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Jun 23, 2009 10:09 AM

reasonable dinner in Kenilworth?

I'm meeting a friend for dinner, she comes from Princeton and I from Ramsey so we like something right off the Garden State Parkway (hence Kenilworth but would be open to other suggestions). Looking for something reasonable and BYO, anything but Indian, or Asian.


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  1. The minute I see recommendation for Kenilworth I immediately suggest
    Le Rendezvous

    3 Replies
    1. re: Spiritchaser

      We haven't been to Le Rendez-vous in a long time. Looking at the menu page on the website, something caught my eye. It states: "Chef Sami El Sawi presents...." To my knowledge, the current owner, Philippe Lièvre was Sami El Sawi's Chef de Cuisine and Sami sold the restaurant to Philippe. (We ate there many times when the El Sawis owned it and a couple of times after Philippe took over.) In 2006, I read in the "NY Times" that Sami had opened a new French bistro, Cafe Monet, in Millburn. So, I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why Le Rendez-vous's website indicates that
      Sami is still the chef there. Weird...

      Note: Originally, Sami owned Le Rendez-vous with his brother Walla. The two split and Walla opened La Petite France, in Red Bank, which he eventually sold.

      1. re: RGR

        jackiec - Although I've never been, another idea is Boulevard 72. The menu and the decor both looking interesting.

        R - I've always wanted to try Le Rendezvous however the limited size menu (5 apps and 5 mains) gives me pause.

        1. re: RGR

          I see that on the website also, now I'm curious.

      2. Another option is A Toute Heure just off the GSP next door in Cranford. Country French cuisine, fresh ingredients and the menu changes often.
        Tuesday is mussel pot night (tonight!!). They are wonderful and prepared several different ways. Details and menu below.

        7 Replies
        1. re: tom246

          The main reason we've never tried A Toute Heure is that they don't take reservations. Since it isn't exactly "around the corner" from our house, we aren't inclined to drive there only to find that they are full.

          1. re: RGR

            RGR - They do offer "call ahead" but we all know that can be problematic. If you ever happen to be in the area, especially if it's T, W, or TH, you should just drop in, it's quite good.

            1. re: RGR

              We have not had a problem but we also have not tried to go during prime hours on a Friday or Saturday.

              1. re: tom246

                I would never even consider going there on a Friday or Saturday. In fact, we rarely go to restaurants in NJ on the weekend, preferring midweek when most places are far less busy, and we can have a quieter, more relaxed experience.

                1. re: RGR

                  If you go midweek, I doubt you will have any problems being seated.

                  1. re: tom246

                    You may very well be right, Tom. But as I said, we're not going to drive all the way there without knowing we will definitely be seated. However, if we ever happen to be in the area midweek, we'll try it -- but definitely with a Plan B in mind.

                    1. re: RGR

                      I 2nd Boulevard 572. Really well-done food, and when I went, half-price bottles! La Griglia does fantastic Italian seafood, but a little pricey.

                      You also have a very good Cuban place on Michigan Ave, whose name now escapes me.