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Jul 25, 2005 07:24 PM

Good eats in New Brunswick/ Raritan, NJ

  • c

I'm going to be in the New Brunswick/Raritan area for 3 days at the end of September. What are the good places I shouldn't miss in this area? Thanks!

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  1. For upscale dining, my favorite in New Brunswick is The Frog and the Peach. Outstanding New American cuisine. Fine wine list. Excellent service. Stylish, contemporary interior + all-season Garden Room with lovely tropical decor.

    Stage Left is another of New Brunswick's upscale dining establishements. Though it's been a couple of years since we had dinner there, reports are that it is still producing very fine cuisine.

    Seven Hills of Istanbul, in Highland Park, serves excellent Turkish cuisine. Friendly, efficient service. Large space with nice decor, including interesting artifacts. Very reasonable prices. BYO.

    Seven Hills of Istanbul
    441 Raritan Av., Highland Park
    Tel.: 732-777-9711

    3 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      I absolutely have to second the Frog and Peach recommendation. After a few disappointments since moving here about 18 mos ago - Stage House (twice), Panico's, etc. - it was so refreshing to be pleasantly surprised by a restaurant. Modern cuisine (American + French?), done WELL (i.e., we didn't feel like the chef was experimenting on us), in a contemporary and relaxed setting, with very good service.

      1. re: Mateo

        I did not like the Frog and the Peach at all. The food was very sub-par and way over-priced. I don't agree with the label "the best restaurant in NJ" at all. My greens were unwashed and had sand / grit in them.

        1. re: zackk7

          Just had dinner at Stage Left on Tuesday night (which makes twice in a month after not going for 10+ years). The food was excellent, well-prepared and presented. My only reservation is that on most of the dishes the portions are on the smallish-side...except for the 48 oz Porterhouse. The wine list, while interesting and extensive, does tend to be on the pricey-er side of the scale, as well. It's not a cheap meal by any standard, but I felt it was worth it and I'll go back.

    2. make a stop at Thomas Sweets for dessert.It's on Easton Ave. great ice cream

      3 Replies
      1. re: christine

        A few weeks ago, I stopped at Thomas Sweet for some ice cream, and I have to say that the quality has dropped drastically from what I had experienced previously. My chocolate mint chip was "OK"--but definitely not in the category of good. My friend's Butter Pecan was absolutely awful. When he said that it was not good, I asked for a taste of it. The reason (at least the main reason) why the Butter Pecan was awful is that the pecans in it were RANCID!

        I suggested that we go back and get a refund, but he demurred. In my opinion, an ice cream company that uses rancid ingredients does not deserve my patronage again--and as a result, Thomas Sweet has seen my money for the last time.

        1. re: JB

          wow! I haven't been there in awhile, but it was always so good. not many good ice cream places in the area.

          1. re: christine

            I agree that there are not many places for good ice cream in the area. However, recently I tried the Blueberry Ice Cream at the Amish Market on Rt. 27 in Kingston. It was really, really, great. The next time, I will try a different flavor, so that I can determine if their quality is consistent.

            If you are in that area on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday (their only business days), give them a try, and see if you agree with me about their high quality.

      2. The Old Bay has an excellent selection of microbrewed beers and good live blues. The food is pretty sucky though.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jennifer
          jay in boonton

          Pretty sucky food at the old bay? I have to say I've had better cajun/creole, and they have been dumbing down the menue for the college kids, but overal, I have always been impressed with the food at the Old Bay. Add in some great live music and the place is top of the list. The lunch specials are some of the best deals around, and the beer list is also one of the best.

          If there are any better cajun/creole restaraunts in central or northern nj, pleast post!


        2. I echo the Seven Hills suggestion below. Great Food: Great ambiance; reasonable price. Note though that it is BYOB.

          Another great option just over the bridge into Highland Park is Pad Thai. Great thai food at reasonable prices. They recently redid the interior so the ambiance is quite pleasant and a boost for some is that they have a liquor lic.

          Also, if you go to either place have go to the Corner Confectionary for dessert especially if it is a nice evening and you can sit outside.

          3 Replies
          1. re: marcharlan

            The Seven Hills Of Istanbul Mediterranean Grill House
            does not answer their phone. Do you think they may be on vacation or have they closed?

            1. re: Linda

              Seven Hills has been out of business for a few months .

            2. re: marcharlan

              Pad Thai is definitely a winner !
              I prefer it over Mie Thai in Woodbridge .