By Berit Ollestad
Ridgedale Lunch just might be Morristown’s best-kept secret.
But one visit, and you’ll want to share your discovery.
With the barrage of restaurants popping up downtown, Morristown has become the “go to” place for a good meal.
Just don’t tell that to Chris Nicolette, who’s been serving tasty fare at Ridgedale Lunch for close to three decades.
“Let’s not say too much about this place and let the food and service speak for itself,” he said on a recent Saturday, while effortlessly juggling eggs, pancakes and omelets on the grill.
The quaint little restaurant feels like a local Cheers, where everyone knows your name. Just ask Chuck Hill, a long-time patron.
“It’s good food at a reasonable price and it has that real homey feel to it,” said Hill, who has been stopping by the restaurant two- or three times a week since 1976, when it was under prior ownership.
Several blocks from the Morristown Green, Ridgedale Lunch might seem tucked out of sight. But with no competition as far as the eye can see, a strategic location opposite exit 36 on Route 287, and 29 luxury condos coming next door, the restaurant appears to be sitting pretty.
And it doesn’t hurt to be right down the road from the Morris County Jail, either. It’s not uncommon to see various law enforcement officers in there enjoying a turkey club or bacon, eggs and home-style potatoes.
Word of mouth has been the establishment’s only calling card since it opened. On a recent Saturday morning, it appeared that plenty of folks had gotten the word.
“We make everything out here in the front for the customer to see how it’s prepared and for them to see how clean we keep things and the quality of ingredients that we use,” said Chris, the owner.
“If something isn’t right and it gets sent back, we re-do it until it is. The customer always comes first around here.”
You can find Chris alongside his wife Carm, daughter Julia, and his devoted kitchen staff six days a week.
Their menu is small, but it’s loaded with traditional breakfast and lunch fare.
Don’t miss the hand-rolled meatball sandwich or the stacked turkey club. If breakfast is your thing, check out the steak and eggs or a humongous stack of pancakes to start your day.
Ridgedale Lunch, 66 Ridgedale Ave., at the intersection of Abbett Avenue in Morristown. Cash Only, and hours are limited so get there early to get a seat. Monday through Friday 6am-2pm, Sat 6 am-noon, Closed Sunday. There are a few parking spots in front and additional spaces in back, as well as ample street parking.