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Lunch in or Near Suffern

I live near Clinton, NJ. A friend lives in Shelton, CT and we want to meet about half way for lunch next week. Suffern seems to fit so I'm wondering if someone can recommend a good spot. We do not know the area at all so it would obviously help if the restaurant is easily accessible from the major highways. We're both very flexible when it comes to cuisine but would like to avoid Indian because we've done that so many times. A liquor license would be a definite plus.

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  1. There's a Greek place, Plaka Taverna, downtown that's really good. It's on Orange Ave. (Route 202), almost at the corner of Lafayette (Route 59) and across from the train station. Ravi is another option and it's also on Lafayette.

    1 Reply
    1. re: legendarystarbolt

      Is the "Grand Opening" sign still up at Plaka? I wasn't sure how long they've been open. I thought it was since Sept. or Oct. Has anyone else been there -- any more activity? I spoke with a couple of friends and they said when they went the place was empty. One couple sitting at a table by the bar, and one other couple had just left the dining room.

      What are your thoughts on Ravi? I have to take a friend to dinner was thinking of giving it a shot. Heard some (close to) mixed reviews. Thanks in advance.

    2. Try Sutter's Mill, right off Thruway Exit 14B on the corner of Airmont Road and Rte 59. They have a separate dining room if you don't want to sit in the bar area, and they have a huge and diverse menu. One of the best burgers in Rockland County, and a real bargain. Plus, they have good fish and chips, chicken parm hero, onion rings. Plus, there's the bar...

      And across the street are 2 other options, the Airmont Diner, and also Pasta Cucina. But I do recommend Sutter's Mill.

      3 Replies
      1. re: barbgail61

        i know the poster has found their place - but wanted to chime in that we are true Sutters Mill burger fans - not just the best in rockland - but haven't found another that we think compares!

        1. re: smilingal

          True. the Poster already found their place, but Smilingal, I'm glad to see that my parents, sister and family, and my own family are not the only ones who feel that Sutter's Mill has a wonderful burger! Glad to see that there are other fans out there! We did try the nearby Shamrock Hotel burgers, but found that Sutter's Mill is better. You just don't get a better burger in the area!

          1. re: barbgail61

            i am not familiar with shamrock hotel - we had been sent to Rhodes Tavern as a comparable contest but Sutter's won! We even bring in - and the only thing we ever get at Sutters are the bacon cheeseburgers - one with well done french fries the other with onion rings= and we share!. on a rare occasion i will get the chicken bacon cheese sandwich.

      2. Thanks for the suggestions. They arrived just in time! We ended up at Plaka, where we had a pretty decent lunch. I've been to better Greek restaurants but I would go back there if I'm in the area again. One disturbing thing though was that during the entire two and a half hours we were there no one else came in! There were a couple of people at the bar but that was it. I hope this restaurant packs them in on the weekend, otherwise it won't last long.

        1. Glad everything worked out. Sutter's is a very good choice -- and yes, a very good burger. Interesting observation about Plaka as I found the same thing. I stopped in one night to get a couple of gyros to go -- and there wasn't another person in the entire place. Maybe it was a bit late for during the week. I think it was around 830pm or so. Anyway, the gyros were ok -- with gyros to go sometimes, it is what it is, LOL.

          Rhodes would have been a very good choice too. Just a few miles up Franklin Tpk./Orange Ave./202 or whatever you want to call that road, LOL.

          1. Not a lot of decent dining options near Suffern. I would suggest skewing your meeting about 10 miles east to Nyack. Google maps says 70 miles from Clinton and 58 miles from Shelton. But Nyack is a very cool town, lots of shoppes to window shop around if the weather is good, with loads of excellent choices for lunch.

            Art Cafe
            Old Village Inn
            Bourbon Street
            Didier Dumas
            Alain's Bistro
            La Fontana

            Consider Nyack!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: menton1

              To append/emend Menton1's list: Also consider Hudson House, O'Donoghue's, Cafe Barcel, or Velo (albeit dinner only for the latter). Lefteris, however, is on the other side of the river.

              For in Suffern, I can definitely recommend Ravi's. Not too far away, in Airmont, is a very good Turkish place, Turkois Grille, that has a three-course lunch menu that's around 12 bucks. Great food, good value.
              In Nanuet, there's Karavalli Indian restaurant. They have a lunch buffet that, like their regular menu, goes beyond the standard stuff.

              1. re: JRBlack

                My cousins who live in Montvale took me to Turkois Grille in Airmont last Sunday and it was fantastic. The dips were great. amazing freshly baked pide bread. I had the Manti entree, best I've had in many Turkish places in NYC, my cousins can't seem to order anything but the lamb kebab as they love it so much. The service was very attentive as well. I'd highly recommend it to anyone, I hope it gets some buzz on the NJ board as well since it's so close. Surprised yours was the only mention of this place on the site, JRBlack.

            2. Well, I am glad you found something. If you ever have to return to Suffern, or for others who are going -- no doubt Nyack is a very nice town. Many good options as well. However, actually, in the opinion of others who posted here, and me -- there are not only decent options near Suffern, but a very good one in Suffern . . . Sutter's. Very good food, excellent service as well. You don't have to leave Suffern and go to Nyack for good food -- at least not in the opinion of everyone here. Also, Rhodes is far closer to Suffern than Nyack and Rhodes is very good -- from burgers to lamb chops.

              That said, consider Suffern.

              11 Replies
              1. re: ELA

                It's not only the plethora of restaurants, (Even though there are upwards of 20 restaurants) but it's the village downtown feel that is attractive about Nyack. You can walk around and browse the crafts and antique shoppes. Other interesting boutique-y stores. It's an interesting place. Unique to Rockland County in that way. A real town with real people (Unlike neighboring Piermont). Worth the 10 minute drive from the Suffern area.

                1. re: menton1

                  I was referring, specifically, to your comment:

                  "Not a lot of decent dining options near Suffern."

                  Obviously, and as I've always said, you, and everyone else is entitled to your opinion -- and that doesn't make anyone else's less or more valid or credible. It's simply an opinion.

                  Regarding Suffern, it has a small (smaller) downtown, storefront, etc. kind of feel. A fraction of Nyack. Certainly not in the same league. I wasn't speaking to that at all, although I agree. As far as Piermont, I would call Piermont a "real" town with "real" people, but again, that's just my opinion. Different than Nyack. Different than Ridgewood, Hoboken, Montclair, etc.

                  Thank you.

                    1. re: ELA

                      Now you've got me curious. Can you provide a list of good restaurants in and around downtown Suffern? Thanks.

                      1. re: menton1

                        Restaurants around Suffern & Vicinity, such as Airmont:

                        Sutter's Mill - Airmont Rd
                        Pasta Cucina Suffern - Airmont Rd
                        Airmont Diner - Airmont Rd
                        Shamrock-Hotel - Orange Ave
                        Sal Y Limon - Orange Ave
                        Ole Ole - Orange Ave
                        Plaka Taverna
                        Da Nina - Lafayette Ave
                        Ravi - Lafayette Ave
                        Waterwheel - Route 59, Airmont

                        1. re: barbgail61

                          Thanks for the list! Several people here like Sutter's -- very much apparently. I agree. Pasta Cucina is pretty popular with the local crowd and it always seems crowded. I have never been there but I know many people who have. I like La Vera Cucina very much. Try it! Not the old pizza place (same name), but the restaurant (some still call it a restaurant/lounge) on the opposite side of 59 across from Walmart in a small strip (I think it's Walmart). Looks are very deceiving. You'll see it once you walk in -- and see a great deal more after you try the food. Interesting "flair" on "Italian" food.

                          Shamrock, in my opinion, is good, but I'd take Sutter's every single time, so there's never really a reason for me to go to Shamrock. It's good though. If a friend or friends insisted on going, I am more than OK with it. Ole Ole (the reinvented name is Ole Tapas I think) is very popular as well. I like it. Very good food. Same with Sal Y Limon which has that "small joint" feel to it, LOL. My friends like Da Nina very much, but I'd still go with La Vera Cucina or if staying in NJ, I'd go to Savini's.

                          I've heard good things about Ravi. Haven't tried it yet. I've been there for drinks and my friends had appetizers at the bar -- they looked good, but I didn't have any. They all liked it very much.

                          Good list!!! Thanks.

                          1. re: barbgail61

                            So what are your thoughts on Ravi? Thanks.

                            1. re: ELA

                              Unfortunately I can't give a first-hand opinion on Ravi, because I've never been there. I hope you're not upset that I listed it on my recommendations, & I have been to the other places on the list, just not Ravi. Good friends with similar tastes recommended it to us, but we haven't gotten around to going there. It's on our list of places to go.

                              About Vera Cucina - I haven't gotten there yet either, but my Aunt who lives in the condos behind Walmart goes there often, and she really likes Vera Cucina. She told us to try it and now that you also recommend it, we'll have to try it (my husband used to frequent the Ramapough Inn, which used to be in the same location.) Shamrock - I too prefer Sutter's Mill! But, we tried the Shamrock one Saturday in the summer, when we went to the Farmer's Market, across the street by the train station. The burgers were almost as good, but Sutter's is still better. The location near the train does make the Shamrock convenient to commuters, and it is a nice place too. JRBlack had mentioned the Turkois Grille in nearby Airmont (or Chestnut Ridge?). A good friend went there and was disappointed, because she said the vegetables, like peas and string beans, were from a can. She had gone in the summer, when fresh produce was plentiful. So we never tried the Turkois Grille, because we don't go to Greek restaurants often, and we are happy with Greek Village in nearby Northvale, NJ.

                              Thank you everyone for posting, because I learn so much from this board. You all are a "wealth of knowledge" to me!

                              1. re: barbgail61

                                I am not upset at all. Not an issue. The endorsement of people you know, like, trust, etc. is good enough for many people. I've heard many good things about Ravi from people I know, trust their opinion, etc. Now, just because they like it doesn't mean I will, but many of these people have similar tastes as well, like with you. I've had many of these people recommend several places, and I am not sure I remember a specific place that I truly didn't like, didn't enjoy, was bad, etc. They would say the same about places I have recommended to them -- and again, I think that's common as they are good friends who I spend a lot of time, go out a lot with, like the same places, and we know each other's tastes, likes, etc.

                                I just recommended a place to some friends. I told them I had never been there, but some mutual friends (who all of us know, like, trust, etc. -- and who are in the business) recommended it. They went and they loved it.

                                La Vera Cucina is very, very good. I do recommend it -- highly. While the menu might not always reflect it, and it's not on every dish, there is sometimes a nice, almost unique "flair" to some of their food. I mean this in nothing but an excellent way. Unique is not unorthodox here or odd. Not at all.

                                I didn't think the burger at Shamrock was "almost as good" -- but hey, that's just me. If I wanted a quick burger, beer, whatever and I had to meet someone there, I would enjoy it. Sure, someone could say Sutter's is 10 minutes out of the way -- but that's only if you are going the other way, LOL. Shamrock is good though. Just for me, I'd go to Sutter's every single time.

                                Now, if I had to be there, downtown and didn't want to head east -- instead of Shamrock, I would go to Rhodes . . . again, every single time. The food at Rhodes is very good. I sent a friend to Rhodes to eat. I thought she and her friends were looking for the traditional "better than pub grub" or not a Houlihan's, Friday's, etc. So, she goes and tells me she ordered the lamb chops -- and they were great!!! I was surprised, not that they were good, but that she ordered them. She said she got several (I don't remember if it was four or five) large, flavorful, well prepared lamb chops . . . and she is in the business! She raved about them. A friend of hers raved about the burger -- which I know first hand, LOL. Another friend had a specialty salad, and another had another entrée, not pub grub -- and everyone enjoyed it very much. Two of her friends are in the business as well.

                                So, personally, I would go to Rhodes ahead of Shamrock, and Shamrock is closest to me. Don't get me wrong, I'll go to Shamrock, but I prefer the other two ahead of it. When my friends who like Shamrock want to go, I go.

                                I used to like Café Dolce when they were open. Went there fairly often, especially in the nice weather to sit outside. I know Greek Village in Northvale. I enjoy it as well. I also like A Taste of Greece in River Edge -- in my opinion, it's excellent. Haven't been to both very close, but I like them both. Thanks.

                                1. re: ELA

                                  Thank you ELA. Now I'll put Rhodes Tavern on my list of places to go, and soon. I just looked at their online menu, and there is a lot of variety. It looks like the kind of place that my sister would like so we'll give it a try.

                                  1. re: ELA

                                    will have to try la vera cucina. Never thought much about it - but will have to give it a try.