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Dinner recommendation in Central Jersey

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  • rukna Apr 25, 2011 02:14 PM
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My wife's birthday is coming up on a weekday and to keep the tradition going, we're trying to get together with our friends to have dinner at a nice place. Problem is that we live near Red Bank and our friends are in the Piscataway area. Since we all need to go to work the next day, I am trying to find someplace central for all of us to go. (Though it could be a drive for us, no problem, but would be nice if it was more convenient for our friends.)

FWIW, she particularly likes Thai (she likes Splash of Thai in Somerville), Middle Eastern (her favorite is Sahara in New Brunswick) food. Could someone be nice enough to recommend something good?

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Splash of Thai
24 E Main St, Somerville, NJ 08876

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  1. How about Sirin Cafe on rt. 9 in Marlboro. There are a couple threads on here about it.

    8 Replies
    1. re: cantkick

      The correct name is Shirin, and it's located in the Design Center, on Route 9 South, in Manalapan. The cuisine is Uzbekian, and it is seriously delicious. They are open Wedneday through Sunday.

      Shirin photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      rukna,

      Since you say your wife especially likes Middle Eastern cuisine, I'd recommend Kuzu Mediterranean Grill, also on Route 9 South, in Manalapan. Excellent Turkish food and attractive surroundings.

      Kuzu photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

      1. re: RGR

        Will check out both places, thanks! Any good recommendations in New Brunswick / Piscataway area?

        1. re: rukna

          Loucas in Edison - http://www.loucasrestaurant.com/

          Pithari Taverna - http://www.thepithari.com/menu.html

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          Loucas Restaurant
          9 State Route 27 Ste 9A, Edison, NJ 08820

          Pithari Taverna
          28 Woodbridge Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904

          1. re: Gastronomic

            Thanks! Loucas looks nice, will keep that into consideration.

            Pithari Taverna doesn't have pictures of the restaurant (sorry, I prefer seeing what the place looks like from inside if I've never been and am taking a group of people there for the first time).

            Also, stumbled upon a suggestion in another post for Zeina (Turkish / Meditteranean) in Highland Park. Has anyone have any good/bad experience with it?

            FYI, the link to the restaurant wasn't on Chow so added one just now.

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            Loucas Restaurant
            9 State Route 27 Ste 9A, Edison, NJ 08820

            Pithari Taverna
            28 Woodbridge Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904

            Zeina Meditteranean Grill & Bar
            441 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904

            1. re: rukna

              There are many on this board who are fans of Pithari, but I was not impressed with the food we had at our one dinner there. (Sorry, Angelina!) We were there not too long after they opened several years ago. At that time, I had not yet begun to take restaurant photos.

              The interior space is composed of two rooms both of which are relatively small. The one on the right contains the open kitchen. The decor is typical Greek taverna style, i.e. blue and white. Tables are very closely spaced, i.e., cramped seating.

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: RGR

                sorry RGR, as much as I enjoy your recommendations - you should try Pithari again. It is loud, but the food and service are always very good and the owner is exceptionally nice!

                1. re: eatinman

                  I try not to be negative but Pithari is one that really has let me down. I thought the same about the owner in the past and was a regular but have been screwed over many times and have gotten horrid service several times.

                  I have stopped going there after being treated like garbage and I also think the food has gone quite downhill.

                  1. re: eatinman

                    eatinman,

                    We are in NYC on a fairly regular basis and are fortunate to have a Greek restaurant serving delicious food very near our apartment. Ergo, no inclination to bother going again to Pithari, especially since I don't agree with you about the quality of the food there.

                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

      2. We ended up going to Loucas. The place was nice and quiet (understandably so for a Wednesday night). They had a nice menu with pretty good specials. We all felt the appetizers were good, but the entree's were average at best. The BYO option helped.

        All in all, the experience was good going to a new place, but I'm not sure if we'll be going there again :)

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        Loucas Restaurant
        9 State Route 27 Ste 9A, Edison, NJ 08820