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Batard

Restaurant for Christmas Dinner in North NJ

7 posts in this topic

This year is it just going to be me, my wife, and my Mom for dinner on Christmas Day, so instead of cooking we decided that we would go out. But I have had my share of disappointments in the past with the prixe fixe menus that most places put out, everything seems to taste like you are at a lousy catered event -- always a step down from their normal fare. Even though it will be a small Christmas for us, we still want to have a memorable meal.

I'm not extremely worried about price or even the style of cuisine. I know most of the Asian places will be open, but we eat Asian all the time and we're looking for something a little more western and classic. I'm just hoping to find a nice place that's open and where the food doesn't suffer on the holiday.

So I was hoping someone might have recommendations for Northern New Jersey. I'm not afraid to take a drive, but just so you know I live near the Rutherford area.

Thanks in advance,

Mike :smile:


"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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In West Orange, the Manor (buffet) and Highlawn (not buffet) are both open. I tend to like the Highlawn better. Pal's Cabin is also open. It is not fine dining, but the food is always good. I think I read that the Short Hills Hilton is also open for brunch. I can think of a few more places, but they are further south.


Susan

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Rosie has a list of restaurants that will be serving on Christmas Eve/Day here... scroll down to see them.

From that list, it appears that Highlawn Pavillion, Hilton Short Hills and The Manor are options on the 25th, but I'd call around to be sure. Friends of mine also rave about The Bernards Inn, but that's a longer drive than what you seem to be looking for; just thought I'd throw it in the mix.


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Thanks Susan and Curlz for your suggestions. Actually Curlz, Bernardsville is 35 miles, and that is not too far to go for a nice Christmas meal. I know I am really narrowing my options by leaving NYC out of the investigation, but my Mom is a little older and for some reason is scared to go to NYC. And I'm not going to argue. :)

In the past I used to go to Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove for holidays, but the quality there has really slid in the last few years. At the last event there we were served *gasp* defrosted shrimp at cocktail hour. No excuse for that. :sad:

Man I wish Cafe Matisse were open.


Edited by Batard (log)

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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Just a concern...the current Bernards Inn is certainly not what it was in previous days..I forget whether they changed hands or chefs or what, but it is pretty disappointing for people who ate there before... used to be one of our favorite special places....:sad::sad:

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Just heard back from my friend; it was the Bernards Inn that they loved so much (for both Christmas and New Year's Eves), but she said they haven't been there since '05 (darn kids...).

SO--not sure that it's a good rec, esp since Shmily had a first-hand report. Just FYI.


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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It's seriously late in the game for reservations, but I would suggest the Highlawn Pavilion or the Manor's Terrace Lounge. If you're looking for last minute reservations, call Monday around 4, they will have cancelations and get you in. Should be around 65$, 4 course pre fixed menu.

Mike-- if you're in a bind reservation-wise, PM me.


Edited by Meredith380 (log)

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