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Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

Where to eat? Roots Steakhouse is supposed to be good, but has a 3-week wait. What else is there? Thanks

Starving in NJ..

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  1. what kind of food are you looking for?

    1. Focaccia on Morris Ave. is very good. Monster Sushi isn't bad.

      1. Yes, La Foccaccia is an excellent restaurant. Another great place thats a good value is La Pastaria. Its very casual and they have an extensive menu. They have probably one of the bes lasagne's that i've ever had!!
        Another good place in summit Brix. I don't know if you like very trendy food, but thats waht this place is. Its asian inspired, but very good. It's right accross from the Train Station
        Monster Sushi is good for a chain. Not the best sushi in the area though!

        Are you willing to go out of Summit because i can definitely recommend places in the surrounding areas!!

        1. if your looking for a great steak in summit, you should try the Hunt Club in the Summit Hotel. Their food definitley gives Roots a run for their money and their prices are better too. i also agree with niko on brix 67 and finally i would reccomend fiorinos for wonderful italian food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: blue skies

            I live in Summit and have never been to the Hunt Club at the Hotel so I ought to try it (Roots is over-rated). My issue with Fiorino's is that every time I go there the waitstaff is sort of aggressive in rushing me through the dinner . . . for the price, they ought to chill a little bit. I think that they are somehow related to La Focacia, which in some ways is better becasue it is BYOB so yousave a lot on that end.

            -----
            Fiorino
            38 Maple St., Summit, NJ 07901

            1. re: DRex357

              Went to the Hunt Club for brunch one day and was completely disappointed in the food. The service was fine though.

          2. i'm from east hanover, it's not too far of a drive. avellino's on ridgedale avenue is a great italian restaurant/deli, really casual. the owners barely speak english they're that italian ;-)

            i understand the area is not the best for good food. if i think of anything else, will inform.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hugglyj

              I just tried Avellino's a few days ago based on the recommendation of a friend. It was very disappointing. In all fairness, I only had two slices of pizza, but it was not good. I got the impression it had been made many hours earlier and then simply reheated. It was served to me lukewarm and the congealed cheese had not even remelted completely. The sauce tasted like it was from a can; a bit watery and devoid of any real flavor. The dough was rubbery and had a raw flour taste. On the theory that all restaurants have a bad day, I'd be willing to try Avellino's again, especially since I’ve seen many positive reviews of the restaurant, but based one my visit I wouldn't recommend it.

            2. If you lived in Brooklyn, you will be disappointed in the restaurant scene here in the burbs. We recommend Trap Rock Brewery, which has excellent food in Berkely Hts., part of the ROOTS Steakhouse group, which is also decent, though pricey, you get a good piece of beef here, and wonderful popovers! Even Huntley Taverne is very good, nice selection, a bit ecletic and all 3 of these places have good bars. For Italian food we go to E. Hanover, to Godfathers on Route 10, or Resevoir Tavern in Parsippany for GREAT pizza. We also love The Tewksbury Inn, about 30 minutes on Rt. 78, where we eat almost every weekend, I promise you will love it! PS I wouldn't mind living in Brooklyn, what a great place for food!

              1. oh yeah over on springfield avenue in berkeley heights is a restaurant called wasabi. I used to work there, it was opened by a friend of mine, we used to work at another japanese restaurant together. try it out! it's been a while since i was there, but it used to be great.

                1. You're going to be disappointed in the general offerings in and around Summit. Try Montclair, which has a restaurant scene much like Park Slope.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Felixnot

                    While I agree with your assessment of the food options in Summit, the drive from Summit to Montclair is easily a half hour. The trip is certainly worth it for the occaisional Saturday night out, but that kind of drive probably isn't realistic for everyday dining.

                  2. took me a long time, and im still trying to find brooklyn food // im here 12 years... ! good luck but in all fairness NJ does have some GREAT restaurants.

                    1. Drive over to Montclair and Bloomfield. Good ethnic eats and lots of them, as well as tablecloth boites.

                      For info, go to www.baristanetnj.com and click on Food

                      1. Lorena's, in Maplewood (about 15 minutes from Summit), is one of the state's best restaurants. Chef/owner Humberto Campos' cuisine is superb. Service is cordial and polished. The cozy space (35 seats) has charming decor. It's a BYO and wines are handled with expertise.

                        http://www.restaurantlorena.com

                        1. There's an excellent Malaysian place in Madison called Taste of Asia II or something like that.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jeanki

                            It's actually on Main Street in Chatham, and yes, they're good :-)

                          2. Huntley Tavern is great!

                            1. Taste of Asia II is in Chatham, the original is in Montclair. There is some interesting food in Morristown, too. Origins is a Thai/French place BYO that I think is pretty good.

                              1. Okay. New Jersey is much more spread out than Brooklyn, but like the outer boroughs, once you're on the right block, you'll find great food.

                                Summit is not far from the Arabic restaurants and shops of Main Street in Patterson and even closer to the South Asian world of Oak Tree Road (which has no equal in NYC.)

                                What else?...How about the Brazilian and Portuguese places on Ferry Street in Newark. (Also no equal in the city) The Mexican stuff in New Brunswick, the Chinese in south Edison and Highland Park, Polish in Linden...

                                It's the suburbs! Everything is spread out. But it's here.

                                1. <em>aste of Asia II is in Chatham, the original is in Montclair.</em>

                                  It's actually long gone from Montclair -- over two years.

                                  1. Try Summit Thai on maple, it's very good...also someone mentiioned La Pastaria--I agree, it's excellent for Italian. Taka Sushi on Summit Ave is good, but I think it's a chain. You should venture out to Route 22 if you like good Indian food---try Veena (there's also Raagini, but I think Veena is better), or Star of India (which I think is in Berkeley Heights--not far from Summit). But Dabbawalla in Summit is terrible! And for cocktails & a more trendy style, check out the Martini Bar in Millburn. Most places are BYOB. Huntley Tavern is good for fancy steaks and stuff like that. You can also get a good basic breakfast at Cafe Mavi, although their Middle Eastern food is disappointing, and of course there are a million diners everywhere--try the huge one on Route 22, which has a massive menu & cocktails!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: bani

                                      Just a correction...Veena is in Scotch Plains (across from Bowcraft Playland on Rt. 22), Raagini is in Mountainside on 22, and Star Of India is actually in Kenilworth (worth finding, btw....if you don't want to go all the way to Edison for the real stuff). The Indian place in Berkeley Heights is Neelam (average), and I agree...Dabbawalla isn't worth even trying unless you're trying to ease someone into Indian food...other than that it's horrible and probably won't last another year.

                                      1. re: GarageRock

                                        I drop by Raagini once month for brunch. I have been going there for 10 years and highly recommend them.

                                    2. Mama Tucci's in Livingston is fabulous contemporary Italian cuisine. Not a traditional "red sauce" place like Ponte Del Vecchio's in Bklyn (which I like a lot, btw).

                                      www.mamatucci.com

                                      Bon Appetit

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: craigmaj

                                        unfortunately, Mama Tucci's has recently closed.

                                        1. re: jojobeans

                                          Two of the former chefs from Mama Tucci's are working with a new Italian restaurant in Summit opened this summer, Bona Vita Osteria, at 37 Maple.
                                          http://www.bonavitanj.com/

                                      2. I moved here from Melbourne, Australia - a gastronomic feasting ground. Good food is definitely hard to find around here. For 5 star quality (chef used to be sous chef for Jean Georges) is The Pluckemin Inn (in Pluckemin, I believe - close to Bridgewater). It is amazing! The Huntley Tavern (in Summit) has much improved since I moved here in 2004. I personally do not feel that Trap Rock very good. Basilico in Millburn is yummy. In the Short Hills mall: Neiman Marcus cafe for lunch is kind of fun; California Pizza kitchen is good for casual, chain food; Legal Seafood is consistently good. In Summit, Fiorino's for Italian is delicious; Taka Sushi is better than good, Summit Thai is very good (BYO but little atmosphere). I also prefer Village Trattoria for brick oven pizza.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: tassemd

                                          I just want to update my comments... Village Trattoria pizza is starting to get soggy when we order it for take out. Trap Rock has improved - and you can't beat the beer. The Perryville Inn is also fabulous.

                                          1. re: tassemd

                                            Have you been to Luke's Kitchen in Maplewood? Rod worked for Jean George at the Mercer Kitchen as Sou Chef. If you haven't been there you should check it out and introduce yourself. Rod is very friendly and loves customers who know a thing or two about fine dining.

                                          2. Try Luke's Kitchen in Maplewood, Rod the chef is the owner and he goes out of his way to impress. Rod's training is in NYC with some heavy hitters. The place only seats 35, atmosphere is perfect for a date, special occassion or girls night out. Maplewood is about miles from Summit on the otherside of Short Hills/ Milburn. It's BYOB call before you show its usually booked solid on Friday and Saturday.

                                            1. You've obviously answered this question yourself already, but I just wanted to share a recent find: If you like Indian (specifically southern India) than don't miss Moksha on Oak Tree Road in Edison! Just outstanding from start to finish...we were blown away!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: GarageRock

                                                GarageRock,
                                                I have started working in Iselin on Wood Ave and I'm down the road from Oak Tree I am big fan of Moghoul and the Dragon Palace. You can't beat the food and buffet prices are a steal. I'll have to try Moksha.

                                                1. re: 2455Bklyn

                                                  Try Ming too...Indian take on Chinese food...the Drums Of Heaven chicken wings (appetizer) are unreal...

                                                  1. re: GarageRock

                                                    I have always been curious about Ming's the idea is a bit of a stretch for me but if you say so I'll give it a try... maybe this Friday for lunch.

                                              2. I'm surprised noone has mentioned Souffle--has been around for awhile but is still very good. We went recently and it was quiet but we had an excellent meaal and very good service. Mama Tucci in Livingston has closed but I believe the owners have opened another place in Summit called Bona Vita Osteria. Lorenas is wonderful--very small hard to get into, more of a special occassion type place although casual. Also Fioino, Italian is consistently good

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LIV286

                                                  I thought they went out of business. I think there are other places nearby that I would go to first.

                                                2. lots!!!
                                                  monster sishi
                                                  titos burtios
                                                  Broadway grill
                                                  Broadway dinner
                                                  brick oven pizza etc...........

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: feather09

                                                    Just an FYI...Broadway Grill has gone out of business, believe it or not! It's been replaced with a restaurant called "food." http://foodinsummit.com ...haven't gone yet but will.

                                                    -----
                                                    Broadway Grill
                                                    339 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901

                                                    1. re: GarageRock

                                                      I checked out the menu at "Food" . Looks interesting. has anyone been there yet?

                                                  2. I second the recommendations for Huntley Taverne and Pastaria, for food in Summit proper, and for Taste of Asia on Main St in Chatham - only a short drive, and well worth it. Another mile or so further on Main St into Madison, will take you to the Staples shopping center, where the best Indian food in the area can be found at Neelam Palace. The same shopping center (it IS the suburbs, after all) has a sushi and Japanese restaurant (can't think of the name) that is also very good.

                                                    Just a little further up in Madison proper, Garlic Rose is on the left and is a good every day place.

                                                    Lorena's in Maplewood is an exceptional fine dining/"occasion" restaurant. For other fine dining in the area, try Il Monde Vecchio in Madison and Restaurant Serenade in Chatham.

                                                    For Thai, I ended up with Morris Thai in Union as my regular choice. Decor is the pits, but the food is amazing and so cheap. For an elegant setting and pricier food, Khun Thai in Millburn is very nice. If you're willing to go to Bloomfield, Brookside Thai is very good and quite nice inside.

                                                    Best pizza in the area is over in Cranford, at Emma's. Extremely loud place, full of families and large groups, but unbelievable pizza and salads.

                                                    I also really like and regularly go to the Spanish Tavern on 22 in Mountainside for lobster, other seafood and steak. it's a Portuguese style place, nice but strange decor, consistently offering very good lobster at a good price. And Sangria!

                                                    Bon appetit!

                                                    -----
                                                    Khun Thai Restaurant
                                                    504 Millburn Ave, Short Hills, NJ 07078

                                                    Taste of Asia
                                                    73 Elm St, New Canaan, CT 06840

                                                    Brookside Thai Restaurant
                                                    380 Broad St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

                                                    Main St Cafe
                                                    6 N Main St, New City, NY 10956

                                                    Spanish Tavern
                                                    1239 US Highway 22, Mountainside, NJ 07092

                                                    Brookside Cafe
                                                    264 State Route 49, Cleveland, NY 13042

                                                    32 Replies
                                                    1. re: 1toomany

                                                      "...best Indian food in the area can be found at Neelam Palace."

                                                      If by 'area' you mean Madison, then, sure, Neelam Palace is the 'best Indian food in the area.' If 'area' means 'county,' though, then no, Neelam Palace is definitely not the best. Saffron (east hanover) has serious quality control issues, but it's still better than Neelam. Spice Grill (east hanover/parsippany) is better than Saffron. Neelam is just a tiny bit better than Ming II (morristown), which, imo, is the worst in the county.

                                                      -----
                                                      Spice Grill
                                                      111 US Highway 46, Parsippany, NJ 07054

                                                      Ming II
                                                      3 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960

                                                      1. re: scott123

                                                        I am talking Madison-Summit-Millburn. For me, Parsipanny was beyond my regular eating area, so I don't know those restaurants (Spice Grill). That's a distance from Summit. I never went to Ming II so I can't comment on that. As for my recommendations, and anyone's, you know how it goes - your mileage may vary. Tastes differ. Saffron was not good the 2 times I went there, so I stopped trying and I would not recommend it over Neelam --- except on decor and image. Raagini comes close, but always ends up costing me twice as much as Neelam, and has no chicken tikka masala. (I know, I know, many say it's not a true Indian dish, but what other type of restaurant can you get it in?) Cheers.

                                                        -----
                                                        Raagini Restaurant
                                                        1085 US Highway 22, Mountainside, NJ 07092

                                                        Ming II
                                                        3 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960

                                                        1. re: 1toomany

                                                          Ming II is the reincarnation of Mogul- one of the best Indian restaurants ever. Which makes the complete nose dive that Ming II took so tragic.

                                                          Re; Raagini, if you are actually purchasing non buffet meals at any of these places, I tip my hat to your economic prowess ;) That's just too rich for my blood. When you start comparing buffet prices, though, Raagini is in the same realm as Neelam- and far superior. Raagini isn't as good as Spice Grill (across the street from Saffron), but the selection alone blows Neelam out of the water.

                                                          Saffron, like I said before, has quality control issues. When they're on, no one can touch them. I'd wager to say your trips to Saffron were probably at least year ago, right? They've mellowed quite a bit/gone more classical and it's working well for them. Occasionally the food will be too spicy to eat, but when they have their cayenne in check, the offerings are top notch.

                                                          And those 'many' that say Chicken Tikka Masala isn't a 'true' indian dish- they would be wrong- dead wrong. The sub continent has had tomatoes for 400 years, and creamy gravies and tandoori chicken (kebabs) from the Muslim invaders even earlier than that. In that 400 years time, you better believe that some enterprising chef combined all three in one dish- especially when there are existing/historically traceable Indian dishes that are very similar to CTM, such as butter chicken. The failed British attempt to co-op this dish as their own has nothing to with fact, but with pride. The British can't handle being bested- especially not be a country that they use to rule (very poorly). So they make up these ludicrous stories about Scotland and tomato soup. It's insulting to the sub continent and to those with half a brain in their head.

                                                          -----
                                                          Spice Grill
                                                          111 US Highway 46, Parsippany, NJ 07054

                                                          Raagini Restaurant
                                                          1085 US Highway 22, Mountainside, NJ 07092

                                                          Ming II
                                                          3 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960

                                                          1. re: scott123

                                                            you are right about my trips to Saffron. I would try it again based on your advice. And thank you for the interesting historical perspective on CTM! Cheers.

                                                            1. re: 1toomany

                                                              I noticed a couple of good Indian restaurants missing from this post how about Sona in Maplewood and Begum in Madison. Begum has a wonderful buffet dinner on Sunday at approx 18 per person. Sona is also a wonderful place and in a great town for eating.

                                                              1. re: 2455Bklyn

                                                                OMG! I realize I actually meant Begum Palace, and mis-called it Neelam Palace in my OP. I think Begum is the best around that area, Neelam is really only so-so. Ooops!

                                                                1. re: 1toomany

                                                                  I called it Neelam as well (and also called Mehndi 'Ming'). Since you've resurrected this old thread around the same time that I've rediscovered my love for Indian buffet, I'll update my thoughts on my favorite (and not so favorite) places in the area.

                                                                  First of all, Neelam (Berkely Heights), is just plain terrible. I went there last week and I swear that there were only four gravied dishes and what was there was incredibly dull and uninspired.

                                                                  Cinnamon (Morris Plains) was my favorite for a while, but they went down hill over the years. They're the only place that consistently serves lamb (or goat), but, unfortunately, good lamb curry seems to be no longer possible in a buffet setting. Lamb stew meat sucks. On the beef side, beef stew meat, if treated well, can be full of collagen and melt in your mouth (and be very expensive), but lamb stew meat, as done is buffets, is always sinewy and tough. I've gotten to a point where I wish they just wouldn't serve it anymore. I'd have much more respect for a place that offered a third gravied Chicken option. Years ago, a place in East Hanover, Palki, used to make a lamb meatball in a korma gravy that used to rock my world, but, alas, I think the odds of ever seeing that again are pretty much non existent. Anyway, Cinnamon still offers the biggest selection in the area, but what they do offer is not what it used to be.

                                                                  In 2009, I had talked about how Parsippany was a step above the rest of the area, but, because of an increase of restaurants and a more competitive atmosphere, Parsippany is now in an entirely different universe. I recently ventured back to Spice Grill (rt. 46) after a couple year hiatus and I was blown away. Next to Spice Grill, Neelam is an embarrassment. Neelam's food is infused with apathy. The closest buffet is at least 10 miles away and they know that they'll have plenty of customers no matter what they serve. At Spice Grill, you can practically throw a rock and hit two other Indian restaurants. That fierce competition drives a quest for excellence that produces world class food. It's not the hugest spread (Two gravied Chickens, four gravied veggies), but the dishes they have are some of the best I've had in this area in 4 years.

                                                                  Pakwaan recently opened down the street (Home Depot shopping center) and it's very good (much better than Neelam), but it's not Spice Grill.

                                                                  Btw, here we are, 3 years later, and I still drive past the old Mogul location in Morristown and wistfully long for their crispy deep fried okra and melt in your mouth, house made paneer. At the same time, I still curse Mendhi. A couple months back I thought about giving Mendhi another chance, only to find out that their Sunday buffet was $15. I'm not spending that much on the very remote possibility that the food has improved. Before I do that, I'm giving some of the other new places in Parsippany a shot.

                                                                  Lastly, just to keep this a little bit on topic, Summit continues to be an overpriced culinary wasteland when it comes to ethnic food. If one is looking for Indian and doesn't want to drive to Parsippany (24 west/287 N is a surprisingly quick trip), Begum (Chatham) has to be better than Neelam (ANYTHING is better than Neelam), although it's been at least 4 years since I've been to Begum.

                                                                  1. re: scott123

                                                                    Ive had good goat and good vegetable dishes at Cinnamon within the last few months. We had a fairly good (weekday lunch at Mehni last year, good enough that I would go back but not outstanding. Begum palace is my old favorite, remembering excellent goat, dal and chicken, but Its been at least 3 years since I persuaded anyone to go over there so I cant attest to current state. Thanks for the suggestions on Spice Grill.
                                                                    Maybe Im alone in not appreciating the former Mogul as much as others. I thought their meat curries had much too heavy creamy sauces.without as much distinct flavor as I liked (felt like almost something out of a jar), with not enough vegetable offerings to balance this off. My lunching friends, who mainly eat tandoori chicken hardly notice these things.

                                                                    1. re: jen kalb

                                                                      Mogul was far from flawless. You're spot on about the excessive use of cream in their meat dishes. Their CTM was incredibly one dimensional and probably one of the worst CTMs I've ever had. But the okra (served every Sunday) was magnificent and the paneer unsurpassed. I'm an incredibly harsh critic and always see room for improvement, but the okra and paneer were, imo, perfect. It's the only time I've ever had paneer that wasn't a bit squeeky when you bit into it, revealing a world class cheesemaker at the helm. The wings were top notch as well, although, since I've never seen wings at any other Indian buffet, I don't have anything to compare them to.

                                                                      In theory, some aspiring restauranteur could come along and make the best version of every dish, but I've never seen it. Even in the best places it's usually only one or two dishes that truly shine. Jyoti, in Wayne, does the best CTM I've ever had, but, unfortunately, their other dishes are kind of non descript. Saffron does a really good fresh spinach palak. Spice grill has a generically labeled 'chicken curry' that's the best non tomato based chicken I've tasted. For many years, I've longed to befriend a restaurant owner and take him/her around to all the different places that offer the best versions of each dish, so that they can see what's possible and collate everything into an all star menu. I'd like to take them to London as well, as they bring a few other flavors to the table (such as coconut milk and additional methi) that bring a little more variety into the mix, which, considering that all the dishes pretty much start with the same base, can be valuable.

                                                                      I've had the goat at Cinnamon probably 30 times and every time it's been tough and grisly- just like the lamb. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear that they go to the butcher and ask for the sinewy trimmings that are being thrown away. Both the lamb and the goat taste like the lowest grade of meat possible. At least they did about 8 months ago. It's been a while since I've been to Cinnamon. Another gripe that I have with them is that they're really cheap and starchy with their approach to veggies. In a meal where you're already eating bread and rice, corn and potato dishes have absolutely no place. I have no issue with aloo gobi, but aloo on it's own, no. Yes, cauliflower is expensive, but there's no cuisine on this planet that produces better cauliflower than Indian and it's nutritional aspect is a huge added plus. Places that have, since 2008, been nickel and diming the veggie options should be ashamed of themselves. Lastly, this is completely personal, but I'm not a big fan of peas and Cinnamon was getting very pea happy for a while. The peas also play a part in my starch issues.

                                                                      1. re: scott123

                                                                        Sorry to have missed that okra at mughul - we were weekdayat cinnamon, I have had a good chicken curry with methi and also sometimes a very good fresh tasting chopped fried okra dish. Sometimes they have a cheese based gravy dish (I am blanking on the name of these dumplings) that is very good. Cheap goat cuts are good as long as they are cooked long enough to dissolve the connective tissue. I actually prefer these bony bits, as long as they are sufficiently cooked, but I guess your experience of cinnamon is more representative (more visits).
                                                                        I gave Saffron one shot - actually got takeout saag paneer from the buffet - a few years ago - it was bland and totally unimpressive so Ive not been back - maybe they have improved their cuisine in the intervening years.

                                                            2. re: scott123

                                                              I work in Iselin and around the corner from Ming and Mogul. I love Mogul and go there often but did want to let everyone know that their prices just about doubled since the renovation. No more cheap lunch buffets.

                                                              I also want to mention the BEST Chinese restuarant in the area is in Springfield the Szechuan Village on Mountain Ave near the post office. The food is real Chinese similar to NYC Chinatown not the American version. Prices are moderate and a real value for for the qualty and taste. Business is slow during the week I can usually call my order in 10 minutes before pick up and have it ready by the time I pick up my children from karate. You can also pick up homemade ice cream from Libby's next door.

                                                              1. re: 2455Bklyn

                                                                I don't get out to Edison much, but I would expect the larger number of Indian restaurants there would keep Mogul on their toes. The Ming that I'm referring to (Morristown), Ming II, as I mentioned before, is horrible.

                                                                Should I ever run into a member of the Mehtani family, believe me, I will be giving them a large piece of my mind. As far as I'm concerned, London and Northern NJ have the best Indian restaurant food in the world (better than even India itself). When the best restaurant in NJ, possible even the whole planet, packs up, moves a block away and then proceeds to serve garbage, it's a sad sad sad sad day.

                                                                I'm sorry to keep harping on this, but the loss of Morristown Mogul weighs upon me terribly. I wish they would have just shut down for good, because Ming II is just an insult.

                                                                1. re: scott123

                                                                  I always found the food at the Morristown Mogul to be too heavy with overly rich sauces - and there were not enuf veg selections. For my $ Begum Palace down in madison (have not been this year however - my lunch bunch has been going to Cinnamon on Rte 10 instead) is better than Mogul ever was. there are other good places too in the area - have not been over to MIng II yet, (do you actually like Indian Chinese food??? - I havent decided yet) I do agree that the findian ood in this area stacks up quite well to Indian food Ive had elsewhere including India.

                                                                  Do you have other places you like near Morristown.

                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                    I find the Indian Chinese food combination a bit strange but the variety can be good. I like to Chinese vegtables as an option.

                                                                  2. re: scott123

                                                                    Don't know if people are getting the name or the restaurant wrong. The Mehtani family opened two restaurants upon closing Mogul -- Ming II and Menhdi. Ming II is sort of pan-East Asian and very spicy, but not Indian at all. Next door is Mendhi.

                                                                    For my money Mendhi is better than Beghum, though more expensive. I prefer Cinnamon on Route 10 to either one, but I appreciate the other tips given here.

                                                                    1. re: brownhound

                                                                      D'oh! I can't believe I screwed up on both Beghum's and Mendhi's name in the same thread. Anyway, my earth shattering disappointment is in Mendhi, not Ming II.

                                                                      Thanks for catching that.

                                                                2. re: scott123

                                                                  Actually, Mehndi is the "new" Moghul, not Ming II. Ming (the original is in Edison, along with the original Moghul) is the Indian rendition of Chinese food, which is why it's totally different from Moghul or any other Indian restaurant. Try the "Drums Of Heaven" chicken wings they have as an appetizer...they'll blow you away, IMO!

                                                                  1. re: scott123

                                                                    BTW Veena is now Red Pepper and it's even better! Awesome huge menu and the food is great...well worth a try!

                                                              2. re: 1toomany

                                                                I have eaten at most of your recommendations and must say that it seems to be out of date with what is current as of the last few years. There are a few new favorites in town that aren't listed. I don't see restaurant MC in Millburn or Sapporo (Japanese) in Millburn or my favorite BYOB the new kid in town beating out Lorena's in Maplewood is Luke's Kitchen. The difference at Luke's is that they are more casual with a younger crowd full of real foodies that know what good food taste like at a value. They were reviewed by the New York Times Very Good in its first year of opening. And by the way all the cooking is done by the chef owner Rod Hernandez. If you haven't been there you must try it to be up on your game.

                                                                www.lukeskitchen.com

                                                                1. re: 2455Bklyn

                                                                  Luke's sounds like a completely different vibe from Lorena's. How can you compare apples to oranges? Lorena's provides a superb dining experience in every way. I'm not saying Luke's does not, I haven't been there, but a "younger crowd" does not a better restaurant make! Sorry!

                                                                2. re: 1toomany

                                                                  Is than Neelam Palace or Begum Palace? I havent been by for a while, but it used to be the latter.

                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                    D'oh! Good catch.

                                                                    Yup. Staples/Madison is Begum. I'm not great with the name, but my feelings still stand- it's lost a lot of it's luster over the years.

                                                                    Neelam (Berkeley Heights) has consistency good fare, but... whoah, is the selection limited. Parsippany selection isn't what it used to be (the lamb dish has pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur), but it's still at least 2 more main dishes than Neelam.

                                                                    Indian food in Parsippany pretty much run circles around Summit/Madison/Berkeley Heights, etc. If you live in Summit, hop on 24 and then 287. Timewise, it's not much further than Madison and the food is so much better.

                                                                    1. re: scott123

                                                                      Thanks for the tip my husband and I love Indian food and are always looking for the best place. Any place you would recommend?

                                                                      1. re: 2455Bklyn

                                                                        Fusion 22, on 22W Greenbrook, Thai fusion & Red Pepper, on 22E, Scotch Plains across from Bowcraft

                                                                        1. re: queeks

                                                                          Fusion On 22, which is a Thai/French fusion restaurant...mostly Thai based however...is absolutely awesome! We ate there for the first time 2 weeks ago (after eating at the original Fusion On Main in Flemington a few times) and were blown away :-) The "Drums Of Heaven" chicken wing appy is a must...you've never had wings remotely close to this unless you've had the dish of the same name at Ming's in Edison...they're unbelievable. The atmosphere and decor is awesome also, and everything we ate was ridiculously good. One word of caution for those that aren't "hot heads"...the dishes can be served mild, medium, or spicy, which is indicated on the menu and told to you by your waitperson....if you don't like extreme heat, do NOT order your food spicy, as you won't be able to eat it. Be safe and order medium the first time unless you're absolutely sure you can handle it....if you order mild you're totally fine. I had the Lamb Chili and ordered it spicy and it tested me, and I can tolerate extremely spicy food, so be careful. The dish was incredible, btw :-)

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Fusion On Main
                                                                          123 Main St, Flemington, NJ 08822

                                                                          1. re: queeks

                                                                            BTW I also mentioned Red Pepper a couple of posts above...definitely the best incarnation of Indian at this location since I've been living here (1990) and definitely worth a trip. The menu is HUGE, and great for vegetarians too!

                                                                            1. re: GarageRock

                                                                              Red Pepper is always delicious. They have a $7.95 buffet six days a week that is terrific. They are packed week days and hope they stay around for a long time. This is the third or fourth incarnation of Indian food at that location. Try it...

                                                                              1. re: ansky4

                                                                                Can any of the Red Pepper buffet fans confirm whether or not they do multiple chicken curries (beyond the sauce-less tandoori) and/or if they typically have a lamb or a goat dish?

                                                                                I know lamb or goat is a lot to ask for $7.95, but, imo, a good buffet will offer more non-veg options than just chicken.

                                                                            2. re: queeks

                                                                              CLOSED!! Best Indian restaurant in the most heavily populated Indian area in the country, and it's out of business...totally stinks. This economy is horrible for the restaurant business :-(

                                                                          2. re: scott123

                                                                            But did you say which places you like in Parsippany area? Ive been to chand palace several times and like it for what it is but would like to have other options that the meat eaters can enjoy. Also the lunch buffet is rather limited. On Rte 10 I think Cinnamon has some good dishes, Saffron is eh. Would love to hear about some others as new lunch options.

                                                                            1. re: jen kalb

                                                                              In Parsippany I have two current favorites:

                                                                              Mysore Woodlands is south Indian vegetarian and is located in a little plaza on Rt. 46 W about 1/4 mile west of the New Rd./Rt. 46 intersection. Keep your eyes peeled, it is a bit hard to find. For north Indian/Pakistani style food try Baadshah in the plaza at the SW corner of Parsippany Rd./Rt. 46 intersection: another one that is not easy to see when just driving by.

                                                                              Both have lunch buffets - that is my main experience with both.

                                                                      2. SUBLIME in Gladstone, but I may be biased. I LOVE that place!!! Can't help it.

                                                                        1. I've just recently moved to Morristown....some thoughts on that nearby scene:

                                                                          Kebab Fusion: Very solid middle eastern/greek. Very good felafel, excellent shawarma sandwiches. Nothing to wow someone who lived in, say, Astoria, but good for this area.

                                                                          Don's: Outstanding burgers. One of my favorites. Better than Shake Shack, and I mean that 100 percent. Just one of the most flavorful burgers I've eaten. Good hand cut fries and shakes too. Best Hot Dog south of Boston.

                                                                          Shake It: Same kind of menu as Don's (burgers, fries, shakes). Not quite as good, but still solid...and they ahve the Shake Shack style crinkle fries if you like those.

                                                                          La Estacion: Above average Mexican for the area, both in terms of quality and authenticity. If you avoid the burritos and stick to the traditional entrees, you're in good shape.

                                                                          Raul's Empanadas: Awesome little divey spot with tons of varieties of empanadas right in downtown MoTown. Better than you get from your average empanada truck in NYC, with other menu options like chicharrones and arepas.

                                                                          Caffe India: Solid, above average for suburban Jersey indian food. My favorite in North Jersey would be Brick City in Montclair, but this is a good, close option.

                                                                          Pizza: Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany/Boonton is fantastic, though maybe not quite the destination that Star Tavern in Orange is. Aside from that, pizza around here is pretty meh. Have you been to Star yet? It's worth a drive. So is Reservoir imho.

                                                                          The Artist's Baker: a first rate artisan baker, specializing in french style (croissants, macarons, quiche, brioche, etc.) Really worth a trip.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                            Checkout Blue Morel in the Westin Hotel. Farm to table style fare. It holds its own against some of the better restaurants in the state whereas the rest of Morristown definitely does not.

                                                                            I also really like Don's. Their onion rings are fantastic. I think they may have just underwent an ownership change recently, some guy I've never seen before was frantically barking orders at nervous kids in the kitchen last time I went. Hopefully it stays the same as before. Shake Shack has quality control issues over the many locations (South Beach might be my favorite). My favorite over both Shake Shack and Don's is BUCU in Paramus - check it out if you love this style, it's worth the drive though the fries suck.

                                                                            Agreed the pizza is medicore in Morristown. With all the redevelopment going on I think it's ripe for a Neapolitan joint since everywhere else in NJ trying to be cool seems to have one - or maybe they are cool because they have one. I have pizza issues.

                                                                          2. I am from brooklyn too and for Italian i eat at 2 places. its a little bit of a drive from summit, but worth it. Alfies and Sally'Gs both are in warren and they are excellent. Alfie is BYO and Sally G has a full bar. also, theres an A&S pork store(from brooklyn) in Stirling< for your at home cooking

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: urbettaoff

                                                                              My favorite Italian in the area is Morini in Bernardsville and Arturo's in Maplewood. Morini is some of the best in the state for rustic Italian and make pastas nobody else in NJ or most of NY for that matter are doing. But if you're looking for red sauce joint stuff or a band to sip martinis to it's not at either

                                                                            2. ChowHounder411...looks like the pizza gods were listening to you re Morristown. Millie's old world just opened on south street...pretty sweet...they have two ovens, one wood for Neapolitan style and one coal for more Brooklyn style pies. We tried the wood fired pies and found them excellent. They also specialize in meatballs...though I found there's a tad dry.

                                                                              check it out!

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                                It was only a matter of time! Thanks for filling me in. Just checked the web site, the Keste guy must act as a consultant for these Neapolitan upstarts because his name comes up with them every so often. Looking at the menu, I'm turned off by these prices... $18 for a margherita pie? Are they serious!? Even Keste/Don Antonio charge $13 and $12 respectively. And they are in NEW YORK CITY, not NJ suburbs. Brooklyn - Paulie Gee's: $13. Roberta's: $12. In NJ: Porta: $12. I'm getting really sick of these chefs and restaurateurs opening around here with the area's supposed affluence in mind and being abusive with pricing.

                                                                                I'm consistently disappointed by the meatballs served at all restaurants. Hands down the best in the area, probably NJ, are served at Osteria Morini in Bernardsville.

                                                                                1. re: chowhounder411

                                                                                  $18 for a margherita is insane. I've been waiting for this place to open since Roberto (Keste) told me about them about a year ago. Keste and DA are noticeably less expensive, but don't forget Amano, in Ridgewood, which, imo, is equally as affluent as Morristown (Whole Paycheck *cough*) Their prices and quality are on par with Keste as well.

                                                                                  Roberto, btw, isn't technically a consultant. He's part owner of Amano and Don Antonio and either part or full owner of Keste. He's president of the APN (Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani) a training and certification organization in the U.S. Schedule allowing, Roberto trains aspiring Neapolitan pizza makers. The folks at Millies are his students. Roberto is a great teacher, and some talented people have studied under him, but I should point out that his courses usually last no longer than about 2 weeks, and, while that's an excellent foundation for making Neapolitan pizza, it takes months to master- especially tending an oven. Being a student of Roberto's doesn't automatically make someone a master pizzaiolo.

                                                                                  I'd like to say that at some point I'll be able to judge the extent of their mastery of these skills, but, at $18 a pop, I'm not sure they're ever going to see my business. Maybe eventually I'll break down and try it, but, right now, $18 seems incredibly offensive to me. Neapolitan pizza, at it's heart, is food of the people, not food of the elite. Some of the best pizzerias in Naples only charge around $8 for a pie. Even if Millies makes the best Neapolitan pizza ever, right now, I'd still see myself spending the time and gas to drive to Ridgewood, just on principle.

                                                                                  I'd also like to try their coal pies as well, although coal in NJ hasn't had the best track record in recent years (Anthony's). I'm not repeating my Tomato Pie experience ($18 for one of the worst pizzas I've ever had).

                                                                                  Pizza is my life, and I do live in Morristown, so, in theory, I should be knocking down the doors to get in, but, I also have pretty passionate beliefs about fair pricing of goods and services. Right now, my level of offense is outweighing my passion for pizza.

                                                                                  Edit: I just spent 15 minutes looking through the photos on Millie's site. Photo's of topped skins before baking, photos of heavily sugared Nutella pies, but not a single shot of a baked margherita? I'm sorry, but that's a really bad sign.

                                                                                  1. re: scott123

                                                                                    I thought I saw one of the margherita... But I feel the same way - I love pizza but at that price I'm offended. Una Pizza Napoletena guy (from NJ btw) in SF charges $20 a pop but justifies it with years of experience and sourcing the finest ingredients. Right now we have two guys from Mendham owning like 5 other businesses in different industries who's experience is a 2 week cooking course.

                                                                                    I respect Roberto's expertise, but this Neapolitan certification business is starting to sound like a racket. I just read an article saying California is producing tomatoes equal if not better than San Marzano. This is like the Judgment of Paris :)

                                                                                    I almost went to Tomato Pie the other night for the first time but the pics of their pies turned me off. Which are some of your fav pizzas in the area?

                                                                                    1. re: chowhounder411

                                                                                      CH411, my favorite pizzas in the area are my own :)

                                                                                      As far as the rest, well, it depends on how you define the area :)

                                                                                      For Neapolitan, Amano, as I mentioned is excellent, although it pales in comparison to Keste's lardo pie, Motorino's brussel sprouts pie or Paulie Gee's hellboy. Forcella (Brooklyn) is in the top 4, although it's my favorite crust and I haven't found the ultimate topping there yet.

                                                                                      As much as I like Neapolitan, though, my real love is NY. This area is a serious wasteland for a truly great NY slice. I haven't been everywhere, but I've been trying slices for decades and, recently, have stepped up my game and probably hit over 80 slice places in the last 6 months. The results have generally been abysmal. Here's how I rank them.

                                                                                      My own, at the top of my game: 9.5
                                                                                      Pizza Town, Elmwood Park: 8.5 (If Michele Tomo is making it, otherwise, 7.5)
                                                                                      Nonna's (Florham Park): 4
                                                                                      Angelo's (Parsippany): 3.5
                                                                                      Pomodoro (Morristown): 3
                                                                                      Everything else is less than 1

                                                                                      There's a few places I've been meaning to get to, such as Reservoir tavern and Star Tavern, but it could be a while because those styles are not that much of a draw for me.

                                                                                      As far as certification being a racket... it can be. The main certification group, VPN has been frequently accused of certifying anyone with a checkbook. Roberto, though, is a little different. I actually talked with Roberto about the APN at length. At the time, I wasn't aware of his affiliation (whoops!) and was quite critical- no softball questions there. Merely taking his course doesn't guarantee certification. Roberto is renowned for being a very demanding boss, and I have no doubt that he's not certifying anyone on a whim. I'm not, at this point, expecting the certification process to be the end all be all for assuring great authentic Neapolitan pizza, but, between APN, VPN or no certification all, APN gets my vote.

                                                                                      I should also note that while VPN takes a lot of flack, my issue is less with the organization as a whole but with certain instructors. VPN has some, imo, less talented teachers, but they also have some great teachers. If Giulio Adriani (Forcella) certifies a new pizzeria, then I trust that assessment. He definitely has some skills. If I see a VPN sticker on a window, though, without knowing who did the certification... that's not much of a selling point.

                                                                                      1. re: scott123

                                                                                        Interesting insights. When you say you do you mean homemade or in your own restaurant?

                                                                                        I tried going to Reservoir Tavern on Sunday only to find it closed for Super Bowl, that's when I debated with Tomato Pie.

                                                                                        FYI, I also enjoy the Neapolitan pies in central jersey at Porta (especially the 14 1/2 with Calabrian chiles and soppressata) and Mossutos. Undici in Red Bank has the best crust of them all IMO but being in Rumson (pretty but no man's land kind of) and at $18 I don't enjoy venturing there.

                                                                                        1. re: chowhounder411

                                                                                          FYI...Reservoir Tavern is closed on Sunday and Mondays.

                                                                                          1. re: chowhounder411

                                                                                            CH411, I just saw your question.

                                                                                            While I do have professional aspirations, right now, it's homemade. I have a small list of pizzerias that I've consulted for, and that's beginning to grow, and, I would at some point, eventually like to open my own place, but, in this area, the sheer number of pizzerias is pretty intimidating. Even though mediocrity seems to rule the day, mediocre pizza can still muster a great deal of brand loyalty, so if I do enter the market, my ducks have to be in a row.

                                                                                            I'm not in your area a great deal, but if I do get a chance, I'll look into your suggestions, thanks. Btw, Pizza Town, my favorite up here, has a second shop in Ocean Grove called the Pizza Shoppe. In conversations I've had with Michele Tomo (P-town's co-owner), I believe that the father might run it. I've never been there, so I can't vouch for it, but she has assured me that they're doing things the same way at both places.

                                                                                            1. re: scott123

                                                                                              I'm nearer to Morristown actually but I travel around the state often, especially coastal areas. That's an awesome rec, I will definitely check it out soon, thanks.

                                                                                2. Bivio in little falls charges 11 for a margherita that is hard to imagine topping. Millies wood fired pies did seem a little larger though. My wife and I shared one and a side of two meatballs and had enough food.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                                    I've been to Bivio.....one pizza and two meatballs is not a lot of food.

                                                                                  2. I like Reservoir but it is more ny style than bar pie. Do try Star, and soon. I too was skeptical, not considering myself a fan of the thin crispy bar style...but just go, order one plain and one pepperoni...it will forever change your outlook on pizza imho.

                                                                                    1. There is nothing. You will starve unless you go to Brooklyn or NY for good food. Good food is not here. Believe me, I've tried. Either cook it yourself or do a foodie trip whenever you are able.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: ellenkelly

                                                                                        Wow. Have you ventured outside of Summit/Chatham and nearby? I agree there's very little in those areas to get excited about, but you've got Arturo's in Maplewood within close reach and then all of Montclair, for starters...

                                                                                      2. Tons of fantastic places to eat here. Huntley Tavern doing lots of farm to table now, very good. There is an authentic FTT restaurant on the campus of Kean University that is supposed to be great. For pizza, Resevoir in South Orange draws crowds everyday from everywhere. Lorenas in Maplewood is a 5 star experience and very pricey but worth it. In Summit Taka Sushi is my favorite. Hat Tavern in the Summit Grand has really great burgers. Food Bistro also has great burgers and food...both use La Frieda beef. Lots more.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Boomalicious

                                                                                          When you say "authentic FTT restaurant on the campus of Kean University" do you mean Ursino? http://www.ursinorestaurant.com/

                                                                                          1. re: Boomalicious

                                                                                            I wonder if the person who made the original post nearly 7 years ago even lives in Summit anymore.

                                                                                          2. Check out the high end restaurants in Basking Ridge, NJ

                                                                                            3 West http://3westrest.com/

                                                                                            Origin Thai http://www.originthai.com/

                                                                                            Ninety Acres http://www.natirar.com/

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Funkalicious

                                                                                              +1 for Origin Thai - Thai seems to be the only fresh and flavorful food at a mid-range price in Somerset County.

                                                                                              I've had good meals at 3 West. It's not the most ambitious kitchen but good. I'm growing to hate this restaurant group's places more and more after continued poor meals at both Urban Table locations and Roots feeling like a Disney World steakhouse with the brand new antique looking furniture and fixtures and waiters in white jackets, feels hokey.

                                                                                              Ninety Acres... I am not a fan. But I'm also not a hater. The ingredients are top notch but the kitchen is not. Dishes range from poor (fish mains, not fresh on occassion) to very good (big steaks, apps and salads though salads tend to be underseasoned), and at very good I still think the experience is not really worth the price. The meal always falters on the mains - they are always missing something and the portions are small. The steak is awesome though. Bartenders are a bit uppity but the waiters are pleasant and attentive. Beautiful dining room. I only go now for drinks and apps or snacks in the side room with the massive table carved from what appears to be one tree.

                                                                                              Osteria Morini is excellent for pastas. I believe it probably has the best pasta dishes in New Jersey. Shumi for omakase. Complex fully-flavored homebrews at Trap Rock plus a great burger and the occassional though rare pig shank or something else you won't see on a menu in NJ. Thirty Acres in Jersey City is worth a stop once in a while to see what they've got going on at the time.