New restaurant spices up Bearfort

The interior of Ralph Spice, the new restaurant in Bearfort Plaza. 
Photo Courtesy:

The interior of Ralph Spice, the new restaurant in Bearfort Plaza. Photo Courtesy:

Eliana Gargiulo, Editor-in-Chief

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West Milford isn’t lacking in places to eat — with about a dozen delis, scores of pizzerias, and even a handful of fancier restaurants, our town isn’t a bad place to look for a meal. Even so, it is nice to see more businesses move in, especially with menus as unique as that of the new eatery, Ralph Spice. Replacing Uncle Chubby’s, a traditional burger joint, Ralph Spice brings a nice dash of classy eats to Bearfort. With the whole town abuzz with praise, I decided to give Ralph Spice a try.
The décor is a tremendous departure from the previous tenant’s restaurant. The bright colors and gleaming lights of Uncle Chubby’s have been replaced with a cool gray tone, and an overall dimmer aesthetic. The whole thing feels like a sort of modern-classic mashup, with mason jars full of fancy lights, fresh white tablecloths, and professional photographs of cityscapes evenly lining the walls. The look they’re going for does feel a touch out of place in the cramped space of the restaurant floor, but the charm comes through despite this.
Of course, what people are really interested in is the food, and the food at Ralph Spice is definitely worth the hubbub. While none of the menus were particularly large, each still managed to fit a surprising amount of variety within its pages. The appetizer menu offers a large selection, including escargot, coconut shrimp, and sautéed mussels. My family ordered potstickers and fried calamari, both of which were excellently prepared, uniquely served, and quite delicious.
I also tried the Soup of the Day, which was an asparagus soup that night. Although it was a bit bland at first, a dash of salt and pepper really brought it to life, and I was surprised with how much I liked its mildly gritty texture.
The dinner menu proper offers a selection of sandwiches, steaks, pastas, and chicken dishes. I ordered sautéed calamari over linguini. It was served in a spicy marinara with just a hint of garlic to it. The seafood tasted fresh, and although I don’t think it was made in-restaurant, the linguini tasted quite good as well.
Although I didn’t try either myself, my father ordered duck, and my mother ordered the chicken marsala, which they both agreed were delicious.
The dessert menu offered a number of pies and cakes. We ordered a slice of chocolate cake and cheesecake to split, both of which were excellent, although the cheesecake even moreso.
Ralph Spice is an excellent addition to our town, providing a classy atmosphere and elegant restaurant West Milford needed. There is only one problem with the establishment–you had better have reservations, or it is hard to get a table! They are booked for dinner most nights, so plan your trip accordingly. Price-wise it is pretty average for a decent restaurant, with dishes at about fifteen dollars a piece. All in all, two thumbs up for this new business. I definitely recommend trying it!