Lots of good choices here. I’ll start listing a few and keep filling in as more occur (or of course as others post).
Roman Nose - very good pastas and pizzas. $15 corkage. Excellent food-friendly cocktail list prepared by their knowledgeable hipster bartender. Try the blood orange spritz or the Italo-Americano. Currently one of my favorite places in Jersey City for a casual meal.
Corto - https://www.cortojc.com. You may want to bring stems (they serve in bcaro style glasses) but a small changing menu of fresh-made pastas and proteins. The owner has their own salumeria so the meat and cheese plates are usually quite good as well.
Grand Sichuan - Food has gone up and down in quality (as of January 2022 it’s very good) but it’s by far the best Chinese option in JC. No tea smoked duck anymore so it’s more riesling friendly than red wine friendly. Free corkage. Bring glasses.
Liberty Prime - $30 corkage and they won’t budge even for a large group on a Monday or Tuesday night.
Razza - excellent pizza (previously I had always thought that Jersey City was where New York exiled people who didn’t know how to make pizza) and meatballs. Currently only offering takeout and outdoor seating with no corkage allowed. Old policy was $25 flat corkage per table, they might return to that once covid settles down. No reservations.
Satis Bistro - Good mix of charcuterie and pates on the menu and food overall was very good with the short ribs and mashed potatoes with chorizo being outstanding. Stems are good. Oxtails were meaty and delicious and the gelato sundae was delightful. Terrible fried chicken. $20 corkage.
Tacqueria Downtown - great tacos and other Mexican dishes. Free corkage. Fish tacos and Huet Vouvray rock. Bring glasses.
Beechwood Cafe - casual, pleasant atmosphere. Decent salads, sandwiches, pastas, cakes. Nothing to go out of your way for but nothing to avoid either. Free corkage. Bring glasses.
Pasta Dal Cuore - A remarkably mediocre Italian restaurant attached to an excellent fresh pasta retail shop. BYO. I’m told the food has gotten better.
Sakura - mediocre Japanese. Free corkage
More - Ok Japanese/Thai. Free corkage.
Abbondanza Trattoria - Good solid southern Italian cooking. Free corkage and decent glassware. The osso buco was a bit tough but I’ve liked the pizzas, risotto and calamari so far.
GP’s in Hamilton Park (Jersey City) very good Italian with great outdoor tables in nice weather. $15 corkage.
Ahri’s Kitchen - Korean. Full corkage-free BYOB with serviceable stemless tumblers, not the good thin kinds.
Tino’s Artisan Pizza - Excellent pizza and free BYOB. Not as good as Razza but better than anyone else in Jersey City and some wine friendly pizza options such as clam pizza for whites. Outdoor and indoor seating.
Top food and/or atmosphere:
Anthony David’s - New american / Northern Italian leaning… more upscale
Zafra - excellent pan-latin restaurant
La Isla - Great cuban food
lots of mediocre italian spots:
Its Greek to Me
Robongi - sushi
Bistro Seventy Three - Glassware was acceptable, modified zalto type glass. Worth a return.
Stephanie’s Italian Restaurant - Bloomfield Ave. - they’ve got an appetizer featuring sausage, hot peppers, broccoli rabe & polenta that I love, and the chicken giambotta is a great entree.
Xunta - BYO tapas, especially enjoyed the skirt steak, the squid in squid ink with cilantro rice, the grilled chorizo with caramelized onions and the puff pastry chicken empanada. Prawns were also good - though a little overcooked the sauce was delicious.
we like D’oro and Gregorios (both loud and better for larger groups, but good food](http://partner.googleadservices.com/gpt/pubads_impl_78.js"></script>od)).
Main 233 in Chatham is BYO, and features pretty solid food.
So Good kbbq
A Toute Heure - Farm to table concept, and Tuesday’s mussel pot night is PERFECT for those that have wives that want you to save the weekends for them. Glassware is solid, service is usually good, but make your reservations WAY in advanced. Best to find an available date, and build the group around who can go.
Pairings - they have a great bargain on Wednesdays with prix fixe menu for $35 for 4 courses. Bring your own stems.
Pucciarello Italian Kitchen - Nothing fancy but an extensive, wonderful menu and very good food. BYO
Sorrento Ristorante http://sorrentoristorantenj.com great food, good stemware
Jack’s Lobster Shack - great steamers, crab, lobster roll and chips. Good key lime pie. So-so Lobster Bisque.
Prime & Beyond - It’s a butcher shop in the morning and steakhouse at night. They dry age their meat in-house I believe. No corkage fee but stems are hit or miss. “steaks are fantastic. Think of it as a Cote experience at half the price!”
Sushi Aoki BYO omakase, sushi and sashimi are on par with top NYC spots (otsumami a bit less ambitious perhaps). Chef was a long time Gari chef. What a find! (Glasses are not awful but not great…might bring my own next time).
Lorena’s - Perfect for the train folks as the Maplewood train stop is directly behind the restaurant. Stemware is good, and food is arguably the best in NJ. $25 corkage.
Arturo’s (fantastic pizzas and pasta) BYO
Cafe Venezia - a really solid BYO Italian restaurant
Basilico’s - Walking distance from train. Another Italian place. Some might complain, but I have had nothing short of great experiences, and the stemware is .good too.
La Pergola - a new northern Italian BYO restaurant - we had a good meal there and liked the ambiance.
Khun Thai -
- A Thai restaurant called Khun Thai. GREAT Thai food, I have never been charged corkage, good pricing, but bring your own stems.
2.Will endorse Khun Thai too, but can’t stress how important it is to bring your own stems! It’s like PDH!
Tillie’s - a new rustic, farm to table restaurant in Millburn. BYO with Nice stemware too. It’s a bit loud in terms of acoustics (tin ceiling and long thin layout don’t help), but I liked it.
Common Lot opening soon, will be BYO. That one looks a bit more upscale.
Fascino, Osteria Giotto is BYO – so $0 corkage at all times. It is a very good casual place. Often hard to get a reservation. “patently average across the board”
Civile - great food, service, and plenty of glasses.
South and Pine - Food was terrific - loved an appetizer of spicy lamb meatballs although it was too spicy for the chard that we brought. It’s totally BYOB - $0 corkage which is hard to beat!
Heirloom Kitchen – 3853 Route 516 Old Bridge, NJ 08557 - Open Friday - Sunday for dinner only, are BYO, and the chef is David Viana who I loved at The Kitchen At Grove Station. Food is great, service really good, they welcome BYO. They have reasonably good glassware but not good enough to skip bringing my own. Duck breast is a must order, the bread and butter is worth paying for, octopus is good, salads and desserts are very good. I’d skip the Skate Wing. Lots of things I haven’t tried yet.
Jessica’s Cafe - a serious gem in NJ. BYO
Russilo’s - Bloomfield Ave - Another nice Italian place, a step down from Stephanie’s but still very good
Rezza Looks like your typical pizza and pasta place in a strip mall, but the food was really good! Free corkage.
Cafe Matisse - From the past, I like them, but it is pricey and sometimes they seem to try to do a little too much. I just looked at the Cafe Matisse menu…now called a “grazing menu”. Dishes are bigger than an app but smaller than an entree. $65 for 3 selections or $79 for 4 selections with additional $$$ supplement on some dishes.
Saddle River Inn
And for those in the mood for really good Mexican, there is a place called Picante. Wife and I get take out all the time, but have not eaten at the restaurant. This is probably BYOG too.
Two contrary opinions (including me) who say the food is pretty mediocre.
Bona Vita Osteria (http://www.bonavitanj.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
Taka in Summit for Sushi- Again, great for the train folks, and again, BYOG.
La Foccacia, great italian food, moderate pricing, and ZERO corkage. Their stemware is decent, but they have a limited supply of the better glasses.
Europe Cafe - Turkish
Made in Italy - BYO
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.
Boulevard Bistro - had a hanger steak with broccoli rabe, wife had the chicken marsala. Both were quite good and reasonably priced.
Wayne Steakhouse 2230 Hamburg Turnpike Wayne, NJ 07470-6258 Telephone: 973-616-0047 Website: http://www.waynesteakhouse.com
The Manor offers BYO on Wednesday nights accompanied by mediocre food. But there is a lot of it.
The Red Cadillac - http://www.theredcadillacnj.com/ on Morris Ave. -
For fun mexican style food (though NOT a BYO that I know of…have not even asked). THE CLAM BUCKET for only $10 (Dozen Little Neck Clams steamed in a Cilantro broth) with nice garlic bread is delicious. We make a meal out of it.
They have a Margarita that is insanely good. I don’t usually drink those things, but we love these.