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Everything posted by Curlz

  1. Agreed! The only thing I would say about CP is that it's a formal setting; if that sort of decor isn't your thing, so be it, but I have been to and planned events there and always found the food to be terrific, and the service bend-over-backwards wonderful.
  2. Rodizio is a 'style' of eating (in both Brazil and Portugal, iirc) a LOT of meat off of a LOT of skewers. There are a number of rodizio restaurants in the Ironbound; you pay a set price and have access to the all-you-can-eat 'salad' bar (that's an understatement in some of them), and the waiters circulate with huge skewers of all different cuts of meat, chicken, sausages, lamb, offal, etc. Here is a link that shows one of the places in the Ironbound that we've been to. As for sight lines, my apologies for slipping in to event planning jargon! It's literally about the lines of sight available to guests when they're in the room, and in the case of the Newark Club, unless something changed drastically, it's an L-shaped room with columns that can block...um...sight lines when you're looking at the bandstand or dance floor or grandma lighting candles, etc. But the view out the windows really is spectacular and you should definitely go check it out and see for yourself!
  3. If you mean The Newark Club, I agree-the view is spectacular; food, not so much-at least, that has been my experience there. And I hate the sight lines in that room! The food and service at The Crytal Plaza in Livingston are excellent, imo. Are you looking for a 'traditional' location, or are you game to get creative (i.e. Rodizio)? Knowing that and some budgetary info would be helpful for other suggestions.
  4. Darn. We don't have a clapping emoticon! So I'll just for the above. If I ate all the foods that I talk/read about/look at in markets and restaurants, I'd be dead. Now I realize that I'm just on the Voyeurism Diet!
  5. Well, I'll skew that data...the majority (if I had to get serious about it, I'd say 85% of my friends/family-and I have a pretty large social circle) don't really share my passion for or interest in food/wine/cooking. They eat and certainly enjoy good food (usually when I lead them to it, and by good, it's often healthier than their regular diet) and most of them eat more than I do, but they don't necessarily care about food. Oh, and three of them are marathon runners. So I'm not a size 6 why...?!?
  6. I don't think this site has ever shied away from discussing health issues or eating healthfully rather than eating for volume (though people do tend to encourage the latter more so than the former). But is there enough balance between the two? ← ← I thought it was unfair of JP to throw that comment in the mix. Let's face it; until he had a health scare, HE wasn't addressing it either--on eG or on OTB. And I'll state publicly that I'm thrilled to read about/see his progress! Then again, FG claims that he wasn't fully quoted, so we can just blame the media, right?
  7. I haven't been there for lunch yet, but at dinner, I tasted 3 of the 5 entrees at our table, and bland is far from how I'd describe them!
  8. This happens to me on EVERY vacation. I'm convinced it's a combo of being relaxed + doing a lot more walking than we normally do at home, regardless of regular exercise routines!
  9. Fabulous drool-worthy report, Anthony! Just one correction on your dessert at JG--those aren't biscotti-they're macarons! And the real deal, from what I can see. How are you going to return to college life/eating after this week?!? That's my #1 question right now...
  10. No clue as to how reliable it is, but the first link that came up when I Googled NJ food festivals was this one... If nothing else, you can scroll down to see '07 listings and investigate anything that catches your eye.
  11. Curlz


    Crave cravings may now cease; they are once again open for lunch and dinner.
  12. I think I read this line about nine times before I stopped coming up with witty retorts, none of which will be posted...thanks for that, the great descriptions, and for taking us along on your vacation! I'm full just reading about it. A little drunk too, but mostly full. Thought of you when I took first-timers to Otto on Sunday; they LOVED it. I really hope you'll get a chance to pop in for some Carbonara and a quartino at some point!
  13. Curlz


    Sorry to report that during that big storm that hit on Saturday night, a branch from one of the trees at Crave came down, taking down power lines with it, which in turn caused the transformer to blow, and...started a fire. The restaurant still doesn't have power and is temporarily closed but I don't know if there was damage to the building or just to the outside. If I get any more details or hear that they've reopened (which I hope will be soon!), I'll be sure to update here. Hang in, guys!
  14. Tommy:Eats reports that Broad Street Smokehouse has been sold.
  15. There is now a parking deck right behind Church Street...you can even cut through in between Raymond's and the store next to them to get directly on to Church St; it's very easy! There is also a muni lot on S. Fullerton, and another on the corner of Valley and Bloomfield (near Blu). I don't think I ever walk more than 3-4 blocks when I go to 'downtown' Montclair; between the lots and side streets, I always find a spot...but my friends have called me the Queen of Parking since I started driving, so I guess the Force is with me! Or something like that.
  16. Wow! Is Lyndhurst slowly trying to become a food-lover's town?!? Go figure! I have to say that each time I've had lunch at The Petite Cafe I've enjoyed it, but it's not a place that's even on my radar screen when considering dinner. Can't tell you why that is, but it is. But their cupcakes are delicious, and I've enjoyed them at The Fine Grind, so having them within even closer reach will be good (as well as dangerous). Best of luck to them!
  17. Late to this thread, but I just have to jump in to say that Otto is ridiculously affordable AND dining at their bar is a terrific experience (solo or w/a friend)! And the olive oil gelato is spectacular; there's just no better word for it. I haven't been to Lupa but at Otto you can get quartinos, carne and/or a cheese plate (with wonderful accompaniments including a truffled honey that I love), a plate of Carbonara (or a bunch of other pastas) for $9, and that gelato, which, btw, has some Maldon sea salt sprinkled on top. Did I mention it's spectacular?!? The ricotta gelato was also pretty great... Do enjoy your trip; sounds like you're in for a great week! And don't let the process of posting of photos on here discourage you from doing so-you can always add them in after you're home...drinking water and eating lettuce.
  18. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuump! Anyone been to Front Street lately? A friend and I were just discussing the fact that we haven't heard boo about the place in ages...
  19. Curlz


    I'm not looking to take this thread in a different direction, but I will say that grammatical errors and typos on menus (both hard copy and on the Web) are a huge pet peeve of mine. Knowing how much time and money goes in to decor, staffing, lighting, etc., I just wish that chefs and owners would give equal time to their marketing materials, web sites, and menus. Many of them are already paying big $$$ to companies that create these items; why not be equally demanding and show the attention to detail in this part of their business as they do with their other suppliers? *end rant*
  20. Curlz


    Tommy has a report on his recent dinner at the bar at Crave...
  21. Curlz


    That's a weird way for them to post their hours, as is the phrasing about private parties. I read it 3x, and I think what they're trying to say is that you can only book private parties for Saturdays and Sundays. And that 10:30am-12pm listing must be wrong, as they're not going to be open for breakfast (to my knowledge)! But note that those Fri and Sat times end at 1am. Right now, no lunches, but dinners are Tues through Saturday nights; at least, that's what I was told. Either way, I'd suggest calling the restaurant to ask before you go!
  22. Gary's is a terrific store. BUT. I was in Madison tonight for dinner with friends, so I stopped in to Gary's to buy a bottle of wine. I figured I'd grab a bottle of Menage a Trois Rouge, one of my favorite under-$10 bottles. Having just purchased some at Total within the last week, I knew they were getting less than $9 per bottle. At Gary's, it was $13.99. Needless to say, I went with something else. Just sayin'. Corrado's is also opening in Wayne, btw...they have a sign in the Clifton store that says they're opening in April, so there will be lots of new food/wine shopping in that part of the world!
  23. Curlz


    I attended the soft opening at Crave, and thought I'd let the experience sink in a bit before posting about it here. Overall, I think this place has the potential to be a great success, and I'm thrilled for Anthony LoPinto, as I'm a major fan of his cooking. Full disclosure-the evening was on the house, so there are certain things over which we had no control as customers, as there was only a limited menu and a short list of wine/beer available. That said, I came away thinking that I can't wait to see the full menu, which I'm hoping has at least a few of the chef's stamps on it, and I'm looking forward to getting back to Crave after they have some time to settle in. My overall impression as I came in is that the space is stunning, and although I don't normally pay so much attention to decor, the furnishings are lovely as well. If someone hadn't mentioned it on the other thread, I never would have known that this was once a bad chain restaurant-that's for sure! The seats at the bar are huge and comfortable, and the chairs at our table were equally inviting. I can see how it would be easy to linger at the bar over drinks-except for the club/house music that is blasting in the bar area. At 8pm, I'm just not ready for that kind of an assault-sorry! After 10, sure-but not when I'm coming for dinner with people I want to have a conversation with. Personally, it's just not my scene, though I know it is something that many people like; the crowd that was there that night didn't seem like the 'club' crowd either, however. Hopefully management will pay attention to the clientele and adjust as necessary. Once we were seated, the volume of the music was greatly reduced and it wasn't much of a distraction, which was definitely a concern I had while waiting for my friends. Speaking of distractions, I'd love it if management here (and at other restaurants) would take women in to consideration when hiring their staff. The gals behind the bar aren't wearing much, and are definitely there to be looked at-and they do absolutely nothing for me! How about some equal time/eye candy for the female customers? Maybe a few hairy chests to balance things out? Fair's fair, guys. As I already mentioned, the menu for the soft opening was limited; there were a few apps, a few entrees, and a few desserts. There were crab cakes, a spinach salad w/a warm goat cheese fritter, and a Middle Eastern vegetarian sampler, which was definitely the winner, and had Anthony's handprint for sure...it had hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, and an olive/feta 'salad,' all of which was served w/toasted pita points. One friend ordered the crab cakes, but was then told they were out of them already-a trend that seemed to follow her as she ordered the linguini w/roasted eggplant, garlic, and other vegetables (it was a Friday during Lent). We had a late reservation and the house was full, so that wasn't a total surprise. For her entree, she ended up with mahi over white beans, which she thoroughly enjoyed. My other friend and I each ordered the hanger steak med-rare (which it was). It was served with horseradish-mashed potatoes and a side of watercress that was cooked to perfection; again, this tells me that Anthony was paying attention in the kitchen, as I always enjoy his vegetables...these greens were on par with what I get in my favorite Chinese restaurants-a vibrant green with just enough seasoning to bring out the flavor while remaining as simple as possible. The meat was tender and juicy and the serving size just right; I polished it off and was full without being stuffed. The three of us shared two desserts...a coconut/pineapple parfait w/coconut ice cream and cubes of lemon-poppy seed pound cake at the bottom of the glass. Two coconut truffles (?) accompanied the parfait, and my friends are still talking about how fantastic they were! The other dessert was a dark chocolate/molten cake over a berry coulis (decadent is really the only appropriate term here-and that's coming from someone who isn't a chocolate freak!). Coffee was strong but just okay. Overall, the FOH issues that we experienced (a very late seating, bartenders who need some basic instruction about wine, and mildly rushed clearing of the table) are all forgiveable for a place on what was literally their first big night. From what I've heard, Crave is already very busy for dinner, and they will probably open for lunch within a month. I genuinely look forward to another visit, the chance to sample from a larger menu, and to the staff working through the initial kinks.
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