Home Food + DrinkBars Halcyon Brasserie: Upscale Seafood + Cocktails in Montclair

Halcyon Brasserie: Upscale Seafood + Cocktails in Montclair

by Skye McDonald
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No need to trek into NYC for upscale dining when Montclair is bursting with hot spots like Halcyon Brasserie located at 114 Walnut Street. This popular restaurant is a go-to for seafood, creative cocktails, and a killer brunch. This neighborhood spot is comfortable and welcoming for a regular weeknight or a celebratory night out. The Montclair Girl readers even voted it Best Seafood in Montclair in 2021. Read to learn more about Halcyon in Montclair. 

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

Origin Story

Halcyon has been in business since 2008. In 2016, Ileana Pervizi-Diebold and Marshall Diebold bought the restaurant from their current employers and took over as owners. They have run it ever since.

It’s clear that the Diebolds goal is to create a fine dining experience in the heart of Montclair, beginning with the atmosphere. The dining room is cozy-chic with warm hardwood floors, white tile, and vines and greenery sectioning off the bar from the rest of the tables. Attire among diners varies, but this is a place to go when you want to get a little fancy without feeling too stuffy. 

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

Outdoor seating is available as well, with an open space in the back that insulates customers from the traffic on Walnut Street. A tent with warm lighting houses patio tables that continue the cool vibe. In or out, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. 

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Apps + Drinks

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

Wine and beer selections at Halcyon are respectable, but it is best to start with a cocktail. Halcyon Days is the signature and headliner, but My Kind of Detox is an excellent pick for a refreshing, not-too-sweet libation. Cucumber, lemon, and ginger are perfectly balanced to make you think you really are detoxing — if not for the botanical gin giving it a fun kick.

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

The Rose Water Gimlet, made with vodka, St. Germain, tonic water, grapefruit, and rosewater, is a pretty-in-pink choice as well. If you’re in the mood for something straight up, Halcyon boasts a diverse array of top-shelf tequila. 

Dinner + Dessert

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

Dinner starts with the raw bar or sushi bar. Halcyon is known for the raw bar, especially the colossal shrimp and oysters. Hand-rolled sushi is another trademark. 

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

If you have an appetite or party large enough, choose something from the raw bar, the sushi menu, and also the appetizers. Grilled oysters are another signature — as are Moules Frites. The spicy edamame puts a fun twist on a traditional snack, and the nightly special flatbreads keep things fresh and interesting. 

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Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

Halcyon does a filet mignon right, according to a steak fan familiar with many of the top steakhouses in NYC. But the real shout-out in the main courses is the paella. When you have gone to Mallorca, Spain, and had true Spanish paella like this author has, it’s hard to find paella that satisfies quite as well. Halcyon’s paella is the real thing. The rice, seafood, and chorizo marry in a savory, delectable dish that tastes just as good, if not better, the next day as lunch leftovers. It is a true flavor explosion. 

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

There are only two staple desserts at Halcyon, but the flourless chocolate cake or the warm apple crisp will satisfy a sweet tooth if there’s any room at the end of such a feast. The menu stays fresh, however, with offerings such as gelato and other seasonal specialties. Coffee and cappuccino, plus a selection of tea, all make a perfect end-cap for your evening. 

Tacos + Brunch

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

Alliteration aside, Halcyon boasts a serious Taco Tuesday, or tacos on any other day, for that matter. Filet mignon and fresh catch tacos are the specialties, but the sushi bar creates tuna tartare tacos. Whatever you try, pair them with tequila or beer for a summer feast!

Halcyon

(Photo credit: @halcyonmontclair)

Brunch aficionados flock to Halcyon. Many of the hits from the dinner menu make an appearance on weekend mornings alongside brunch classics like eggs benedict and French toast. The raw bar is open and the cocktails flow perhaps too easily at times, making Halcyon a perfect way to relax on the weekends.

Halcyon is located adjacent to the Montclair Brewery and just around the corner from Rabble Rise Doughnuts. Parking is streetside. If you’re looking for fine dining at home, Halcyon has a takeout menu available on DoorDash. 

Reservations are recommended at Halcyon. For large parties or private events, contact them via the website about booking the upstairs lounge. Learn more about Halcyon on its website, Facebook, or Instagram.

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