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May 30, 2000 05:04 PM

clifton, new jersey eats

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Where can I go in or near Clifton for a great meal....Italian or Chinese. Replies are appreciated.

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  1. Chengdu at 1105 Rt 46 (East) is a very Chinese restaurant with moderately high prices. The telnum is 973-777-8855.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Peter
      jonathan sibley

      I would say that Chengdu 46 is a better than average Chinese restaurant with higher than average prices. Most good Chinese restaurants have a separate, Chinese (not Western-influenced) menu, but I couldn't find one at Chengdu. There are some Sichuan dishes (as befits the name), but a lot of common dishes were not on the menu.

      By the way, across 46 from Chengdu is a liquor store that has a pretty good selection of beers. I can't think of the name right now, but it is in a strip mall right across from Chengdu 46.

      There are quite a few good restaurants in Montclair (one town over) if you are interested.

    2. If you want good Italian food, you MUST go to La Riviera on Route 46. They have a take out menu which features the same entrees in the restaurant, but for a bargain, do the prix fixe - which usually ranges around $17 for 2 people (but is ample for 3-4). Otherwise, the restaurant itself is fabulous. The pasta is homemade and the prices are competitive. Try the salmon-ricotta gnocchi, if they have it as a special or the orechiette with wild mushrooms.

      Don't try Chengdu 46 - you pay for Chinese waiters in tuxes to serve menial portions French-style of half-decent Chinese food. It's upscale Americanized Chinese food.... and it's quite expensive!!! You pay for atmosphere, that's all. I have no idea why they include this restarant in Zagat's.

      For Chinese, try China Garden (in the Delawanna section, I think). They have fresh fresh fresh seafood (they have fishtanks in the front of their restaurant) and besides Americanized entrees (like sweet & sour whatever and egg foo young), they also serve authentic Chinese specials. The prices are also reasonable compared to Chengdu 46.

      1. the pizza garden-eat there.

        2 Replies
        1. re: lydia

          Ever since it's changed owners, the quality of the food is not like it was before... the staff is still the same. The other night, since the rest. was running out of salad, the owner decided to take entree salads off the menu, instead of running out to get some, like others would have done.

          Eat at Mario's instead... or DISH!

          1. re: Anna

            Marios changed owners recently too its not as good there now

        2. Many years ago (some of you might not be that old!) I worked at HLR in Nutley. I went out for lunch, once or twice, to a pizza place in Clifton that had the finest pies in all the world! Since this was at least 35 years ago, I don't even remember the exact location. Does this ring a bell??? Next time I travel to NJ, I'd like to see if it's still around. I live in Oregon. JDW

          1 Reply
          1. re: daawgon

            I'll take a guess that the pizza place you are talking about is Mario's, on Van Houten Avenue. They are famous for their "Emmy's Extra Thin" crust pizza. Unlike a lot of thin crust pizza this is not bar style - it's a regular large pie, with a crust so thin and crisp you can eat an entire pie, or at lease want to. Our kids like to hold up sheets of paper to compare which is thinner...The pizza does not travel, and must be eaten there. The restaurant hasn't changed in 40 years.

          2. LuNello's in nearby Totowa is terrific for Italian.
            I can also recommend Giambotta, a couple of miles away in Cedar Grove.

            LaRiviera used to be good--it's been years since I've been.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rruben1

              Just an FYI...LuNello's is in Cedar Grove, and Giambotta's is now "Rome". (and it's located on Pompton TPk/route 23)