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Need restaurant to celebrate birthday in central New Jersey

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Hi. I recently moved to NJ from New York City and miss the food terribly! With young children, it is hard to get in to New York to have a nice meal. Wondering if there is a good place you would recommend in the area? I found the Frog and the Peach (New Brunswick) through a google search and thought the food/atmosphere sounded promising but don't know anyone who has been. I'm in the 732 area code/Monmounth County. Thanks very much.

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  1. Please provide more details: age of celebrant if not an adult, age of children who will be there, what part of Monmouth, how far willing to travel, price range, etc.

    The best choice may be Nicholas. (See the several threads on it.) Go there and you will forget about NYC meals. Very few of them can compete with it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cantkick

      Hi, I'm in Marlboro, I'm 42 and it will just be me and my husband. Willing to travel up to 45 minutes each way. Price is not really an issue. Thanks and I will check out Nicholas.

      1. re: LisaJB

        The Frog and the Peach along with Stage Left in New Brunswick are both very good restaurants in their own right however both are at least a notch below the following three restaurants which IMHO comprise the three best dining experiences in the state (provided in my order of preference): Restaurant Nicholas (Middletown/Red Bank), Restaurant Lorena (Maplewood), and Restaurant David Drake (Rahway). Any of the those three can compete with the best NYC has to offer. Good Luck and please don't forget to let us know where you went and how you enjoyed your meal.

        1. re: bgut1

          Thanks very much for responding and for the recommendations!

        2. re: LisaJB

          Lots of options for your area....
          Nicholas..expensive but very good, one of the best in NJ
          Stage Left....very good, great wine list, a very good choice
          SoHo on George St..some may not like it as much as I but I have found the food to be very good, not very expensive
          Daryl Wine Bar....small plates, tapas like but they do have regular entree selections as well....incredible wines by the glass, great cocktails, lots of fun
          A bit further north...
          Restaurant David Drake...well worth the drive from where you are, excellent food, IMPECCABLE service, great wines...gives most any restaurant in NYC a run for the money

          Frog and the Peach...personally I had a terrible experience there, will never return, many, many other places to spend my money and not be treated badly

          1. re: Yellowshirt

            Thanks for responding and for your recommendations!

      2. The Seven Hills of Istanbul on Main in Highland Park, NYT rated and byob, bring your fave. wines. google it. The lamb dishes are delish.

        1. Lisa
          You have received some really great recc from the Board. Please bear in mind that Restaurant Nicholas made Zagat's top 11 list, so if you decide that's your special occasion place, you'll want to make sure to obtain a reservation well in advance.
          Personally, I was not bowled over by the Frog and the Peach.There are many other really good restaurants in the 732/Momnouth Cty area. They are more casual, but excellent nonetheless.EG: I recently, followed a recc and tried (and loved) Drew's Bayshore Bistro in Keyport . The Posters on here are very helpful and will steer you in the right direction, no matter what type of cuisine you're seeking.:-}

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tay

            Although two completely different restaurants (both decor and food), Daryl's and Drew's are excellent recommendations if you are looking to bring it down a notch. It all depends on what your looking for.