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Jul 21, 2009 12:57 PM

Tops in Union County

Seeking recommendations of restaurants from haute to humble, all manner of cuisines. We'd prefer ethnic that's authentic, originality in the New American genre. Thanks very much!

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  1. Il Gabbiano Italian Bistro on South Ave in Cranford is a nice BYO, moderate prices with a good-sized menu and seafood specials according to what's fresh. Food is quite good, preparations are innovative, but it can be slow, so bring enough wine to enjoy the longish waits between courses.

    For Portuguese, try Solar do Minho in Roselle Park. Everything about this place is huge--the room, the menu, the portions. Quality may vary somewhat--I have had a special of grilled red snapper that was really inspired, a flavorful filet mignon with shrimp and mushroom sauce the size of a catcher's mitt comes out perfectly grilled, but the paella is so-so (others I know who go there disagree with me on that). They also do rodizio, but I have never tried it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: albinoni

      Little Havana, in Kenilworth NJ (very ethnic)
      Boulevard 527, Kenilworth, NJ (american, but great)
      Morris Thai, Union NJ (great thai)

      I also like many of the Westfield restos (Southwestern)

      Alas, I don't live in Union County, only work here. So I don't get to find the real holes-in-the-wall.

      1. re: albinoni

        Update, I would now say that Il Gabbiano is on its way downhill.

      2. a toute heure, Cranford...Local bistro , mussels prepared many ways, fresh ingredents that are purchased locally. My top choice....

        1. El Salvadoreno on Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth
          Benito (Italian) at 5 Points in Union
          Le Rendezvous (Medit/french)on the Boulevard in Kenilworth
          Tommy's Italian Hotdogs, 2nd Ave Elizabeth

          1. Another vote for A Toute Heure - it's a lovely little bistro with a great menu, good service and outdoor seating in nice weather. BYO. No reservations but you can call ahead and get on the list.