Most New Yorkers won't travel to another state for their dinner when there are so many incredible restaurants in New York City. But restaurateur Chris Cannon, former partner at the acclaimed Marea and All'Onda, is hoping to change that. His newest venture, Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, opened last fall in the historic (and stunning) Vail Mansion in Morristown, New Jersey. Less than an hour from Manhattan, the mansion was built in 1917 by Theodore Vail, then president of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (in other words, AT&T). He and his architect designed the massive residence in the Italian Renaissance style to serve as both a home for his family and a museum for his inventions. But he died in 1920 and never moved in.
The building was converted to the municipal offices for Morristown in 1922, but in 2011 Cannon began converting the space. Today, the mansion includes not only luxury apartments but Cannon has created four distinct dining spaces: the loungey Vail Bar with more than 200 classic and modern spirits; the hyper-elegant Oyster & Wine Bar outfitted with Enomatic wine machines; an underground beer hall called Rathskeller that serves up German small plates like Veal Cheek Goulash, schnitzel and pretzels; and the fine-dining restaurant The Dining Room, which overlooks the mansion's 150-foot-long reflecting pool.
The space already houses an impressive collection of contemporary art, and Cannon hopes it will become a mecca for art lovers, making even an NYC native want to leave the city.