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Top NJ Restaurants?

I'm a new hound (well, longtime foodie. just new to the board) and I'm moving back to NJ after a long hiatus. Are there any lists floating around of the top restaurants in the state?

Not that I'm a slave to lists and rankings, but I find that they are a useful starting point to see a) what's out there and b) who is doing the reviewing.

Thanks in advance, hounds.

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  1. what area specifically are you moving to? NJ is a big state so narrowing it down to a specific area would be helpful!

    1. Well, the simple answer to your question is 'yes'. Finding such lists, however, can be a problem as the search function on the boards leaves a lot to be desired. The CH folks are working on this and we're all hoping the improvements will be here shortly.

      To get you started, here's a thread that might prove useful. It's fairly recent so that's a plus - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/384328

      BTW, to monitor all NJ you will have to check both this board and the Mid-Atlantic one. The Tristate Region board includes north Jersey while the Mid-Atlantic board includes central and south Jersey. The terms, north, central and south are somewhat flexible!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ambrose

        I don't agree that those geographical terms are "flexible." In most cases, there isn't much doubt about which cities/towns are in the northern or southern part of the state. Most of the problems that arise are related to people's ideas as to which towns are located in the central region. But even so, there is often a consensus.

      2. I am consistently pleased with Lorena's in Maplewood. It is small and difficult to get a reservation at the last minute, but the food is well thought out, layered flavors, and nicely presented. It's price point (most entrees under $30) is equal to or less than other so-so restaurants. It is BYOB.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Scrambled

          BYOB seems relatively common in NJ from my experience (limited). It was explalined to me that alcohol licenses were limited/ difficult/very expensive to obtain from the state authority and so many of the casual or not so casual restaurants choose to go BYOB both for their own and the customer's advantage. It is an arrangement that appeals to me even though I seldom find it available here in NY's capital district.

        2. One of my favorite Italian restaurants in NJ is Trattoria Fresco on Bloomfield Ave in West Caldwell. They have amazing food! I have never had anything there that I cannot say that I liked. The menu changes seasonally and its a BYOB. They make a great lasagna, and they also do great fish dishes. One of my favorite things on the menu are their "tuscan fries" worth every calorie!!

          1. There is a great place in the Trenton area called Lorenzo's it is located across from the train station and has awsome aged steaks it is a little pricey but you get what you pay for and life's to short to eat bad steak!