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Jan 10, 2002 03:02 PM

looking for any good food in Hunterdon Co., NJ

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We've recently moved to NJ from San Francisco, and although there are MANY things we like about this area, we are in GOOD food withdrawl! Not only are we unable to find anything ethnic, but we have failed to find a decent pizza, barbeque, italian or seafood place! There must be something out there. We are willing to drive a fair distance for something good!

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  1. Try The Harvest Moon Inn in Ringos. I myself, (and many others) would rate it as one of the top places in the state for innovative American cuisine. They have a web site:

    2 Replies
    1. re: FC

      Regarding Harvest Moon, while their food is tasty and a cut above any other fare available in Hunterdon County, I really find it contrived, overdone, and over-priced.

      1. re: Jenny

        Hunterdon Cty. Is pretty plain. Willie's Tavern in Bernards is decent. I'm staying in Whitehouse Station temporarily and I've found Casa Bianca (Italian) to be an awesome lunch place. Lots of Merck execs eat there. Also, Union Hotel in Flemington has great lunch burger. For a nice Sunday meal go to the Ironbound neighborhood in Newark (Ferry St.) for am amazing Spanish and Portegeuse food. Also some great Brazilain Rodizio places in the neigborhood.

    2. In Somerville, which is actually in Somerset County, but still close to Hunterdon, there are several good restaurants. One place is called Origins, I believe-it is a thai place with a French influence. There are several Italian restaurant, nothingthat will blow your socks off, though.

      1. h
        Helena Robinson

        Welcome to New Jersey! Where in Hunterdon County are you living?

        As someone already posted, one of the best places in the area is the Harvest Moon Inn. You can drive to Somerville and check out a variety of eateries; including BBW, Thai, kosher deli, and a bunch of Italian.

        While you're driving around the area, check out Lambertville.

        This is just for starters. If you tell us exactly where you live, I'm sure others will be happy to provide you with more suggestions! :-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Helena Robinson

          Specifically I live in the little town of Califon (which most people have not heard of). It is 5 miles north of Clinton/I-78 and about 15 miles east of the Pennsylvania border. We are willing to drive to eat good food as we have pretty much tried every place near-by...specific names of restaurants would be helpful (as opposed to names of towns). Thanks for everyones help so far. We plan to try out The Harvest Inn next looks great!

        2. Again, let me recommend travelling to Somerville. It's probably your closest ethnic food haven.

          Sushi: Shumi
          Barbecue: Bobby B.'s (Memphis), Texas Ranch House (Texas)
          Thai: Origin, Chao Phaya, Thai Chef
          Indian: Agra Palace
          Cuban: Martino's

          There's a new Mediterranean place (new, as in opening tonight! :) called Aladin's Restaurant; no clue how it is. There's also a Mexican/Salvadorean (I think?) place next to Shumi, maybe someone else can help with a name/review.

          For Italian, try Mia Sorella in Manville. Good reviews, and they appear to have recently expanded.

          Spain 92 on the circle is Spanish/Portuguese seafood, and also gets good reviews.

          A bit farther afield is New Brunswick, home to the main campus of Rutgers, the state university. There's plenty of creative American there (Soho on George, Stage Left, etc.) but there's also Makeda, an Ethiopian place.

          I'd also visit the New Jersey eGullet forum ( *in addition* to here.

          Welcome to New Jersey! If you're seeking advice in more spiritual matters, I left a URL below.


          1. Welcome to Hunterdon, and Califon is a beautiful place to live. I hope you love it here as much as I do. I live in Quakertown, another small gem of a place, about six miles south of Clinton. I don't eat out much around here because I often commute into NYC and I love to cook, but here are a few suggestions:

            In Lambertville, which is a bit of a drive for you, but a great town for an evening out, check out Siam for excellent Thai food, and Hamilton's Grill Room for good, upscale American. Or park in Lambertville and walk over the bridge to New Hope to Martine's, next to Farley's book store (which is the best bookstore maybe anywhere).

            My favorite place in Hunterdon is in Stockton -- Meil's. Charming, with the best "comfort" food in the area. Not far from there is the Cafe in Rosemont (you'll have to look at a map -- if this place is even on a map!) for good desserts and sandwiches, plus they do a different "ethnic" dinner one night each week. I've been there for Indian and Ethiopian, and it was fun.

            In Flemington, the California Grill on Rte. 31 is decent for salads and pasta, nothing too challenging.

            In Whitehouse, you have the Ryland Inn for very expensive, but widely acclaimed food. He grows all of his own vegetables in the summer, and that's the best time to go there. At least they will stock you with heirloom tomatoes to take home, which helps defray the sticker shock. Dinner there can easily run $100 pp. I personally have mixed feelings about the place.

            The Perryville Inn is also good for American cuisine -- right off of Rte. 78, Exit 12. Upscale, but not wildly expensive.

            My favorite lunch place is a tiny dump at the intersection of Rtes. 12 and 579 called Etzel's. Low on atmosphere, but they make everything from scratch and the food is actually quite excellent. I live nearby, so I don't know if I would travel great distances for this.

            Fortunately you are not far from Clinton, which has an absolutely superb fish store -- Metropolitan Seafood. He also makes some salads and other assorted things for take-out, and I buy his fishcakes at least twice per month for good, inexpensive and quick meals. People come from all over, as there is nothing else like it until you get into Morris County.

            For cheese there is the Clinton Wine Store in the Walmart Plaza, upper level. They don't have a large selection, but most of their cheeses are top of the line. Shop-Rite is opening up there next week, and it will probably be a traffic nightmare, so I would avoid it on Saturdays.

            You are in the northern-most reach of the county, and should explore Morris county -- Pierre's in Basking Ridge is where I usually go for special occasions and he has the best lunch buffet in NJ. I've never been to the brewery in Long Valley, but I hear it's good, and it's only ten minutes from you. Have fun exploring.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pat P

              Funny you should mention Etzels. We tried to go there one night mainly becasue there was a coupon in the Entertaiment book. It was a fairly long drive, and when we got there there was no one in the parking lot but some skater kid with a skateboard. We just kept driving and went somewhre else. At least now I can tell my wife the food is good, but it's a lunch place! I guess I should have called first.

              1. re: Pat P

                Thank you so much!!! You are a wealth of information! We have tried the brew pub in Long Valley. The beer was good, the rest of the food mediocre. We have also been to the Ryland Inn and enjoyed it, but who can afford the prices very often!
                Thank you, Laura

                1. re: Pat P

                  Speaking of Stockton: The famous song which was written about:"There's a Small Hotel, With A Wishing Well" is right in the middle of town. Costs more than Miel's, but, "what-the-hey", food's good and a few years back took my Mom there for Mother's Day.
                  The place was all a twitter, Jackie O had just left with HER mother.
                  It's the atmosphere AND the Wishing Well (yes, it's still there!).
                  If you go in the summer for Sunday Brunch ask for a table by the waterfall, it's lovely.
                  I must disagree about Hamilton's Grill Room. We tried it when it first opened ???years ago and both the service and food were terrible.
                  So, we waited a few months til they got the place running smoothly.....HAH! My husband finally asked the waitress if we were on 'Candid Camera'!!
                  Coincidentally, went there on Friday, April 12th for a small birthday party with friends (we warned them).
                  The guest of honor didn't ger his dinner until every one else was finished. The service was awful and the food so-so.
                  We couldn't wait to get out.
                  After all these years, hubby asked the Candid Camera question again, but waitress didn't get it this time. We have other friends who love it. Go figure. We're gone for good.