Plum on Park is one of those places that always comes up in magazines or newspapers when they talk about great gluten free restaurants in NJ. So inevitably there is a lot of hype around this spot. The owner of this restaurant is also responsible for the Plum Bakery (100% gluten free) in Montclair so it goes without saying that they know what they are doing. One thing I must note that has nothing to do with gluten free, is that you should plan to wait to be seated when you arrive. This restaurant has a classic NJ diner vibe but is very small so seating is limited. I was surprised at just how small this place was given how popular it is. Onto the review…
I was very impressed with the food here. It’s the options that really make it attractive to the gluten free eater but the food that comes out is great. I had the classic eggs benedict which was very tasty. The only gripe I had with this dish is that it didn’t come on a gluten free english muffin. Instead the two poached eggs came on just regular gluten free toast. Considering they have an entire gluten free bakery down the street, you would think gluten free english muffins would be standard here for dishes like this.
I also got the classic grilled cheese with bacon and tomato. Oh my how I have missed just a classic grilled cheese on regular toast. And this version from Plum on Park did not disappoint. Every bite was perfectly cheesy and filled with bacon and tomato. The bread they use is 100% homemade with perfect panini grill marks that you won’t find anywhere else.
The menu here is kind of like Friedman’s or Bistango in NYC in that it doesn’t require a separate gluten free menu. The reason being is that anything on the menu can be made gluten free upon request. I have learned to love these menus (as long as the restaurant is reputable with handling gluten free safely) because it makes me feel normal. Going out to eat and feeling normal is a lost luxury with the gluten free lifestyle. But not at Plum on Park.
This is one of those restaurants where safe gluten free food is what they are known for. I find that at those restaurants the wait staff is more reluctant to give you the information you need to feel safe and confident. They instead rely on the restaurants reputation. I had a hard time getting info from my waiter on the kitchen’s gluten free prep practices. Yes, I already knew going into this that the restaurant would be safe because of its’ reputation. But out of habit and necessity, I will ask the wait staff for this information every single time.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
You have nothing to fear at this restaurant. Eat safely and confidently as they use different equipment, kitchen space and separated products for gluten free food. My waiter didn’t give me this information but it is common knowledge. With all that said, I didn’t get sick at all and these would be very risky dishes at many other restaurants.
If you are in the Montclair area of New Jersey then you must visit this place. Don’t mind the waiting time for a table and don’t mind the small diner style of this restaurant. The food is really good, the options are better and they are as safe as can be with gluten free eating.