March 12, 2014 at 4:48 PM
BASKING RIDGE, NJ - In the past two years, the partners of the locally owned Delicious Heights have built themselves a culinary empire expanding to Bedminster and most recently opening Delicious Heights OUTPOST in Basking Ridge at the Basking Ridge Country Club.
Twelve years in business, Delicious Heights has gone from a deli catering storefront, thriving on take-out, to opening a premiere dining and multi-generational local hang-out in Berkeley Heights in 2007. The menu offers a great selection of seafood, steaks and signature salad choices, as well as burgers, sandwiches and soups created by the Chef Owners.
The partners had expanded Delicious Heights to Bedminster two years ago, revamping the historic Willie's Tavern -- and now, they opened a third location in Basking Ridge at the Basking Ridge Country Club.
"This opportunity came to us. We looked at a lot of places, this is an extraordinary value," said partner Alex Rubinstein of the lease agreement with Basking Ridge Country Club.
Rubinstein said, "We run all food and beverage at the club." This includes running Basking Ridge Catering and the full service banquet rooms that can hold over 400 guests.
Rubinstein and his partners Ralph Aquaviva and Dominic Aquaviva opened Delicious Heights OUTPOST within weeks of taking over the lease in November 2013. They updated the restaurant to match the style and decor of their existing two restaurants. However, Delicious Heights OUTPOST, with their panoramic windows, is much brighter. "The view from the restaurant is breathtaking," said Rubinstein.
Rubinstein told The Alternative Press that he expects to add live music on weekends on the patio that overlooks the scenic rolling hills of the Basking Ridge Country Club golf course. The restaurant will make certain that noise will not upset their neighbors, abiding to local ordinances.
The banquet facility underwent a facelift as well, including paint, carpeting, window treatments, light fixtures, tables and chairs along with extensive kitchen upgrades. They installed LED lighting that can adapt to color schemes for wedding and bar/bat mitzvah packages with wireless state of the art audio and video equipment.
"My partners have a tremendous amount of experience with catering in Manhattan," said Rubinstein. "When it comes to large parties, they have expertise in producing large amounts -- it's a skill in itself. It's about organization, it's being able to portion control everything."
Rubinstein's manager, Wally Espinosa, has worked alongside the partners for six years. Prior to coming to Delicious Heights, Espinosa worked for eight years in banquets at The Short Hills Hilton.
The camaraderie of the team works. "Wally comes from the same school, he knows just by looking at me," said Rubinstein. "We cover all the bases between the four of us. We know how to work together. We get along -- you get through the thick of it and there's a rainbow on the other side," said Rubinstein.
The partners kept the entire banquet team from the previous management at Basking Ridge Catering. "Regulars know the banquet team by name," said Rubinstein.
"Our kitchen line is experienced, the line is like a machine. The years of experience just makes us better," said Rubinstein.
On future expansion -- "I think we're done -- we said we were done after Bedminster," joked Rubinstein.
Delicious Heights OUTPOST is open seven days a week, located at 185 Madisonville Road, Basking Ridge. Call (908)953-8092 for information.