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Jul 8, 2009 08:42 AM

moderate priced dinner btwn. tappan zee bridge and garden state pkwy.

I'm meeting a friend 1/2 way between our homes. I live in Tarrytown and she lives right near the Garden State Pkwy. in New Jersey. I'm not sure of the town she lives in but this is the info. she gave me. We don't want an expensive dinner, just good food and moderate pricing.

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  1. without knowing her exit on the GSP, the information is useless. the parkway is nearly 175 miles long!

    4 Replies
      1. re: yeshana

        actually, i *was* trying to be helpful - there's no point in recommending a place if it's going to be completely out of the way for both of you. if i knew the general vicinity of your friend's Parkway location i might have been able to suggest something that would work.

        so much for practicality.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          agree. the friend could be in toms river, asbury park, union, edison, irvington, montvale, etc. makes a HUGE difference.

        2. re: yeshana

          yeshana-Would be very helpful to all if you would get some more information from you friend. Name of town or GSP exit number would be very nice.

      2. I'd go to Kinchley's in Ramsey for their amazing thin crust pizza!

        1. Yeshana, would your friend be willing to drive up to Piermont? You could have a lovely dinner at Freelance Cafe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: MRS

            I can only surmise your friend lives in Bergen County without specifics, so I would suggest Piermont as a good meeting point. I believe the Nyack's Main Street area has some nice places if I can recall correctly. My some others can offer some suggestions.

            1. re: MRS

              thanks. Piermont is close to me . I emailed her and asked for more info on her location. will repost when I have more specifics.

            2. ok, I finally got the locations. I need a rec with the above criteria between Little Falls, NJ and Tarrytown, NY.
              Any thoughts?

              23 Replies
              1. re: yeshana

                On Paramus Rd in Paramus is Biagio's (Italian) and El Sid (spanish) both have very food and they are right off the parkway about 1/2 way between the 2 locations.
                There is also a BoneFish Grill which I think is a decent place and it is right off the parkway in Paramus next to the paramus park mall.

                1. re: yeshana

                  If you are into sharing, consider Roxanne's in Mahwah on Franklin Turnpike. The location is easily accessible off Interstate 287 or NJ State Highway 17......the distance, in my opinion is fair and equal traveling time for both of you.

                  Roxanne's features an Italian menu with great salad options and thin crust pizza. If you do not get together on the weekend nights, you should have no problem getting seated and the noise level is considerably lower for conversation.



                  1. re: yeshana

                    another Paramus option, though a teeny bit further from the Parkway exit - Napa Valley Grille at Garden State Plaza.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        presumably the person looking for the rec will do some research on the proposed restaurants. recommending something like NVG, which might be a bit more than the OP's definition of "moderate" (and no one really knows that that definition is), is way better than offering up some of the other restaurants I've seen recommended here. :)

                        I'd consider Fire & Oak, since it has something for everyone, and it's that bad, at least in my few experiences.

                        1. re: tommy


                          not a fan of Roxanne's , eh? :-)

                          1. re: fourunder

                            fourunder, i wasn't referring to your suggestions in particular. i think you're nice and have good taste in general and i like you. but yeah, Roxanne's is hardly worth a mention, unless you have kids or are 22. And, it's not "Italian": It is squarely "Italian-American."

                            The pizza isn't really all that notable there. Nor is anything else I've had. It's just like an OK place that happens to exist. To my mind, not worth sending someone to.

                            Oceanos, Kinchely's, places of that nature, sure, definitely.

                            1. re: tommy

                              And, it's not "Italian": It is squarely "Italian-American."
                              It's actually "Greek Italian American". :-)

                              1. re: fourunder

                                oh come on, they have greek stuff there?

                                1. re: tommy

                                  Owned by Greeks....made so much money first year (2.2 mil), they bought Spring Street (Varka)....made so much money there, I believe they bought The Junkyard/Austin's.

                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    i'm not sure if you're trying to make a point, but if it's about serving mediocre food while making gobs of money, that point has been proven over and over again and again.

                                    like i said, i don't like it. if you do, that's great. i just don't find it notable in the least,and i wouldn't send someone across the street for a meal at Roxanne's, much less to meet a friend who lives 45 minutes away.

                                    Varka, however, is notable. perhaps they made so much money serving slop to the masses that they finally were in the position to open a place that served food that they always wanted to. who knows.

                                    Hopefully they do something to that sh*thole that was Austin's. (although I can't deny it: i loved going to see the cover bands at the Junkyard)

                                    edit: i'm not sure if i'm being a d*ck and misread your post. if so, apologies!

                                    1. re: tommy


                                      No apologies, I heard they were leaning towards opening Roxanne's II.

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        it could be worse. that's good news. a big bar, close to home. i'm all in.

                                    2. re: fourunder

                                      Really that is next to my house. I would love to have a new addition to the neighborhood. Being Greek myself, I would be happy to support them if the food is good. I have never been to Roxanne's but I Love Varka!

                          2. re: fourunder

                            i did think about the price, but as tommy pointed out, though the OP said "moderate," there was no specific price range or budget. different strokes...

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Exactly. Someone else's "crazy expensive" might be my "throw-away dinner on a Tuesday." Or my "expensive" might be someone else's "not even worth the gas that my 7 series would use to get there".

                              1. re: tommy

                                "my "expensive" might be someone else's "not even worth the gas that my 7 series would use to get there"."
                                LOL! actually, BMWs get relatively good gas mileage ;)

                                speaking of Paramus, have you been to Chakra or Mantra? i know you're a fellow Baumgart's hater so i trust your judgment...

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  not as good as my honda civic.

                                  i don't hate much, but Baumgarts is, to my mind, nothing more than a Chinese-American family-friendly milkshake shop.

                                  Mantra was, at a time, excellent, but the chef left. I've had mixed thoughts on the place since his departure, and have been afraid to go back. they also need to step up their bar, by getting rid of the 15 flavors of colored sugar water that lines their bar, and making interesting, or at least marginally competent, cocktails. they could really set themselves apart if they challenged themselves in that regard (so long as their food doesn't go south with the chef's departure). But, as so many (just about all?) NJ restaurants, they won't, because they think they don't have to.

                                  I talked up Chakra when it first opened. That was several chefs ago. My most recent and final meal there (2 years ago by now?) was when they refused to let me and my wife order desserts to go. After about 150 bucks, mind you. I was told by the server that the kitchen wouldn't do that.

                                  I suggested to the server that we could probably just order them, right?, and then have them brought out to the table, right? and then have them wrapped to go, right? The server figured that this might possibly be allowed. "Well, yeah, I suppose".

                                  We left without ordering dessert, and never looked back.

                                  The visit before that (and yeah, I'm not sure why I gave them another chance), the foie gras served on top of the steak was clearly burnt and dry. No chef watching the pass would ever let that go. Which told me that no one at the restaurant cared.

                                  I'm guessing they still don't.

                                  Chakra is a joke, and should be avoided. Burnt foie gras and a ridiculous policy should not be forgiven. Danny Meyer would let you take a bar stool home if you asked. The managers of Chakra have no idea how to run a business, much less a restaurant. I'll give them 10 more months, before the last of the multiple investors pull out. Good riddance. Everyone should go to Oceanos if they're interested in seeing how a restaurant should be run.

                                  1. re: tommy

                                    thanks for the detail! i'll absolutely steer clear of both now :)

                                    thanks to many raves on CH, Oceanos is on my short list of "if i'm ever over that way."

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      don't steer clear of any place just because a random stranger doesn't like it. except Chakra, which should be avoided.

                                      1. re: tommy

                                        tommy, fellow CHers aren't random strangers!

                                        and NJFL, no one "told" me...i drive one. besides, i said "relatively" good - i was thinking relative to what one might think would be the case with luxury/performance cars. once again, as with the question of whether Napa Valley Grille is moderately priced, it depends whom you ask ;)

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          "tommy, fellow CHers aren't random strangers!"

                                          I essentially am!

                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Who told you BMWs have good gas milage.... I don't think they are that great, they newer they get the worst the gas milage gets.

                        2. I don't know if this is on topic anymore, but:

                          Little Falls isn't really close to the Parkway, but looks like a case (geographically speaking) could be made for Oceano's (a tommy fave) in Fairlawn, near the Rte 4 exit on the Parkway, and pretty easily accessible from Little Falls (Rte 80?) Lots of favorable talk about this resto.