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PLEASE POST YOUR VOTES HERE: Top New Jersey Restaurants of 2010

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Inspired by the ninth annual running of the “Ultimate Los Angeles Restaurants” poll currently in progress over on the Chowhound LA board (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/747594), and with some time on my hands, I present the “Top New Jersey Restaurants” poll of 2010.

Most of the following is taken and adapted directly from the LA board. I’ll keep the poll open until noon (ET) on December 27 and post the results shortly thereafter.

=> The concept here is simple: everyone is asked to list, in ranked order, your top restaurants in New Jersey that you would recommend to Chowhound friends or to Chowhound visitors from out-of-state. Since, at its most essential, this forum is about the food, your ranking should be based 75% on food and 25% on everything else.

If you’re the patient type or process minded, please read on. The folks in LA have come up with some pretty good guidelines. Otherwise, skip to the bottom.

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This poll asks Chowhounds to list TEN restaurants in New Jersey that they’d recommend: FIVE in the category of over $25 per person, and FIVE in the category of $25 and less. (The price estimate is inclusive of FOOD ONLY for an average dinner order for one person.) If different voters choose the same restaurant in both price categories, the total points will be tabulated together and the restaurant will be ranked in the category for which it received the most points.

You are encouraged to vote for exactly five restaurants per category. You may choose to cast votes only in the over-$25 category, or only in the $25-and-under, but don’t vote for the same restaurant in both categories.

If you vote for five restaurants in a category, your first choice will receive 5 points, your second choice will receive 4 points, third choice will receive 3 points, and so on. If you respond with more than 5 choices per category, only your first 5 listed choices will be included. And no “ties” please.

If you vote for fewer than five restaurants in a category, your choice will be tabulated with as many points as the number you voted for (so if you vote for only three restaurants, your first choice will carry three points, the second two points, etc.) This is to avoid the results being weighted in favor of those voters who make the fewest choices. Also, in case of a tie in the final tally, the number of five-point voters is used as a tiebreaker.

I will assume the first restaurant on your list is your first choice and so on; to avoid confusion I’d prefer that you not number them.

If you vote for a restaurant that you know has closed within the last twelve months, please note that by putting “(RIP)” next to it. Likewise, if you know it’s new within the last 12 months, please note that by putting “(NEW)” next to it. If two or more related restaurants with the same name and same basic menu get votes, I will combine the results.

Please make it clear what place you’re voting for. Spelling counts, and please include the city/town to avoid confusion among similarly named but unrelated establishments. If you make a mistake or just change your mind, go ahead and post again; please re-cast your entire vote and not just the changes ... tell me it's a re-vote and I'll take care of it.

Remember, this poll is for New Jersey restaurants only, all cuisines, all price-points. For purposes of this poll, any establishment that serves prepared food or drink counts as a restaurant. Diners? BYOB? Food trucks? Chains? Pizza, ice cream, and hot dog joints? 7-Elevens? They're all eligible.

One last point: you’re welcome to ask questions or make positive comments, but I’d ask you not to post criticism of other voters’ choices on this thread. If you must vent, please wait until the poll is closed and the results are posted. If you just can’t wait for that, start a new thread (but be sure to follow Chowhound’s posting rules). And please note that I am not a Chowhound employee nor is the poll endorsed by Chow.com and CBS Interactive; this is strictly a volunteer effort.

The more replies we receive the more useful are the poll’s findings, so please vote. (In its first year, the LA poll had 23 voters; last year, their participation had grown to 100 voters.)

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So, in ranked order for “over $25” and for “$25 and under,” what are the top Chow-worthy restaurants in New Jersey that you would recommend to Chowhound friends or to Chowhound visitors from out-of-state?

Cast your votes as a reply to this post. Thank you for participating!

  1. OVER $25
    Nicholas, Red Bank
    Lorena’s, Maplewood
    Seabra’s Marisqueira, Newark
    Shumi, Somerville
    Atlantic Bar & Grill, South Seaside Park

    $25 AND UNDER
    Casa Vasca, Newark
    Oyster Creek Inn – Crab Room, Leeds Point
    Chand Palace, Parsippany
    Nobi, Toms River
    El Familiar, Toms River

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    Casa Vasca
    141 Elm St, Newark, NJ 07105

    Atlantic Bar & Grill
    24th Ave and Central Ave, South Seaside Park, NJ 08752

    El Familiar
    1246 Route 166, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Oyster Creek Inn
    41 N Oyster Creek Rd, Leeds Point, NJ 08220

    Shumi Restaurant
    30 S. Doughty Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876

    Chand Palace
    1296 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854

    1. $25 and Over

      Luigi's , East Hanover
      Andres, Newton
      Saddle River Inn, Saddle River
      Highlawn Pavillion, West Orange
      Lighthorse Tavern, Jersey City

      $25 and Under

      Bangkok Kitchen, Caldwell
      Bar Cara, Bloomfield
      Rutts Hut, Clifton
      Tierney's, Montclair
      Star Tavern, Orange

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      Bangkok Kitchen
      391 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, NJ 07006

      Saddle River Inn
      2 Barnstable Ct, Saddle River, NJ 07458

      1. OVER $25
        Nicholas, Middletown
        Bernards Inn, Bernardsville
        Due Terre, Bernardsvile
        Copeland, Morristown
        90 Acres, Peapack

        $25 AND UNDER
        Chilango's, Atlantic Highlands
        My Kitchen Witch, Monmouth beach
        Bistro 73, Benarrdsville
        Labrador Lounge, Normandy Beach
        Yumi, Sea Bright

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

        Labrador Lounge
        3581 State Route 35 N, Normandy Beach, NJ 08739

        Yumi
        1120 Ocean Ave, Sea Bright, NJ 07760

        My Kitchen Witch Cafe
        29 Beach Rd, Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750

        Due Terre
        107 Morristown Rd Ste C, Bernardsville, NJ 07924

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          1. Over $25
            Bistro 44, Toms River
            Dish, Redbank
            Daniel, Point Pleasant Beach
            Bay Avenue Trattoria, Highlands
            No 9 Restaurant, Lambertville

            Under $25
            Nemo, Keyport
            Mumfords, Tinton Falls
            Peking Pavillion, Manalapan
            Kanji, Tinton Falls
            Four Seasons Thai, Piscataway