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Everything posted by Casey

  1. I have to echo Curlz' recommendation of Denville Dairy. I also grew up in that area, and still visit the store whenever I can while seeing family! Thankfully, my nieces and nephew are willing accomplices to my escapes from family gatherings. Its also nice to see that this business has stayed in the family, and continues to do well. Casey
  2. I'm not a fan of LouCas when meeting friends, as the tables are ridiculously close together and its hard to have a social meal with your dining companions. I would second the suggestion of Mie Thai in Woodbridge. There are a few restaurants on Main Street in Metuchen, just south of Menlo Park and right off of Route 1. On a nice night, its also a good area to visit one of the cafes with outdoor seating for coffee/espesso and dessert. Casey
  3. My staff and I really like Antonio's/Bricks on Bellevue Ave in Upper Montclair. They're a brick oven place and their pies have a great crust. Their Saute pizza with arugula, red pepper, ricotta and garlic is great, and their plain is pretty good as well. Casey
  4. Does anyone know if this place is still BYO or if they now have a liquor license? Their website has a heading for "Wines" but nothing comes up when you click on it--it shares the website with the sister website for Scalini Fedeli, so maybe the header applies to that location? Casey
  5. I would definitely say to keep us all posted on where you're going to be--your posts have likely pulled many of us in and interested in your continued success! Casey
  6. I take a similar approach to Curlz with my nieces and nephews, as do their parents. We've been taking them to nicer (non-chain) restaurants since they were young. They not only learn appropriate behavior, but they've also developed a real appreciation for good food! While many kids her age are eating chicken fingers and burgers wherever they eat, my 10 year old niece prefers clams in garlic broth and a nice steak. She especially enjoys "daddy-daughter dates" at An American Grill. I recommend starting them out at a smaller, family owned place (we started with Luzzi's Hibernia Inn in Rockaway) and then work up to other places as their personalities and food tastes mature. Casey
  7. I purchased one at Bed Bath and Beyond for less than $20 last week. Just finished using it and have a fresh cherry pie in the oven. The cherry stoner has a suction bottom for the countertop, and I pitted 4 cups of cherries in no time. It is also very easy to keep assembled and pull out for pitting a smaller quantity and clean up was very easy. I picked the last of the cherries off the tree in my backyard this morning--this is my first time making a pie with them (we typically just eat them!), so we'll see how it turns out! Casey
  8. I haven't been in some time, but my parents really like Luzzi's Hibernia Inn in Rockaway not too far off Route 80. I think it will have the variety you're looking for. My family are meat eaters, my sister is a pasta lover, and I tend toward healthy choices (except for dessert!), and we've all found something to like in the past. And its not too far from AAG and surrounding area. Casey
  9. Lou, be sure to let us know where you dine and what you thought. I'm especially interested in your dining choice for Sunday--I'm traveling to a professional conference at the end of April, and while I'm likely to dine with friends on some nights, I usually need some "dining alone" time! Casey
  10. Its such an ingrained memory at this point, I had to think a bit! When you come to the end of 24, you'll follow the sign for 287 North, which I believe also has the route 10 logo on the sign. You'll only be on 287 for one exit, and don't even need to get out of the right lane, and then you'll get right onto 10West (left lane of the exit ramp I recall). You'll only be on the Parkway through the Union tolls. When you approach the Union tolls (~142), stay to the right. You'll actually be merging onto 78East first, and then taking the first exit to make a U-turn onto 78West (there will be signs for this U-turn/Westbound). Depending on your driving speed, you'll be on the Parkway for 10-15 minutes only (I made this trip last week, and it was 10 minutes on the Parkway, 40 minutes for the whole trip). It sounds complicated, but all signs are very well marked, and I think it sounds like you are traveling with a "copilot" which makes it much easier. Enjoy AAG! Casey
  11. Randi, I make that trip from Metuchen often, as I have family nearby. While 287 to 10West is the easiest, you'll save about 10 minutes off your trip if you are near the GSP. I now go that route, which is GSP North to 78West to 24West to 287/10West. I know that it sounds more complicated, but it is a shorter trip and the switching also makes it feel even quicker than the long ride on 287 alone. Either way is fine, but that is another option! I would also second the suggestion for the Espresso Martini--YUM! Casey
  12. Casey


    Does Blu have a web site? I've used google and couldn't find one.... Casey
  13. Wow--I certainly hope that's not the case! First, I would hope this board is above censorship of any kind. The honest discussion is one reason I think this board is better than most. And second, Lou, I think your frankness is what makes you who you are, and most of us wouldn't want to change that! If we are now asking people to censor themselves, I'd have to think twice about trusting comments about restaurants being accurate or not, which is why I visit egullet in the first place.... Casey
  14. Casey


    Anyone know if Blu is open on Mondays? Casey
  15. We had a wonderful dinner at An American Grill on Sunday. There were 9 of us, so there were many different choices to be shared! For appetizers, we had seven spice ahi tuna served with carmelized onions and roasted red peppers that was cooked perfectly; firecracker calamari fried and cooked with garlic, scallions, tomatoes, capers, olives and peppers; a special mushroom soup that was rich and earthy; and braised short rib ravioli. For dinner, we chose four cheese ravioli in a vodka sauce (the ravioli pasta was tricolored I believe); strip steak with gorgonzola butter; a St. Peter's fish wtih grape tomatoes & Bermuda onion in a plum tomato & garlic sauce (a second choice for that guest when they were out of another dish, but proved worth it); salmon served with a mustard crust in a leek, tomato and shitake mushroom broth; and a special duck breast with a cherry sauce; and rigatoni valentino, which is my brother's favorite pasta dish there, but I cannot recall what was in it (he would not share!). We sampled a variety of desserts around the table, and the coffee was good and strong. Lou, you looked a bit "in the weeds" with the very large party, so I didn't say hello, but suffice to say it was a GREAT birthday dinner. Casey (aka John's sister)
  16. We're heading to An American Grill tomorrow with the family to celebrate two birthdays--mine and my husband's (his is one of the big ones!). No one's posted about a visit in a while, and I'm looking forward to a good one! Casey
  17. I saw it last Friday at Wegmans in Woodbridge. In the back of the produce section, top shelf, all the way to the right loose in a bin.... Casey
  18. Casey


    We had a wonderful dinner at Fascino on Saturday evening. We sat in a booth on the new side (last time we had been there was pre-expansion), which was very comfortable and private. Amuse was a kalamata olive spread on small toast (I love everything "olive" so it was perfect). For appetizers, we had the special ravioli, which featured roasted eggplant and goat cheese in a spicy red pepper sauce (heaven!) and Maryland crab cake over thinly sliced golden beets and a small salad (hubby could not remember what greens were included, but said the contrast between the crisp, cold greens and beets were a nice companion to the hot crabcake). For entrees, I had a special wild alaskan king salmon with kalamata olive and bread crumb crust served with California spinach and artichokes in a sweet carrot au jus. This was so great that even my husband, not a fish eater, said that he could eat the whole dish. He had a duck dish that was served over red cabbage with a duck confit canneloni, and the other gentleman with us had a veal special. I'm sorry, but I was so enamored with my salmon that I cannot recall more about their preparation. Again, there were NO leftovers! We forced ourselves to have room for dessert. The men had the poached pear crostata with strawberries, and the women had a surprisingly light dark chocolate truffle tart with espresso cream. The meal was terrific, and the service was equally excellent. I cannot wait to return again, and will make sure we don't wait as long this time! Casey
  19. I don't want to turn this into a discussion on higher education, but I do have to say something in response. The reception was not cancelled due to money--I have the money in my budget! And the faculty and administrators are planning to stay afterwards to mingle and celebrate with our students--Last year, we had 100 graduate faculty attend who were very proud of their students! Also last year, most students left immediately following the ceremony to have dinners out with family, and didn't stay for the reception, which resulted in a great deal of wasted food. When we started hearing from about 75% of students picking up tickets that they weren't going to stay, we decided not to be wasteful with food, or with student and taxpayer money to pay for things that would ultimately wind up in the garbage. With the current news on other higher education institutions in the state frivously and unethically spending money and being investigated by the FBI (if you've been reading the Star Ledger), I would think that this type of responsible decision making would be welcomed! Every person who reports to me will be staying until the last student leaves, posing for pictures and taking them, and congratulating the students on this fine accomplishment. Then we will also go out to a nice dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of our extraordinary students, though probably not for a week or two after we catch up on much needed sleep. (Lou, I'm trying to persuade them to make the drive to your place, so I may finally be in touch!) Hitmanoo, I really look forward to meeting you and your wife, and sincerely hope the rain holds off and that you've found a great place for dinner (I look forward to the review!). Zhelder, this is a very different place than 10 years ago--let me know if you'd like to visit some time (just PM me) and we'll take you on a tour and tell you about how its changed! I probably set us down this tangential path by my first comment above, so I apologize to my fellow egulleteers for that, but I hope we can return to talking about NJ Dining! Casey
  20. Casey

    Baja Fresh

    They just opened one on Route 1 in Edison--haven't seen it yet, but we received a letter in the mail yesterday announcing their opening, which included a coupon. We may stop in one weeknight when I don't feel like cooking! Casey
  21. I cannot remember if they are open on Sundays, but Corso 98 does a great job and I've gone there before a concert in jeans and a sweater, so casual would do the trick. They are on Walnut Street in Montclair, not too far from campus. On a weekend without traffic, I typically can make it from campus to An American Grill in a little over 1/2 hour, if you want to go there, however. By the way, I'm assuming since you mentioned Sunday that you're going to the Graduate Convocation--I'm the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and will be the emcee and calling your wife's name! (tall girl in purple academic robe). The ceremony should last from 1-2:30, and there will be a nice reception with appetizer food afterwards--stop by and say hello from a fellow egulleteer! Casey
  22. We had lunch a few months ago at a Thai restaurant in Metuchen, on Main St., whose name escapes me. Very good food and attractive atmospherics. ←
  23. The Cheese Shoppe may be one you are referring to. Big take out and eat in lunch place for the MSU faculty/staff crowd. It is in Upper Montclair near Talbots and the Firehouse Others in that area: Tia's Food of Love is take out only, but their menu is also a big lunch (and catering) draw. Daily Soup in the train station is also beginning to draw a following. Casey
  24. Casey


    Do they still have the prix fixe during the week early in the evening? I took some of my staff year for a holiday/thank you dinner last year and would love to do the same, but since I cannot bill it to work, appreciate the prix fixe! Casey
  25. My staff and I have gotten into a recent habit of ordering takeout from them 2-3 times a week for lunch! Everything is excellent. For the fall, they've started serving an OUTSTANDING butternut squash soup that I am addicted to. Casey
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