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Northern NJ- Family Dinner for 35ppl

Hi- DC hound in unfamiliar territory. I need suggestions for a restaurant in Northern NJ (Bergen or Passaic Counties... could go a bit further) where we can have an intimate family celebration. A private room would be nice, but am thinking more of "back of the restaurant" atmosphere where our group could be tucked away, even if part of a larger dining room.

Cuisine is not inherently important- but American, European is more our pace (Italian, French, Greek) with the grandparents in tow... (Not really Indian, Thai, Chinese restaurant kind of grandparents). Would do lunch or dinner.

The Brownstone in Paterson and the Paris Inn in Wayne have been suggested to me but I have no idea. Would love some chowhounds to weigh in with other thoughts and suggestions.

Our party would be in the Spring (April/May) so no need to take holiday crunch into consideration.

Thank you!

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  1. I'm assuming you don't want anything too cutting-edge for a family dinner, and I don't know what your price range is, but if you want decent, inexpensive Italian, Biaggio's in Paramus can accommodate a crowd either in the main restaurant or a private room. If you want something more upscale, Berta's Chateau in Wanaque is quite good and has an amazing wine list.

    1. I'm trying to think of a place that is really good, that would meet your criteria. I'm not coming up with anything right now--but I will think about it a little bit more and let you know. But I must say, the Paris Inn is horrible. My husband took me there for dinner a few years ago, and it was so bad we wanted to get up and leave. I would not recommend that place. I've heard the Brownstone is nice--but I'm not sure if you are aware that it is a catering hall. Your group may be too small for that place.

      1. A little more detail to budget, and your actual preference to Bergen or Passaic County, and I'll enter some suggestions for you.

        Also, do you want a full service restaurant or a BYOB? Lunch would obviously reduce costs. What specific day you prefer, e.g., M-T-W-TH-F-S-S would help as well. If there are many people coming in many different cars, parking may be an issue . Lastly, is easy highway access a concern for you and your party?

        1. I would steer away from the Brownstone..the food is good, but it more of a catering hall than a restaurant. also, it is kind of hard to reach, lots of one way roads in that area. If folks are unfamilar with the area, they might end up in a seciton of Paterson they do not want to be in.
          Some suggestions...Season's in Washington Township, a few minutes off of the Garden State parkway , I think exit 168 or 69, or 70!!! Someone suggested Biaggio's in Paramus. It is newly renovated and good.

          1. Another good stop with a private room or a "back of the restaurant" area would be Dolce Novita in Moonachie. Another good stop with both private and back of rest..is Vivo in Lyndhurst on Valley Brook Ave. Both have liquor license.