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Need recs for really nice dinner in bergen, passaic or essex...

berna Feb 8, 2010 07:02 AM

for my very dear friend who despepately needs a pick me up. Been to all the standards (cafe matisse, panache etc) so anything new or just really good would be great. Thanks in advance.

  1. n
    NJfoodLover Feb 18, 2010 08:35 AM

    I also Recommend AXIA in Tenfly Or Oceanos in Fairlawn. Both are wonderful Restaurants that will not let you down.

    1. menton1 Feb 16, 2010 09:10 AM

      Another place that is SUPERIOR and off all the standard lists is Velo, just a few minutes over the border in Nyack. A wonderful addition to the area, top notch in every category.


      3 Replies
      1. re: menton1
        mom22tots Jun 21, 2010 06:51 AM

        Is Velo in the old space that used to be Heather's? Just looked at their site and it's vaguely familiar.

        1. re: mom22tots
          menton1 Jun 21, 2010 09:27 AM

          Yes, it replaced Heather's about 2 years ago. And it's a great improvement.

          1. re: menton1
            Bosmer Jun 22, 2010 05:31 AM

            What do you enjoy at Velo? The menu is not enticing.

            Also, they have a lunch menu on the website but they do not open until 5pm?!?!

      2. briansnat Feb 16, 2010 06:22 AM

        Cafe L'Amore in Oakland might be worth a try. Outstanding pizza and pasta dishes. I'm not a veal fan but my wife raves about their veal. Their Involtini di Pollo is one of the best chicken dishes I've had anywhere. They don't take reservations so you can wind up waiting for a half hour or more if you get there at prime time, but the food is solid, service better than average and the prices reasonable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: briansnat
          berna Feb 16, 2010 06:53 AM

          This sounds like some place I should look into, coming from Wayne. Any thoughts on Rosemary and Sage in Riverdale?

          1. re: berna
            bropaul Feb 16, 2010 04:22 PM

            Haven't been for ages, but I remember loving it.

        2. Curlz Feb 9, 2010 05:08 PM

          Some people may be sick of hearing me say it, but take her to Blu in Montclair. Do the tasting menu if you're adventurous or order a la carte; just remember to BYO wine! Or maybe champagne to make it really festive?!?

          More casual but a lively place with great food: Stamna Greek Taverna on Broad St in Bloomfield, all of a mile off the GSP.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Curlz
            jsaf237 Jul 11, 2010 05:37 PM

            Totally agree with Blu. The decor is just OK (NJ restaurants, in general have an issue with separating the entry, front of the room, back of the room and kitchen), but the food is definitely amongst the best in Essex. Others Im impressed by:
            1. Orange Squirell
            2. Culinarian - Former Top Chef contestant but a little overrated)
            3. Passione - French. a little underrated in my opinion and the Chef has been on the Today Show a bunch of times.

            554 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

          2. f
            foodismylife Feb 9, 2010 06:36 AM

            forgot to suggest a nice bottle of absinthe
            drank some with my wife and others on a cruise to croatia, all our troubles went away for a while
            a nice experience as long as you do the taxi thing

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodismylife
              berna Feb 9, 2010 10:07 AM

              love your idea!

            2. Bosmer Feb 9, 2010 05:10 AM

              just go to Nisi...it is the best restaurant in Bergen County.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bosmer
                menton1 Feb 9, 2010 09:14 AM

                If Nisi is the "best in Bergen County" we're in trouble (we are). Nisi is overhyped, overpriced, and overrated, IMHO.

              2. f
                foodismylife Feb 8, 2010 09:13 AM

                oceanos is great fresh fish and raw bar from a greek standpoint
                river palm on route 4 for a steakhouse experIENCE
                A Mano in Ridgewood true Naples style pizza awesome oven great gelato
                far more casual but truly lovel food
                go across the street get some nice wine get loaded and call a taxi
                you will not be disappointed

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodismylife
                  goodhealthgourmet Feb 8, 2010 09:25 AM

                  i considered suggesting the River Palm as well, but i was conflicted. both the food & service at the original Edgewater location are *much* better than the one on Rte 4, but the atmosphere at the Edgewater restaurant can get pretty chaotic and LOUD...not really ideal for quiet conversation with a friend who's down in the dumps.

                2. hobbybaker Feb 8, 2010 08:11 AM

                  Those two are the restaurants where we were invited for friends' wedding dinners in NJ.


                  1. goodhealthgourmet Feb 8, 2010 07:50 AM

                    i don't know what your budget is like, but if s/he enjoys Greek, go to Axia Taverna in Tenafly or Nisi Estiatorio in Englewood. i've also heard here on CH that Oceanos in Fairlawn is wonderful for seafood but i think it may be pricey.

                    hope your friend perks up soon!

                    ETA: also, it's been a while since i spent any time in Montclair, but they've always had a good restaurant scene there. perhaps someone can suggest a place in that area...

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                      menton1 Feb 8, 2010 07:58 AM

                      Harvest Bistro in Closter. Great place, seems to fly under the radar. Not on the usual "lists".


                      1. re: menton1
                        Bosmer Feb 11, 2010 06:10 AM

                        Harvest Bisro is not on the usual lists because the quality of food is subpar. The service has been suspect. The only thing it has going is nice decor.

                        1. re: Bosmer
                          menton1 Feb 11, 2010 06:42 AM

                          O I get it. So every restaurant on the "lists" has above par food and non-suspect service. Thanks.

                          1. re: menton1
                            Bosmer Feb 11, 2010 08:13 AM

                            Of course every restaurant that appears on whatever "lists" you refer to probably don't have above par food and non-suspect service...but lets deal with specific restaurants rather than generalizations.

                            I really want to like Harvest Bistro. Truly. But the food and service are not very good. The menu looks interesting at times but has consistently failed in execution. I hope someday they get a good management team and chef and make the very attractive restaurant into a destination spot.

                      2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        joisey al Feb 16, 2010 04:07 PM

                        I had a wonderful meal at Axia Taverna last pm. Started w. Pikilia of dips, steamed mussels and finished off w. the octopus salad. The restaurant has a extensive wine list and brandy.

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