First Impression: The Oak on Pine

What is The Oak on Pine: Located in Bergen-Lafayette, The Oak on Pine is a Southern-inspired restaurant with a flair of the North. Less than a month old, the restaurant is owned by the same team behind downtown’s Sam A.M.

Interior: West Village meets Savannah at The Oak on Pine, where candle-lit tables are adorned with freshly cut flowers. Cozy, charming, and intimate — it offers the perfect ambiance for date night. Each seat at the restaurant also has a view of the open kitchen, where solo diners can cozy up to the counter for a relaxing dinner for one. Bonus points for the holiday decor, which will leave you feeling warm and cozy inside.

The Menu: The Southern influence is strong at The Oak on Pine where the menu features dishes like Crawfish Mac & Cheese, Shrimp & Grits, Salted Honey Fried Chicken, and one of the best Fried Green Tomato appetizers we’ve ever eaten. Starters range from $5 for Ancho Chili Corn Bread to $14 for a Cajun Boil Shrimp Cocktail. Meanwhile, entrees are priced from $12 for the Oak Burger to $39 for a 16-ounce ribeye. The restaurant is BYOB so a meal for two with two apps, two entrees, and one dessert will run you about $80 or so.

We Loved: The Fried Green Tomatoes were perfectly crisp on the outside and full of fresh, tangy flavor on the inside. If you love fish, the whole trout special (served with head and tail on) is outstanding with flawlessly crisp skin and tender, flaky meat. It’s served deboned with a side of veggies. Shrimp & Grits is an iconic Southern dish and The Oak on Pine’s take is homey comfort food at its finest. The plump shrimp are served with creamy cheese grits and creole sauce. For dessert, the Walnut Monkey Bread is chock full of walnuts with a delicious, chocolate base.

Fried Green Tomatoes ($7)

Could Be Better: There’s not much to dislike about The Oak on Pine. That said, the one appetizer we didn’t love was the Corny Corn Bread with Ancho Chili and Maple Butter. It didn’t live up to its description and was a little dry and overly crumbly.

Final Take: Even if you’ve never set foot in Bergen-Lafayette, The Oak on Pine is an excellent reason to visit. A Lyft from downtown to the restaurant will cost you about $8 at prime rush hour. But even if it were to cost twice that, you owe it to yourself to dine there — service is friendly, the food is great, and it offers a relaxing dining experience that’s getting harder and harder to find downtown.

Corny Corn Bread ($5)

Shrimp & Grits ($21)

Whole Trout (MP)

Walnut Monkey Bread ($9)

The Oak on Pine | 196 Pine Street |