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Need A Cool, Casual Lunch Place For A Ladies' Lunch Day Near Kenilworth

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Meeting some friends from all around the state for a fun, not-too-expensive lunch in the centrally located (from us at least) Kenilworth. Only problem, I know nothing about Kenilworth or the surrounding few miles. We are a mix of gals who don't cook or care what they eat, to great home cooks with more developed palates. We all love Italian cuisine, so that's a start, but are open to any type of menu except Asian or steak houses. Thanks!

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  1. I like van gogh's ear in union. Casual quirky place, and the food may not be out of this world but I've found it yummy.

    1. Kenilworth is not the ideal town for cool restaurants. If you meet in Summit, a few miles west, you will have a pretty, upscale town with a lot of restaurants to choose from.

      One good choice is Huntley Taverne, also Beacon Hill, and a third (Italian) is Fiorino. Summit is a good restaurant town.

      http://www.fiorinoristorante.com/

      http://www.beaconhilltavern.com/

      http://www.thehuntleytaverne.com/

      1. http://www.atouteheure.com/php_upload...

        Or head to Cranford! A Toute Heure. Call ahead for daily menus/prices/reservations.
        They are closed Monday.
        Enjoy!

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        A Toute Heure
        232 Centennial Avenue, Cranford, NJ 07016

        1. Thanks, all! Love dinining in Summit, but not a good location for this group. Saw A Tout Heure, glad you suggested it because I thought it looked interesting. I'll have to check out Van Gogh's Ear.

          1 Reply
          1. re: CookingBabs

            FYI, Summit is about 12 minutes drive from Kenilworth...
            Or, you can head to Westfield, adjacent to Kenilworth, with some very good choices as well--

            Italian--
            Aquaviva delle Fonti www.acquaviva-dellefonti.com/
            Theresa's www.theresasrestaurant.com
            16 Prospect Wine Bar www.16prospect.com/

          2. What about Mojave Grill in Westfield?

            http://mojavegrille.com/

            I have always enjoyed this place. Located in Westfield.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Angelina

              On my last visit to Mojave grill (in the last couple of months), I found the same menu and same decor as my previous one--which had been 5 years ago; the whole place struck me as tired.

            2. I love the lunch at A Toute Heure. That would definitely be my choice for the area.

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              A Toute Heure
              232 Centennial Avenue, Cranford, NJ 07016

              5 Replies
              1. re: LttlMichey

                A Toute Heure looks really interesting. Just wonder if it is the kind of place that is comfortable to hang out for a few hours, or is it too small that they need the table? No liquour, right?

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                A Toute Heure
                232 Centennial Avenue, Cranford, NJ 07016

                1. re: CookingBabs

                  ATH is really interesting and I'm happy to know you're considering my recommendation. They are a BYO and offer inside and outside seating if the weather is nice. I've spent 3 hours there with a group of 10 and never felt odd. They are super welcoming, nice owners and if you have any concerns ask when you make your reservation. I will mention this, the owners are put off by late arrivers and won't hold your table/res. for any length of time. So arriving on time is more important to the experience than staying too long :)

                  Enjoy!

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Thanks so much for the help! ATH is my choice! I'm going to suggest 2 or 3 places to the group, and let them decide! We are a very punctual group, so the owners will like that!

                    1. re: CookingBabs

                      Have a ball (if you wind up there) and if you're a fish lover and they are offering selections, go for it. Amazing.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Thanks! Will definitely have the fish; fingers crossed that everyone chooses ATH!

              2. I ate at La Griglia in Kenilworth for lunch about a year ago, and it was quite good. It's Italian, so meets that preference. Not cheap though, so may fail your "not-too-expensive" criterion. See http://www.lagriglia.com

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                La Griglia
                740 Kenilworth Boulevard, Kenilworth, NJ 07033

                2 Replies
                1. re: drongo

                  Thanks, Drongo. That looks great for a nice dinner with hubby when we feel like taking a nice little ride in the cool fall months. I saw the lunch prix fixe and it looks quite reasonable to me, but once we add drinks, it might be a little too pricey.

                  1. re: CookingBabs

                    La Griglia Seafood Grill offers a nice dinner prefix. We enjoyed the short ribs and salmon there a few weeks back. drongo, what did you enjoy at La Griglia?

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                    La Griglia
                    740 Kenilworth Boulevard, Kenilworth, NJ 07033

                2. CookingBabs...where did you have lunch?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: gudeatz

                    Thanks for asking, gudeatz. We haven't gone yet. We're going next week. Going to LouCas in Edison. Surprised that's what they chose, but oh well, that was the general agreement! A couple of the girls heard good things about it, so they wanted to try it. I'm still determined to get to La Grilia and ATH wih hubby soon!

                    1. re: CookingBabs

                      Edison? Wow, that's a good haul from Kenilworth! (Summit, MUCH closer...)