Food & Drink

Enjoy The Laurel in Maplewood

January 21, 2013 at 7:09 AM

The Laurel Proprietor Lauren Dwyer has always enjoyed cooking. Inspired by her father, Dennis Dwyer, an executive chef, and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, the father-daughter duo opened The Laurel on May 3, 2012.

“My dad and I really care about food, and love to cook,” said the twenty-something chef. “He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and worked at The Sign of the Dove in New York City. He also served as head chef in many other restaurants.”

"We knew we found our future home, when we discovered our current Maplewood Avenue location,” she continued. “Our goal is to serve healthy, delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

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“Lots of effort goes into all that we do,” adds the young proprietor. “We grind and trim our own meat. We make our own ketchup. We do not fry our food on a 'community' grill.  Each order is prepared in its own frying pan. We take pride in each and every meal that we serve.”

Enthusiastic about all the dishes on the menu, Lauren Dwyer chats about her fresh Balthazar bread, her delicious burgers, and lovely breakfast menu.

“My father always inspired me,” she said. “The two of us prepared the meals in our home, and cook for my mom.”

The Winter Breakfast Menu features Skillet Baked Eggs, ($8). Guests are encouraged to add any two of the featured side dishes that include: Goat Cheese, Smoked Gouda, Cheddar, Feta, House-Cured ham, Hardwood Smoked Bacon, House-Made Sausage, Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Potatoes, Mushrooms, and Spinach; Two Eggs, Scrambled, Fried, Sunnyside or Over Easy, with Roasted Bliss Potatoes and Toast, ($6); Broiled Grapefruit, Raw Sugar and Mint, or Brown Sugar, Ginger, Cinnamon & Cardamom, ($3.50); Banana Pancakes, Honey Butter, New York Maple Syrup, ($8); Steelcut Oatmeal, Fruit Compote, Bananas and Walnuts, and House Made Granola, Almonds, Dried Cherries, Honey or Greek Yogurt, ($7). A selection of breakfast sides include: Biscuit with Jam, ($2.50); Toast with Butter and Jam,($2); Bacon or Sausage, ($3.50).

Lunch features a selection of soups and salads like Butter Lettuce with Beets, Grapefruit, Blu Cheese, Pistachios, and Herbs De Provence Vinaigrette, $11); Kale with Smoked Gouda, Almonds, Apples, and Garlic Yogurt Dressing, and Frisee, with Bacon, Lardons, Sunnyside Eggs, Mustard and Vinaigrette, ($12). Guests are welcome to add Chicken Salad, Turkey, Ham and Roast Beef,($3 each).

Sandwiches? Try the Slow Roasted Tomato and Eggplant, with Onions and Feta on Multigrain Bread, ($9), and their famous Veggie Burger with house mesclun salad, $13).

Dinner features all you’d like for a brisk winter's evening. Soup, Salads, Chicken Pot Pie, Vegetarian Stew, Baby Back Ribs, The Burger with Short Rib, Brisket, Secret Sauce, Laurel pickles, and all the trimmings.

Desserts are simple: House-Made Strawberry Shortcake, ($5), Lemon Curd and Lavender Gelato, ($6), and Butter Molasses Gelato, with chocolate covered maple candied bacon, ($6).

You'll enjoy The Laurel. You’ll like chatting with other guests, who like you...are there for a really pleasant dining experience.

What: The Laurel, 175 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood, New Jersey
Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday. 8  a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
FYI: Casual-friendly atmosphere. Does not accept reservations. Major credit cards accepted. Kid friendly. BYO. Wheelchair accessible. Yes you may call for take-out and off-premise catering. Street and parking lot parking.  
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Millicent K. Brody is an award-winning writer and photographer and a resident of Westfield, New Jersey.  Contact her at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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