I’ve been meaning to check out Thirty Acres for a while. Kevin Pemoulie (formerly of Momofuku Noodle Bar) and his wife, Alex, successfully raised over 18K on Kickstarter to fund their first restaurant, and they have gained quite the cult following since opening last year. They picked up a nod from the 2013 James Beard Awards for Best New Restaurant, though they lost to State Bird Provisions (which you can read about here). After reading reviews that warned of reservation troubles and lackluster service, I decided that going early would be the best option. So my long time foodie friend, Melissa, joined me at 6PM to test out the food.
Branzino- lobster sauce, miso, brown butter
The menu is small and frequently changes, so Melissa and I decided to order something from each section and share. First course from the raw menu was slices of branzino with lobster sauce, miso, and brown butter. Though over-salted, (didn’t bother Melissa) I still enjoyed the dish.
Grilled Sweetbreads- volcano sauce, asian pear, miner’s lettuce
I’m addicted to sweetbreads and these did not disappoint. Buttery and rich, these sweetbreads were cooked perfectly. The volcano sauce definitely packed a punch and complimented the sweetness of the asian pear, which cut through the richness of the meat nicely.
Gnocchi- mushrooms, fiddleheads, shaved stravecchio
Let’s talk about these gnocchi for a minute. I don’t really know how to express how happy these gorgeous little pillows of potato happiness make me. Pasta is home to me and this dish (despite my not-so-loving relationship with mushrooms) wowed me. Light puffs of silky, creamy yumminess… I could fall asleep on these gnocchi.
Chicken: smoked breast, ground sausage, fermented ramps, carrots.
While the smoked chicken breast was lovely and moist, the combination of over-salted sauce and over-salted sausage left me frustrated. The fermented ramps and carrots couldn’t shine through the salt, so overall, I wouldn’t order it again. I’d rather have more pasta.
Would I go back to Thirty Acres? Absolutely. The menu is fresh and bold, and despite my salt frustrations, I’d still go back to try more dishes. I didn’t have any issues with the service or the reservations, but I did go on a Monday at 6PM. So take that into consideration if you head over to Thirty Acres for dinner (or brunch).
500 Jersey Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07302
P.S. Thirty Acres just got their liquor license and will begin with beer & wine on May 28th.