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dinner in bergen county, nj

meb903 Jun 30, 2009 05:46 AM

we are meeting friends for dinner tomorrow night anywhere in bergen county. we are not interested in getting 'dressed up' for dinner, but would like someplace nice. any suggestions? thanks.

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  1. goodhealthgourmet RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 06:43 AM

    "anywhere" in Bergen County is too vague. it's a large county, so it would be best if you mentioned some nearby towns. and cuisine preferences & price ranges would be useful as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      meb903 RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 30, 2009 07:35 AM

      sorry, i had not had my coffee when i wrote that! we live in ft. lee, they live in fairlawn - so anywhere from ft. lee to ramsey, up to closter. any price range is okay for us, expensive to inexpensive. italian, french, american, greek - but none of us like japanese or korean or indian! thanks again.

    2. menton1 RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 07:12 AM

      Yes, it's a huge county with several hundred restaurants. Could you narrow down your perameters a bit, perhaps by towns and by cuisine so that we could have a better idea of where to recommend?

      1. Bosmer RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 07:20 AM

        Nisi in Englewood
        Cafe Matisse in Rutherford
        A Mano in Ridgewood
        Esty Street in Park Ridge
        Mantra in Paramus

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bosmer
          meb903 RE: Bosmer Jun 30, 2009 07:37 AM

          thanks, we've done nisi just a week ago and thought it was great, have been to cafe matisse with this same couple. what kind of food is A Mano in ridgewood. and i think i read that esty street has new owners - have you been there since that? thanks.

          1. re: meb903
            menton1 RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 08:58 AM

            A wonderful casual place in between the two towns is Saigon R in Englewood. Small, only 10 tables, cute with plants in the window, and awesome Pan Asian/Vietnamese dishes. Outstanding is the Pho, the salads, Wasabi Mussels, and the Aromatic Duck, but there really is nothing that is not exceptional on the menu. Make sure to reserve before though.

            1. re: meb903
              Bosmer RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 10:01 AM

              A Mano is Naples style pizza. Very fresh ingredients. Usually, they also have eggplant parm and maybe lasagna but you really go there for the pizza. Nice salads too.

              Esty Street hasn't missed a beat. New owner but chef remains the same. They changed the interior decor. I went there within the last two weeks and the food and service were great.

          2. Ambimom RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 08:59 AM

            How about Baumgarts in Englewood? I've never had a bad meal there.....ever! They've just added a few new items to their menu. They have the best house salad anywhere.

            45 E Palisade Ave, Englewood, NJ

            5 Replies
            1. re: Ambimom
              goodhealthgourmet RE: Ambimom Jun 30, 2009 12:08 PM

              unfortunately, my experiences there have been the complete opposite - in twenty some-odd years i've never had a decent meal there, so Baumgart's is the last place i would recommend to anyone. my friends & family know better than to suggest it if i'm involved ;)

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                menton1 RE: goodhealthgourmet Jun 30, 2009 01:40 PM

                I also never understood the popularity of Baumgart's. Place looks like an old time diner, and the prices are pretty hefty. Even the highly touted ice cream sucks, IMHO.

                If you are in Englewood, go 2 blocks west to Saigon R for great food and a nice experience.

                1. re: menton1
                  tommy RE: menton1 Jun 30, 2009 06:10 PM

                  isn't Baumgart's the kid-friendly place that serves americanized chinese food? it's dreadful, unless you're 10, or like americanized chinese food in a family friendly atmosphere.

                  1. re: tommy
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: tommy Jun 30, 2009 07:36 PM

                    that's the one. it's nice to know i'm not the only CHer who's perplexed by the popularity of Baumgart's.

                    1. re: tommy
                      Striver RE: tommy Jul 1, 2009 12:15 PM

                      Agreed. I ate lunch recently at the one in Livingston, and the food was at best mediocre (for example, shrimp dumplings were filled with a ground up mass that tasted decidedly fishy) - but the many kids and their parents in attendance seemed to be having a good time.

              2. goodhealthgourmet RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 12:09 PM

                i just remembered this thread from several months ago - we discussed quite a few Englewood-area restaurants...


                you should also look at some of the Hackensack threads...a lot of local CH favorites there.

                1. phDuh RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 02:39 PM

                  Sabor Peru, Rutherford. Don't have to get dressed up, bring your own, and have a great meal. Located on Highland Cross in the center of town next to the park. There is a website...don't know it offhand. A Google search should do it.

                  1. b
                    BarbaraNJ RE: meb903 Jun 30, 2009 06:50 PM

                    You might consider Oceanos, Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn.
                    Portions are on the large side, and the fish is so fresh it practically swims to the table !!
                    Preparations lean toward the simple, allowing the fish to be enjoyed without being smothered or covered.
                    Pricey, though in case thats a consideration.

                    Will also recommend Roca, Rock Road, Glen Rock. Some Italian dishes, but mostly eclectic. Not as pricey as Oceanos and it is BYO, which helps the bill.
                    Never heard a bad review.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BarbaraNJ
                      daver RE: BarbaraNJ Jul 1, 2009 03:56 AM

                      How about Park and Orchard.

                    2. Ambimom RE: meb903 Jul 1, 2009 07:50 AM

                      Sorry you all don't like Baumgarts. I do and so does my family. I guess we're the ones that make it a popular place. Us and the scores of others. Hate to disappoint you, but WE like the ice cream too...and I've had a decent hamburger and tuna salad on occasion as well as perfectly cooked shrimp. It's popular because the food is good, not pretentious, informal, and reliably good.

                      P.S. It is not Americanized Chinese food. It isn't Chinese food at all, though many of the servers and cooking staff are of [or were of] Asian descent and that undoubtedly influences the food.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Ambimom
                        tommy RE: Ambimom Jul 1, 2009 07:58 AM

                        If the place you're talking about isn't americanized-chinese food or chinese at all then we're not talking about the same place.

                        the servers influence the menu? that's something i wouldn't expect.

                        1. re: tommy
                          menton1 RE: tommy Jul 1, 2009 09:06 AM

                          It's absolutely the same place, tommy. Lots of quasi chinese dishes. They opened another one in Ridgewood across from Stop n Shop, and this menu is identical to the one in Englewood:


                          The ambience in Englewood is like a dingy old diner/greasy spoon, and yes, as we see, lots of people love the place. People also line up for an hour to get in to Olive Garden. But I don't like the place at all, seems neither does ghg, and you wouldn't like the place either.

                          EDIT: Found the Englewood menu. If this isn't "Americanized Chinese", I don't know what is!


                        2. re: Ambimom
                          goodhealthgourmet RE: Ambimom Jul 1, 2009 09:18 AM

                          no need to get defensive. as we've all seen here on CH, tastes vary, and everyone has a right to his/her opinion. as i said, my friends & family know i hate it so they no longer suggest it when i'm involved, which implies they they would still eat there willingly.

                          i was simply stating that i personally would never recommend it because every meal i've ever eaten there has been bad. and yes, as both tommy and menton indicated, the menu is, for the most part, Americanized Chinese. to further complicate things, they now serve sushi as well.

                          1. re: Ambimom
                            daver RE: Ambimom Jul 1, 2009 04:57 PM

                            I agree with this comment about Baumgarts-I also especially like the shrimp dishes I have had.

                            1. re: daver
                              tommy RE: daver Jul 1, 2009 07:23 PM

                              were they perfectly cooked, these shrimp dishes? a good place to meet friends, "someplace nice", baumgart's is?

                              1. re: tommy
                                markabauman RE: tommy Jul 2, 2009 02:29 PM

                                We ate for the first time last weekend at Oceanos, in Fair Lawn on the way down from upstate NY on the way to Cape May, NJ. Excellent food (whole fish) , wine and service. Dinner was relatively quiet and nicely paced, compared to some other places we've dined at with my folks who live in Bergen County. We'd go back.

                                1. re: markabauman
                                  tommy RE: markabauman Jul 3, 2009 08:56 AM

                                  Oceanos is a very good restaurant. They know how to run a restaurant over there. The staff are over-the-top excellent, the kind of service you'd find at restaurants in NYC, where management knows how to train and hire. There's very little turnover in staff there, and most if not all have been with the restaurant from its opening some years back, and before that when it was Peter's Whale.

                          2. n
                            NJfoodLover RE: meb903 Jul 7, 2009 08:25 AM

                            My husband and I are big fans of Oceanos. My father the harshest critic I know loves it too. The fish is so fresh and the staff is great.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: NJfoodLover
                              goodhealthgourmet RE: NJfoodLover Jul 7, 2009 01:06 PM

                              all of these raves for Oceanos are making me wish Fairlawn wasn't such a schlep for me! my brother lives in Franklin Lakes, i'll tell him to check it out.

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