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Jan 11, 2009 09:48 AM

Possible to find reasonably priced romantic dining in Northwest Bergen county

Considering, though probably a ridiculous idea, to do something different for Valentine's day this year and go is tight however and we have no patience to spend a lot on lousy food.

So is there a restaurant in Northwest Bergen (any type of food would be alright I think, though preferably not Italian) that is romantic without being kitchy, and has great food, AND could actually be enjoyed for under $100 for the two of us? (drinks not included)-


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  1. I do not know what your definition of Northwest Bergen county is a suggestion:

    3 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      This menu looks good. How does it compare to Lu'Nello's?

      1. re: thinfoodie


        To be honest, I have not been to the Ivy Inn in a very long time. Many people I know like the place, but they would never compare it to LuNello's in any way. In the past I have been to the Ivy Inn three times, the first on my choice, the other two times because others wanted to go there. I remembered the food was good, but the few things I noticed/remember were the room was very dark, small and the furniture was a little cheap(a pet peeve of mine).....this however may very well have been changed. Funny how I can recall the settings, but not the food I had. The reason I have not returned back to the Ivy Inn and places as such and because LuNello's is and always will be my go to place where I have no worries and where I am treated very well .

        Many people feel LuNello's is too expensive, but I would beg to differ. Like any final check amount in any restaurant today, the bill rises accordingly to what you order and the amount of liquor involved. LuNello's may be a few more dollars on any item, but you receive it with a better table, chairs, tableware, china, glassware and service.....which I can appreciate and the Ivy Inn cannot compare. To me the extra costs are not a concern(fortunately for me) and worth every penny, but this may not be true to others. I would further add that the menus are similar in prices. Unless you are ordering the specials, more than three courses, multiple drinks or bottled wine...... the dining experience from the menus at both places are not that expensive in my opinion, although, You probably will come out spending less at the Ivy Inn in the end.....they do not have Valet Parking and do not have to pay the new mortgage LuNello's has...;-).

        I would suggest if you are looking for a change, or someplace new....give the Ivy Inn a try.
        I made the recommendation of the Ivy Inn because others I know, and whose opinions I respect and are similar to mine, do still go there on occasion and still do like it there. I also know by reading comments from others, it seems like the place many feel comfortable in and enjoy the food. I hear more good things than bad about the Ivy Inn.

        1. re: fourunder

          Thanks! I will give it a try and let you know. I appreciate your detailed suggestion.

    2. Other than the Saddle River Inn and some of the Edgewater-area restaurants like LeJardin, It's hard to say what constitutes a romantic restaurant these days, but I'll throw some ideas out there:

      -- Janice, Ho-Ho-Kus. A tiny, intimate space with really excellent food.
      -- Rocca, Glen Rock. Italian, but not the red-sauce kind. Good desserts, and it's a BYO.
      -- Varka, Ramsey. Most of the menu is suitible for sharing, which could keep it within your price range.

      Wherever you choose, if you're not locked into Valentine's Day itself, consider going out on the 13th, the 15th, or any night restaurants don't have those silly Valentine's Day menus, which have a limited selection at higher cost.

      1 Reply
      1. re: billpitcher

        agree with bill 1001%...last year my dude and i had a craving for indian on V-day so tried out "talk of the town" in _______ .whata mistake...we had to choose from the special "Valentine" menu doubled our costs. lame..i just wanted some curry.

        i suggest to skip the actual day, dress up in something hot (or not) and make a home cooked meal on v-day then make reservations the week after.

      2. You might enjoy the Chef's Table in Franklin Lakes. It's warm with great food and is a byob.

        5 Replies
        1. re: berna

          Thank you all - these sound like great recs - especially the ones about staying in on v-day and going out another day! We'll probably pick one of these and then go out the following weekend, or maybe the fri before-


          1. re: lovessushi

            Cafe Panache in Ramsey is also a great stop and they're BYOB

            1. re: RayP

              i don't really "get" that place..people rave, though i only thought the food was so-so, service was awful, and even after the renovation, it still felt like an old chain restaurant.

              1. re: sixelagogo

                Years ago, when Cafe Panache first opened, 4 of us made a reservation and upon arrival were led to a cramped table by the kitchen. We asked if we could sit elsewhere and we told "the other tables were being held for preferred customers". Needless to say, after an unimpressive dinner and such an unwelcoming attitude, we never went back.

                1. re: sixelagogo

                  If Englewood is ok with you guys, try Tapas de Espana for a great, big list of enjoyable plates of tapas and a good menu of individual entrees. Reasonably priced wine list and good sangria too. 47 N Dean St
                  Englewood, NJ 07631
                  (201) 569-9999

          2. Antelao in Delaware Water Gap. Heavenly in every way. Husband/wife team, only 12 tables in a beautifully restored Victorian house living room. Impeccable service, food is really creative with the freshest local (when possible) ingredients. A rare find in this area!