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Recommendation(s) needed for Somerville / Bridgewater / Raritan area?

jessicarboyle Oct 21, 2009 10:03 AM

My husband and I are looking for a place to have dinner this weekend while staying in Branchburg. My sister-in-law recommend some restaurants in Westfield, but I'd rather not drive from Branchburg to Westfield and back. I don't care if it is fancy, not fancy, sushi, italian, steak, BYO or liquor license, etc. I just want it to be nice enough that there won't be 3 yr olds running around since mine will be at home! :) I'm just looking forward to enjoying a meal & uninterrupted conversation with my husband and not having to cut up somebody else's food first, you know? I've read up online about a few BYOs in Somerville, but I hate trying a place without input from a 'real' person. Thanks in advance!

  1. ambrose Oct 22, 2009 06:07 PM

    There are a LOT of restaurants to choose from in this area. Some of my favorites are:

    da Filippo's - wonderful Italian cuisine; better than Il Pomodoro in my opinion
    Tapastre (not Tapas) - in the basement of the building that houses Il Pomodoro (same kitchen); emphasizes small plates
    Gabriela's - Portuguese cuisine; I like it though some question its authenticity
    Cedars - Lebanese cuisine; helps if you know something about Middle Eastern dishes
    Splash of Thai - my second favorite Thai restaurant (after Origin)
    Shumi - some of the best sushi in the tri-state area; if you like Japanese food but not sushi, go somewhere else
    Char - steakhouse that can be pricey (don't let them push you into ordering a steak if you want something else!)
    Uncle Vinnie's Clam Bar - great neighborhood place in Raritan
    Girasole - good Italian in nearby Bound Brook (10 minutes away)


    Shumi does not have a web site but you can find lots of information about it on line.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ambrose
      john.ilpomodoro Nov 11, 2009 02:13 PM

      Ambrose a quick clarification
      Il Pomodoro and Tapastre are in the same building BUT
      I have 2 separate kitchens, 2 different chefs, different staff the only thing I share between the two is a couple of dishwashers

      1. re: john.ilpomodoro
        nyebaby37 Nov 12, 2009 04:42 AM

        LOL, thanks John for clearing that up... I love your restaurants, and you're one of the few owners that responds to the CH blogs, esp about their own restaurant reviews. Can't wait to come back this holiday season for another great meal and hopefully the pumpkin gnocci will back on the menu!

    2. The Professor Oct 21, 2009 09:19 PM

      Of course, there is also VERVE...a nice bistro at 18 E Main St right in downtown Somerville. Probably not the least expensive option...moderately priced for the area, and quite nice.
      Info here:


      1 Reply
      1. re: The Professor
        nyebaby37 Oct 22, 2009 06:07 AM

        LOVE Il Pomodoro $$$ and it's sister restaurant Tapas (downstairs) $$. VERY good food, atmosphere, Not BYOB. http://www.ilpomodoro.com/

      2. t
        tom246 Oct 21, 2009 11:58 AM

        I vote for Origin French Thai in Somerville. Have not been there in about 2 years but all previous meals there have been very enjoyable. Here is some info:


        3 Replies
        1. re: tom246
          yankeefan Oct 21, 2009 12:50 PM

          I was going to suggest the exact same as Tom. Ive never really been disappointed, very pleasant experience at Origin whether it is the one in Somerville, Morristown, or Basking Ridge.

          1. re: yankeefan
            coldsolderjoint Oct 21, 2009 09:09 PM

            It might be a cop-out to some on this board.. but the melting pot is on main street in somerville, that can be either a fun, or romantic dinner, or both :-P

            1. re: coldsolderjoint
              The Professor Oct 21, 2009 09:14 PM

              Unfortunately, also pretty high priced for what it is.

        2. BeeZee Oct 21, 2009 11:22 AM

          Trattoria Uno: 1067 US Highway 202 North, Branchburg (908) 203-8666
          This is in a little strip center. Casual italian, I've had lunch here a couple of times and everything was fresh and service is friendly. When you walk in you'll see the pizza ovens and counter, the restaurant area is in the back.
          If you want sushi, there is a place in Somerville called Shumi which is well regarded.

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