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hollydebra

Bar Mitzvah venues

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I am looking for a catering hall/restaurant to hold my son's Bar Mitzvah. Obviously, food is important to me! We are in North Jersey. Any suggestions? Has anyone gone to an event at The Liberty House or The Newark House? They both have great NYC views. That would seal the deal if the food and the venue were both wonderul.

Thanks,

Holly

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I actually know a family that held their Bar Mitzvah reception as a dim sum event at a Chinese restaurant in Montclair whose specialty was shrimp and pork dumplings, but I'd imagine that's not what you're looking for to celebrate your son's entrance as an adult into the Jewish religion. (I don't know if their rabbi attended, but I sincerely hope he didn't.)


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Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

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Has anyone gone to an event at The Liberty House or The Newark House?  They both have great NYC views.  That would seal the deal if the food and the venue were both wonderul.

If you mean The Newark Club, I agree-the view is spectacular; food, not so much-at least, that has been my experience there. And I hate the sight lines in that room!

The food and service at The Crytal Plaza in Livingston are excellent, imo.

Are you looking for a 'traditional' location, or are you game to get creative (i.e. Rodizio)? Knowing that and some budgetary info would be helpful for other suggestions.


"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 had my daughter's Bat Mitzvah at the Valley Regency in Clifton/Montclair area. They did a spectacular job for us with only one month's notice. (We tried to get creative with our original place. It was planned at a night club but then it was sold one month before our event and the new people would not honor our contract!!) Food at the Valley Regency was exceptional for a catering hall and the owners went all out for us. The venue was beautiful and we looked out over gorgeous fall foliage. It was better than we could have imagined.

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Thanks for the replies.

Curlz, Rodizio sounds familiar. Is it a Brazilian place? Also, what are sight lines? Yes, we want to get creative and think outside the traditional catering box. Something new would be very welcome! Budget is ??? We are not going cheap!

I will check out Valley Regency in Clifton. I am stuck on getting a view of NYC though, so I will go see Liberty House in Jersey City.

Any other thoughts out there?

dim sum sounds cute, but we want to go more upscale!


Edited by hollydebra (log)

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Curlz, Rodizio sounds familiar.  Is it a Brazilian place?  Also, what are sight lines? Yes, we want to get creative and think outside the traditional catering box.  Something new would be very welcome!  Budget is ???  We are not going cheap!

Rodizio is a 'style' of eating (in both Brazil and Portugal, iirc) a LOT of meat off of a LOT of skewers. :laugh: There are a number of rodizio restaurants in the Ironbound; you pay a set price and have access to the all-you-can-eat 'salad' bar (that's an understatement in some of them), and the waiters circulate with huge skewers of all different cuts of meat, chicken, sausages, lamb, offal, etc. Here is a link that shows one of the places in the Ironbound that we've been to.

As for sight lines, my apologies for slipping in to event planning jargon! It's literally about the lines of sight available to guests when they're in the room, and in the case of the Newark Club, unless something changed drastically, it's an L-shaped room with columns that can block...um...sight lines when you're looking at the bandstand or dance floor or grandma lighting candles, etc. But the view out the windows really is spectacular and you should definitely go check it out and see for yourself!


"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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First off, hollydebra, mazel tov to your son! :-D

For what it's worth, the sight line issues in the Newark Club can probably be resolved with the right table placement.

I was at the Newark Club and I can speak to an amazingly dramatic nighttime view of the city and beyond. I didn't try the food, but the decor and appearance is very modern and chic. If I was having a bar/bat mitzvah, I'd want it to be there for no other reason than the location and the view.

My bat mitzvah back in 95 was at the Parsippany Hilton. They did wonderful things with their space for the party; it was a nice semi-Caribbean look with different sections - one with pass-around food, one with a small buffet area, and the bar (they removed the alcohol since it was only kids in that part of the area). For the grown-ups, there was a nice sit-down area away from the music and the kids' party and my parents told me the food was very good.

I have to disagree with Curlz on Crystal Plaza. I was there in '99, so this might have changed, but the food was terrible. The decor was standard semi-upscale catering hall.

If you can afford the Venetian in Garfield, do so - the food was amazing and the space is very, very upscale. It does verge a bit on tacky (green marble columns with inlaid gold in the main hallway area? Wow, a bit much, but it was the good stuff) so your mileage may vary.

Avoid the Richfield Regency... done to death, overpriced, and the only good food is the pass-arounds. The kids might like it, though, plenty of spaces away from the party to hang out if they so desire.

Arthur's Landing in Weehawken has a fabulous view of the city, but I think they max at 100-125ish people or so.


"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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The Westmount Country club does a beautiful job -- though certainly not considered a hall -- also in Essex County The Green Brook Country Club.

As for a catering hall -- The Women's Club of Ridgewood.

jan


"When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking."

- Elaine Boosler

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I haven't been to a bad affair at the Crystal Plaza.

Agreed! The only thing I would say about CP is that it's a formal setting; if that sort of decor isn't your thing, so be it, but I have been to and planned events there and always found the food to be terrific, and the service bend-over-backwards wonderful.


"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 had my brothers wedding at the Crystal Plaza and we all weren't impressed with the food at all. We were more impressed with the food at the Bethwood where we had the rehearsal dinner.

I am Jewish and had my Bar Mitzvah at the Manor in West Orange. This was in 1983 and my parents spent around $13,000 I believe. To this day they said that instead of trying to entertain the family and friends that you only see on special occasions, the money would have been better suited to be put in savings and used toward college, etc.

Chances are most people won't remember the affair after a short amount of time. Your son will of course remember it forever, but you can be thrifty in my opinion.

If you have a large amount of disposable income, then enjoy yourself. Of course, you could send it to me too :)

Best of luck and I am sure you will have a spectacular day!

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How funny -- both my brother and sister had their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs at the Bethwood. I haven't been there since then. And the most recent one was 19 years ago. Glad to hear it's still good.

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The area around the Bethwood is going through a bit of construction. Just a heads-up.

I also recall that there was a hotel just off of 46 West in Parsippany, not far from the 287 on-ramps, that was a pretty good venue for a bat mitzvah a few years ago.

I also forgot to mention the Short Hills. It was a bit overpriced for IMHO a very good cocktail hour but mediocre sit-down. The chocolate lava cake was very good, though.

The decor was very nice, formal and country clubbish but not overbearing. If only the DJ could quiet down a little better. Traffic was tricky, though, and if you're not familiar with the area it's tough to find a way to get home.

Oh, also, to anyone planning a bar mitzvah: if you're inviting a relative, please find out if he/she has a significant other to bring. Just a thought. :-D


"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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thanks for all the imput, my friends. I did not mention that the BarMitzvah date is June 4, 2011, so we have 3 years to get it together.

And it is for my 2 sons who are 14 months apart. That being said, we still are gathring info for the big night. We are taking a drive down to Liberty House to check it out. I heard mediocre food ratings with stellar views.

Has anyone been the the Manor lately?

Holly

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I was at the Manor last July for a wedding. Amazing cocktail hour, good main course. Beautiful location if it's nice out.


"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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Highlawn Pavillion


"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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Drove down to Liberty House in JCity last night. It 's impossible to find. It is in Liberty State Park but it is not in the park. It is like being in the Bermuda Triangle. I did not get very good vibes there. Then I read abysmal reviews on Zagat.com. Onward.

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Highlawn Pavillion

I'll elaborate a little, because I was going to suggest this too. It's in Eagle Rock reservation in Montclair (or possibly West Orange--somewhere close to the border), way up on a mountainside, with unbeatable views of NYC skyline. The restaurant is very pretty, and at a wedding we attended, the food was, well, pretty darned good for an event like that. If your event is being held any time between late spring and early fall, you can do parts of it outside--plenty of lawn and patio space.

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Drove down to Liberty House in JCity last night.  It 's impossible to find.  It is in Liberty State Park but it is not in the park.  It is like being in the Bermuda Triangle.  I did not get very good vibes there.  Then I read abysmal reviews on Zagat.com. Onward.

A few friends and I spent New Years Eve at The Liberty House. It was a disaster.

From driving in circles for a half hour.. ( there were road blocks due to flooding the day before...and the GSP was no help at all)...to not seating us until ALL the guests arrived, even though the table was paid for...to freezing to death at our table. They actually had the air conditioning on full blast coming down on our table. I wore my fur coat the whole night....and mediocre food.

And the management were down right rude and not at all attentive to our complaints.

Nuf said

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