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need a special restaurant--money is no object

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Planning a special meal for my husband and I. We're looking for something as good (if not better than) Nicholas, which we've been to many times and enjoyed very much. Any cuisine, preferably upscale. We'd prefer not to drive more than 45 minutes from our home in Springfield (right on the border of Union and Essex Counties). Any ideas? Many thanks in advance!

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  1. It might be pushing the 45 minutes a bit....

    Nisi in Englewood, NJ.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bosmer

      Englewood is actually only about 35 minutes away, so definitely within our radius. Thanks for this suggestion--I'm going to check out the menu right now...

      1. re: noya

        just looked--my husband loves fish so this could really fit the bill!

        1. re: noya

          Great seafood? Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin in Manhattan. Best fish, hands down, although Bgut is right when reccomending 11Mad as well, Chef Humm is outrageous!

    2. Living where you do, you have likely been but if not, try Lorena's in Maplewood.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tom246

        We have been to Lorena's and enjoyed it very much. Thanks!

      2. Natirar in Peapack or Sublime in Gladstone. Natirar is more of a "formal" fine dining place, you know kinda stuffy but if you're into that its a great place for you to go. Great setting on a huge piece of property. Sublime is more casual and trendy but in my opinion the food is actually better. Plus it's a bit more lively and much more friendly and welcoming.

        4 Replies
        1. re: gooter

          I'll second tom's recommendation of Lorena's. The restaurant is at a minimum the equal of Nicholas and I can recommend it without hesitation. If money is in fact no object, I also recommend that you try Eleven Madion Park in NYC. You can fit it into your 45 minute requirement provided you hit no traffic. IMHO, it is the best restaurant in Manhattan if not the US. Good Luck and enjoy your special meal.

          1. re: bgut1

            Bingo, we have a winner. As Bgut has mentioned, you are less than 45 minutes into the city and you won't find a better choice than EMP.

            1. re: tom246

              Been there, done that! But thanks

          2. re: gooter

            both of these are excellent suggestions--thank you so much!

            1. re: Rosie Saferstein

              Second to elements in Princeton. If money is no object definetly sit at the chef's table in the kitchen. If you check out the sous chef's blog on their website you will get an idea of some the cutting edge things they're doing with food. Really very impressive and the head chef always brings in special items to be served at the chef's tasting. Santa Barbara Spot prawns, shima aji, kindai, real wagyu from kobe and mangalitsa pig are a few examples of courses that have served.

              Good luck and have fun wherever you go, it sounds like you're in for a great night.

              1. re: Rosie Saferstein

                Thanks--unfortunately, Princeton is out of the radius :-(

                1. re: noya

                  how about the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack?

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                  Stony Hill Inn
                  231 Polifly Rd, Hackensack, NJ 07601

                  1. re: yogi70

                    another great suggestion. thank you!

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