A spot of tea

by | Jan 16, 2008

Last month, six of us met for lunch at The Upper Crust, a not-too-cutesy, British-European-American tea house in Morris County, New Jersey, located right off Rt. 287 in Boonton.

The Upper Crust is the lifetime dream of owners and chefs Susan and Andrew Chappell, who have 20 years experience in the culinary industry. Susan Chappell started her culinary education in Liverpool, England, the city of her childhood, and worked in 4- and 5-star establishments around the world including the renowned Savoy Hotel in London. After perfecting her skills as a top shelf pastry chef, she moved to Bermuda and worked as the pastry chef at one of the island’s most exclusive cottage hotels.

There she met Andrew from New Jersey who, after attending the well respected Johnson and Wales culinary program, also worked in many high end establishments. After working together in Bermuda, the two chefs moved to Australia to work in Sydney and participate in the 2000 Olympics.

Returning to New Jersey they were married and started to put in motion a plan for the future Upper Crust, combining the fine cuisine they experienced throughout their career and travels.

Susan creates all her pastries fresh daily. Andrew heads the kitchen with creative and delicious menus that change seasonally.

The Upper Crust opened in April 2004, and has been going strong, expanding the restaurant to the location next door, thereby establishing “The Empire Room” to accommodate the many requests received for private functions and the ever increasing à la carte traffic overflowing from the Victoria room.

The Upper Crust continues to evolve and provide the highest quality in food and service. As said often by Susan and Andrew, “Quality is easy, it’s all we know.”

On the day our brunch bunch visited, we mixed up the menu, each of us ordering something different: the Stilton Salad (imported Stilton cheese & walnut salad with fresh apples & beets tossed with mixed greens & vinaigrette), the Oven Roasted Chicken Salad (roasted chicken tossed with field greens & wild mushrooms, toasted almonds & honey croutons all tossed in a sherry vinaigrette), the delicious Quiche of the Day (cheese!) which was served with soup or salad, an assortment of finger sandwiches, individual pastries & cakes (scones, homemade lemon curd, clotted cream, and jams), and a variety of fragrant and soothing pots of tea (I had the Ginger Jasmine, which was heavenly).

The Upper Crust serves brunch on Sundays from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm and is open for lunch Wed-Sat from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm and dinner on Thu-Sat from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Parking can be tricky during prime times, but, if you can’t find an open spot on the street, there is metered parking around the corner.


I’m Dina R. D’Alessandro, MS, RDN, CDN. I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in New York City, and I provide nutrition counseling to women.

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