As the winter chill is starting to hit the air and families gather for the holidays, a night out for a warm meal is a must. Hungry Montclair residents can look no further than Allegory Restaurant, located inside The MC Hotel at 690 Bloomfield Avenue. The restaurant is known for delicious appetizers and twists on traditional Mediterranean dishes; not to mention it’s also home to the only rooftop bar in town, Alto, which features signature cocktails, small bites, and a stunning view of the New York City skyline. Read on to learn more about the restaurant’s newly hired chef and relive the five-course experience MG got the scoop on.
Allegory Restaurant’s New Chef
Stephen Copeland was announced as the new executive chef for Allegory in November. He brings his extensive line of experience from working with Michelin-starred chefs and at high-end hotels in Gramercy Park and Fifth Ave to his recent venture as executive chef at Maplewood Country Club. “I am honored to bring my experience to The MC Hotel,” said Chef Copeland via a press release. “I am committed to delivering exceptional dining experiences, including the culinary marvels that I hold closest to my heart. I look forward to offering our guests a unique adventure that truly transforms our restaurant.” Chef Copeland hopes to bring one-of-a-kind mixology classes to the hotel in the future.
Photo Credit: The MC Hotel
Chef Copeland is ready to elevate the menu into a coastal cuisine adventure for all guests to enjoy with family, on a date night, or while catching up with old college friends (which we will definitely get to later). “Chef Copeland’s culinary artistry beautifully marries local flavors and regional ingredients with the allure of international Mediterranean taste,” said Ryan Schneider, the general manager at Aparium Hotel Group, which manages The MC Hotel Autograph Collection. “His creations will transport our guests on a culinary voyage that celebrates the best of both worlds, promising a truly extraordinary dining experience,” he continued.
A Culinary Journey
Photo Credit: David Pelle
The restaurant serves breakfast, brunch (with jazz brunches on Saturdays), lunch, dinner, and bar menus for hotel guests and local visitors alike. As for Allegory’s dinner menu, it’s split into different sections that already make anyone feel as though they’re in for a real treat: first bites, pasta, mains, sides, and desserts. Diners coming for the full-fledged experience or just for apps and desserts can pair the meal with any of its beer, wine, and cocktail selections.
Photo Credit: David Pelle
Upon looking at Allegory’s menu, it seems as though there are too many mouth-watering plates to choose from. To narrow it down, here are some of MG’s favorites: the Salumi + Formaggi (Chef Copeland’s hand-selected charcuterie board featuring meats, cheeses, olives, giardiniera, nuts, house honey, mostarda, + grilled sourdough) is a perfect sweet-and-savory shareable for the table; the Tempura Fried Calamari with pickled cherry peppers, verde aioli, and grilled lemon is as fresh (or dare we say, the freshest) as any other fish on the market; Chef Copeland’s own Pomodoro Braised Short Rib Ragu, which includes riccia long pasta, pepperoncini, and pecorino romano, is a dish that cures a hearty bolognese craving; the Valhrona Chocolate Cake takes a simple dessert to a whole other level; and the Walnut Cheesecake with an apple compote has a light and creamy taste unlike any other. Other incredible dishes include the warm Caesar Salad, Sliced Sirloin with roasted sweet and sour onions over a potato puree, or the Braised Pork Chop Shank with cannellini beans and pancetta. No matter how big or small the order winds up being, it is almost guaranteed to be an unforgettable meal.
Host The “After Party” at the Alto Rooftop
There’s a reason why Alto, the rooftop bar, is a must-visit spot in Montclair. With stunning views of the NYC skyline, the outdoor patio makes for a great night outside. Seasonal drinks like the Hot Apple Cider (Red Jacket Orchards Apple cider, Misunderstood Whiskey, fresh whipped cream, and cinnamon) and cocktail creations such as the Wanna Lackawanna (cognac, pineapple, ginger, and peach bitters) are great to pair with cold snacks and barside pizzas. Chef Copeland hopes to add his own creations to the food menu in the form of more cold and warm bites as well as sweets for visitors to enjoy. Fun fact: The MC Hotel has its own beekeeping room and has access to fresh honey year-round!
This impressive and ultimately cozy venue is sure to be your next successful night out, and maybe even a new go-to for friend and family gatherings. The Allegory Restaurant is open for breakfast Monday through Friday from 7:00AM–11:30AM, lunch Monday through Friday from 12PM–3PM, dinner Wednesday through Saturday from 5PM–10PM, and brunch Saturday and Sunday from 7AM–3PM. The Allegory Bar is open every day from 10AM–11PM. The Alto Rooftop is open Wednesday and Thursday from 5PM–12AM, Friday and Saturday from 5PM–1AM, and Sunday from 1PM–9PM. The rooftop is closed Monday and Tuesday.