Jersey City and Northern NJ

Lots of good choices here. I’ll start listing a few and keep filling in as more occur (or of course as others post).

Jersey City



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.
http://www.gpsrestaurant.com/jersey-city-menu

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.

Hoboken:

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:
Trattoria Sapporito
Picolo Roma

Its Greek to Me
Robongi - sushi


Bernardsville
Bistro Seventy Three - Glassware was acceptable, modified zalto type glass. Worth a return.

Caldwell

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.


Chatham
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.

Closter

So Good kbbq

Cranford:
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.

East Hanover
Pucciarello Italian Kitchen - Nothing fancy but an extensive, wonderful menu and very good food. BYO

East Rutherford
Sorrento Ristorante http://sorrentoristorantenj.com great food, good stemware


Edgewater
Jack’s Lobster Shack - great steamers, crab, lobster roll and chips. Good key lime pie. So-so Lobster Bisque.


Fort Lee
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).

Madison:
Il Mondo Vecchio (http://ilmondovecchio.com/" onclick=“window.open(this.href);return false;)
Resto (http://www.restonj.com/” onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
Osteria Trevi

Maplewood
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

Martinsville
Lombardi Pizza
Cafe Venezia - a really solid BYO Italian restaurant

Millburn
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 -

  1. 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.

Montclair:
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”

Morris Plains
Civile - great food, service, and plenty of glasses.

Morristown
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!

Old Bridge

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.
https://heirloomkitchen.com/restaurant/

Plainfield
Jessica’s Cafe - a serious gem in NJ. BYO


Ramsey
Cafe Panache




Russilo’s - Bloomfield Ave - Another nice Italian place, a step down from Stephanie’s but still very good


Ridgewood
Cravings

Roseland

Rezza Looks like your typical pizza and pasta place in a strip mall, but the food was really good! Free corkage.

Rutherford

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
Saddle River Inn


Springfield
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.

Summit:
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.

Tenafly

Europe Cafe - Turkish

Totowa

Made in Italy - BYO


Verona

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.

Westfield
Boulevard Bistro - had a hanger steak with broccoli rabe, wife had the chicken marsala. Both were quite good and reasonably priced.

Wayne
Wayne Steakhouse 2230 Hamburg Turnpike Wayne, NJ 07470-6258 Telephone: 973-616-0047 Website: http://www.waynesteakhouse.com
Free corkage.

West Orange
The Manor offers BYO on Wednesday nights accompanied by mediocre food. But there is a lot of it.
https://www.themanorrestaurant.com/wednesday-wine-night.html

Union

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.

Head a little further west, and in Summit is La Foccacia, great italian food, moderate pricing, and ZERO corkage. Their stemware is decent, but they have a limited supply of the better glasses.

In Millburn, there is a Thai restaurant called Khun Thai. GREAT Thai food, I have never been charged corkage, good pricing, but bring your own stems.

Hoboken:

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:
Trattoria Sapporito
Picolo Roma

Its Greek to Me
Robongi - sushi

A few others:
Lorena’s in Maplewood- 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.

Basilico’s in Millburn- Walking distance from train. Another Italian place. Some might complain, but I have had nothing short of great experiences, and the stemware is very good too.

Will endorse Khun Thai too, but can’t stress how important it is to bring your own stems! It’s like PDH!

And for those in the mood for really good Mexican, there is a place called Picante in Springfield. Wife and I get take out all the time, but have not eaten at the restaurant. This is probably BYOG too.

Taka in Summit for Sushi- Again, great for the train folks, and again, BYOG.

Apparently, there is no glassware in NJ! [rofl.gif]

Recently had dinner at Basilico’s after not going for a few years and it was excellent.

If we’re extending Jersey City to Union and Morris county I can add a few in the area:

Summit:
Bona Vita Osteria (http://www.bonavitanj.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Madison:
Il Mondo Vecchio (http://ilmondovecchio.com/" onclick=“window.open(this.href);return false;)
Resto (http://www.restonj.com/” onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

I guess I should rename the thread. I really intended this one to be for Jersey City…

NJ Turnpike exit number might work. [wow.gif]

Northern NJ could easily be its own topic, but absent of that, here are my favorite Montclair, NJ picks:
Fascino, Osteria Giotto, Table 8, to name a few.

Blu needs to be added to this list of very good Montclair places. The food is quite good, but the service is dicey.

A Toute Heure in Cranford needs to be added as well. 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.

Totally agree with Ian on A Teute Heure. Excellent.
Didn’t see Culinariane mentioned in Montclair - delicious food, very good stemware and excellent service (they will decant your wine too).
In Chatham, we like D’oro and Gregorios (both loud and better for larger groups, but good food).
And a new northern Italian BYO restaurant just opened in Millburn called La Pergola, opened by one of the waiters from La Foccaccia in Summit - we had a good meal there and liked the ambiance.

Table 8 in Montclair closed some time ago, so it should be removed from the list.

Love ATH. I am there almost every week.

Boulevard Bistro in Westfield. Went last night for dinner, had a hanger steak with broccoli rabe, wife had the chicken marsala. Both were quite good and reasonably priced.

I don’t get out in NJ as much as most of youse’ guys, but I like Stephanie’s Italian Restaurant on Bloomfield Ave. in Caldwell - they’ve got an appetizer featuring sausage, hot peppers, broccoli rabe & polenta that I love, and the chicken giambotta is a great entree.

Another nice Italian place, a step down from Stephanie’s but still very good, is Russilo’s, also on Bloomfield Ave., although that might be West Caldwell by then.

Do you mean Kenilworth?

It’s in Westfield on South Avenue. I haven’t been but I’ve seen it.

Pairings in Cranford is relatively new and they have a great bargain on Wednesdays with prix fixe menu for $35 for 4 courses. Bring your own stems.

That’s the place on South Ave, have seen Pairings may need to try it.

Heard Pairings was very good.

Been to Pairings a few times, and really liked it. Big place too, so easy to get into. We were at ATH twice in the past week.

Jaouen, I guess we need to get together soon at one of them. See once and for all, who really has more hair now. And bring Sandy, because if it’s just you, it’s not worth the 3 mile trip. neener