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Superlative food in Bergen County?

I've been living in Bergen county for 30 years. I'm getting sick of the mediocre food in Bergen county be it expensive, faux haute cuisine or just inexpensive. I mean the best rotisserie chicken is at Costco and some of the best Greek food i've tasted is at a Taste of Greece, a small venue in a strip mall or Asian food at Simply Vietnamese in Tenafly. Please help me out here. I'm tired of going to the City for excellent Italian food. It is even rare to find at 3 star restaurant in the Bergen record. I'm interested in your choices of excellent food in Bergen county be it bar food, Italian, Spanish, Latin American, Caribbean, Asian, Filipino,haute cuisine. My wife is getting tired of cleaning up after me when I cook. i just want to feel the ecstasy one garnishes from a good meal. This isn't about money it's about quality and a well cooked great meal. There is a reason why gourmet chefs are doing burgers .ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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  1. Here we go. We like CASUAL HABANA on Main ST. in Hackensack for Cuban. Big portions of excellent home cooked food at low prices. Taverna Mykonos on Broadway in Elmwood Park, excellent quality Greek. Italian, havent found it yet in Bergen, but love Sorrentino in NOrth Bergen on 79th and Bergenline. The best pizza and pasta sauce. Homemade all the way, MAMA is in the house there! Asian, Good Luck! For American we like Park Steakhouse, pricey but worth it. Burgers, havent had a decent one yet, maybe whwn Park Steakhouse opens at the old Winberries site in Ridgewood. We live in HoHoKus, next to Ridgewood,
    and never venture in, there is nothing worth going to. New HoHoKus Inn overrated and still doesnt have its act together. So unfortunately, my kitchen seems the choice sometimes because we know it will be good. NYC is always the other alternative, going to Scarpetta Saturday nite, gooooood Italian.

    Park Steakhouse
    151 Kinderkamack Rd, Park Ridge, NJ 07656

    1 Reply
    1. re: doxy216

      coach, let's face it. Bergen County restaurants ARE mediocre! And worse, many are priced and touted as being a heck of a lot better than they are! I used to like Harvest in Closter, but it has slipped in the last couple of years...

      I have had several pretty outstanding food and dining experiences just over the border at Velo in Nyack, it's in its 3rd year and is just about the best New American on this side of the Hudson...


        1. re: Picnicchef

          You're welcome! I'll never forget our 25th anniversary dinner at your terrific restaurant, during a crazy thunderstorm last summer.

          As for coach's comment, yes, there are many mediocre restaurants here, but dozens of gems if you're willing to look around.

          1. re: melissa511

            Grew up in Fair Lawn. Where is Picnic located?

            1. re: njmarshall55

              It's in The Plaza Building. The heart of downtown (Radburn).

        2. We love this restaurant from begining to end. The dessert cart is unusual and everything is worth the trip.

          Il Mulino Restaurant
          132 Veterans Plz, Dumont, NJ 07628

            1. Taste of Greece is good for Greek for a more upscale Greek Meal you check out Axia in Tenefly or Nisi Estiatorio in Englewood, there is also an in between type place on Route 4 in Elmwood Park called Mykonos Taverna. One of our favorite nicer Italian places is Dimora in Norwood. We enjoyed Mama Mexico in Englewood Cliffs also. Either El Cid in Paramus or Segovia in Moonachie is very good for Spanish dishes.

              Mama Mexico
              464 Sylvan Ave, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

              Dimora Restaurant
              100 Piermont Rd, Norwood, NJ 07648

              El Cid Restaurant
              205 Paramus Rd, Paramus, NJ 07652

              1. River Palm Edgewater location. Best steak in Bergen County (their other locations are good but Edgewater is superior by far)

                11 Replies
                1. re: lovemyfood2

                  What aspects of the steak at the Edgewater location make it far superior to the other locations?

                  1. re: tommy

                    Please don't get me wrong, I'm certain the high quality of prime beef is the same at all locations. In ordering the same dish (Porterhouse for 2) at all locations Edgewater consistently ranks much more memorable in terms of perfection and in my opinion the service level exceeds other locations (not that the others are bad at all, they are just a a step higher in comparison). Mahwah is good but Edgewater remains a big step above. Haven't been to the Fairlawn location in years as I wasn't impressed the one time I went there. Living in Northern Bergen County makes all locations easily accessible for us and we have a strong preference for Edgewater. Edgewater is so good that I haven't found any steak in NYC that compares and I believe I've been to them all over the years.

                    1. re: tommy

                      i've never been to the Fairlawn location, but when comparing the other two i have found the service to be far superior in Edgewater. in fact, the service in Mahwah was so bad the couple of times we were there that my brother - who lives in Franklin Lakes - now happily volunteers to schlep his three kids to Edgewater to meet us.

                        1. re: tommy

                          the food suffered both times, due to both kitchen and service issues. a couple of the steaks were the wrong temp/doneness, some of the food arrived at the table cold, and one night two of the orders were flat-out wrong. and now that i think about it, the house salad wasn't even as good as the one in Edgewater. obviously they use the same suppliers & quality ingredients, i guess they just don't treat them quite the same way.

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            agree on all counts goodhealthgourmet, right down to the chopped salad....

                            A comparable example would be the Capitol Grille restaurants I have visited in multiple states, same menu, same product different chef, different staff. I LOVE the Capitol Grille in Boston (better than Abe & Louie's Boston location IMHO) and Houston is my all time favorite Capitol Grill but Vegas and NY lacked horribly and I wouldn't go back (Ice cold Lobster Bisque served, crappy service etc).

                            1. re: lovemyfood2

                              frustrating, isn't it? the service isn't always wonderful in Edgewater - some of the guys are sharper than others (we *love* Chris) - but overall it's just better than Mahwah.

                              1. re: lovemyfood2

                                Lovemyfood, you'll be interested in the Bergen Record's recent review of the Capital Grille in the Garden State Plaza then: http://www.northjersey.com/food_dinin...
                                (Basically she loved the food but hated the noise and hassle of getting a reservation.)

                                1. re: melissa511

                                  Melissa511, thanks so much for sharing the review of Capitol Grille Paramus location, I hadn't seen it. I have yet to get there even though I do want to try it.

                                  Each time that we've considered going we've held off because of location and the assumption that it would be quite loud because GSP is so crazy. I think a good night to try it might be a Sunday or Monday when the mall is either closed or slow.

                            2. re: tommy

                              Initial buzz on the coming-soon Park Tavern in Ridgewood sounds promising. They seem to be spending zillions on renovations, hopefully that won't impact on the pricing of the food. Spent a half-mil on the liquor license as well. Lots of luck, they will need it!

                              1. re: menton1

                                Sounds exciting, hadn't heard. Also Sear is coming to Closter.... Dimora's new steakhouse opening by Mother's Day!

                                Dimora Restaurant
                                100 Piermont Rd, Norwood, NJ 07648

                      1. I forgot to add Oceanos in Fairlawn or Varka in Ramsey for Seafood and Axia in Tenefly for Greek to my list.
                        And agree that the River Palm in Edgewater is the best one, not becuase it is better quality but because the serivice and preparation of the food is better.

                        30 North Spruce Street, Ramsey, NJ 07446

                        Oceanos Restaurant
                        2-27 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

                        1. We also love Casual Havana in Hackensack. And we love a little tiny place called Rudy's in Cliffside Park. Ive also heard Simply Vietnamese in Tenafly is great but I tried to go there and they were booked for the whole night. Now we love Mangiamos in Paramus, next to the Gap and 5 below. Great italian food. And our favorite mexican is Fiesta Mexico in Orangeburg NY...not Bergen but close. Wednesday is Bang Bang Shrimp day at Bonefish Grill in Paramus and 1/2 price drinks till 630 which is also a plus. And McCormicks and Shimicks is prob the best/most diverse happy hour ive ever seen. I also love SamDan in Cresskill. The shepards salad is always a crowd favorite as well as the hummus and lamb. Best greek is Taste of Greece in River Edge NJ! I could eat their gyros every night. But for something a little fancier their specials are always mouth watering.

                          1. Almost in Bergen County is Sabor an upscale two story nuevo Latin restaurant. I think there is one more north in Bergen County, but not sure where, maybe Ridgewood. This one is on River Road in N. Bergen, but sometimes listed as Bergen County, sometimes as Hudson. Good service, any questions about the menu can be answered. Can get noisy especially on weekends with hip young crowd. The guacamole with banana chips shouldn't be missed and is a meal in itself. Any fish dish I've had has been cooked to perfection. The drinks are strong, be warned.

                            Sabor Restaurant
                            8809 River Rd, North Bergen, NJ 07047

                            1. My favorite Greek restaurant in Bergen County: Vasili's Taverna in Teaneck. I grew up in Teaneck and, when I'm back in town, always go to Vasili's with my family. It's a cheery little place that serves really good food. (My parents are mildly obsessed with the Green chicken -- I'm not sure my mom has ever ordered anything else there.) Oh, definitely make a reservation if you're going to go for dinner -- I can't figure out the why or when but, some nights, it's just packed. BYOB. http://www.vasilistaverna.com/

                              1. Are there endless excellent restaurants in Bergen County? No, of course not. However, like you, living in Bergen County for my entire adult life, and after going through scores of mediocre restaurants, you can find the excellent ones. I agree with you -- I do find Italian lacking. I like a BYO place in Westwood called Granita Grille. Quality, flavorful good, and more than a so-so, red sauce, etc. type of place. Not too far from there is another Italian place called Baci (Italian Grille). I went there when it first opened and each time I've gone back I enjoyed it. I haven't had many items there, but I order what I've had because I like it.

                                If you are willing to head into Nyack, check out Velo. Excellent. I also like the flair of the style of cooking at La Vera Cucina which is in Suffern.

                                Not sure if you are looking for other categories specifically, but there are several that are well liked by many -- Picnic, Chefs Table, St. Eve (new, in Ho Ho Kus), Cafe Panche, Rebecca's (Edgewater and others. Good luck.

                                1. Regarding steak places in Bergen County -- I agree with some of the comments on the River Palm. For many years the Edgewater location was my regular spot. Both before and after the expansion, wait or no wait, the place was still the preference location for many RPT customers. Perhaps most. I do like the Mahwah location now however. It's good size, not jammed in, and you can go from the bar to the dining room, whatever your preference. I've never had a problem with service but that's just me. Don't know if that's because they know me, I am a regular or what, but it's always been very good for me. I think the food is very good. Improved over early on. I don't know the history.

                                  I am also a big fan of The Assembly. Some people don't like it. I've read that some feel it's inconsistent, questionable service, etc. OK, for me, I've always had excellent meals and experiences there. Been going there from the beginning. Once they had a staffing problem, were short, etc., but our server ran around and did an excellent job of making sure we didn't suffer. I have always liked it very much.

                                  1. I will now add St. Eve to the short list of truly excellent restaurants in Bergen County.

                                    1 Reply
                                      1. I've lived in Bergen for 40 years. Sadly, the authentic italian restaurants my parents used to take me to are a thing of the past. The best Bergen County food I've found is for GREEK, there's Chicken Kabob in Glen Rock. For STEAK, there's the Park Steak House and the Capital Grill at the GSP. For ITALIAN, I can't find any, all of the Pasta is consistently overcooked. THAI, no dice, I have had some excellent Thai in Somerville and nothing in this area compares. Having said all of this I can't wait to try PICNIC after reading the posts here.

                                        9 Replies
                                        1. re: BaseBallFan123

                                          If you like the Park -- then try the Assembly and the River Palm. See my comments above. Also, try St. Eve -- I can't recommend it enough. Also, some good things at Chakra (since the changes).

                                          1. re: ELA

                                            had dinner at the original River Palm Terrace in Edgewater last night. we've been going there for nearly 30 years, and the food & service were as good as ever. we're partial to the upstairs dining room where it's nice & quiet.

                                            never felt the need to try the Assembly since we've got RPT & i've heard mixed things. friends have enjoyed it, my folks went twice and weren't impressed either time.

                                            i need to get over to Chakra before i head back to LA this summer. and St Eve's sounds lovely - i just checked out their menu online.

                                          2. re: BaseBallFan123

                                            Nice to see a shout out for Chicken Kebab. I love the place. The place is small and casual inside, and the menu is moderate in offerings, but Naim and his crew offer up some great food at very reasonable prices. Try the doner gyro with hot pepper sauce mixed in the meat. $6.25 very well spent.

                                            As for Thai, please check out Siam Ruby Cafe in Rochelle Park. Limited menu and hours, but Tammi is a wonderful woman who makes some great food. Wondee's in Hackensack is also very good.

                                            As for steak, even though some might consider it too low brow for their fine tastes, Christian's in Garfield is awesome. $15 for a GOOD steak dinner? Try to find that anywhere else. Just bring cash and be willing to pick up your dinner from Cosmo when it's ready.

                                            1. re: BaseBallFan123

                                              I agree with Capital Grill and Chicken Kebab. For Greek, I also like Sparta Taverna (formerly George's) in Ridgefield Park, especially the moussaka and pasticchio, although all of their souvlaki dishes are also excellent. As for Thai, Bangkok Garden and Wondee's in Hackensack are right across the street from each other and are both decent - Bangkok Garden's ingredients tend to be a bit better, I've found, while Wondee's is generally more authentic, a little spicier and a little less sweet. Pho Thai Lao in Maywood is a family restaurant that's a Thai and Lao fusion of sorts, and they have some interesting authentic dishes - although I've always preferred curry from Wondee's.

                                              Like you, I've never had much success with Italian that was worth the trip and money. Anyone have any suggestions for that?

                                              1. re: BaseBallFan123

                                                try bueno gusto in cloister everything is fresh. Their red sauce is superlative

                                                1. re: coachrbc

                                                  Red sauce at a Spanish restaurant??

                                                  1. re: coachrbc

                                                    I think you mean.....

                                                    Buon Gusto....in Closter.

                                                    1. re: fourunder

                                                      Thank's food was fresh and good. It is so hard to get fresh made black pasta. What do you think of Andiamo in Harworth

                                                      1. re: coachrbc

                                                        In general, I's say Andiamo is a pleasant place. I have not been there in more than five years...due to a personal reason.

                                                        I always enjoyed their Thin Crust Pizza and specials. While I have known many who have gone there over the years....the food is solid, but the most often repeated criticism is they are a bit expensive, both for what you get and compared to prices for similar items in other area restaurants. Think fine ding prices, but at a casual restaurant. My nephew and niece both purchased homes in Closter these past two years.....they also enjoy Buon Gusto, as do you. I have not yet been, but I see the owner at the local driving range quite often in the the afternoons...he seems like a very nice man. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to dine there soon with my extended family.

                                                        My personal gripe has to do with the owner/s. They like to complain and criticize other restaurants.....and have been known to be stingy in the gratuity department when they dine out......both of which do not sit well with me.

                                                2. You should try Wild Wasabi in Norwood. It is just a little hole-in-the-wall place, but the sushi is exceptional. I live in Manhattan now, and still return for the sushi. Actually it is quite depressing, the state of sushi in Manhattan...

                                                  1. Mexican: La Frontera, Mi Rancho
                                                    Best Rotisserie Chicken/Brazillian: Pollo Marios
                                                    Soul Food: Boomerang's
                                                    Italian: Dinallo's, Big Red Tomato
                                                    Chinese: Petite Soo Cho

                                                    1. Masa in Allendale - amazing sushi!!

                                                      1. Sage in Fair Lawn is very good. Located on the westbound side of Broadway (Rt.4), just past the train trestle in a strip mall at the corner of 17th St. Menu is eclectic, but I tend to order from the list of specials, which have always been very good to excellent. BYOB, Lively atmosphere, casual.