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No big suprise here. I'm sure he couldn't wait to bail from there.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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The menu was definitely Chef Lo Pinto trying to shine through but I could kinda tell this wasn't for him. I hope his next place really lets him shine like Earth did.

I probably will not go back to Crave; too clubby and Lo Pinto's food was the only real draw for me.

"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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Just to clarify, Chef LoPinto left Crave; he wasn't fired. The Bergen Record blog has been updated to reflect that fact. Click here to read the expanded and updated article His immediate next venture isn't a restaurant, but I certainly look forward to having Anthony's wonderful food again--hopefully soon!

"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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We love New American food and Chef LoPinto is one of NJ's best interpreters of it. I just don't think it seems to go over among local diners. Wish, Earth, Sweet Basil's and Blue Sky are no longer around. Blu, Passionne, Orbis, Culinarianne still serve New American. On the west coast, they call it West Coast dining--fresh, local ingredients with a touch of light French, Asian or tropical accents.

Unfortunately, I think that veal parmigiano (sp?) is the unofficial state dish. While I love it, it's not my first choice for fine dining.

Good luck to Anthony in his next endeavor. He has many supportive fans.

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Unfortunately, I never made it to Crave while LoPinto was there. I had heard so many good things about him but just never got a chance to go. Then, I started hearing the reviews which seemed to be hit, miss, so-so, etc. and perhaps human nature kicked in and I lost a bit of the motivation.

Not having been there, I could only go on people who I spoke with, and respect, and who are in the business. Sometimes "you just don't know what you don't know" -- so perhaps the real motivation, direction, of the place and management will never be known. However, if a place is going for a "club" or "lounge" type environment, a talented chef (which I've heard this guy really is -- another chef told me he's a "real deal" guy) might not get the chance to shine, flex his creative muscle, talent, whatever you want to call it.

Also, the last couple of places here -- trouble with the liquor license? I don't know if that's coincidence, but if you stumble out of the gate, sometimes restaurants don't recover from that. A talented chef with a track record will never have a problem with "quality" investors.

I will certainly get to Chef LoPinto's next place -- and I'll get there early on.

Eric

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