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Everything posted by whitetrufflechick

  1. Ugh. Stencils are sooo early-90's
  2. In regards to the appearance of the dining room (paint vs. wallpaper, price-point expectations, etc), from my first dinner at Silver Oak through my most recent lunch there (if I had to guess, I'd say maybe 10 meals total), I have had plenty of time to look around the dining room and wonder about a lot of different things I see there. Primarily, my own interpretation of the simplicity of the dining room is two-fold: 1. Mike has made no claims to be other than a small bistro (notice the name Silver Oak American BISTRO)... not Silver Oak Restaurant, Silver Oak American Fine Dining, etc. To me, Bistro implies a certain hands-on ownership where the owner might greet the customers or gee, may even paint the darn walls himself and could even be found, at times, in the kitchen. Secondly, the simplicity of the room is an excellent contrast to the complexity of flavors the come out of the kitchen. If I'm eating something like the Grouper Therapy with Cheesy Grits or tangy barbeque, I'd prefer to be in a simple cool green room where the emphasis is more on the food and flavors. To me, in this case, the cost of the meal is evident in the ingredients as opposed to fresh flowers on the table or impressive art on the walls. Recently I had the opportunity to dine at The French Laundry. What struck me looking around THAT dining room was the same thing. Simplicity. Now, I'm in no way saying Silver Oak is in the same league as TFL, but then again neither would Mike (refering to his place as a bistro puts that issue to rest), but there is something to be said for simplicity in decor alongside the complex flavors of the meal. WTC Don't even get me STARTED on wallpaper.... I shudder at the thought of a pattern that would make Silver Oak's dining room look even smaller.
  3. Back in the days when my ex (who traveled worldwide 80% of the time) wasn't my ex, I would ask him over and over again why, when traveling, he would always seek out the Olive Garden, Outback, PF Changs, Domino's, etc. instead of enjoying the local flavor of whatever area he happened to be traveling to. His response every time? Because its exactly the same no matter where I go. I know what to expect on the menu. Now, to me, that's an unacceptable answer and could be one of the factors that contributed to our ultimate demise. I don't want "the same" and most times, other than expecting quality and good service, I would rather be caught off guard by a menu item or a special that pushes the envelope. I think the popularity of these places goes back to his idea that for the most part, the decor, food, service, etc. is formulaic and without surprise.
  4. As much as the thought of lobster or shrimp sets my mouth a-waterin', when I imagine walking through a flea market on a warm Sunday afternoon, the thought of seafood from a food truck does not make me want to run and order it. I think its that same instinct that has me never ordering seafood at a diner. I'm sure you'll be using the freshest ingredients and the most sanitary food storage & prep methods, but food off a truck always makes me think twice before ordering and SEAFOOD off a food truck makes me hesitate even more. WTC (last time I ordered something 'fresh' from a food truck, I ordered a chef salad. Half way through the salad, I hit upon a square of ham stuck to a square of cheese with mayo in between. It was then I realized that the salad was made from chopped-up old hero sandwiches that didn't sell. UGH.)
  5. Right now, my favorite sushi place is Miyagi in Washington Township (the one next to Paramus... I think there are about 3 WT's in NJ) Their website is http://www.miyagi2.com Good fresh stuff, family owned & operated & you can order off their website with free delivery if you're in the area. Edited for there, their & they're. I should have known better.
  6. I love making French Toast and found this handy alternative to the dunking of the bread: Use a cookie sheet. Basically, put 8 slices (or however few you need) on a cookie sheet, pour the egg mixture over the bread. After a minute or so, flip them over and then proceed to brown them in your frying pan.
  7. Absoluitely, personal preference. Just to clarify, I like Teds for sandwiches. Aura Deli has the great salads. Just a nice coating of dressing on the cole slaw and potato salad. Shreibers salads are literally swimming in a pool of dressing. Their tuna salad is about 80% mayonnaise. Have you tried Aura Deli salads? ← Yes, I've had their sandwiches and salads along with a number of converstions with the owner of Aura Deli (the funniest one that comes to mind was about their amusing name (his wife thought it up). Sandwiches and salads made little impression on me and I haven't been back there in over a year. My daughter got a chance to work at Schreibers in 8th grade and her mission was to find and write down the potato salad recipe...lol. Haven't tried their tuna salad... only talking about potato and mac.
  8. Sorry to disagree about Schreiber's. Salads are a gloppy mess in there. Pretty ordinary. MUCH better stuff in Aura Deli, a few blocks north. Or go to Spring Valley Road (Paramus/River Edge) to Ted's Deli, really good stuff. No French Toast, but great breakfast sandwiches. Or, Go to Picnic, just up the road in Emerson. ← Guess its just one of those personal preference things when it comes to mac & potato salad. The shaved potatos and the dressing are a favorite with many friends and relatives of mine. In fact, I have relatives who request I bring down the potato whenever I go. Aura Deli, though cute name, has yet to impress me. Ted's is the old standby for Komsas fries from long ago but again, ordinary salads, nothing special to keep us going back. Different strokes.
  9. Years ago, there was a cool little restaurant in Oradell called The Giving Tree. Not only did they boast the World's Smallest Hot Fudge Sundae (basically a little ramekin with just enough sundae to hit the spot), but they also had a fabulous breakfast delivery service. They would drop off a hot breakfast complete with a rose and a newspaper, from what I remember. Not really going to help you with your search, but it just popped into mind when you raised the question....
  10. Sure, but maybe she also wants to have a life. ← Any advice, as always, is so darned appreciated.... ← I, for one, vote yes for dinner. Maybe just start with 1-2 late nights per week?
  11. [cynical] Probably because they read somewhere that it was "the best restaurant in the US" and they thought a visit would be great for bragging rights. [/cynical] Si {edited for typos} ← Sad, but most likely true.
  12. Had a marvelous meal at FL last week (details for another posting), but had two funny/bizarre experiences while there. 1. Walking into the dining room (the one on the left), there was a woman sitting with her male companion and she had her head down on the table and appeared to be sleeping or passed out. Very odd. He paid the check, sort of shook her awake and away they went. Quite a distraction. Wonder just how much wine she had drank! 2. While sitting in the waiting area, two couples walked in and also sat down and waited for their table to be ready. While sitting there, the following was overheard: "I hope they have steak and potatoes. He's (refering to her mate) a steak and potatoes guy." "I'm not a big fan of French food." "Is this the whole menu?" Part of me so wanted to be seated near them just to listen in as the meal transpired. The larger part of me was so thankful to be seated very far away from them (as in another room) as it would have DEFINITELY detracted from the experience. Wonder how they ended up at TFL?
  13. The towns that continue to be mentioned as "fine dining" towns are towns with not only a higher economic demographic, but I feel that, more importantly, the majority of towns that are mentioned are towns where a well-developed downtown provides walking about after dinner and a 'strolling through town looking in windows and sitting for a spell after dinner over a cup of coffee and a little something sweet ' atmosphere. On a Friday afternoon, when contemplating the "where will we eat tonite" question, the idea of a well-rounded evening -- not just an eat-and-run (for lack of a better term), contributes signifigantly to the idea of the restaurant atmosphere itself when the decision of "where shall we eat tonite" comes up. -Ridgewood -Montclair -Hoboken and further south, Lambertville, and even Cape May all have me thinking of strolling before/after dinner in addition to anticipating a great dining experience. I am less apt to choose a place like Harvest (menu option aside) because its rather isolated. Get in the car at home, get out of the car in the lot, eat, get back in the car and either go home or find somewhere else to walk off the meal/spend some time before calling it an evening. So, I believe that naturally a restaurant's food quality, atmosphere, service, etc. will make or break a place, but when trying to determine what the 'Best Fine Dining Towns in NJ" are, I think that the downtown areas create a canvas for such restaurant area to develop and thrive.
  14. Thanks Menton. Alas, in a school environment (as all teachers know), there's not much flexibility when it comes to lunch period and getting back to school in time for the bell signaling the next class. I wish Lotus was on Teaneck Road, but where it is, I think the traveling wastes precious minutes.
  15. My co-workers and I have exactly 45 minutes to leave this building (right off Rte. 4 on Teaneck Road), get in the car, drive somewhere, order and eat and return. We go to East frequently (yes, frequently as in every day last week) because its quick and convenient. We are now completely and utterly sick of East. We're not interested in 'fast food' (in the McDonalds/Wendy's sense) though it does need to be fast (as in quick). We've tried Veggie Heaven on Cedar Lane and the results were not good. I'm tired of tossing the question around with them every day and ending up at East anyway for lack of a good alternative. I now toss the question over to Egullet. We've considered: Liberty Cafe (not interested in the fare - its basically a little deli) Englewood Restaurants (too far for 45 mins) Riverside Square (too far) Any suggestions??? Lunch is at precisely noon and we have to get out of this building (it makes the day go SO much quicker)!
  16. YES, I certainly did! What a wonderful way to spend Valentine's night... the tasting menu at Silver Oak was incredible. Every course was unique yet so completely in keeping with Silver Oak's style. I have the menu sitting here next to me for those who are curious: Amuse Bouche Scallop Cevich in Rice Paper Basket (absolutely divine.) First Course Squab Breast Chartreuse with Blood Orange Sauce (I wished the Squab was a big as a Chicken so I could have feasted on this tasty dish) Second Course Roasted Monkfish with White Truffle Leeks Third Course Spinach Bouquet with Feta Torte and Parmesan Biscotti Fourth Course Lamb Loin with Goat Cheese Herb Crust with Port Wine Fig Reduction Dessert Chocolate Oasis (though this looked good, we opted to change it up a bit... I went for the Lemon Pie and Purple Pirate the Apple Pie) Chef Gary was hobnobbing in the dining room, Mike & his lovely wife were having their own little Valentine's feast at a corner table and all was right in the world. a couple of observations/moments: A woman sitting alone waiting for her ever-so-late Valentine to show up was offered a cocktail by a large group on the other side of the room. She noted her missing companion's Y chromosone and the way said chromosone prevented its owner from asking directions. A small cheer went up when the late one finally arrived. A 'sour' looking person grousing about the squab, the wine, the table and everything else and walking out mid-course much to the dismay of this person's partner. Why is there always one in every crowd? This person looked like nothing that evening was going to please. Having been told by Mike that the Chocolate Oasis was supposed to be an oasis because Chef Gary had worked on some psuedo-palm trees that just didn't set up right, so the desserts were presented sans palm trees. When Chef came out of the kitchen, he asked if there were any little suggestions we could give him. I told him everything was wonderful but perhaps next time the Chocolate Oasis could have a little palm tree in it. He said words to the effect of 'you're not going to believe this but I made palm trees and they didn't work out!' He went on to explain, never realizing that Mike had tipped us off to the palm trees. We were in hysterics... Overall, a lovely evening. Can't wait for your Mardi Gras celebration in two weeks! See you then... table 23. WTC
  17. I haven't been there myself, but I've heard rave reviews about the Andouille that is sold at Karl Ehmer's butcher shop in Hillsdale.
  18. Prices aside, I think that I'm more likely to order a special when I can actually read what's in it rather than try to remember the specials recited while perusing the menu before deciding. Taking into consideration the complexity of the specials sometimes gets in the way of even beginning to piece together whether or not I want to spend my dinner in front of a plate of "Tonite's special is X on top of a bed of lightly sauteed Y enhanced with a soupcon of tenderly raised Z and AA, finished with a glaze of W and specially enhanced by our chef who, having just returned from the north western corner of obscure region of country B, will prepare your X in a regional manner"! Write the specials down for the memory-impaired among us. Since you've got pen/chalk or whatever in hand or your word processing program open, take the leap and list the prices. If its sounds good, I'll order it!
  19. Didn't want the day to go by without posting to say what a great time I had last night! Good food, very interesting people and a great cause. Thanks to all who spent time organizing and running the feast. Already looking forward to next year!
  20. WTC did you get a chance to go there yet? If so I need details! LOL... I don't want everyone here on EG to think I'm some ranting sandwich craving curmudgeon! I ordered the "Godfather" today - I try to order once every 1 to 2 weeks when I have time from all the local places at least once and some even twice! I won't talk about it lest we drool on our keyboards but suffice it to say the sandwich was very delicious! I heard she may be making some "Butter chicken" tomorrow if she does I'll be in trouble because I try to make it a rule not to order or go to the same place two days in a row. Hmm, maybe I will just have to break my rule just this one time! Curlz and anyone local to the Paramus area, you have to come by here too! ← No, sadly, not yet. I work too far from Emerson to get lunch there (Teaneck) and its usually closed by the time dinner rolls around. Maybe this weekend. I literally live five minutes from the place.
  21. Thanks, Rachel. I can't wait to try Picnic. Their picnic basket options on their website look terrific once the warm weather comes (then again, an indoor picnic can sometimes be very nice too) .
  22. Does anyone have the hours for Picnic? I drove by last night a little after 6 and they were closed. The hours aren't listed on the website.
  23. ;-) Started the thread, yes.... but who was it that first ventured forward? hee hee..... Its become an obsession. ← Dear WTC, sorry we missed you for lunch yesterday . ← LOL.... you almost HAD me for lunch yesterday, like it or not My companion and I went as far as standing and drooling in your entryway only to be informed that yes, you are now open for dinner on Mondays but no, you are not open for lunch. Alas, so close but yet so very far. We went 'round the corner for some grub and spent much of the time whining about the lack of mac & cheese on the menu & the absence of chips but ever-so-happy that Silver Oak is now open for dinner (at least) on Monday nights.
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