Bridgewater/Somerville Business Lunch
I'm looking for a reasonably priced ($10-15/an entree for lunch) restaurant in the Bridgewater/Somerville area that is BYOB. The occasion: 6-10 colleagues out for a nice lunch in mid-June--so the cuisine style should be american/italian (something agreeable to a mix crowd), but not diner food. All I know in that area is diners--so please help me! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
If you want to stretch your boundaries beyond American/Italian, *Origin* in either Bridgewater of Somerville should be your first choice (Thai/French fusion.) It's a ridiculously good BYO, and *the* lunch bargain in the area. If it must be American/Italian and a BYO, you have to drop your expectations a notch or two. There's Tuscany Bistro http://www.tuscanybistro.com. They do serve inexpensive wine but you can also BYO. A bit better to my taste is Focacceria in Liberty Corner.http://www.focacceria26.com. Better still is Tratorria Meditaranea http://www.focacceria26.com/ in Bedminster. If you want to spend a few more bucks on a non-byo, Due Terre up the road (202) some fifteen minutes away in Bernardsville is without doubt the best Italian food in the area. Further up the road in Bernardsville is Vine, not a BYO, and also passable Italian fare. Check out Cafe Azzurro in Peapack as well. http://www.cafeazzurroonline.com.
None of these places other than Due Terre and Origin are 'knock your socks off' cuisine but for a business lunch, all will do just fine.
We've found most of the places right in Somerville okay but less than stellar. Other hounds will tell you different, and they may well be right. But by all means stear clear of Gabriella's (Portuguese) and do check out *Discover WInes* for reasonably priced grapes to accompany the meal.
Good luck! Let us know what you pick and how/whether you enjoy it.
Mmgpsych, I tried a couple of your links and they don't always work. I think the problem is that when you click on the URL it includes the period at the end of the sentence. For some reason, the one for Focacceria works.
BTW, I'm sure you will be delighted to know that Gabriela's just garnered yet another positive review, this time from the NY Times. I should point out, however, that the reviewer didn't think much of the Caesar salad! LOL.
If you want Italian, Somerville has a number of restaurants that I would recommend. My favorite Italian is da Filippos, located on a non-descript part of the main drag. I have been going there since it made the leap from pizza joint to full fledged restaurant and I've never been disappointed. It is BYO.
Also take a look at Il Pomodoro and its downstairs neighbor, Tapastre. Il Pomodoro is Italian but Tapastre serves foods from countries that border on the Mediterranean - Italy, Spain, Greece, Israel, etc., etc. These two restaurants are NOT BYO.
Added in Edit: There is also a place on Route 22 East called La Catena. I have never gone but I recall seeing a very positive review in the last year or so.
I haven't been to La Scala for years but I continue to hear good things about it. I can't remember if it's BYO or not and unfortunately I could not find a web site.
Let us know how you make out.
I have to disagree about Il Pomodoro, unless they have done an about-face in the last 6 months. Problems I've had there all had to do with service... not being seated for drinks on the porch on a beautiful spring day because "its not Memorial Day yet," cocktails being made incorrectly, a tableside filet of "Dover" (yeah right... Dover, New Jersey) Sole that was like watching BTK in action...
What a beautiful property it is, though. It could be such a home run.
La Scala is a BYO; however, we were there for dinner last week and we felt somewhat insulted when after we declined dessert, the waiter pulled our wine bottle, capped it, put it on the table and took away the ice bucket. Can you say "hit the road" any clearer than that? We only had about a half a glass left, but were never aked if we wanted to finish it. Just put on the table with the bill. As for the food, it was good but nothing spectacular.