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Out of the ordinary dining establishment and/or experience to celebrate birthday - interesting array of menu items/selections

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In search of your recommendations for a casual gathering/dining establishment and/or experience to celebrate a birthday that can be out of the ordinary with an interesting array of menu items/selections. Can have rustic charm. Some type of entertainment can certainly be part of the day, but not mandatory. As far as location, we would like to start in the middle of the state of New Jersey and take it from there. Willing to travel further. Alcohol is not a priority, nor are white table clothes. Casual dress. Thanks.

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  1. http://www.vangoghsearcafe.com/
    If you like a funky atmosphere this is one casual place with a unique atmosphere. Entertainment, art, funky menu, wild decor and room arrangement and one heck of a good giggle. Food is not outstanding, but it is good. Def. BYOB. But if you really seek unique...imho...the Van Gogh Cafe is a candidate.

    Another super club, especially if you and your friends enjoy jazz music is Crossroads in Garwood, NJ.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Wjile I have to agree that you can hear some good music at Crossroads, the last time I was there (about 2 years ago), the smell of cat spray was overwhelming (we sat left of the entrance). As for the food, well needless to say, we didn't stay.

      1. re: jnk

        jnk, I have yet to attend a music club, jazz or otherwise, that didn't have an odor. Combo of fried appetizers, old beer, cigs and sweat....appears to be the price for catching some fab indie talent.

    2. Try TAKA in Asbury Park a really neat and casual place to dine. Great food, nice atmosphere and experienced staff. I go hter all the time and highly recommend it.

      1. Sergeantsville Inn maybe? If you want funky and different with rustic charm I'd say check out Lambertville too, maybe. There's a bunch of threads on restaurants there.

        1. Are you looking for something in the next week, month, three months? Your answer to this question could change the responses, especially when you are starting in the middle of New Jersey. I would recommend different places in June than I would in April - or maybe you are looking for something within the next two weeks?


          Laura Eveleth
          Full disclosure - Part-owner Church Street Kitchen

          1. Sorry for the delay. I was looking for something for the end of the month, but now that I think of it, I might as well add an additional birthday gathering for July. Your right, the weather can make a difference. We are still open to suggestions. Thanks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chowdown247

              Cuttalossa Inn, on River Road in Lumberville (north of New Hope). beautiful outside setting. www.cuttalossainn.com