Jen Scott was my guide to the menu and the wine and cocktail lists both times I ventured into this new and adventurous horizon, and a wonderful guide she is. Savvy and friendly, warm and witty, Jen was a part of The Archer from the beginning and she still helps out in any place where she's needed, whether serving or hosting or entertaining inquisitive visitors like me. The first night I went there they had a live band, something that is a regular occurrence, and I found out from Jen when I went back that they not only have the same regular roster of performers that they had in the beginning, there are staff members who have been there the whole time as well. That's not something that is usually found - once upon a time in New York City at some of the older more venerable places you might find that life-long waiter or bartender who has grown with the restaurant or local watering hole, but many times these days, especially in a place like Jersey City, you might find more often that people go from one place to the next searching for the next best thing. But I guess they've found the best thing at The Archer and don't need to look any further, and I can understand why they feel that way because it's really something special.
Founded by Kent Baker and Jesse Weeks, who both live in Jersey City and share a love of that urban place while still entertaining a fast friendship with all things that bring a feeling of the hunters' lodges from the places where they grew up, The Archer has that rare quality of being able to remind us of those things that have to do with the great outdoors and hunting while still keeping it cozy enough so that urbanites looking for a comfortable and stylish hangout as well as non-meat eating foodies can feel right at home. The result is a menu as ecclectic as it is delicious, with game meats like Venison, Elk and Bison and cured meats and cheeses sidling up to sandwiches made from richly flavored collard greens and cabbage that remind the tastebuds in every way like the rich taste of a corned beef sandwich. It was amazingly fun both times I visited to try the cocktails and a few tastes of the different wines on the list because right down to the spirits and wines everything has been selected with great care for maximum flavor and delicious melding and layering of tastes. From craft cocktails made from top quality liquors and a whiskey list that boasts over 300 types of mainly bourbon and that also includes Irish, American, Scotch and Japanese Whiskey straight down to the carefully selected beers and wines, there is something for everyone and for every mood and season at The Archer. From a warm October Wild Boar Sloppy Joe to a cooler Negroni Week plate of summer heirloom roasted carrots, the food is delicious, healthy and fun. And if you're in the mood for singing, dancing, or just sitting back and having a listen over a Chef's Selection of Meats and Cheeses complete with pickled gherkins, you'll find just what you need every night of the week.
176 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey