavern with my wife and two sons on the occasion of my son's birthday. Didn't know what to expect from a restaurant with a "Tavern" designation but it turned out to be an upscale restaurant with a tavern attached. It was constructed around a historic 1700's old stone inn. The decor is beautifully done, the waiter service was courteous/competant and the chef serves up some of the most creative and tasty cuisine in this area. Main dinner selections run in the $26-$29 range; not cheap but certainly not expensive.
Having had dinner there I can honestly say that this restaurant is nothing short of excellent and we will add it to our favorites list.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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NewJersey
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Horrible - Slow Service - Rude Chef”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2011

A group of us (10) went there Sunday for Brunch. I couldn't believe how slow the service was. It took them a good 20 minutes to give us the menu, I had to ask for them. Ordering the food took forever, we had a couple of request and the server had to keep going to the kitchen to see if they could switch up a couple of items. The chef wanted no part of that. The food is very mediocre, I noticed that outside of our group there was only one other occupied table in the place that day and we were there for 2-1/2 hours. Don't waste your time here. I don't see this place staying in business much longer. I will say that it is pretty inside that is why I gave it one star.

  • Visited September 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
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Near New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Three strikes, you're out.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

Equus is a local restaurant and we were so pleased to see the quality of the extensive renovation completed a few years ago that brought lovely character to the old building and our town center. Sadly, our pleasure ends there. We've been to the restaurant three times and been disappointed to different degrees each time. The first experience was shortly after it reopened a few years ago. We found the acoustics in the dining room very difficult. I don't recall our reaction to the food at the time because the service was so terrible. Who needs waitstaff with attitude in a location like this? We were irritated by the dismissive tone of both the host and the captain. But we were angered by the captain's response to the young boy in our group who asked for plain pasta with butter. First he didn't want to place the order since it wasn't on the menu. And when it was finally grudgingly served, we found a spiral of metal from a scrubbing pad in it. The captain's reaction was "It happens. At least you know the pot was clean." We left and didn't return for a few years.

Last summer my husband and I decided to try again. A new chef had taken over the kitchen and we had hopes that the overall experience would be better. We stopped for a light meal following an evening movie. This time the staff was more gracious. At our request, we were shown to a table in the bar where we thought it would be quieter. It was. It was so quiet, we couldn't drum up table service. When the server finally came, she was perfectly pleasant, but she was slow to bring our drinks and slower to bring our meals. Again, we found the food acceptable, if unremarkable. And, again, we left feeling disappointed.

Finally, we went a third time, coincidentally with the friends who were with us the first time. We asked to sit in the bar again and our request was accommodated. And then again, we waited for nearly ten minutes before a server came to the table only after we summoned her to take our drinks order. Another long wait. Then, two cocktails were served while two of us waited for wine. And waited. When it finally came and we all took our first sips, it was clear that the scotch that was ordered was not what was served. But there was no server to be found. We decided to let it go, expecting dinner service soon. And we waited again. After calling again to the staff, a different waiter took our order. Amusingly, he confided in us that he is working with the management to improve the front of house. This didn't inspire confidence. More delays in spite of the knots of servers hanging out in one corner of the bar. When our first courses were served, the wedge salad we asked to share was served on one plate with the explanation that "the chef didn't want to cut it and ruin the presentation." Presentation? Really? It's a wedge of iceberg lettuce--who are they kidding? We were handed a too small bread plate and left to cut it ourselves. The Caesar salad was served without romaine and without Caesar dressing. I don't know what this makes it. Otherwise, our meals from the simpler tavern menu were reasonably well cooked, if unremarkable. Portions were modest in size but adequate. Pricing was on the high side of average for this area.

It's a shame that after all the effort that went into renovating this historic site that more attention is not given to designing a manageable menu for the kitchen to prepare and training staff to serve it properly.

Sorry, Equus, but three strikes, you're out.

  • Visited September 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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