By Laurie Gordon
Bell's Mansion is a sweeping property across from the Morris Canal in Stanhope owned by the Kaczynski family. They've owned the property and the restaurant it contains since 2007, and since it's the home of Maria and Jack Kaczynski, they want customers to feel that sense of welcome and warmth. They also serve some unique menu items, like red berry snapper, and have been host to some celebrities.
“Our 1800s mansion really is New Jersey’s hidden gem,” said their daughter, Anna Kaczynski. “Our building is rich in history, our menu is diverse - with something for everyone, our outdoor gardens and patio are breathtaking. We pride ourselves on our work ethic and I think a big part of that stems from our Polish heritage.”
Anna Kaczynski wears many hats at the mansion.
“My role at the restaurant varies, some days I can be found in the front of the house, other days I am keeping busy somewhere in the back,” she said. “I am the one who operates our website and social media which allows me to engage with our guests on a daily basis.”
There are many aspects of the setting that make Bell’s Mansion unique.
“Our Tap Room is home to a beautiful large oak bar with a custom stained glass ceiling, wood wainscoting can be found throughout the restaurant as well as exposed brick and tall ceilings with expansive crown molding,” Kaczynski said. “We feature several quaint dining rooms that can host guests for smaller or larger occasions- they can be either casual or formal. Our menu boasts a variety of items, many of which can be complimented by a specialty cocktail or a glass of wine from our wine list.”
The seasonal outdoor patios and garden bar are also a huge hit once the weather gets warmer.
“Our most unique menu items are probably our Berry Red Snapper (spicy berry sauce over red snapper complimenting a sweet coconut rice) and our seasonal Steak on The Stone (raw filet mignon served along side a volcanic stone at over 800F and guest cooks the steak to their liking),” Kaczynski said.
Tried and true items that appeal to all include: Beef Wellington (filet mignon with mushroom pate in a crunchy puff pastry) and our homemade Pierogi (delicate Polish dumplings with varying fillings).
Bell's Mansion is also known for its catering.
“We have catered full blown whimsical tea party style bridal showers, extravagant rehearsal dinners to quaint birthday dinners featuring comedians,” Kaczynski said. “Everyone’s private event is special and we’re always so happy to be a part of them.”
In addition to on-site catering, Bell's offers off premises catering.
“Our guests are able to pre-order and customize their menu to fit the style of their event,” she said.
Yes, Bell's Mansion attracts celebrities, but they remain discrete.
“Over the years we have had many wonderful customers and although we do have celebrities that frequent Bell’s Mansion, we respect their privacy and do not disclose that kind of information,” Kaczynski said.
The property is rich in history which is posted on the Bell's Mansion website at http://www.bellsmansion.com along with menus, hours and catering options.
“We believe that our guests can taste and see the difference in what we offer them,” Kaczynski said. “We bake fresh rustic bread every single morning, hand cut our own fries, butcher our meat, grow our own garden and orchard - these are things the things that set us apart. We host our patrons in our home in hopes of providing them with great memories of their experience.