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Where should I go for my birthday in New Brunswick?

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njeggy1 Jun 28, 2007 11:57 AM

Where oh where should I go? I can't decide. It's my big 3-0. Stage Left (been here twice), Catherine Lombardi (have wanted to try, but maybe not fancy enough), Piquant, Soho on George (never been), Frog and the Peach (never been). Or should I just scrap it all and go to Pluckemin Inn?

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    albinoni RE: njeggy1 Jun 28, 2007 01:01 PM

    Several years ago we went to Soho on George and had a fantastic meal. Went there a few month later with family, and food was really really lousy. I tried to talk about it with the manager, who responded as if my criticism was based on the fact that the menu had not changed. No communication at all. I don't know if it was an off night or if there was a major change in the kitchen, but at those prices, I'm not about to experiment, even if the StarLedger, for some inexplicable reason, gave the place 4 stars.

    2 Replies
    1. re: albinoni
      bgut1 RE: albinoni Jun 28, 2007 01:07 PM

      Didn't fully read albinoni's post above. I had thought she was recommending Soho. I like the place and think it would make a nice, albiet somewhat casual birthday celebration. I find the decor and atmosphere to be quite fun and the food to be solid. Wherever you go, have a happy birthday.

      1. re: bgut1
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        albinoni RE: bgut1 Jun 29, 2007 07:05 AM

        She's a he ;-)

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      RGR RE: njeggy1 Jun 28, 2007 01:44 PM

      I don't think Soho on George is special enough for a -0 birthday celebration. We've been to Frog and the Peach many times, more often for lunch, and have always enjoyed it. However, I've read quite a few reports over time on other food forum of major problems there. So, for an ordinary night out, I'd say give it a shot, but even though we've never had any problems, in this instance, I hesitate to recommend it.

      If you're considering restaurants not in New Brunswick, then two I would definitely recommend are Nicholas and (if you're willing to BYO) Lorena's. The cuisine at both is sensational, and service is friendly, yet polished. They are quite different in terms of atmospherics. Nicholas is fairly large and has sophisticated contemporary decor, while Lorena's is small (34 seats) and has charming ambiance. In my view, both are perfect places to celebrate a special occasion.

      http://www.restaurantnicholas.com
      http://www.restaurantlorena.com

      Note: You don't say when this birthday is taking place, but Lorena's will be closed next week for vacation and will re-open on Wed., July 11th.

      Wherever you decide to go, I wish you a very Happy 30th Birthday! :-)

      7 Replies
      1. re: RGR
        bgut1 RE: RGR Jun 28, 2007 02:47 PM

        RGR - To you and me, Soho may not be special enough but are we the norm? Who knows, njeggy1 might be looking for fun and casual with a group of friends instead of formal with Nicholas and Lorena.

        1. re: bgut1
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          njeggy1 RE: bgut1 Jun 28, 2007 04:45 PM

          Nah, my fiance is planning the fun thing as a surprise. This is the boring out with my parents and fiance thing. Thanks for all the wishes. I wanted to stick to New Brunswick because I'll be heading up to Chester afterwards where my fiance lives. Has anyone tried Pluckemin Inn?

          1. re: njeggy1
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            albinoni RE: njeggy1 Jun 29, 2007 07:09 AM

            Never been there, but the Petite Chateau in nearby Bernardsville is one of NJ's best. Major drawback: he has a really great wine cellar, but it's mostly filled with trophy bottles. It's not easy to find a bargain.

            1. re: albinoni
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              nyebaby37 RE: albinoni Jun 29, 2007 08:29 AM

              CLombard $$$ and very fancy. Havent eaten there but checked out the space. Nice. Alot of people like LaFontana but I thought the service lacked unless you were a big party (bigger bill...) Nova Terra is hopping and fun. Food is decent, great drinks. F&P GREAT food, ok service. LaFontana has parking right next door, the place is very pretty and F&P have valet or parking around the corner. MAKE RESERVATIONS. Enoy, and HB!

            2. re: njeggy1
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              joonjoon RE: njeggy1 Jul 6, 2007 11:55 AM

              Hey Eggy, have you had your birthday yet? My favorite "fancy" (expensive) NB spot used to be Soho but truthfully i haven't been there in years. Let us know what you decide on and how it turns out!

              1. re: joonjoon
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                njeggy1 RE: joonjoon Jul 6, 2007 01:04 PM

                No, it's July 27. I actually decided on the Pluckemin Inn in Bedminster. My fiance lives up in Chester, and we decided to make life easy for him and do something closer to him. I'll give my review the following Monday.

                -----
                Pluckemin Inn
                359 US Highway 206, Bedminster, NJ 07921

            3. re: bgut1
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              RGR RE: bgut1 Jun 29, 2007 08:40 AM

              bgut1, Lorena's is not formal. Yes, service is quite proper, but the ambiance has a relaxed feel and not the more formal feeling that Nicholas has. That's a result of the major differences in size and decor.

          2. Angelina RE: njeggy1 Jun 29, 2007 09:17 AM

            Skip Frog and the Peach, unless new owners took over. (Which, unfortunately, has not happened.) The place is awful :(

            Soho is o.k. I don't care for really any restaurants in N.B.

            Have you considered in Highland Park, Pitahra Taverna? BYOB, Greek? Very good food.

            Happy 30th!!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Angelina
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              njeggy1 RE: Angelina Jun 29, 2007 01:02 PM

              Thanks for all the help! I think I might give Pluckemin Inn a try since it's very convenient location-wise I took the fact that it was just mentioned in the Artful Diner today as the sign that I should go there! Also, their pastry chef is featured in Gourmet Magazine this month!

              http://www.pluckemininn.com/

              Food looks kinda weird, but I'm up for it I guess :)

              1. re: njeggy1
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                jsfein RE: njeggy1 Jun 29, 2007 01:21 PM

                I ate at Pluckemin Inn once about a year ago for a special occasion meal. I was disappointed and felt that the price far outweighed the value. However, it seems to have its fans. If you go, please post a report.

                1. re: jsfein
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                  idia RE: jsfein Jun 29, 2007 02:01 PM

                  Frog and the Peach!!

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              albinoni RE: njeggy1 Jun 30, 2007 09:49 AM

              Has anyone been to Clydz? Their menu looks really interesting.

              1 Reply
              1. re: albinoni
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                nyebaby37 RE: albinoni Jul 2, 2007 05:46 AM

                CLYDZ is great!

              2. Passadumkeg RE: njeggy1 Jul 6, 2007 03:44 PM

                Hey man! Go out of youth in style. Hit a grease truck by Rutgers, gorge, toast to youth and realize that soon just smelling a sandwich will add 5 lbs.
                Just turned 60, so enjoy1

                3 Replies
                1. re: Passadumkeg
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                  njeggy1 RE: Passadumkeg Jul 6, 2007 05:56 PM

                  Haha that made me laugh! I outgrew the grease trucks at 18! Plus, I'm watching my waistline for my wedding!

                  1. re: njeggy1
                    Passadumkeg RE: njeggy1 Jul 6, 2007 07:33 PM

                    To hell w/ waistlines! I saw Dylan at the old Rutger's gym in '63, life flies by and then you die. My dad died in the Wood-Johnson complex 3 years ago and I decided to do everything I've wanted to do before I croak. Got to ski my 4th continent in Korea last year, chucked teaching and am a Maine Guide
                    If the lucky dude is concerned about waistlines and not the beauty of you eyes, stop now and move on.
                    I think I spent my 30th at the Inlet Cafe, Atlantic Highlands on a visit from Helsinki.
                    How about 7 Hills of Istanbul?
                    BYOB and vino veritas!
                    Born in NB and my mom is an nappy headed Rutger's alum and still going strong at almost 92.
                    Carpe diem
                    Marcus Unrealius

                    1. re: Passadumkeg
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                      joonjoon RE: Passadumkeg Jul 18, 2007 01:14 PM

                      Amen brother.

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                  cjoelieee RE: njeggy1 Aug 22, 2007 07:34 PM

                  Don't care for Soho on George. Every time I've been there (not my choice), my food is overcooked. Drinks are fine but find that the food is hit or miss. I do love Frog and the Peach where the food always meets expectations.

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                    yankeefan RE: njeggy1 Aug 22, 2007 07:36 PM

                    Honestly, they are all overrated but have never been to frog and peach. Piquant I thought was great but if you are willing to drop a level, old man raffertys is always safe.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: yankeefan
                      BeeZee RE: yankeefan Aug 23, 2007 07:09 AM

                      I went to Frog and Peach 2 weeks ago, it was good - not great. I'm spoiled after David Drake...scrap it all and go there!

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