French Country Inn Restaurant – The Silver Spring Farm French Restaurant in Flanders, New Jersey
Recently, the movie “Julie and Julia” has debuted on silver screens across the country and has rekindled our passion for exceptional cuisine in many of us. As Julie and Julia from the film explore the wildly challenging tasks of mastering French cuisine at home, my wife Fran and I reignited our taste buds for the equally satisfying pleasures of dining at an excellent French restaurant.
But where to go?
Living 48 minutes from Midtown Manhattan and its seemingly endless inventory of fine French restaurants, bistros, and cafes definitely has its perks; but this time we decided to point our GPS to the west to see if we could discover a more “country inn” type of establishment to cover the bill.
We recognize that our Garmin Novi GPS It is actually a wonderful electronic Ouija board. We touch the screen, we ask a question:
“Hermione, (that’s what we call our GPS because he speaks with a British accent), is there a good French inn half a tank of gas west of our house here in Maplewood, NJ?”
“Re-calculating … at the bottom of the driveway, turn left.”
And in an instant [well, more like 45 minutes]We arrived in Flanders, NJ and the Silver Spring Farm French restaurant. This charming inn is conveniently located off Route 80, near Budd Lake and Mount Olive Village.
Arriving an hour before our 5:00 pm reservations, we were, however, greeted by the “Grand Lady” of the inn, Jacqueline Ivaldi. Standing in perfect posture at the reservation station, she smiled and said, “Welcome! Welcome to Silver Spring Farm.”
“Thanks, we got there an hour early and wondered if we could get an early seat.”
Feigning seriousness, he actually returned to an empty dining room, looked around, and then returned to the station. “Yeah, you’re in luck,” he said, “We can squeeze you.”
We all laughed a lot and knew immediately that we had made the right decision to visit Jacqueline, her husband, chef Guy Ivaldi, and their son Jean-Jacques (who was trained at the renowned hotel school in Lausanne, Switzerland). The French restaurant at Silver Spring Farm since the early 1940s. Here, refugees from a devastated France after World War II could leave their strange and unfamiliar surroundings of New York City and “vacation” not far away. from the city for a weekend or sometimes more with friendliness, bonhomie and, of course, incomparable French cuisine.
Silver Spring Farm has a website, so I won’t waste time here listing their unique and distinguished menu here. However, I will give two tips. First, go hungry. The portions are generous and irresistible; and believe me; you don’t want to find yourself full before dessert. Second, ask about off-menu specials. I sampled chicken, beef, and lamb in three different sauces that I can re-experience days later just by closing my eyes and touching the roof of my mouth with the tip of my tongue, yum.