Jersey City and Northern NJ

Detailed information, by region, of restaurants and their wine/corkage policies
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Gil Bauer
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#151 Post by Gil Bauer » December 19th, 2016, 7:38 am

Jay Miller wrote:We happened upon Jack's Lobster Shack when going to the movie theater yesterday. We usually come from the south but were driving from the north this time, passed it, and decided to give it a try.

Very good quality seafood, well prepared and delicious. Loved the steamers, Connecticut lobster roll and snow crab legs. Key lime pie was good. Lobster bisque was the only disappointment. We'll be going back.

It's a small place and according to Yelp it can be hard to get a table. We went at 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon and were one of only three tables. By the time we left at 4:00 they were almost full. Street parking only.

The table next to us brought wine so I say this with assurance - bring your own glasses!
I haven't been, but I remember the review from the Times from this past summer:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/nyreg ... .html?_r=0

Will have to try to get there.
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Jay Miller
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#152 Post by Jay Miller » December 20th, 2016, 7:34 am

Gil Bauer wrote:
I haven't been, but I remember the review from the Times from this past summer:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/nyreg ... .html?_r=0

Will have to try to get there.

The review seems spot on though they liked the lobster bisque more than we did. But we brought some clam chowder home and had it last night and it was delicious.

It's now on our must revisit list for either before or after a movie.
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#153 Post by JeromeHan » December 20th, 2016, 10:40 am

Jay Miller wrote:We happened upon Jack's Lobster Shack when going to the movie theater yesterday. We usually come from the south but were driving from the north this time, passed it, and decided to give it a try.

Very good quality seafood, well prepared and delicious. Loved the steamers, Connecticut lobster roll and snow crab legs. Key lime pie was good. Lobster bisque was the only disappointment. We'll be going back.

It's a small place and according to Yelp it can be hard to get a table. We went at 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon and were one of only three tables. By the time we left at 4:00 they were almost full. Street parking only.

The table next to us brought wine so I say this with assurance - bring your own glasses!
Never been yet even though I live about 5 minutes from the place. Maybe it's about time I try it out.

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#154 Post by Gil Bauer » December 30th, 2016, 11:37 am

JeromeHan wrote:
Jay Miller wrote:We happened upon Jack's Lobster Shack when going to the movie theater yesterday. We usually come from the south but were driving from the north this time, passed it, and decided to give it a try.

Very good quality seafood, well prepared and delicious. Loved the steamers, Connecticut lobster roll and snow crab legs. Key lime pie was good. Lobster bisque was the only disappointment. We'll be going back.

It's a small place and according to Yelp it can be hard to get a table. We went at 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon and were one of only three tables. By the time we left at 4:00 they were almost full. Street parking only.

The table next to us brought wine so I say this with assurance - bring your own glasses!
Never been yet even though I live about 5 minutes from the place. Maybe it's about time I try it out.
Evidently, this place is opening a second, 90 seat restaurant in Montclair ~ end of January 2017. This will be convenient for me. Will try it and report back at some point.

http://www.northjersey.com/story/life/f ... /95221704/
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#155 Post by C Prince » January 6th, 2017, 9:08 am

Finally got a rez at a decent time at Common Lot so headed there this evening. Will of course bring our wine with the obligatory Wine Berserkers Bottle Bling [whistle.gif] so if anyone else is there, stop by to share.
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#156 Post by Peter Kleban » January 6th, 2017, 9:22 am

C Prince wrote:Finally got a rez at a decent time at Common Lot so headed there this evening. Will of course bring our wine with the obligatory Wine Berserkers Bottle Bling [whistle.gif] so if anyone else is there, stop by to share.
IMG_5317.JPG
Enjoy! And do report back, sounds very good. champagne.gif
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#157 Post by cjsavino » January 6th, 2017, 11:02 am

Peter Kleban wrote:
C Prince wrote:Finally got a rez at a decent time at Common Lot so headed there this evening. Will of course bring our wine with the obligatory Wine Berserkers Bottle Bling [whistle.gif] so if anyone else is there, stop by to share.
IMG_5317.JPG
Enjoy! And do report back, sounds very good. champagne.gif
We went on 12/20, food was wonderful. Chef sent out sample of the lobster bisque that was just pure lobster taste, lamb shoulder excellent for sharing.
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#158 Post by C Prince » January 8th, 2017, 10:21 am

cjsavino wrote:
Peter Kleban wrote:
C Prince wrote:Finally got a rez at a decent time at Common Lot so headed there this evening. Will of course bring our wine with the obligatory Wine Berserkers Bottle Bling [whistle.gif] so if anyone else is there, stop by to share.
IMG_5317.JPG
Enjoy! And do report back, sounds very good. champagne.gif
We went on 12/20, food was wonderful. Chef sent out sample of the lobster bisque that was just pure lobster taste, lamb shoulder excellent for sharing.
Ate at Common Lot on Friday night. Peter - It's really a lovely place, easy to get to and the wine was excellent! Oh...wait...that was our wine! [cheers.gif] Chris - was looking forward to trying the lobster bisque but it was not on the menu so bummer but had the cod over lentils instead. The scallop appetizer came with fried curry leaves which was a nice and unusual touch. We thought that the food was really good to nearly very good. The restaurant itself has a lovely feel to it - the stems are excellent and the tables are nicely spaced. Free corkage makes it a nice package.
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Paul Jaouen
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#159 Post by Paul Jaouen » January 8th, 2017, 12:08 pm

Common Lot is in our restaurant rotation and also great for my NJ wine group. My only nit is that they run out of stuff and don't tell us until after we order it. My wife and I were there last night and really looking forward to the chips and egg but they were out. The lamb Bo Ssam style was as great as usual.
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#160 Post by Jay Miller » January 11th, 2017, 10:56 am

Anyone tried Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, NJ? The chef is David Viana formerly of The Kitchen at Grove Station. Once Arnold gets back from Manila I'll try to make a trip down there. BYO with a small selection of wines available for purchase.
Last edited by Jay Miller on January 12th, 2017, 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#161 Post by cjsavino » January 11th, 2017, 3:01 pm

Jay Miller wrote:Anyone tried Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, NJ? The chef is David Viana formerly of The Kitchen at Grove Station. Once Arnold gets back from Manila I'll try to make a trip down there.
Know people that have done cooking classes there, need to put this on our list for places to try.
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#162 Post by Joe Chanley » January 12th, 2017, 5:43 am

Any word on La Griglia in Kenilworth?

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#163 Post by cjsavino » January 13th, 2017, 8:14 am

Jay Miller wrote:Anyone tried Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, NJ? The chef is David Viana formerly of The Kitchen at Grove Station. Once Arnold gets back from Manila I'll try to make a trip down there. BYO with a small selection of wines available for purchase.
http://www.nj.com/food/index.ssf/2017/0 ... river_home
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#164 Post by Paul Jaouen » January 13th, 2017, 8:39 am

Joe Chanley wrote:Any word on La Griglia in Kenilworth?
I haven't been in a couple years but the food was good and they have a nice wine list. Nothing innovative but good solid food. I had some dinners downstairs with my NJ wine crew as well. Again, haven't been in a couple years so don't know if anything has changed.
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#165 Post by Jay Miller » January 13th, 2017, 12:45 pm

cjsavino wrote:
Jay Miller wrote:Anyone tried Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, NJ? The chef is David Viana formerly of The Kitchen at Grove Station. Once Arnold gets back from Manila I'll try to make a trip down there. BYO with a small selection of wines available for purchase.
http://www.nj.com/food/index.ssf/2017/0 ... river_home
Sounds promising. I really liked his cooking at The Kitchen at Grove Station and would love to visit and see what he's doing now. It would also be a chance to ask about a dish of his that I've tried (with no noticeable success) to replicate.

Maybe an offline?
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#166 Post by cjsavino » January 14th, 2017, 12:17 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
cjsavino wrote:
Jay Miller wrote:Anyone tried Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge, NJ? The chef is David Viana formerly of The Kitchen at Grove Station. Once Arnold gets back from Manila I'll try to make a trip down there. BYO with a small selection of wines available for purchase.
http://www.nj.com/food/index.ssf/2017/0 ... river_home
Sounds promising. I really liked his cooking at The Kitchen at Grove Station and would love to visit and see what he's doing now. It would also be a chance to ask about a dish of his that I've tried (with no noticeable success) to replicate.

Maybe an offline?


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#167 Post by JeromeHan » February 1st, 2017, 5:11 am

Has anyone been to Pluckemin Inn before? I've never really heard of it before until stumbling upon their wine list online. The prices seem to be great deals and the menu seems classic.

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#168 Post by Paul Jaouen » February 1st, 2017, 6:08 am

Yes. Very good restaurant. We did some dinners downstairs in their private room. I still recall doing a 1982 Bordeaux dinner there that was awesome. Brian Hider is the Somm and is a very nice and knowledgeable guy. My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
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#169 Post by Mike Cohen » February 1st, 2017, 7:28 am

Paul Jaouen wrote:My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
I think the proper term is "geographically undesirable"

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#170 Post by JeromeHan » February 1st, 2017, 9:50 am

Paul Jaouen wrote:Yes. Very good restaurant. We did some dinners downstairs in their private room. I still recall doing a 1982 Bordeaux dinner there that was awesome. Brian Hider is the Somm and is a very nice and knowledgeable guy. My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
Now is it worth the 45 minute drive for me? So very tempting.

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#171 Post by cjsavino » February 1st, 2017, 12:03 pm

JeromeHan wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:Yes. Very good restaurant. We did some dinners downstairs in their private room. I still recall doing a 1982 Bordeaux dinner there that was awesome. Brian Hider is the Somm and is a very nice and knowledgeable guy. My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
Now is it worth the 45 minute drive for me? So very tempting.
Now through March 31st they are offering 1/2 off wines under $100 and $50 off bottles over $100 on Fridays
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#172 Post by JeromeHan » February 1st, 2017, 12:06 pm

cjsavino wrote:
JeromeHan wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:Yes. Very good restaurant. We did some dinners downstairs in their private room. I still recall doing a 1982 Bordeaux dinner there that was awesome. Brian Hider is the Somm and is a very nice and knowledgeable guy. My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
Now is it worth the 45 minute drive for me? So very tempting.
Now through March 31st they are offering 1/2 off wines under $100 and $50 off bottles over $100 on Fridays
So.... yesssss...... [thankyou.gif] [welldone.gif]

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#173 Post by Paul Jaouen » February 1st, 2017, 12:24 pm

JeromeHan wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:Yes. Very good restaurant. We did some dinners downstairs in their private room. I still recall doing a 1982 Bordeaux dinner there that was awesome. Brian Hider is the Somm and is a very nice and knowledgeable guy. My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
Now is it worth the 45 minute drive for me? So very tempting.
It's not for me. Having to worry about a designated driver or Uber is one issue. There are enough good BYO restaurants in my area and my cellar is decent enough that I don't need to buy off a list. But I do understand the attraction.
Best,
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#174 Post by Ian Dorin » February 7th, 2017, 9:19 am

Joe Chanley wrote:Any word on La Griglia in Kenilworth?
I was there recently, and it was ok. Nothing to write home about.
JeromeHan wrote:Has anyone been to Pluckemin Inn before? I've never really heard of it before until stumbling upon their wine list online. The prices seem to be great deals and the menu seems classic.
The food is very good, and the wine list is insane. Ask for Brian Hider if you go, he's amazing and a wealth of knowledge. Worth going for sure.
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#175 Post by Ian Dorin » February 7th, 2017, 9:22 am

C Prince wrote:Ate at Common Lot on Friday night. Peter - It's really a lovely place, easy to get to and the wine was excellent! Oh...wait...that was our wine! [cheers.gif] Chris - was looking forward to trying the lobster bisque but it was not on the menu so bummer but had the cod over lentils instead. The scallop appetizer came with fried curry leaves which was a nice and unusual touch. We thought that the food was really good to nearly very good. The restaurant itself has a lovely feel to it - the stems are excellent and the tables are nicely spaced. Free corkage makes it a nice package.
Great notes! Chris has the pleasure of going with me that night, and chef usually sends out something he's working on whenever I'm there ;) They really hit on all levels.

For those that want to go, I strongly suggest going with a large group, and ordering like crazy and kind of eat family style. This way you get to try a lot of the menu. I was there not all that long ago with a group of 10, we ordered 27 items (a lot of apps were ordered twice for the table), and the bill was like $80 a person with tax and tip.
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#176 Post by Paul Jaouen » February 7th, 2017, 11:47 am

Ian Dorin wrote: For those that want to go, I strongly suggest going with a large group, and ordering like crazy and kind of eat family style. This way you get to try a lot of the menu. I was there not all that long ago with a group of 10, we ordered 27 items (a lot of apps were ordered twice for the table), and the bill was like $80 a person with tax and tip.
That's crazy!!! flirtysmile
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#177 Post by Mike Rotondo » April 22nd, 2017, 8:19 am

cjsavino wrote:
JeromeHan wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:Yes. Very good restaurant. We did some dinners downstairs in their private room. I still recall doing a 1982 Bordeaux dinner there that was awesome. Brian Hider is the Somm and is a very nice and knowledgeable guy. My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
Now is it worth the 45 minute drive for me? So very tempting.
Now through March 31st they are offering 1/2 off wines under $100 and $50 off bottles over $100 on Fridays
I think it is. Especially since the 50 off deal on Fridays was extended through April.

Had a great meal there a few weeks ago on my birthday - food was executed beautifully, place was beautiful inside - and with the discount, I think the Chablis and '06 Rhys pinot we had were both under retail pricing. Brian was real nice to chat with too.

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#178 Post by C Prince » May 9th, 2017, 4:39 pm

Mike Rotondo wrote:
cjsavino wrote:
Paul Jaouen wrote:Yes. Very good restaurant. We did some dinners downstairs in their private room. I still recall doing a 1982 Bordeaux dinner there that was awesome. Brian Hider is the Somm and is a very nice and knowledgeable guy. My only issue with the restaurant is that it is not closer to where I live.
Now through March 31st they are offering 1/2 off wines under $100 and $50 off bottles over $100 on Fridays
Had a great meal there a few weeks ago on my birthday - food was executed beautifully, place was beautiful inside - and with the discount, I think the Chablis and '06 Rhys pinot we had were both under retail pricing. Brian was real nice to chat with too.
The Plucky has extended their '50 off Fridays' through the end of May. Amazing deal. Looks like May 19th is the only Friday that is totally booked which makes sense since there's a big equestrian event in Gladstone that weekend. The wine list is awesome as is the food.
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#179 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » May 12th, 2017, 4:50 am

Enjoyed a good meal at Laurel & Sage in Montclair (it's in the space that used to be Culinariane).

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#180 Post by Rich Salsano » May 17th, 2017, 6:22 am

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:Enjoyed a good meal at Laurel & Sage in Montclair (it's in the space that used to be Culinariane).
Agreed. Only been there once but we thought it was quite good too.
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#181 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » May 22nd, 2017, 5:15 am

Finally made it to Common Lot. It is every bit as good as the hype. Service was impeccable - very professional. I loved the setup downstairs where the banquet on the front wall is all 2-tops with plenty of space between tables (and the upstairs is all 4-tops). Small plates were the stars. HIGHLY recommend.

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#182 Post by Joe Chanley » May 22nd, 2017, 6:13 am

had no idea A Toute Heure was selling.....terrible news

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#183 Post by Paul Jaouen » May 22nd, 2017, 11:07 am

Joe Chanley wrote:had no idea A Toute Heure was selling.....terrible news
It was my go to place until they opened a 100 steps. Chef Kara moved from ATH to 100 steps and menu at ATH got boring so I stopped going.
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#184 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » August 16th, 2017, 5:21 am

Had an outstanding meal at Lorena's in Maplewood last weekend. Not new or trendy, but consistently excellent, and of course BYO with high quality stemware and service. I had the wild mushroom crepe to start and it was amazing.

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#185 Post by JeromeHan » August 16th, 2017, 5:47 am

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:Had an outstanding meal at Lorena's in Maplewood last weekend. Not new or trendy, but consistently excellent, and of course BYO with high quality stemware and service. I had the wild mushroom crepe to start and it was amazing.
I go there every once in a while along with Fascino. The mushroom crepe is a must have everytime.

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#186 Post by Jay Miller » August 16th, 2017, 8:36 am

Just realized that I never reported back on Heirloom Kitchen. Great restaurant, though a few ups and downs. Duck breast was a standout, scallop dumplings a little weak. Desserts were a must.
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#187 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » September 5th, 2017, 3:50 pm

I really like Bistro Seven Three in Bernardsville. Went last weekend (have been there 5 or 6 times previously) and think it's a good one (food was delicious) and under the radar. Nice stems, and the host/owner seems to be knowledgable about wine. I asked him about doing wine dinners there and he was very enthusiastic.

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#188 Post by Jay Miller » December 15th, 2017, 7:11 am

Anyone been to The Manor in West Orange? It was recommended to Arnold by a co-worker and we're going for the lobster buffet tomorrow. I noticed that they are BYO on Wednesdays.
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#189 Post by Gil Bauer » December 15th, 2017, 8:01 am

Jay Miller wrote:Anyone been to The Manor in West Orange? It was recommended to Arnold by a co-worker and we're going for the lobster buffet tomorrow. I noticed that they are BYO on Wednesdays.
I have been there for events. I was never impressed by the food. Let us know what you think. If they have a good lobster buffet, I would go with Merry.
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#190 Post by Paul Jaouen » December 17th, 2017, 9:17 am

I agree with Gil. I always thought of it as a place for weddings and events rather than a place to go for dinner.
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#191 Post by Jay Miller » December 17th, 2017, 12:29 pm

Wow, what a mediocre dinner. It’s a certain type of luxury in the sense of unlimited lobster, oysters, clams and an opulent setting. But anything that requires cooking was not worth eating. Even the lobster was over cooked. The “medium rare”prime rib was medium well.

Service was friendly, enthusiastic and amateurish. I twice had to stop waiters from clearing plates I wasn’t done with.

We won’t be going back.
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#192 Post by Steve Manzi » May 5th, 2018, 10:34 am

Jay,

Some additions and some closures:

Maplewood: Add Arturo's (fantastic pizzas and pasta) BYO

I called them a week or so ago around 3:30PM on a Friday to order pizza for pickup (they open at 5:30 I think) and I was told that the earliest I can pick up was 7:30. The orders were THAT many just for pickup.

Montclair:

Blue and Blue Next Door are closed. As is Culinairiane I believe.

Ramsey:

Local Seasonal Kitchen is gone too.
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#193 Post by Paul Jaouen » May 6th, 2018, 8:07 am

Ariane closed Culinariane and opened Ariane Kitchen in Verona. They wanted a bigger place with a liquor license. I haven't been.
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Gil Bauer
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#194 Post by Gil Bauer » May 6th, 2018, 8:22 am

Paul Jaouen wrote:Ariane closed Culinariane and opened Ariane Kitchen in Verona. They wanted a bigger place with a liquor license. I haven't been.
Ariane Kitchen has many of her "favorites" from Culinariane -- the tuna sashimi "flower," cormeal-crusted oysters, etc. It is still a small menu, still well-executed. The room misses some of the coziness from Culinariane. Corkage is $25 per bottle; 2 bottles max per couple. Notably, Wednesdays are $0 corkage.
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#195 Post by Paul Jaouen » May 7th, 2018, 5:45 am

Thanks Gil. Good to know about Wednesdays.
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#196 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » May 15th, 2018, 1:04 pm

Steve Manzi wrote:Jay,

Some additions and some closures:

Maplewood: Add Arturo's (fantastic pizzas and pasta) BYO

I called them a week or so ago around 3:30PM on a Friday to order pizza for pickup (they open at 5:30 I think) and I was told that the earliest I can pick up was 7:30. The orders were THAT many just for pickup.

Montclair:

Blue and Blue Next Door are closed. As is Culinairiane I believe.

Ramsey:

Local Seasonal Kitchen is gone too.
The chef from Blue and Blue Next door opened a new restaurant in Martinsville called the Duke & the Elephant (not BYO). Which reminds me, we recently went to a really solid BYO Italian restaurant also in Martinsville called Cafe Venezia - worth checking out.

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#197 Post by cjsavino » May 15th, 2018, 4:51 pm

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
Steve Manzi wrote:Jay,

Some additions and some closures:

Maplewood: Add Arturo's (fantastic pizzas and pasta) BYO

I called them a week or so ago around 3:30PM on a Friday to order pizza for pickup (they open at 5:30 I think) and I was told that the earliest I can pick up was 7:30. The orders were THAT many just for pickup.

Montclair:

Blue and Blue Next Door are closed. As is Culinairiane I believe.

Ramsey:

Local Seasonal Kitchen is gone too.
The chef from Blue and Blue Next door opened a new restaurant in Martinsville called the Duke & the Elephant (not BYO). Which reminds me, we recently went to a really solid BYO Italian restaurant also in Martinsville called Cafe Venezia - worth checking out.
Also try Lombardi Pizza in martinsville
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#198 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » May 28th, 2018, 8:19 am

Friends I trust recently recommended Pucciarello Italian Kitchen in East Hanover - the owner/chef was previously at Cielo in Caldwell and is getting rave reviews. Going to try it next weekend.

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#199 Post by Dave Morris » June 4th, 2018, 10:10 pm

cjsavino wrote:
Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
The chef from Blue and Blue Next door opened a new restaurant in Martinsville called the Duke & the Elephant (not BYO). Which reminds me, we recently went to a really solid BYO Italian restaurant also in Martinsville called Cafe Venezia - worth checking out.
Also try Lombardi Pizza in martinsville
My wife just went to Cafe Venezia with friends and said it was very good. I will definitely have to visit with her again.

And for anyone wondering, Lombardi Pizza is not your typical NJ pizza joint. So while I've been here with friends and a few good beers, the food is definitely wine-worthy.

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#200 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » June 8th, 2018, 6:32 am

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:Friends I trust recently recommended Pucciarello Italian Kitchen in East Hanover - the owner/chef was previously at Cielo in Caldwell and is getting rave reviews. Going to try it next weekend.
Went last Friday and loved it so much, that I went back with my daughter and friend Tuesday night! Nothing fancy but an extensive, wonderful menu and very good food.

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