It makes total sense to me that on the day that my bacon article was published that we would celebrate with a plate of bacon candy at Proper Brick Oven and Tap Room.
Located on 7th Street downtown, this upscale pub boasts that most of its dishes are made completely from scratch. They are passionate about sourcing locally and on this second visit, our good vibes about this place continued.
But let's get back to the bacon candy. Pork belly is cured in-house and is then covered in a glaze of brown sugar. The black pepper crusts adds both depth and texture. It is seriously, seriously addicting and everyone in the family always vies for the last piece.
Continuing the pork theme, our second appetizer was pancetta wrapped shrimp. On a bed of garlic spinach, one of my favorite vegetables, four jumbo shrimp wrapped in pancetta were perched just waiting for us to pounce on them like starving maniacs. The subtle sweetness of the balsamic glaze contrasted very nicely with the saltiness of the pancetta.
Pleasantly satiated by our pork blitz, Dear Daughter surprised us all by selecting the Forest pizza as our main dish. I am just learning to like mushrooms and this was a wise choice. Proper's crust is spongy and flavorful. Heaped over the top was a heaping of carmelized wild mushrooms and shallots. The drizzle of balsamic glaze, my absolutely favorite condiment, was a perfect addition. Dear Husband and I managed two small pieces each which Dear Daughter polished off the remainder in record time.
Dear Sister opted for the Short Rib Bolognese. Served over a bed of pappardelle, the wine braised short ribs served as the base of an incredible sauce. Small bits of purposely undercooked carrots added a nice texture.
Dear Daughter raised her eyebrows when the server mentioned the possibility of dessert. What was delivered a short time later was a second meal! Carrot Caramel Cheesecake came as four large pieces of carrot cake filled with carrot cheesecake and topped with a decadent cream cheese icing. A not so lightly drizzle of carrot caramel and walnuts completed the dish. Wow!
We love the selection of beers. I had a Spencer Trappist Ale, produced by St. Jospeh's Abbey in Massachusetts. In 2014, it was designated a Trappist brewery, one of only 10 in the world and the only one outside of Europe. Dear Husband opted for a beer from nearby Millvale. He liked it so much, I suspect we will be making a trip to the brewery this weekend.
Service is attentive and helpful. We were one of the first to arrive for dinner and pub is modern yet cozy. By the time we left, it was very crowded...and very loud...which seems to be normal these days.
Proper gives a new definition to the term gastro-pub. Good vibes and great food. Looking forward to the next visit, which will be soon! Proper is teaming with Draai Laag brewery in Millville for a five course dinner matched Draai Laag's Belgian styled ales on April 4th.