“Faites comme chez vous”
If you like French food, a cozy yet bustling European atmosphere, and delicious cuisine, then head to Millburn, NJ and try the newest restaurant at 291 Essex Street: Ma Maison Brasserie. Just make sure to call in advance at 973-467-7873 and bring your own wine. The tables are filling up and you may have to wait if you don’t have a reservation.
Owners Franco and Sharon Ammiriti have been delighting local diners down the street at Cafe Luna for the last couple of years. Their fresh and tasty cuisine with a touch of San Remo, Italy where Franco is from, hits the spot in the quaint little store front at the corner of Essex Street and Main Street. Many Millburners remember eating Carvel or Cold Stone ice cream at that location before they opened their restaurant. Today it offers an intimate dining experience and is local favorite for lunch and dinner. One of the best perks (of Cafe Luna) is for pre-theatre meals; it is just a short walk up Old Short Hills Road to PaperMill Playhouse.
Sharon, (pronounced Sharone) who is acting as hostess, while Franco (known as Disciple d’Escoffier, Franco Emilio) is running the kitchen, are a team that understands quality, service and hospitality. Opening a second restaurant just a block away from their first venture, seemed like a natural progression. A few diners who were there on Friday night, were alread back for a second time!
The moment you enter a large map of the city of Paris is there to intrique Francophiles.
In the main dining room with exposed brick walls, cane chairs, big windows and high ceilings that remind you of a European bistro, Edith Piaf is serenading you to set the mood. All the furniture and decor is imported and the menu has many French delicacies that are cooked to order and will tickle your tastebuds with new flavors and spices. Franco’s sister lives in Monaco and ships many unique items from her region, which lend an authenticity to the cuisine.
We started our meal with a bunch of appetizers. The escargot were served in a light tomato broth and once all gone, the remaining broth was perfect with the fresh bread, generally served with extra virgin olive oil. There was not a drop of sauce left, once the snails were devoured.
With lots of parking on the street and in the nearby lots, this new hot spot is sure to be a success.
As they say in France — Bon Appetit!