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Best dinner in New Jersey, money is no object II

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  • noya Dec 1, 2010 02:20 PM

Hey everyone,
Thanks so much for your help last time we asked--you sent us to Uproot and we loved it. You also recommended The Bernards Inn, which we're leaning towards for next week. Any other restaurant within 40 minutes of Union/Essex Counties that might make us reconsider? As the subject line reads, money is no object, so la creme de la creme please!


The Bernards Inn
27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924

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  1. I love Stage Left in New Brunswick (about a half hour drive from Union, NJ). I've had many fabulous meals there, in fact, we do our anniversary dinner there every year (it's where my husband proposed as well). Don't let their website fool you, (it's a bit dated, I feel). They really are wonderful.

    Stage Left
    5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

    1 Reply
    1. re: mickeygee


    2. Depending upon your interpretation of the speed limit you should consider Restaurant Nicholas in Middletown, about 5 minutes from Exit 114 on the Parkway.

      Restaurant Nicholas
      160 State Route 35, Red Bank, NJ 07701

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mr. Bingley

        Been there many times and LOVED it! :-)

      2. Chez Catherine in Westfield

        Chez Catherine
        431 North Avenue West, Westfield, NJ 07090

        2 Replies
        1. re: briansnat

          +1 for Restaurant Nicholas. Another one to consider is Lorena in Maplewood. Good Luck.

          Restaurant Nicholas
          160 State Route 35, Red Bank, NJ 07701

          1. re: bgut1

            Been there, too--very nice

        2. I would also recc. Nicholas... Outstanding

          1. With a bar...Serenade in Chatham. BYO, Lorena's in Maplewood.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coldbeer

              Didn't like Serenade--maybe it was an off night, but we were completely underwhelmed.

            2. I would second the Bernards Inn, they are really going strong right now. We had dinner there last saturday and it was almost flawless.

              The Bernards Inn
              27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924

              1. I know what you are asking noya, but thinking more about the premise of the question, "best dinner" where money is no object, I often find that the two are unrelated. I mean, you can spend a lot, and you can get elegant, excellent service, but sometimes the most delicious food is served in a food cart or take-away joint.

                Our recent discussion on A Toute Heure makes me wonder what would be a "best dinner."
                Why not support a local restaurant?

                1 Reply
                1. re: GraydonCarter

                  I'd second A Toute Heure as well. Really, nice place, good service, yummy food and BYO.

                2. I too say Nicholas but I suggest the Chefs table. With drinks, wine and tip you would be in the $400 - $500. Not only is the food sublime but the Chefs table is a memorable unforgettable experience. We went last Sep for our 10th anniversary. If that is too far, Chest Catherine is another great pick. Enjoy.

                  1. Nicholas is an obvious choice but no one has mentioned the Atlantic City restaurants (remember the question is money is no object).
                    I thought Serenade and the Pluckemin Inn were exceptional. High quality food, nice small bars, good wine lists, attractive settings, good service....
                    I have not been but can anyone nominate Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs? How about Scalini Fedili.
                    I miss the Ryland Inn.

                    1. First, go to The Bernards Inn and enjoy!

                      Second, go to Ninety Acres in Pluckemin (or is it Gladstone?) and have their prix fixe dinner. As I recall, it's called 'Bring Me Food' (check their web site).

                      Finally, drive more than 40 minutes and go to either elements or the restaurant at The Peacock Inn in Princeton. My choice would be elements.

                      1. Okay if you're going to send her to Princeton or A/C why not just have her hop on the train in Union and go to the French Laundry?!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                          Did you mean Per Se?

                          1. re: GraydonCarter

                            Why not? Because French Laundry is in California! The subject says "Best restaurant in New Jersey!" ;-)

                            Lorena's is a great option! Chef's table at Nicholas sounds like an awesome evening, and Pluckemin Inn has an amazing wine list! -mJ

                            1. re: njfoodies

                              Picky, picky. :)

                              Go to a place somewhat closer than CA, like the Inn at Little Washington. It's only about a 4-hour drive.

                          2. We went to the Bernardsville Inn. Ambiance was wonderful, service was very nice, and food excellent. We loved most everything (including the house made bread--what a treat!) except the wild mushroom/black barley fricasse. The sashimi appetizer was the evening's hit, with the sweet potato ravioli a close second. The cheese platter played it on the safe side--to our dismay. But overall, and excellent evening. Thanks!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: noya

                              Thanks for reporting back.