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Your top 3 in NJ


sgschef
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A dinner anywhere for my husband and me is what we are being given as a return for a big favor. So now what? What would your three top choices be in New Jersey for a special dinner? Please don't include Rats or David Drakes. Thanks for the help!

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A dinner anywhere for my husband and me is what we are being given as a return for a big favor.  So now what?  What would your three top choices be in New Jersey for a special dinner?  Please don't include Rats or David Drakes.  Thanks for the help!

If it's not your money then I'd go for Nicholas. I just got a bunch of gift certificates for friends and coworkers. Hope they like it!

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#3: Fortunato in Lyndhurst.

#2: Fortunato in Lyndhurst.

#1: Fortunato in Lyndhurst.

You're going to be hard-pressed to find a really wonderful seasonal ingredient-driven restaurant in North Jersey.

Actually, much greatness has been said about Earth in Totowa. It's the new creation of Anthony Lo Pinto, formerly of Fortunato, and it should really be the only decision to make. Earth vs. Fortunato. I haven't been yet, but if it's Chef Lo Pinto, you're pretty much guaranteed one of the best meals of your life.

Earth thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=100637

"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside" -Mark Twain

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n roll." -Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of The Legend of Zelda, circa 1990

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A dinner anywhere for my husband and me is what we are being given as a return for a big favor.  So now what?  What would your three top choices be in New Jersey for a special dinner?  Please don't include Rats or David Drakes.  Thanks for the help!

I'm just curious why you didn't want anyone to include Rats or David Drakes. :huh:

Lori

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I'm just curious why you asked for Rats and David Drakes not to be included. :huh:

We had been at David Drakes recently and wanted to try somewhere new. I had heard from a friend that Rats had recently gotten a very bad review.

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#3: Fortunato in Lyndhurst.

#2: Fortunato in Lyndhurst.

#1: Fortunato in Lyndhurst. 

You're going to be hard-pressed to find a really wonderful seasonal ingredient-driven restaurant in North Jersey. 

Actually, much greatness has been said about Earth in Totowa.  It's the new creation of Anthony Lo Pinto, formerly of Fortunato, and it should really be the only decision to make.  Earth vs. Fortunato.  I haven't been yet, but if it's Chef Lo Pinto, you're pretty much guaranteed one of the best meals of your life.

Earth thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=100637

Although, it's good, I wouldn't say Fortunato's is quite on a par with restaurants like Cafe Matisse and Nicholas.

These two are definitely on the top of the list.

Edited by Cook456 (log)
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I would second Ferry House as a excellent choice.

If you want to make a celabratory evening of it you may wish to consider Seablue at the Borgata (1st choice) or Mia at Ceasers.

If its not your $, then the $175 PP tasting menu (M Mina cookbook included) at SeaBlue could be a unique treat.

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Friends of mine that have been going to Ferry House for years had told me the food was not as good as it used to be. The one time I was there about 7-8 months ago, I certainly didn't think it was anything special let alone one of the top 3 restaurants in NJ.

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Even the great restaurants have off nights and I expect that Chef/owner Bobby Trigg's efforts at gutting and restoring the nearby Plumet Royal at the Peacock Inn may be taking him out of the Ferry House kitchen. I have never had anything less than a spectacular meal when Ive dined there, admittedly before he took on this new huge venture

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

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Hi all...I like Nicholas a lot..just a weird warning...we have eaten there twice and both times someone in the group ate their beef entree...both times it was horrible and I am not sure who...so if you skip the beef, you can have a wonderful meal...well priced...3 courses for $55. Sadly, I cannot come up with other really good places...I like Lulu's in Livingston a lot for lunch...and so sadly, I go to New York City most of the time.... :sad: Joan

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Hi all...I like Nicholas a lot..just a weird warning...we have eaten there twice and both times someone in the group ate their beef entree...both times it was horrible and I am not sure who...so if you skip the beef, you can have a wonderful meal...well priced...3 courses for $55.  Sadly, I cannot come up with other really good places...I like Lulu's in Livingston a lot for lunch...and so sadly, I go to New York City most of the time.... :sad:  Joan

I'm sorry but the words "Nicholas" and "horrible" don't fit in the same sentence. Horrible?

:D

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Hi all...I like Nicholas a lot..just a weird warning...we have eaten there twice and both times someone in the group ate their beef entree...both times it was horrible and I am not sure who...so if you skip the beef, you can have a wonderful meal...well priced...3 courses for $55.  Sadly, I cannot come up with other really good places...I like Lulu's in Livingston a lot for lunch...and so sadly, I go to New York City most of the time.... :sad:  Joan

Its funny you would say that. Back in October I had the pan roasted rib eye and it was wonderful. A few months later I had it again and the steak was barely warm (although the potatoes were very hot). I had thought it was a one time coincidence so I said nothing. Your post makes me think. All that being said, I still think Nicholas is the best restaurant in the state. I've dined there since it opened and have no intention of stopping.

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In no way am I looking to bash Nicholas (I think its an exceptional restaurant), but I agree that not every course (at any restaurant) hits the mark. The sirloin of veal I had a few months back was bland and tough. It was, however, the only clunker I've had to date and in no way will it keep me from returning.

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A dinner anywhere for my husband and me is what we are being given as a return for a big favor.  So now what?  What would your three top choices be in New Jersey for a special dinner?  Please don't include Rats or David Drakes.  Thanks for the help!

Try the Pluckemin Inn. www.pluckemininn.com

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Hi...Our meals at Nicholas have been quite lovely...except for the beef entree both times..it was full of fat and gristle...that is not ok...and if this is the BEST of NJ restautrants (the new Zagat again this year) then I can say that is horrible..the rack of lamb for a $5 surcharge was lovely...

Anyway, is there a reson that you cannot expand this trip into NYC? :biggrin:

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