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Everything posted by Curlz

  1. I'll grant you that--but I took the fact that they're friends into consideration...I also don't know how busy it gets at lunchtime, as I tend to be there on 'off' hours! Still, one should know about Raul's if one is looking for good food in Morristown!
  2. My opinion, but The Famished Frog is basically a privately owned Houlihan's-type place in terms of menu; think salads and sandwiches. Just FYI, because I think it's fine, but nothing above average. Better choices have already been mentioned, but here are a few other thoughts/ideas: -Places close to the courthouse (Fam Frog, Grand Cafe, Sushi Lounge) are going to be packed w/people from the courthouse at lunchtime -Raul's Empanadas is totally casual, low $, but wonderful. There's a thread about it here -If you don't have to stay in Morristown proper, you can venture out 2 miles down Speedwell Avenue to Hunan in Morris Plains (corner of Speedwell and Hanover Aves) for some VERY good Chinese food.
  3. Curlz

    Sabor Peru

    I know you started by saying Technically, but in my book, when I can't get a drink in any restaurant in town, that's a DRY town, Ghost! But no matter. It won't keep me from going back to Sabor Peru!
  4. Curlz

    Sabor Peru

    Seeing that I started this thread, I'm even more embarrassed to admit that it took me until now to get to Sabor Peru. I went last night with a friend and now that I've tried it, I'm certain it's going to become one of my regular spots. This local, casual, BYO is serving some terrific food--without pretense. The place is actually a little larger than I thought it was, as the front window is somewhat narrow. It's a lively vibe; good music, bright colors, and latin drums create a simple, fun decor. Once seated, a bowl of crunchy Chinese noodles (!) was set down, along with a small container of a bright green sauce, which (visually) reminded me of the mint chutney one gets at an Indian restaurant. Thankfully I'm careful about potentially spicy food, so I barely touched the corner of a noodle into the sauce...WHOO HOO! HOT STUFF indeed! We asked what was in it, and I'd be lying if I said I could remember now, but it definitely involves jalapenos! My friend was more surprised by the Chinese noodles, though...until I told him I remembered there's an Asian influence in Peruvian cooking--which became evident as we read the menu, which includes items such as stir-fries, the House Kung Fu Soup, and ingredients like ginger. The two of us shared: Ocopa (Huacatay Sauce) $9 Menu description: Cold sauce made from ricotta cheese, toasted peanuts, graham crackers, fresh Huacatay sprig, yellow sundried pepper, and sauteed oil, garlic, and onion, served w/steamed potato or yuca (we had yuca), and a hard-boiled egg. My best description of this is it's like a warm potato salad--except we had the yuca. The (light green!) sauce is creamy and has a subtle flavor that's almost minty (without going menthol-minty) with just a mild bit of kick at the end that we enjoyed more and more as we were eating. Cilantro's in the mix too--a very good thing in my book! From the Apanados (breaded) part of the menu, we went with the House Jalea Especial ($18), which was "white filet, shrimp, octopus, calamari, yucca, potato breaded and lightly fried, topped w/Salsa Criolla," which was simply thin slices of (red) onion and lime with add'l lime/garlic juice, which we poured over the seafood. Delicious on its own, but even more so when eaten w/the Ocopa, which was the recommendation of one of the owners. We also ordered a weekend special called Tuca Tuca; GRILLED rice and white beans with bisteca on top, and smothered in grilled onions and tomatoes. There were also maduros on the plate. VERY tasty. I wish I could tell you how much it was, but (one of my restaurant peeves), the weekend specials menu didn't list the price--but we also didn't ask. Backing out the price, it was in the low-mid 20s, and it was a lot of food. For the record, I'm not a woman with a sweet tooth. But when there's flan, I'm IN. This was a beautiful version, and the tres leches cake was also wonderful; both are house-made. Cafe con leche was good and strong (as it should be). The final bill was $67 before tip for the two of us. Can't wait to get back and try the ceviche and one of the many soups on their menu! One of the co-owners (Dave) took our order, answered all of our questions, and regaled us with some great music trivia throughout the night. He's a riot; he's Japanese, but was born in Peru and lived there until he was 7, so that's how he came to own a Peruvian restaurant in the U.S. Good guy. Except for the lack of Pisco Sours (Rutherford is a dry town), I'm thrilled to have this little gem nearby. www.SaborPeruNJ.com
  5. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Tabla and Bread Bar...it continues to be one of my favorite places in the city, and you have the option of the less-formal Bread Bar vs. more formal upstairs space (Tabla). Can't beat those flavors, imo!
  6. Fans of Trattoria Fresco may want to hear this news from Rosie at NJ Monthly: Expected to open in July above the Eden Gourmet Marketplace, South Orange, is the aptly named Above, a restaurant featuring contemporary American cooking with a wine list that complements each dish. And to put the icing on the cake, the executive chef is Paul Lustbader, previously from Cent’Anni, Maplewood, and Trattoria Fresco, Caldwell.
  7. Tough call...the Ironbound is a great place to go food-wise, but I wouldn't exactly call it LIGHT! But if you're going, I'd hit Seabras Marisqueira and TRY to eat on the lighter side. Just know that they are sloooow in serving sometimes, so allow plenty of time. Casa Vasca is another favorite, but again, I think that's too heavy for a pre-concert meal--but that's me. Without knowing where you're coming from, here are a few other ideas: Queen Regina Margherita brick oven pizza in Nutley is tasty and easy on/off of Rt 21 (and just off of Rt 3), but it's also pretty standard Italian menu; not quite adventurous. Haven't been yet, but I've been wanting to try Sabor Peru in Rutherford, which is less than a mile in off of Rt 3... And it's right around the corner from Sweet Avenue Bake Shop, which has some damn good cupcakes! La Estrella del Caribe sits on the service road in Secaucus on Rt 3, EAST of the Meadowlands; but then you can do the ridiculous loop-de-loop to u-turn and approach the Izod Ctr from the other direction... Terrific Dominican (iirc?) food; rice, beans, seafood, ropa vieja, etc. Have you been to Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove or (the unrelated) Chengdu 23 near Willowbrook Mall? Again, depending upon where you're coming from, sis with the food issues can eat plain food while the rest of you try some authentic Sichuan! Let us know if you're married to the idea of the Ironbound or if we can suggest other areas.
  8. Two places that imo have fantastic homemade ice cream are both worth calling, depending on your proximity (or if you want to do a taste test!): Denville Dairy (they definitely have a selection of sugar free ice cream) Mark and Julie's in West Orange Curlz
  9. The brunch at the Hilton is very upscale in setting, selection, and of course, price. I haven't been in years, but when we went, that was our experience; I can't imagine it has changed much, since the hotel is still a 5 Diamond location. Depends on what kind of 'vibe' you're looking for in addition to the food!
  10. Philadining, if YOU don't shoot a book for Shola, I don't know who could! These pictures are STUNNING. Oh, yeah, and the food looks good too...
  11. If you're a fan of Roberto's, two pieces of information: 1. A Mano seems to be back on track, as Roberto returned and tweaked the menu and trained new staff who are manning the ovens 2. If you go into the city, you can now find Roberto at his new restaurant, Keste in the West Village. Read all about it here. My best description of Keste is that it's a smaller, NYC version of A Mano. In a very good way. With Roberto overseeing it all. A VERY good thing, imo.
  12. I've been to Keste twice now, and as a fan of Roberto's when he was at A Mano, I'm thrilled that he's back to manning the oven. Both visits were for dinner around 9pm, so the fire had certainly been cranking for a while. Both times, there were plenty of Italian-speaking diners, and much to my (pleasant) surprise, almost everyone seemed to have the "OMG" experience when they started eating. This is the real deal...that's for sure. On our first visit, I had the special pizza, which had oyster mushrooms and prosciutto. We also had one of the flatbreads with pesto. Terrific, but thanks to eating too much dough, I couldn't finish my pizza (until lunch the next day)! The second time, I went with the Salsiccia, which had Italian sausage, fresh mozz, tomatoes, and EVOO. Needless to say, I polished it off. The panna cotta is amazing, and worth sharing. The bottom line for me is that I think the dough/crust Roberto makes is just fantastic. The rest of the ingredients are stunning, too, from the arugula and basil to the balsamic he uses. But my new favorite food? Burrata. He gets it a few days a week (usually Thurs/Fri/Sat, iirc), and it was a swoon-worthy experience for me and my friend. Next time I might just ask for a naked pizza dough to have with the burrata. Just thinking about it makes me want to run back in to the city today! Like everything else about the place (food AND decor), it is, imo, simple perfection.
  13. Update: There's still nothing happening in there as of today... Really sad, esp because the idea of walking into any supermarket on the day before Easter is NOT appealing.
  14. Aforementioned co-worker ate here with another couple, and when I asked how it was, he just shook his head and said "Don't bother." I'll get more details, but that's 2 for 2...
  15. I think the prices at Stamna are terrific! Great value all around. Can't miss in the Ironbound, either...I can always get at least 2 meals out of an entree from Casa Vasca or Marisqueira.
  16. I had a similar experience, Ghost...but the gals in the nail salon say it's being reopened by new owners "in April." I also think I heard one of the customers say that the wine shop is going to be a wine bar or place w/apps as well as a store...?!? If it's true, that would be a nice addition to the area too. I see sporadic work in there. In other news, yesterday I drove past the former site of Fortunato...the new sign says Pizza Margherita and something about "Old Fashion" I give anyone opening a restaurant a lot of props, but signage with such glaring errors gives me great pause. Plus, do we really need MORE pizza in Lyndhurst? Only if it's like this--the real deal. But I'm skeptical. SIGH...
  17. Anyone know anything about this place? One of my co-workers casually mentioned "Oh yeah-there's a new Persian place in Summit..." He didn't have much more than that, other than he walked past over the weekend and the door was open and it smelled wonderful. Is it open? Anyone been?
  18. Glad you found it, but I'd still suggest checking with the restaurant. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets extended further, but Zod indicated "for a couple more weeks" when I was there last weekend. Next Door: 973-744-3600
  19. So glad you went and that you agree, FMA. My mom had that tilapia the night we went (off the regular menu) and is still talking about how good it was. And I totally agree about the music; I wish I could remember exactly what was playing, but I remember noticing it and thinking it was great. I just don't understand how people can go to the local diner and spend $20 when there's food to be had that's SO much better!
  20. Curlz


    Just wanted to put the word out that thanks to insane demand during Montclair Restaurant Week, Zod has extended the 'deal' for another 2 weeks (confirm the exact date it ends by calling)...he's offering 3 courses for $29! I'll cross-post, but there is also a 3-course deal at Next Door--for $20. While I realize that some people may feel that 3 courses might be a tease, I think it's a great excuse to get yourself over to Blu.
  21. Dinner at Next Door tonight: 3 courses for $20, with the choice of two items for each course. I went with the mesclun salad, spaghetti bolognese, and <SWOON ALERT> poached pears with rice pudding. (Note: I absolutely love their rice pudding; add pears, and it may as well say "This is for Curlz" on the menu!) Other options were the pasta fagioli, roasted chicken, and a caramel panna cotta. Did I mention it's 3 courses for $20? A terrific deal, indeed! And I have half the pasta left for lunch tomorrow... Full regular menu was also still available.
  22. Just read this on the Bergen Record food blog: A Mano, the Neapolitan pizzeria in Ridgewood, will have three pizza-makers from Naples and the president of the Association of Neapolitan Pizza Makers at the restaurant from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7 for a benefit supporting the Ridgewood Police Benevolent Association. For $15, customers will receive a 12-inch pizza, a soft drink and homemade gelato. Half of proceeds will benefit the PBA. A Mano is at 24 Franklin Ave., Ridgewood; 201-493-2000; www,amanopizza.com
  23. Curlz

    Summit Thai

    Ah...well, I have. I just read this post to a friend of mine, as he and I ate at Summit Thai about a month ago, and had many of the same comments. Fwiw, he's a regular customer at Thai Thai, and when they started charging for rice and raised their prices (both under new mgmt), he stopped going for quite some time. I'm wondering if that's just common at Thai restaurants in general...? Having eaten at Summit Thai (once), I completely concur that their prices are a bit high (certainly for the app portions), but I thought the entrees we had (I had a duck in red curry, iirc and he had a good-sized chicken dish) were very tasty, albeit $2-3 more than they should have been. I just read ejebud's post to my friend, and his immediate comment was "I never think portions are big enough for the money you spend in Thai restaurants, but I guess I'm used to it. But the rice thing...? Ridiculous. If you get takeout, whether they charge you for it or not, they give you double the amount of rice you'd get in the small $2 bowl! Where's the logic in that?" My comment was that while I inevitably take home leftovers from every other ethnic restaurant, it never happens with Thai food. Perhaps the folks at Summit Thai don't realize that they're on Route 10, not in Summit? Chances are I'll go to Saffron for Indian food if I want to spend $$ in that corridor. Or better yet, I'll hit Saffron at lunchtime, for the best $10 buffet lunch in the area!
  24. Buuuuuuuuuump Just thought I'd report that my friend who regularly goes to Thai Thai is reporting that there has been another change of hands, and that the results are VERY good. To wit: "The ice princess is no longer at the front desk, the place has been cleaned up a bit, and the food is as good as it used to be." I'm not sure if the new owners have any connection to the original (?) ones, but it sounds like there are some positive changes at Thai Thai.
  25. Thanks...these are very helpful, Elizabeth! Lucca is particularly intriguing in terms of location and menu. And of course, I'm reading all of the menus and thinking I need to get back up to Boston soon! Please keep 'em coming, folks! Curlz
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