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Suggestions needed for "50th" birthday dinner

lainer105 Aug 7, 2011 04:03 PM

A special dinner for a special girl on a special day......hubby is taking me out for my 50th. We are looking for a place with great food, service and ambiance. All suggestions appreciated.

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  1. equal_Mark RE: lainer105 Aug 7, 2011 04:25 PM

    Some specifics on things like location, price range and type of food may help narrow things down a bit.

    1 Reply
    1. re: equal_Mark
      lainer105 RE: equal_Mark Aug 7, 2011 04:54 PM

      Northern NJ area although Monmouth County by our shore home is OK as well. Price doesn't matter on this day ;) and food can either be Italian, French or Continental.

    2. r
      RGR RE: lainer105 Aug 7, 2011 04:28 PM

      You need to provide some specifics. Where specifically in NJ do you want to have this dinner? Do you want casual or fancy? Cuisine preferences? And give us your per person budget for *food only*, keeping in mind that you will have to drinks, tax & 20% tip.


      1. l
        lainer105 RE: lainer105 Aug 7, 2011 04:55 PM

        Adding on a PS......Northern NJ or Monmouth County...Italian, French or Continental. Price for this dinner isn't a concern since it's a special day.

        1. s
          scholar399 RE: lainer105 Aug 7, 2011 05:50 PM

          In Northern NJ, I would suggest Picnic in Fair Lawn, Chefs Table in Franklin Lakes, 5 Seasons which just opened in Ridgewood has gotten some great press, St Eve's in Hohokus, The Vine in Basking Ridge area (a little further), or saddle river inn are some of my favorites for a nicer night.

          1. r
            RGR RE: lainer105 Aug 7, 2011 06:48 PM

            I would recommend Nicholas - http://www.restaurantnicholas.com


            1. ambrose RE: lainer105 Aug 8, 2011 06:10 AM

              Lainer105, the following thread may be of some assistance:


              Given the two geographic locations you mention, my choices would be Lorena's in Maplewood and Nicholas (see RGR's post for web site).


              1. b
                bifpocaroba RE: lainer105 Aug 8, 2011 06:51 AM

                Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange

                Saddle River Inn, Saddle River

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

                Highlawn Pavilion
                Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange, NJ 07052

                1. b
                  bropaul RE: lainer105 Aug 8, 2011 07:36 AM

                  Restaurant Serenade in Chatham is lovely and the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville is always special.

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

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: bropaul
                    Curlz RE: bropaul Aug 8, 2011 03:45 PM

                    After the meal I had at the Bernards Inn last month (my first and last trip), I can't in good conscience tell ANYONE to go there--even a total stranger! Pretentious, TERRIBLE service (how many times do you enjoy being interrupted?), insanely-priced, and mediocre are the adjectives I'd use to describe the place and the food.

                    Lorena is definitely a good option; and it's BYO to boot! And what about 90 Acres? I'm hearing/reading good things...

                    1. re: Curlz
                      bropaul RE: Curlz Aug 8, 2011 03:51 PM

                      Always the risk when one makes a recommendation. . .

                      1. re: bropaul
                        Curlz RE: bropaul Aug 9, 2011 03:36 PM

                        True dat! :-)

                      2. re: Curlz
                        lainer105 RE: Curlz Aug 8, 2011 04:57 PM

                        thanks so much.....Ninety Acres is on our possible list

                        1. re: lainer105
                          ambrose RE: lainer105 Aug 8, 2011 06:34 PM

                          Perhaps you could tell us exactly what you mean by northern NJ. I did not even consider suggesting Ninety Acres, but if you're willing to go that far "south" it would make a fine choice.

                          1. re: ambrose
                            lainer105 RE: ambrose Aug 8, 2011 07:13 PM

                            Northern NJ--Upper Montclair.....Basking Ridge, Peapack area isn't "that far south" if the dinner is worth it.

                          2. re: lainer105
                            RGR RE: lainer105 Aug 8, 2011 06:57 PM

                            We did the BMF Chef's Table at Ninety Acres in May. I felt that the food, while interesting and well-prepared, was not rave-worthy. Service was excellent, and it is a big, beautiful place. But if food is paramount, imo, there is much better to be had elsewhere.

                            Ninety Acres photos:



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