New Years Eve excellence...
I'm going to be difficult here just so I can post a reply. I know you are probably talking about the food when you ask if anyone had a great meal but I'll interpret it another way so I can reply. So, when you say meal I am taking into consideration all aspects of the evening and not just the food because although the food as excellent where we went it was not life affirming and won't be on my list of greatest meals ever. That being said, we went to a small place in Scotch Plains, Bistro 503 or 503 Park Bistro something like that, and we had a great evening. The appetizers were great, had some mussels, some spicy shrimp, some calamari, even some baba ganoush, and they all were well received, they mussels being the big hit. With the amount of people we had we covered the gambit on entrees, everything from sauerbraten (which I am told was killer) to pork tenderloin to a great rack of lamb. Again, everyone cleaned their plates and nothing but positive comments. The wait staff couldn't have been nicer. At one point we were close to running out of wine (it is a BYO - woo hoo!) and they offered to send one of the wait staff to the liquor store a few blocks away to pick some up (we didn't take them up on the offer and i went myself but they were serious about going). What made it even better is most of the group went to this restaurant blind, not having eaten there or anything, we went solely based on one persons opinion and I had my fears but it worked out great. All in all a great night out.
If you find yourself in the neigborhood I strongly recommend 503 Bistro for a good, solid meal that won't break the bank.
shipwreck grill... drinks at the bar... regular menu... oysters, tuna tempura apps, venison, sea bass, good wine ... coconut-sugared beignets with chocolate dipping sauce for dessert with some tawny... nice, relaxing night out ... refreshing amid the timed seatings some places have on NYE during which many are in a mad rush to turn the table for the next round (which is what happened a few years ago at Brandl--- sorry, won't let it go at those $$)