There's something to be said for simple elegance.
Sure, there is the elegance that comes in big, in posh, in bold. But, sometimes, that elegance gets overpowered by opulance.
At , a little country-styled bakery on Cattano Avenue, the elegance does not need flash. And, more importantly (for this column, especially), the food speaks for itself.
I had heard of The Artist Baker several times from its involvement with local organizations like Grow it Green Morristown. There, it was their treats on display. Being one without much of a sweet tooth, I had not given them much thought. That is, until someone noted they also serve lunch.
Their dining area reminded me of a delicious tea room, though their tea selection is somewhat limited. This is a bakery first and foremost. But, baked goods don't just have to be of the sweet variety, as I soon found out.
Among the lunch items were various quiche, soups and salads. My waitress, a pretty young girl that also was running the register, noted there was one cup left of the day's soup, a curried pumpkin that she said was awesome. However, I had my eyes already focused on another treat: the Chicken Pot Pie.
Growing up, my exposure to pot pie was somewhat limited to what one found in the frozen food section at the supermarket. That is a very unfortunate background. It was not until many years later that I discovered how incredible a delicacy it could be when I enjoyed the fantastic pot pies made by Griggstown Quail Farm down in Franklin Township. That would be the barometer I would use for The Artist Baker's interpretation.
First came my small pot of Irish Breakfast. With a little Sugar in the Raw, it was delightful to just sit there and relax, as the waitress chatted with another employee.
Then arrived my lunch. It was clear, even before my fork broke through the puff pastry encapsulating the dish, that this was going to be good.
And, it was. Could it have had a little more chicken? Maybe. But, what it had in abundance was flavor. From the meat, to the vegetables, the carmelized pearl onions, to the white wine reduction in the sauce, to that sensational pastry top, this was a delicious and filling meal. And, at $10, a relatively inexpensive one for what you get.
Did The Artist Baker's pot pie beat Griggstown Quail Farm's deliciousness? To be honest, I cannot say. I'll just have to try them both again.
It's very nice to escape the flash and noise of some other elegant dining destinations. Wholesomeness and simplicity reign at The Artist Baker. May they long continue to do so.