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Dinner Saturday - Need your fav. Bergen BYO ideas please

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going out with friends on Saturday, need some new ideas on Bergen county byos that you have enjoyed recently, give me a few if you can. - no Italian or Indian please. will let you know after where we went and how it was. any price range (but not crazy pricey please). We are in the Paramus area so pretty much any location in Bergen.
thanks so much in advance -

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  1. Café Panache (Ramsey) is almost a "classic" place. Top-rated and top-notch for a long time now. A "new" one -- only because the place is still relatively new -- is St. Eve (Ho-Ho-Kus). They might be considered "more expensive" or toward the higher end of the price-range, and that's a relative term, however in my opinion they are both well worth it. Both have excellent food and service, and an excellent experience. All the best and enjoy,

    1 Reply
    1. re: ELA

      Thanks NJFoodLover and ELA. I am a big fan of both taste of Greece, and Seafood Gourmet, but was thinking maybe a slightly nicer atmosphere for dinner, whereas Café Panache seems almost too "buttoned up" for this outing. St Eve is an idea, as I haven't been there but have heard nice things, and as far as riodizio goes, I heard there was a new opening of one in Hackensack on main st that might be worth a try. thanks again and please keep the ideas coming!

    2. A Taste of Greece in River Edge is great. It is pretty small (they have seating for only about 20 or 25 people. I think you can call and ask them to save a table but I am not sure.

      The Seafood Gourmet in Maywood is very good too.
      I haven't been in a while but The Stable in Ridgewood which is a Brazilian Steakhouse. You can order off the menu or do the Rodizio (all you can eat meat).

      7 Replies
      1. re: NJfoodLover

        NJFL - here is the website of the new Hackensack riodizio I have heard good things about (mentioned below). Closer than Ridgewood, without the nightmare parking.http://www.choripanrodizio.com/

        1. re: yogi70

          Thanks, that looks pretty nice. We may have to check it out soon.

          1. re: NJfoodLover

            Went for dinner last night. Good service, small room, easy parking right in front. The food was good not great. The usual choices for Rodizio. The salad was excellent, my kids wolfed the fries and we liked the rice and beans. There were very good wine glasses for a place like this and people were bringing nice bottles. $205 all in for six of us. The deal at lunch is $15 for all you can eat Rodizio.

        2. re: NJfoodLover

          I believe that The Stable has closed...

          1. re: mom22tots

            Not a surprise, it was always near-empty...

            1. re: lemarais

              I stand corrected...I think it is still open. I had heard otherwise.

              1. re: mom22tots

                I was going to say if it closed that it was very recent because I passed bye very recently and it was open.

        3. What about Cafe Matisse in Rutherford
          or Latour in Ridgewood

          2 Replies
          1. re: NJfoodLover

            thanks again for the recs. Please don't take this the wrong way, but these also seem to sort of fall into the below Café Panache category of "fancy schmancy", no? They look lovely, but for me they would be more of a take the wife out for a special occasion type place, rather than have a few bottles of wine / kick back and enjoy food/friends type place?
            If I am mistaken, I apologize as I have never been to any of the 3...

            1. re: yogi70

              Yeah I guess they do fall in that same catagory. A lot of our go to BYO places are Italian or a little outside Bergen County.

          2. i went to village green in ridgewood last month. food was very good, not inventive or creative but good. i prefer food that is a little more unique so i won't be back for a while. but it is a great place for a dinner with friends. not too loud, good spacing of tables, good service and good food. a bit upscale but not crazy. i had the 5 course prie fixe and dinner took 2 1/2 hours. most patrons just ordered off the menu.

            1. Mediterraneo in Ridgewood. Not "fancy schmantzy" at all. Something like a bistro atmosphere. Very casual, but food is GREAT. The chef and owner really care. A (not so) hidden gem in Ridgewood.

              1 Reply
              1. re: lemarais

                Agree about Mediterraneo- solid, super tasty food & not too fancy atmosphere...reservations might be a problem this late in the game, though.

                Theres the new Local (???) restaurant up in Ramsey that might fit the bill. Have not tried but the chef is well known, though this might be more pricey than you want..

                http://localseasonalkitchen.com

              2. Do yourself a favor; hop on the Parkway South to the Watchung Avenue exit (not sure if it's 151 or 150 heading south)...turn right off the ramp, and in all of a mile, left on Broad Street. 2 blocks down on the left is Stamna Greek Taverna, which continues to wow me (and everyone I take there, although the repeats request we go) every time! Terrific Greek food, BYO, insanely low cost, and a fun atmosphere.

                Don't miss items: octopus, gigantes, makarounes, and the loukanikos (Greek sausage).

                ETA: It's Essex County, but so far north you don't have to tell your friends. :-)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Curlz

                  This place is great and worth the trip.

                2. Where did you end up, Yogi?

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Curlz

                    sorry for the late response - so we wound up going to a non byo after all. Taverna Mykonos in Elmwood Park. It was really good, but not "great" as I had remembered it from the last time we went. We shared greek meatballs and the trio of greek dips for apps. both very tasty. the potato dip (skordalia) I didn't really care for but the Taramosalata (caviar spread)and Tirokafteri (spicy Greek cheese dip) were very tasty.
                    I had the braised short ribs with onions and mashed potatoes. it was very good, but not great as I had remembered from last time. (starting to wonder if the 2nd ouzo martini last time had anything to do with how much I loved that visit!) this time I had a few Kronos Greek beers which weren't bad. Wife had the Chilean sea bass with a mango salsa and spinach which I tried, and was tasteless. so glad I didn't go with that. the couple we went with seemed to really enjoy it, but for me, it may have dropped a notch from last visit. no wow appeal. very good, but not a must stop for us anymore.
                    Thanks for all the responses. we now have a few places that I want to try, including Stamna next time were jonesing for some good Greek, and St Eves too.
                    To be honest I try to avoid Ridgewood places if possible.
                    thanks for all the ideas everyone.

                    1. re: yogi70

                      Why do you avoid Ridgewood? It's a pleasant town...(Certainly nicer than Broadway in EP/Fair Lawn where you went)

                      1. re: lemarais

                        ah menton1...
                        I avoid Ridgewood due to its extremely aggravating parking situation. after going a few months back to a very over rated pancake house, I found an nice parking ticket on my windshield (this is after going out and putting more change in because of the ridiculously long wait to get into said breakfast place). and the meter was not more than 5 minutes over. Hence I avoid Ridgewood. It may be nicer than Elmwood Park (thanks so much for pointing this out), but I can certainly deal without the terrible parking. Hell of a lot less snootiness in EP, which is always nice too.

                        1. re: yogi70

                          Ridgewood meters stop at 6. So while dining no need to watch the clock.

                          Seems like you're blaming a whole town because of 1 bad restaurant.

                          1. re: lemarais

                            Don't think he's blaming a town, just stating a fact...Ridgewood parking IS annoying-and I live here! While there's plenty of free parking in and around town, I can understand the frustration with the militant meter minders I see cruising about.

                            1. re: lemarais

                              not sure where you got blame anywhere in my post - as obviously one overrated restaurant doesn't reflect on an entire town's eateries. Id just rather not deal with that parking nonsense all over again.
                              thanks so much for the info on the meters. im still skipping Ridgewood. (I hope that's ok with you menton1). I may be missing out on a couple of good places, but Bergen is pretty big, and I think I can manage.

                              1. re: lemarais

                                @ sixelagogo

                                exactly

                              2. re: yogi70

                                I spend a lot of time in Ridgewood. For the most part, parking can be an issue. If you know a bit about the town, you know where the "municipal" lots are, where it's safe to park without getting a ticket, etc. I haven't spent as much time there during the day so I can't speak to that.

                                At night though, while there might be "more cars" and "more people" -- again, if you know the town it might be easier. That said, it's also an active, vibrant downtown area -- a lot of retail shops, shopping, restaurants and so forth. By design, parking has to be a problem, LOL. You see the same thing to a lesser extent in Ramsey.

                                As far as the restaurant -- it is very popular. That doesn't mean anything and certainly doesn't mean everyone likes it or you'll like it. I like the place but again, that doesn't mean anything. That just means for my tastes, my likes, etc. Of course I don't like waiting on that long line, LOL.

                                Did you get the pancakes or something else?

                                1. re: ELA

                                  @ ELA

                                  had pancakes, wife had a omelette, ridiculously huge portions, but unfortunately, quite underwhelming. quantity over quality here in my opinion. best part of the breakfast was easily the cornbread with chocolate chips.

                                  1. re: yogi70

                                    Yes, some people feel it's quantity over quality. I have ordered fritatta's and liked them, in some cases a lot. I've liked their omelettes as well. I've ordered the pancakes a few times -- some people say they are bland, dry, etc. I never found that, not for my tastes. I think some of the larger ones can tend to be that way, but I am far from a pancake expert.

                                    The regular size that I've ordered have been good, but again I've only ordered them a few times.

                                    I certainly understand your likes, dislikes, etc. about the place. Thanks.

                                2. re: yogi70

                                  I will not say I will never dine in Ridgewood but I do agree that there is a snobbiness that comes with it. I have a very good friend who lives there and have to deal with her snobby mommy group who looks down at me because I work. They don't care if it is because I want to work or have to work. The assumption is that I must not have as much money as them.

                                  I also am surprised when people rave about the Pancake House since I have tried it 2 times and both been let down by the pancakes. More food doesn't mean best food. W

                                  1. re: NJfoodLover

                                    agreed

                          2. speaking of fine dining, in BC but not ridgewood, has anyone tried "Sage" restaurant (i think that's the name), used to be Compania's in Fairlawn?