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Philly CHs -- NJ Opinions? - moved from Pennsylvania board

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hungry100 Mar 28, 2008 07:05 AM

I'm looking for a restaurant that will please older parents and middle-aged children for a birthday dinner near Cherry Hill. In the running are Nunzio's in Collingswood and Aldo Lamberti (skewed to Italian). Any other thoughts? Thanks.

  1. b
    brightman Mar 28, 2008 08:43 AM

    Norma's for Lebanese food is always good, on Rt 70 in the Barclay Farms Center.

    3 Replies
    1. re: brightman
      h
      hungry100 Mar 28, 2008 09:03 AM

      wow, they have a great menu, but I don't think the older folks would be amused.

      1. re: hungry100
        c
        carl555 Apr 2, 2008 12:39 PM

        The menu is fine. It's the food at Norma's that isn't very good. Oasis (also in Cherry Hill) is much better for Middle Eastern. See http://www.chowhound.com/topics/486686

        1. re: carl555
          b
          brightman Apr 3, 2008 01:04 PM

          I like Norma's food. I will give Oasis a try.

    2. j
      jp32 Mar 28, 2008 09:05 AM

      Its been a couple of years since I've eaten at Nunzio's but thought it was pretty good. Craig LaBan gave it a nod in a recent online chat: "Nunzio's, by the way, was the restaurant that served shrimp alla Siciliana, with whole wheat pasta, garlicky bread crumbs, pine nuts and golden raisins. It was a truly great dish. The rest of our meal was also quite good - spectacular whole branzino, filleted expertly tableside. The place was just mobbed, so I know it's doing well."
      My parents, though not necessarily the MOST discriminating eaters, but at age 60 may fit well with the demo you are looking to satisfy, really like another Italian place in Collingswood - Bistro di Marino.
      As for Aldo...I think it tends to be a bit overpriced for what it is.

      1. m
        malbec Mar 28, 2008 11:49 AM

        AVOID NUNZIOS. I agree it used to be great but it's been on downward spiral recently. My last two trips there were disasterous. The ambience is good but the food was overpriced and underwhelming. There are better choices for you.

        Sapori (northern italian) in Collingswood may be a good alternative for you as you get a good atmosphere and delicious food. Also consider Villa Barone, as it's a better atmosphere for families. Collingswood is BYO.

        1. s
          sailbadthesinner Mar 28, 2008 12:02 PM

          If you are looking for Italian in that neck of the woods, Catelli Ristorante is the best. Main Street in Voorhees. www.catellirestaurant.com.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sailbadthesinner
            a
            AWaysrite Apr 15, 2009 12:59 PM

            Fact...Catelii is the best restaurant in the region. That's the good news. The bad the news is that it's a little hard to find....so if your not a regular...you might get lost getting there.

            1. re: AWaysrite
              j
              jer114 Aug 23, 2009 10:42 AM

              Fact...there are a dozen places as good as Catelli. Fact: There were a dozen people dining there on Friday night, so word is out that you can do better.

          2. f
            FrankJBN Mar 28, 2008 12:07 PM

            Old folks and a birthday party?

            You have to hit Andreotti's Viennese Cafe.

            I'm 50, I like it, and people my age tell me their parents love it.

            Licensed, full bar for coctails, very reasonable & eclectic wine list

            On 70 1/4 - 1/2 mile west of 295.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FrankJBN
              s
              sylviag Mar 28, 2008 05:38 PM

              I'm sorry Frank, but we think Andreotti's Viennese Cafe is not good. None of us who go to NJ often to eat will go there. Maybe the parents who eat there don't eat out very much.

              If you don't need to stick to Italian, we like Water Lily on Haddon Ave in Collingswood. It's fusion/continental, lovely food and service, and not too noisy to talk. Varied meny, everyone will find what they want. BYOB.

              Another popular fusion restaurant is Siri's, on Route 70 across from what used to be the race track. We hear that people from Siri's opened Water Lily.

              The advantage of these restaurants is the noise level - you can actually talk. Although the Italian restaurants recommended are certainly good, we found that they get very noisy. Nunzio's, which we like, gets quite noisy if you don't go early. You can ask for a quieter spot.

            2. mschow Mar 28, 2008 07:37 PM

              Hungry:
              i responded to your post on the midatlantic forums as well.
              Siri's is also very good, but with older parents (I am thinking of mine); they would not like it. I had lunch at Vienesse Cafe in December, and in spite of the good service, the food was terrible. Another thought is the Collins House in Merchantville, My parents really like their food. Continental, with an Italian influence. I like it as well, and would consider the food on the old fashioned side, but not staid. I think everyone will find something they will like there. Also, Mirabella Cafe on 70 in CH, would be a nice choice for Italian. http://www.thecollinshouse.net/index.htm

              1. crazyspice Mar 29, 2008 06:05 AM

                If you haven't been to Lamberti, you should give it a try. Perfect for older people as well as middle-age folks. By the way, what is middle-age these days? Just curious as I could be one! Anyway, I was there a few months ago and everything we ordered as well as the service was excellent. We were a large group and ordered many apps and entrees.

                1. h
                  hungry100 Mar 29, 2008 06:43 AM

                  Thanks everyone -- I'll let you know where we end up. In response to Crazyspice, although I hate to admit it, I guess I'm the middle aged person at 51 and older parents are in their mid '80s. A deciding factor will probably be distance from their house. Dad is 86 and although rather spry, is recovering from a recent hospitalization (is that "overhsare"?). Actually we do often go to Siri's. Another parental favorite is G. G.s off Rt. 73. It's in a hotel (I forget which one), and for "hotel food" is actually quite good. At this point I'm leaning toward Aldo Lamberti...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: hungry100
                    mschow Mar 29, 2008 10:50 AM

                    I think these days anybody 40-60 would be considered middle aged, so I'm in there as well! My parents are in their mid 70's. My mom would like Siri's, but no way would my dad like it. I happen to think it's quite good, but for some reason, I always seem to forget about it. I have also eaten at GG's, which is actually decent for hotel food; I agree. Anthony's in Haddon Hts is good as well, though there is a set of steep stairs going to the second floor (if that is an issue for your dad). BYOB.

                    1. re: hungry100
                      s
                      sylviag Mar 29, 2008 01:45 PM

                      If you go often to Siri's, you and the parents would definitely like Water Lily, which we think is even better. Very attractive, low key (means you can talk), very good food and service. As I think I said, we heard that the people there were originally from Siri's.
                      If you go on a Sunday, there is a four course prix-fixe dinner - I think it is $35 - which includes anything on their menu, including the rack of lamb (very good) and everything else.
                      If you don't go this time, try it some other time. BYOB.

                    2. u
                      uromac Mar 29, 2008 02:22 PM

                      Another Italian restaurant that I think is better is Laceno Italian Grille in Voorhees

                      1. Den Mar 29, 2008 03:05 PM

                        You may want to consider Alisa Cafe. It's French Thai and there are plenty of dishes that would work.
                        http://www.alisacafe.com/index-1.html

                        1. r
                          RoysonG Apr 1, 2008 07:53 AM

                          Since moving to the Cherry Hill area 3 years ago, my wife and I have been sampling as many of the local restaurants as we can. There are lots of good ones, but our favorite so far is Kitchen 233 in Westmont. Other goodies are Bacio (Italian) in Cinnaminson/Delran and Mikado (Japanese) in Maple Shade. I believe all of the above have their menus online if you google them.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: RoysonG
                            mschow Apr 1, 2008 07:58 AM

                            I just had dinner at Kitchen 233 over the weekend. Very nice atmosphere, nice food, and we had excellent service. I've been there a few times, and have really enjoyed it.

                            1. re: mschow
                              The Megadon Apr 2, 2008 11:37 AM

                              I know I missed the boat but I have become a major Kitchen fan - you can find me there any given Friday or Saturday night kicking back a Blue Martini devouring mussels...I absolutely love their bar (minus the VERY drunk girls in the rest room a few weeks back; definitely not the place to be acting like that...you go to Ott's for that...)!
                              And I just discovered it on Valentine's Day! Can you tell I am excited about the find?

                              1. re: The Megadon
                                mschow Apr 2, 2008 11:48 AM

                                Megadon: do us all a favor an let the manager know about this behavior next time you see it. Kitchen 233 attracts a nice crowd of people and it would be great to keep it that way. There's PJ's just around the corner for the very drunk crowd.
                                You'd think that with all the lawsuits these days regarding restaurants that Kitchen would be a bit more careful about who they serve and just how much they do...

                          2. h
                            hungry100 Apr 1, 2008 08:21 AM

                            ..and the winner was Cafe Aldo Lamberti. Perhaps because it was a Monday night, we had a nice quiet corner table in a room off what appears to be the main dining room. The service was both friendly and professional, which goes a long way in pleasing the parental units (woe to the server who calls my parents "you guys"). The food was quite good, with some minor issues. My arugula salad was a little too salty, but otherwise nice. A grilled asparagus salad and Caesar salad were deemed good by those who ordered them (well, maybe the Caesar was a tad overdressed). Three folks had veal, which was very tender and delicately sauced. My capellini with crab and fresh tomatoes was nice, if not exciting -- it could have used more of the advertised fresh basil. Tiramisu was excellent. The goal was a pleasant meal that would elicit as few complaints from my mother as possible, and that mission was accomplished. When less is at stake, I will hit some of the recommendations given. Thanks to all.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hungry100
                              f
                              fan4food Apr 3, 2008 08:40 AM

                              Villa Barrone

                            2. joluvscards Apr 16, 2009 04:12 AM

                              Ok there is old and then there is OLD. In the latter category we have some 20-100 year olds folks who only want to eat plain food. If that is the case I can't think of anything to recommend.

                              Siri's should be perfect. you can get asian or french. Do they eat rack of lamb or duck? Siri's has fabulous choices.

                              Alternatively how bout Blackbird in Collingswood. Just a few minutes from Cherry Hill. Good new american with nice atmosphere and great service.

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