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Challenge to Chowhounds Around Somerset County

Well, it's that time of year when we take my mother-in-law out for a holiday dinner. If left to her, we'd be eating at Olive Garden or Lonestar. *eye roll* So, I'm looking for suggestions around Somerset County (Bridgewater area but can travel some).

Here's the challenge. The restaurant can NOT be:

Asian, Japanese/Sushi; Thai, Vietnamese (or any similar); Indian; Mexican. Prefer to avoid Italian and chains.
.
Cannot be too modern (she likes traditional) or too loud. She doesn't like too high end/too upscale (obviously).

So, what this basically leaves is good old fashioned American or semi-Continental cuisine.

Is there such a place like this around Somerset County?

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  1. Gwendolen, I remember your request from last year. Perhaps you could tell us where you ended up then. It would give us some insight into what is acceptable to your MIL.

    Also, I'm confused by your comment that "if left to her, we'd be eating at Olive Garden or Lonestar". Both are chain restaurants and, in my experience, often very loud.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ambrose

      Ambrose: Last year I became very ill over the holidays so we did not take her out. We would go to those chains very early when it wasn't too crowded. I threw in the "no chains" for my gratification because I really don't want to end up at one.

    2. Wow this is a good challenge. All of my favorite places appear on your CAN NOT list.

      How about Char Steakhouse in Raritan or Verve Restaurant in Somerville?

      1 Reply
      1. re: GraydonCarter

        Char is definitely out. We took her there for mother's day and had one of the worst dining experiences ever. Won't ever go back there. Verve may be an option but I wasn't too thrilled with it either.

      2. How about Pheasant's Landing in Hillsborough? This is NOT a recommendation because I, personally, do not like this restaurant. However it does seem to fit the qualifications.

        1 Reply
        1. re: madgreek99

          Heh, it really is called Pheasants Landing -- like, "look, pheasants are landing" instead of a landing that belongs to a flock of Pheasants ("Pheasants' Landing").

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          Pheasants Landing Restaurant
          311 Amwell Rd Ste A, Hillsborough, NJ 08844

        2. Bernards Inn-Bernardsville
          Pluckimin Inn-Bedminster
          Tewksbury Inn-Tewksbury
          Gladstone Tavern or Sublime-Gladstone
          90 Acres-Peapack-may be too noisy
          new small place in Bedminster across from the post office and just down from Willies
          3 West in the River run shopping center in Basking Ridge

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          Gladstone Tavern
          273 Main St, Gladstone, NJ 07934

          3 West
          665 Martinsville Rd Ste 101, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

          3 Replies
          1. re: gunboat

            Willies Tavern in Bedminster. To borrow from MadGreek, "This is NOT a recommendation because I, personally, do not like this restaurant. However it does seem to fit the qualifications."

            http://www.williestaverne.com/

            1. re: Forklaw

              Looks nice, except there appears to be no salad bar.

            2. re: gunboat

              The "new small place in Bedminster across from the post office and just down from Willies" is twofiftytwo (http://www.twofiftytworestaurant.com/). Great food and BYOB. The only problem we found was that weekend dinners tend to be loud b/c of the din of conversation bounding off the small space, contemporary decor. So I'd take your MIL there on a weeknight - or for early dinner.

              Sublime has wonderful food! But I'd caution taking your MIL b/c the food may be too creative for her based on your request. The chef has great experience with Asian food and incorporates those flavors with much success, including spiciness... So I'd leave it for yourself to try. (http://www.sublimenj.com/)

            3. I'll second Gladstone Tavern. Some of those other places are either too expensive-Pluckemin Inn- or too noisy 3 West.

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              Gladstone Tavern
              273 Main St, Gladstone, NJ 07934

              3 West
              665 Martinsville Rd Ste 101, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

              1 Reply
              1. re: blackeyedpig

                Take her to Top O'Th' Hill in Bridgewater!

              2. Many good suggestions already,however if you are like me, fine dining with MIL is not happening.

                How about a tweener?

                The Cheesecake Factory in Bridgewater Commons.

                1 Reply
                1. re: brucefanz

                  The problem with that is it will probably be too loud, the wait at this time of year will probably be an hour plus, and it is the most unhealthy restaurant in America. (Except maybe the grease trucks at RU.)