Home Food + Drink Upscale and Uptown: Porter Collins, Chef Pino’s Newest Hoboken Creation

Upscale and Uptown: Porter Collins, Chef Pino’s Newest Hoboken Creation

by Jennifer Tripucka
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This spring, Chef Anthony Pino’s 3rd Hoboken brainchild {read: restaurant} with an upscale, modern atmosphere opened at 1426 Willow Avenue. With a large emphasis on seafood and other delicacies, Porter Collins sits uptown as NW Hoboken’s newest upscale hangout amongst elegant, minimalist decor {and some pretty fun murals on the wall}. Here’s a bit more about the HG team’s dining experience there:

Upon walking into Porter Collins, it was easy to mistake the ambiance for a Thursday-Saturday night, complete with a full bar and a cocktail menu to match {albeit no DJ/live music – they save that for the weekend}. We kicked back with our drinks at a round table for 7 as our Caesar salad was made fresh in front of us.

If you’re stuck on apps or aren’t into seafood, the tableside Caesar is a definite appetizer you’ll want to go with. It mimics the Charritos fresh guacamole-making situation in Hoboken, which is fun for the whole table. Our server cracked eggs, tossed salad {mind out of gutter, plz}, and served it up on plates for all to enjoy. Two of us opted for dairy-free salads, the City Green Tomato, which consisted of tomatoes, avocado, basil, pickled red onion, and green goddess dressing.

^Caesar salad post-tossing tableside

See More: 10 Places to Celebrate National Lobster Day in the Hoboken Area

On to the cocktails: Opt for the Tequila Honeysuckle Martini, a blend of Casamigos reposado, lime, and honey. Whether you like tequila {or tread lightly after that one night in college}, this cocktail is a well-blended tequila drink that’s not too sweet — so you can yes to tequila and no to the headache.

Another go-to cocktail is the restaurant’s namesake, the Porter Collins. It looks “boring” if you’re going for a cocktail insta, but it is ohhh so good, a blend of Grey Goose [or Gin – but we rec the vodka], vodka, and lemon. You can spice it up with some mandarin, raspberries, or blueberries for an extra $1: worth the add. Moscow mule is also a must-try, per usual. Has a Moscow Mule EVER been bad? Actually don’t answer that.

^Snapped this at the end of the night, as we shut down the restaurant and stayed a little too late {oops}

Since Chef Pino is best known for the Hoboken staples Bin 14 and Anthony David’s — which are tough acts to follow — it’s no surprise that this uptown space offers something similar in price, but with an all-American twist {versus the wine bar and Italian-themed sister restaurants}. From our perspective, the crowd seems to be a bit more mature {30s-50s}, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see someone wearing a suit and tie while dining — so rolling in from a Sunday Funday may not be the best time to visit for dinner. A date night, client dinner, or hosting friends from out of town is more Porter Collins’ speed — with a recognizable menu that won’t scare away a picky eater but will entice a more daring diner wanting some raw bar options, and a solid cocktail menu to boot. Tip: They also have a rolling scotch cart!

^The Wood-Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop. The burger was also a hit — as was the lamb ragu and pappardelle {which we first taste-tested at Mana Contemporary last fall}.

For those interested in bottomless brunch options, on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 AM to 3 PM, they have a buffet-style brunch with oysters, smoked salmon, eggs, bacon, potatoes, baked goods as well as Bloody Marys, mimosas + bellinis. Routine live music adds a little pizazz to the ambiance. So far the brunch atmosphere is pretty lowkey, so definitely something to check out if you’re not in the mood to wait for a seat at other downtown spots.

See More: The Best Bottomless Brunch Spots in Hoboken and Jersey City

Space-wise, although the spot is a bit out of the way {right next to Trader Joe’s so easy to find but still not on the beaten}, it’s HUGE. Case-in-point: They host rehearsal dinners, which not many Hoboken restaurants can handle unless there are 30 people or less. This locale can easily house 100 people or more for a private event {and AD [Pino’s catering co] is of course the exclusive caterer}.

So what do a group of ladies order after a heavy-but-delish meal? Creme brûlée and flourless chocolate cake, of course. Both pretty tasty. While the menu is on the higher echelon of restaurant pricing, you’ll definitely enjoy an elevated meal with an upscale feel {apps range from $12-$18 and entrees range from $20-$35 — not crazy}. All in all a great addition to burgeoning uptown Hoboken, and we’re excited to see what Chef Pino takes on next!

^Some of the HG team at our dinner enjoying our tableside Caesars. 

Have you been to Porter Collins? What did you think?

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