Emily Wittmann, the director of lifestyle for Montclair’s new MC Hotel, gives a tour with an emphasis on local collaborations.
Allegory, the restaurant within the boutique MC Hotel in Morristown, has reopened for dinner service.
The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Amber Lancaster, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate who worked at Hôtel de Crillon in Paris and in such prestigious restaurants as the Michelin-rated Restaurant Guy Savoy in Las Vegas and Soho House and Alinea in Chicago.
“I want the food to be healthy and clean — that’s something that’s important to me personally — but also comforting,” said Lancaster. “Especially during this time, I want dishes that are going to make people feel like they’re getting a warm hug.”
A can’t-miss dish is the ricotta gnudi, which was raved about as “little pillows of heaven” when Lancaster made it in Chicago. They are served with chanterelle mushrooms, pearl onion petals, smoked butter, chives and lime ($15).
Entrée options include Bar Harbor mussels with chorizo in a saffron cream ($19), chicken cassoulet with smoked ham hock ($30) and butternut squash agnolotti ($17).
Modern art and striking patterns liven up the space at Allegory. (Photo: Aparium Hotel Group)
Before Lancaster went to one of the most famous culinary schools in the world, she was going to school on a full scholarship to be a lawyer. Her uncle, a well-known lawyer who “hated his job,” said Lancaster, advised her to instead get a career in something she loved. For Lancaster, that was cooking.
Lancaster is taking over from former Allegory chef Daniel Kill. When it opened, Allegory received a favorable review from The Record.
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The MC Hotel (and Allegory with it) opened in 2019; its grand opening party was held in October. In March, the brand-new hotel, and its restaurant and lobby bar with it, was forced to close because of COVID.
In June, The MC began to slowly reopen. Its stylish rooftop bar with views of the NYC skyline — called ALTO — opened first, its tables spread the requisite 6-feet apart. In September, Allegory reopened serving an all-day brunch available at six outdoor tables. Also in September, the hotel reopened; rooms could be booked again.
Dinner service, which runs Wednesdays to Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m., is yet another step back to normalcy for the MC and Allegory.
Allegory is located next to the lobby of the MC Hotel. (Photo: Christine Gatti/Dragonfly Image Partners)
Allegory is offering indoor and outdoor dining (with space-heaters and individually packaged blankets that will be dry-cleaned between use). Brunch service will be available on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
ALTO will also remain open, serving cocktails and light bites, throughout the winter with plenty of heaters. ALTO is open Mondays through Thursdays from 3 to 11 p.m. and Fridays