Laurel & Sage offers American cuisine.
American Chef Shawn Paul Liezel opened Laurel & Sage, located on 33 Walnut St., after working as the executive chef for Upper Montclair’s now-closed 12 West Restaurant & Bar. Born in Malibu, Calif., Liezel spent much of his childhood in his father’s restaurant. He attended the University of California Los Angeles and then got a culinary education at the California Culinary Academy. After working at several restaurants in California, New York and New Jersey and getting stellar reviews, Liezel opened the new Walnut Street Modern American restaurant and named it after his two daughters, Laurel and Sage.
The restaurant has been highly rated and reviewed by several newspapers and blogs such as The Star Ledger, The New York Times, New Jersey Monthly Magazine and more. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until 8:30 p.m. on Sundays.
The menu, which can be found on the website laurelandsage.com, contains classic American appetizers and entrees such as New England Clam Chowder, Atlantic Salmon Two Ways, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Pomegranate Molasses Braised Short Rib for this month. Each month, the restaurant changes its menu to “reflect the trends and availability of local ingredients and goods,” said Liezel.
Like a lot of new local restaurants and chains are doing, eating locally and economically and environmentally friendly are important to local consumers. In a survey by Cowen Company 39 percent of a pool of 39,000 US consumers said that where food comes from is more important than it being organic. In another survey by Harris Poll concluded that 67 percent of American adults (of a 2,225 US consumer pool) say that it’s highly important to buy locally grown produce.
Many small food shops in Montclair and around the nation are following these trends and reaping the benefits.