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Posts posted by ghostrider

  1. Got a hankering for someplace different tonight, so called up Bella Luna in Lyndhurst based on the recommendations here (Curlz I believe)...

    Well, you got the Bella part right, Ghostrider...but the place I go for pizza is Bella Vita :laugh: --on the corner of Kingsland Ave and Ridge Road, about 2 blocks past Mazur's. It's on your left (if you're heading towards N.Arlington/Kearny, that is), across from an Exxon station. Maybe next time! :wink:


    Omigosh! I should have researched the name better rather than trusting to my feeble memory. No wonder the Bella Luna lady was so curt.

    OK, next time maybe I'll get it right....

    P.S. I tried Cafe New York's sausage last night for the first time in quite a while. Mistake. It's much greasier than I remembered. I'd advise folks who try the place to stick with their veg selections, particularly the mushrooms & onions, which together make for a really excellent pie.

  2. Got a hankering for someplace different tonight, so called up Bella Luna in Lyndhurst based on the recommendations here (Curlz I believe) and said, "I'd like to order a pizza." The lady who answered said, quite curtly, "I don't do pizza any more." I was so surprised, I blurted out "Really?" She replied, much more curtly, "Really!"

    So I gotta leave now to pick up my New York Pizza. They at least still do pizza.

  3. A Taste of Asia Part II 245-247 Main St. Chatham 973-796-0546 BYO

    A Taste of Asia, 54-56 W South Orange Ave, South Orange (973-378-8818). BYO

    Not that far from Montclair and we found the parking to be much easier.

    Sadly, it is that far when you're starting out from 10 miles on the far side of Montclair.

    You could park for dinner at Taste of Asia in the Montclair Art Museum lot. You can still do that for Taj Palace, the Indian place next door which has some virtues.

    I do miss Taste of Asia tho. :sad:

  4. It definately sounds like I am in the minority here, but I don't think it's such a big deal for a restaurant to have a wine list instead of being BYO.  Granted, BYO makes the experience that much less expensive.  But in a ceratin way it also makes it more limiting...you can't make a food and wine decision that is in concert.  You've already choosen your wine and are now stuck with it redardless of what you decide to eat.

    Come dine in Rutherford (Corrado, La Reggia Bistro, Mignon, Eros Cafe)! You can walk around the corner & purchase your wine after you've ordered your dinner!

    I can't speak for the selection at the corner wine store because I don't drink, but a lot of people follow this procedure & certainly seem happy.

    Of course you may not find what sounds like the level of cuiisine that you'll find at Rocca, but we do have the advantage of convenience.

  5. Actually Soffrito surprised us, the spectacular dish I'd expected to be a dud, & one I'd expected to be at least OK proved to be the flop. You never know.

    We've eaten at Slates a couple of times over the years, but this time it was the seafood Alfredo at Hattie's Chowder House that got me. Truly generous amounts of wonderfully fresh scallops, shrimp & crabmeat, flavors blended & balanced nicely with the cheese in the sauce. I was a little afraid of the dish since my system doesn't handle excessive richness well, but this was just right - seemed indulgent without being overly rich. I wound up satiated & quite happy.

    Sheila had a bowl of clam chowder that looked & smelled excellent, and a lobster roll that she says was very good. I had such a huge plate of food that I didn't dare sample anything else.

  6. Just my .02

    If it's small kernel NJ corn just picked that day Ill steam it for 10 minutes, butter it and add a bit of salt and pepper. Boiling it is like boiling ribs. Take of whiff of your boiling water. That flavor should go into your mouth and not down the drain.

    Interesting notion. Does steaming for 10 minutes actually result in less flavor loss than boiling for 4 to 5?

    I'll have to dig my steamer out of the basement & run a comparison.

  7. We wound up eating at Soffrito, right across the street from Cinque Terre. Twice, on Weds & on Sat, because, both times, they could give us an outdoor table immediately when no one else could. There's a reason for that of course.

    We had mixed reactions to the food - one spectacularly good dish, one dud, two pretty goods. Great service. In the end I realized I was more eager to dine al fresco on Wharf St. than I was to pursue culinary adventures, so we simply went with the flow on that. I wasn't sorry with that choice, we had two immensely enjoyable evenings.

    That's quite a tale from Cinque Terre! On Weds, just before we walked over to Soffrito, they told us they had a 45 minute wait. We noticed two vacant tables for two & inquired about them. They said the 45 minute wait was how far their kitchen was backed up at that point, yes they could seat us but we wouldn't see food for nearly an hour. At least they were honest about that, but I think they're still working out the kinks.

    They may have dropped their prices a bit, I was looking at about $28 for primi / pasta / smaller portion of fish. I don't drink so wine doesn't come into the equations.

    Also had some great food up in Hallowell, wonderful little town just south of Augusta, on our one free night in between.

    I have a detailed writeup in progress in my word processor, will post it when it's complete.

  8. The fruit flavors, such as Grapefruit and Pear, taste better than the fruit they're made from (if that's possible).  :rolleyes:

    Why did you have to pick two of my FAVORITE flavors on the planet to torture me with?!? :wacko:

    How about melon (cantaloupe)? :raz:

    Wish I could remember where I got that - Florence, Venice? - similarly intense.

    Geloti has no plain chocolate? Pfui! That's a crime against nature.

  9. Ghost, the Protland Green Grocer is on the LAND side of Commercial St. not to far from the aformentioned Mims.

    Ah, that explains it, we didn't walk Commercial St end-to-end, so must have missed that particular block.

    I'll keep an eye out next time.

    Our cab driver (Amtrak sta to jetport - you can take the train but still gotta go to the airport to rent a car) also recommended Mims. I'll be keeping the other eye out for them.

    Yes I am eager to go back to Portland!

  10. Where is the Portland Greengrocer located? I don't recall passing it in our wanderings.

    I enjoy browsing those places even if I'm not in a position to buy much. Though I always like to buy local fruits for traveling whenever I can. Got some decent peaches & cherries from Gillespie's at the PPM, but it's nice to have a choice.

  11. They changed hands & got worse?

    I stopped going there almost 10 years ago after 2 meals of severely overcooked fish.

    Try Park & Orchard, in the same neighborhood, for a better meal - one block W of rt. 17 on the road that runs parallel, just drive south & keep looking to your left till you see it.

    They do nice grilled tuna / swordfish steaks & such. And HUGE portions, you're guaranteed to walk away with a meal for the following night.

  12. Chef Enzo gets everything right

    Well, I really wouldn't go that far!

    I went here right after reading this post, and found the Amatriciana (which I've eaten countless times while summering in Italy) quite good. Mine was sauce-like, and bright red with no visible chunk of tomato whatsoever, and its very unlikely that it was made with fresh tomato - nor do I think it's supposed to be. Great quality canned tomato would be perfectly acceptable in this dish, as the tomato gets cooked anyway. Still, it was extrememly good, for sure. It was a little sweet, and I suspected the addition of sugar, but the rigatoni were cooked to a state of al-dente rarely found in the US, and it was most enjoyable.

    Of course, the ultimate pasta all'Amatriciana (as well as the ultimate just-about-anything Italian) is found at Lupa, in New York City! If the author of the first post has not sampled it here during his ten-year quest, I urge him to.

    As for the rest of La Reggia's food, the oil in which things had been fried was really on the old side and gave those dishes an unpleasant, burned flavor, and most of the dishes that were in a sauce or gravy paid a too-close nod to diner food. Still, the prices are reasonable, the people are nice, and the Amatriciana was as described, quite good.

    I was clearly a bit carried away! I do need to dine there several more times to get a better feel for the place, no question. Having had a recent experience at a Montclair Indian place with some of that old oil, I can almost taste what you describe.

    One of the things that made that Venetian rendition of the dish so memorable was the fact that it was made with diced fresh tomato, perfectly cooked. (I have a recipe somewhere that calls for same.) It may not be the traditional way to make the dish but it certainly works well.

    Thanks for the tip re Lupa. I sense a destination for my next birthday dinner.

  13. I've posted about Corrado at least twice in related threads, since I've been there at least a dozen times, though I've never started a separate thread about it. Anyway.....

    A good local place if you live in the area - comfortable, casual, decent food. Homemade raviolis, when available as a special, & dishes involving mushrooms seem particularly good to my palate. First rate olive oil for dipping the bread into.

    They're gonna have some serious competition from La Reggia Bistro, just around the corner & the subject of its own thread. Reggia does some things better, particularly the rigatoni amatriciana - Corrado uses standard American bacon in their version. Reggia also has better bread, & herbed dipping oils, but I like Corrado's pure oil better.

    Same general reasonable price range. Both places offer good value, I think. I need a few more meals at Reggia before I can really compare the two.

  14. Farmers' mkt corn (Rutheford, every Weds).

    I still prefer it boiled. You have to watch it - boil for between 4 & 5 minutes, depending on kernel size (it's always a subjective call) after the water returns to a boil after you toss in the ears.

    Just unsalted butter & no salt. Cardiac diet. Took a bit of getting used to but I got there.

    P.S. There's a nursery / garden store on Van Houten on the west end of Clifton that also sells produce & has had excellent corn in past years. Haven't been there this year so don't have the name of the place at hand.

  15. Well, we're gonna be so close to the place, + arriving on Sat, think I'm just going to drive over & check out their schedule in person whilst wolfing a lobster roll or two. :raz:

    johnnyd - you're right (well of course you are, you live there!) - noticed the Portland branch listed on the menu in the Augusta branch. Maybe they started out in Portland? I first knew them in Bath.

  16. Weekends only? Oh noooooo...... :shock: I had a memory that they truncated their schedule in Sept. but couldn't recall the details. Turns out we're going to be in the area first week in Sept. & I was hoping for my usual daily lobster roll. Gotta take advantage of those weekends I guess & be content with that.

    BTW, Beale St. BBQ is on the block behind Bath's main street, going away from the Kennebec, facing the municipal parking area.

    They recently (within the last year) opened a branch in Augusta, I guess they're doing well.

  17. Thanks CSA! I'm making a list.

    Uffa sounds wonderful - tho why do they have only the winter 2004 menu up on their website in summertime - but the food certainly looks appetizing from the descriptions. Not sure if this is going to be our trip for "fine dining" experiences tho. Pepper Club & Flatbread Co. sound more like my kind of places for this round.

    Lobster Shack sounds intriguing too, particularly for the setting.

  18. One of my Weds Rutherford mkt farmers (something like Matarazzo) is at the Montclair mkt on Sat. Their peaches, melons, & corn have all been exceptional this year, just as they were last. Also their red leaf lettuce - love that stuff. Snap peas & tomatoes I'd rate very good, green beans good.

  19. Another popular destination for food is the Jordan Pond Lodge which is smack dab in the middle of Acadia National Park and is operated by the National Park Service.  The restaurant itself isn't anything great, but the views are super.  Plus, their popovers may alone support the entire existence of this establishment.  Now, I won't claim these are the best popovers in the world, nor are they consistently great, but when you walk into this restaurant after hiking for several hours, having a hot popover with some strawberry preserves puts you into a unparalleled state of bliss -- particularly when it's cool outside and a large fire is roaring in the center of the dining room.  My 5 year old son, Benjamin, devoured 3 of those suckers in about 15 minutes.


    Only been to Acadia twice in 30 years of summer trips to Maine - and the first time, Jordan Pond House was still closed from the fire. Second time, it was nirvana after a good hike, you caught it perfectly.

    Lobster rolls - thanks, I think you just saved me $13.78. All the hype Red's has gotten had made me curious, but no more. I'll stick with the lobster rolls at Five Islands, they do it right. (Next time you're up that way, just drive south on rt. 127 from Bath, 14 miles, out to the end of the road, where if you go any further, your car will be in the ocean. There are a couple of shacks & a few picnic tables on a working dock there. That's the place for lobster rolls & lobster dinners.)

  20. In Bath, try Beale St. BBQ. Good smoky Memphis style ribs, chicken, pulled pork. Yes I've had better - in Kansas City - but for a change of pace from seafood, defnitely worth a stop. Great fries (rice is the weakest of their side selections, decent but not a rave).

    Also, there's always a great eclectic blues compilation on the sound system. If you don't like blues, you may want to avoid the place, but if you do, you'll feel right at home.

    And if you don't have the Five Islands dock on your list for lobster, let me know & I'll post directions (14 miles from Bath). It's the best I've found in 30 years of scouring the Maine coast. Just some picnic tables on the dock, great coastal views, & the freshest lobster ever. (Corn, slaw, chips, burgers & dogs available too.)

    Yikes, just saw your other thread. I think 5 Islands stays open thru the end of Sept. but am not certain. It's a lovely drive out there, but I'd call first if you want to venture out there later in the month.

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