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Something Sweet or Savory?

Trummer’s chefs discuss what’s for dinner, dessert.

America is a melting pot of many cultures and ethnicities. The same could be said for Clifton’s newest restaurant, Trummer’s on Main.

“I’m dubbing it Modern American Cuisine,” said Executive Chef Clayton Miller. “I’ve had a lot of influences and, to me, that’s American. But I want it to be at a quality level you won’t see everywhere.”

He plans to serve food that’s original, but “approachable and understandable.” For example, a grilled romaine salad with a poached egg, anchovy dressing, lemon and parmesan cheese will be unique to Trummer’s, but reminiscent of a classic Caesar salad.

Appetizers will range from $9-$16, and entrees, from $19-$34; desserts are $8. A signature dish will be pine nut and fresh, made-in-house ricotta tortellini served with lamb sausage, rock crab and bing cherries. “It’s an earth-and-sea combination,” said Miller.

A seafood entrée is moonfish (opah), a Pacific Rim fish from Hawaii. “It’s similar in texture and flavor to tuna, but it’s not tuna and it’s sustainable,” said Miller. “People love it. We’ll serve it grilled, with a tamarind glaze, with cauliflower, peanuts and scallions.”

Also offered is pan-roasted skate with smoked corn, porcini mushrooms and crushed black olives. The rib-eye steak comes with trumpet royal mushrooms, plus rosemary parsnips and a red-wine reduction, and Miller said it, too, is receiving a great response from the diners.

He’s also proud of the barbecued beef brisket. It’s cooked for 48 hours in a bourbon barbecue sauce and served with fried grits, coleslaw marmalade and compressed watermelon flavored with grenadine, chipotle and sherry vinegar, and smoked so it’s “smoky, spicy-sweet,” said Miller. “So again, it’s food you recognize, but done in an original way.”

The roasted chicken is cooked with olive oil, sherry vinegar and Serrano ham and served with peas, asparagus and roasted-chicken broth. Items for vegetarians include tomato risotto and a summer vegetable salad in truffled vinaigrette. A soup currently available is chilled carrot with charred, cold-water shrimp. “It’s served with ginger-beer sorbet for a bright and fresh finish,” said Miller.

The first-floor dining rooms will have an a la carte menu. “And eventually, we’ll have a tasting menu where guests can choose to have a three-, four- or five-course meal,” said Miller. “It’s to give them more choices.”

A separate bar menu features “food meant to be shared,” said Miller. “You eat it with your fingers and eat it with friends. But it’ll be done our way, so it’ll be fun and cool with great ingredients.” For example, the menu includes steak sandwiches; popcorn with parmesan and pecorino cheese; and hushpuppies with spicy, smoked honey.

The desserts will also be created with a twist, and the architect behind the magic is pastry chef Chris Ford. For the past two years, he worked at the trendy and popular dessert bar, Chikalicious, in New York City.

At Trummer’s on Main, the desserts, like the entrees, will vary with the seasons to offer diners the freshest ingredients possible. Current desserts include Strawberries Terrine, a take on strawberry shortcake. It features a gelatin and strawberry tube, pound cake and vanilla sorbet.

Caramel Corn Dessert is comprised of sweet, corn ice cream with a brown-sugar genoise (sponge cake), with ground-up popcorn and crème caramel on the bottom. The Chocolate Soup is a Belgian chocolate soup done tableside with a light meringue, a muscovado, brown-sugar sorbet and a fudge sponge cake.

Also served will be an ice cream and sorbet selection paired together with specific, complementary flavors, such as peach sorbet with basil foam and whipped crème anglaise.

Yet, although the food at Trummer’s on Main is creative and elegant, Miller and Ford hope the restaurant will develop a regular and loyal following. “We don’t want people to come just for special occasions,” said Miller. “We want people to come often because they enjoy it.”