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Where should I go for my birthday in New Brunswick?

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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  1. 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

      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.

    2. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

              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

                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

              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. 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

              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

                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.

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

              1 Reply
              1. 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

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

                  1. re: njeggy1

                    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

                2. 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.

                  1. 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

                      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!