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High-end in Union County?

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Aside from the very excellent A Toute Heure, is there a chef-driven fine-dining restaurant in Union County doing contemporary fare? Or non-cliched ethnic? It seems hard to find a worthy dining destination in this area - and I routinely take out folks who live here and cannot travel far. Chez Catherine is fine, but we don't want monthly repeats, and Boulevard 521 (I may not be remembering the number correctly) is unexciting. We've enjoyed A Toute Heure, but would like alternatives. Anything new we're just not catching? Many thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. In the same town as A Toute Heure (Cranford) is The Italian Pantry. The food there is excellent and they change their menu seasonally. We've loved everything we've tried there. If you do go I recommend starting with the calamari. It's the best I've had.

    http://theitalianpantrybistro.com/the...

    1. I've enjoyed La Griglia in Kenilworth, and one of my most respected restaurants in Middlesex recommended Restaurant da Benito at 5 points in Union (although I've never eaten there yet). The Spanish Tavern on 22 is great as well.

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      La Griglia
      740 Kenilworth Boulevard, Kenilworth, NJ 07033

      Spanish Tavern
      1239 US Highway 22, Mountainside, NJ 07092

      1. There is also Le Rendezvous in Kenilworth, excellent food, good (albeit slowly paced) service, nice little place and the owner/Chef is a great Frenchmen.

        1. How far are you from Uproot in Warren? I haven't been yet, but the place gets good press...

          1. Thank you for these suggestions. Italian Pantry looks particularly appealing. We'll definitely try it when it reopens after its vacation. (Uproot is a little far afield for our purposes - I've been once and thought it a little overblown but worth a second look.) We'll get to the others you nice folks mention as well. Again, many thanks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cheese

              A deli by day, a pasta lover's find by night, Trattoria Bel Paese in Cranford is worth a trip. The decor is lacking, they just pull a curtain over the deli counter, but this place is authentic and a BYOB keeper.