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River Vale - New to area - recs?


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I just moved a few weeks ago from Englewood Cliffs to River Vale.

Looking for recommendations in River Vale, Westwood & other neighboring areas.

Here are a few I have been to:

Jacks Cafe - love it

Backwoods - love it

Iron Horse - good staple

Daniel - love it

Any other recs?

Thanks

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Not sure if it's too much of a schlep, but Bourbon BBQ in Wyckoff is not to be missed for that part of Bergen County. The brisket can be hit-or-miss (either crusty outside and moist inside or one dry morass of sponge-like sandpapery brisket) and the pork is always perfect. Do not miss the collard greens.

"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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I just moved a few weeks ago from Englewood Cliffs to River Vale.

Looking for recommendations in River Vale, Westwood & other neighboring areas.

Here are a few I have been to:

Jacks Cafe - love it

Backwoods - love it

Iron Horse - good staple

Daniel - love it

Any other recs?

Thanks

You are in a great area. Yes, the Iron Horse is a good staple, very good. If you are looking for great burgers, another spot, just down the road -- try Davey's Locker (Kinderkamack, in Montvale). Go there, you won't be disappointed. They have a new website. A bit futher up the road, virtually on the border of Montvale and NY (Pearl River) is The Porter House. Yes, I know, they are both Irish pub/themes. Davey's is an Irish pub that has recently undergone a major renovation. The Porter House is a nice restaurant, with an Irish Pub bar area -- please note, you can smoke at the bar and people do! Go there on a night when I am there and I can assure you of at least one cigar smoker, LOL.

There's a place in Westwood that I have enjoyed very much, every single time -- Baci (Jefferson). It's been super. Excellent food, service, incredible flavors, nice bar area, and the bartender who has been there when I've been there makes a killer martini.

There is also Granita Grille (BYOB), right there in downtown Westwood (almost next door to It's Greek To Me). I like this place very much as well. More toward to the basic, quality, etc. Italian restaurant. I've enjoyed the food every time I've gone. Many people complain that there is nothing but "red sauce" joints around Northern NJ. I think like anything, it's in the eye, or mouth, of the beholder. Baci is excellent, and Granita Grille is very good.

Enjoy!!!

Eric

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Also, on Kinderkamack (in Park Ridge) -- The Park Steakhouse. While, I don't rank it up there with The Assembly or The River Palm, it's a nice steakhouse.

You move from Englewood and you lose some excellent steakhouses, LOL.

Eric

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If you're looking for something a little more refined up that way, let me add these two to the list:

|| Pourquoi Pas?, an oft-overlooked French bistro in Westwood -- pretty much the only one of its kind in that immediate area.

|| Esty Street in Park Ridge, whose food I'd put in the same league as the Saddle River Inn and Cafe Panache. (The Record's recent review is here.)

Also, the Cornerstone in Hillsdale is a decent place to grab a beer, order a greasy sandwich with fries, and watch a ballgame. They used to keep a sushi chef in-house (from Flirt in Allendale) but no longer.

BLOG: www.northjersey.com/foodblogwww.northjersey.com/foodblog

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/billpitcherwww.twitter.com/billpitcher

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If you're looking for something a little more refined up that way, let me add these two to the list:

||  Pourquoi Pas?, an oft-overlooked French bistro in Westwood -- pretty much the only one of its kind in that immediate area.

||  Esty Street in Park Ridge, whose food I'd put in the same league as the Saddle River Inn and Cafe Panache. (The Record's recent review is here.)

Also, the Cornerstone in Hillsdale is a decent place to grab a beer, order a greasy sandwich with fries, and watch a ballgame. They used to keep a sushi chef in-house (from Flirt in Allendale) but no longer.

Esty Street -- yes. I haven't been in years but if nothing has changed, top notch. Excellent choice.

Eric

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Esty Street -- yes. I haven't been in years but if nothing has changed, top notch. Excellent choice.

The people have changed -- the chef and maitre d' of a year ago were let go in a [justified] cost-cutting move -- but the quality remains. Adam Weiss, formerly the pastry chef, has a good command of the kitchen, and owner Scott Tremble, pulling double duty as a host, makes you feel welcome.

Edited by billpitcher (log)

BLOG: www.northjersey.com/foodblogwww.northjersey.com/foodblog

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/billpitcherwww.twitter.com/billpitcher

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Esty Street -- yes. I haven't been in years but if nothing has changed, top notch. Excellent choice.

The people have changed -- the chef and maitre d' of a year ago were let go in a [justified] cost-cutting move -- but the quality remains. Adam Weiss, formerly the pastry chef, has a good command of the kitchen, and owner Scott Tremble, pulling double duty as a host, makes you feel welcome.

Good to know. I remember Scott I think. A mutual friend introduced us several years ago.

I never understood the "cost cutting" move as it relates to a chef. That's like your key guy/gal -- your quarterback. You build a team around your chef.

Don't get me wrong, I don't know their business, economics, etc. -- but we've all seen places die when a chef leaves. Of course, that's no reflection on the replacement, but in this case it sounds like they are doing well.

Another place I really want to get back to, LOL.

Eric

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The cost-cutting is explained in The Record's review, but I'd characterize it as justified.

Short version: The building's ownership abruptly changed a year ago, ultimately resulting in a big spike in the rent. Tremble chose to chose to adjust and cut the payroll rather than move out.

So Jack Mistretta, the executive chef, was replaced by Adam Weiss, the pastry chef. (Jack now goes by Giacomo and is executive chef at Napa Valley Grille in Paramus.)

Dining manager Larry Dunlap was replaced by Tremble himself. (I think Dunlap is now at the River Palm Terrace in Fair Lawn.)

BLOG: www.northjersey.com/foodblogwww.northjersey.com/foodblog

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/billpitcherwww.twitter.com/billpitcher

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The cost-cutting is explained in The Record's review, but I'd characterize it as justified.

Short version: The building's ownership abruptly changed a year ago, ultimately resulting in a big spike in the rent. Tremble chose to chose to adjust and cut the payroll rather than move out.

So Jack Mistretta, the executive chef, was replaced by Adam Weiss, the pastry chef. (Jack now goes by Giacomo and is executive chef at Napa Valley Grille in Paramus.)

Dining manager Larry Dunlap was replaced by Tremble himself. (I think Dunlap is now at the River Palm Terrace in Fair Lawn.)

Sounds good. I didn't catch the story in the Record (I come here for that info, LOL). Yes, sounds justified -- very justified vis a vis the alternatives. Rent is often a major problem for restaurants, and they can be a victim to it. I've always told my restaurant owner clients -- buy the building!!! Sure, it appears that it's "easier said than done" -- but in reality it's not; not with proper planning.

I've been to the Fair Lawn location of the River Palm many times, actually many times in the last few weeks, LOL. An excellent spot for lunch.

Eric

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I just moved a few weeks ago from Englewood Cliffs to River Vale.

Looking for recommendations in River Vale, Westwood & other neighboring areas.

Here are a few I have been to:

Jacks Cafe - love it

Backwoods - love it

Iron Horse - good staple

Daniel - love it

Any other recs?

Thanks

I used to live on woodland in River Vale nice home on a quiet street up until 2 years ago! Now I live 10 Miles or less from DC in beautiful VA!

I'd start with Picnic (see Christine Nunn) for delivery or pick up/to go she caters too!

The Park Steakhouse is pretty good IMHO also The Porter House (both on Kinderkamack) - I liked Pimaan in Emerson and the little irish pub across from CVS in Park Ridge/Montvale wasn't half bad either. For Pizza the pizza place on river vale road (the name escapes me) had great pizza imho! and there's good places in Old Tappan nearby as well as Pearl River too.

Feel free to send me a private note or see any/all of my listings or recommedations from when I used to live in Rivervale on here.

You'll love the town! We did... and god how I miss it even though this town is great

Stacey C-Anonymouze@aol.com

*Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads!-G. B. SHAW

JUST say NO... to CENSORSHIP*!

Also member of LinkedIn, Erexchange and DonRockwell.

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Iron Horse?? Aaargh. Place is old, tired, smelly, and in desperate need of a makeover, IMHO.

For a MUCH better burger/pub/joint experience in Westwood, try PJ Finnegans across from the Post Office.

Best serious restaurant in the area is Pourquoi Pas, where the experience is very close to an authentic one. A cozy storefront duplicating the flavors of a French countryside bistro. Personalized cooking from the chef/owner, M. Vard.

Citrus Grille, about 15 minutes away just over the NY Border on Spring Valley Road, is another excellent choice for serious food. A place that cares about environment, presentation, and flavor. Worth the short trip.

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Esty Street -- yes. I haven't been in years but if nothing has changed, top notch. Excellent choice.

The people have changed -- the chef and maitre d' of a year ago were let go in a [justified] cost-cutting move -- but the quality remains. Adam Weiss, formerly the pastry chef, has a good command of the kitchen, and owner Scott Tremble, pulling double duty as a host, makes you feel welcome.

Good to know. I remember Scott I think. A mutual friend introduced us several years ago.

I never understood the "cost cutting" move as it relates to a chef. That's like your key guy/gal -- your quarterback. You build a team around your chef.

Don't get me wrong, I don't know their business, economics, etc. -- but we've all seen places die when a chef leaves. Of course, that's no reflection on the replacement, but in this case it sounds like they are doing well.

Another place I really want to get back to, LOL.

Eric

Thank you very much for your discussion of Esty Street. During my tenure at the restaurant, I have been preparing the desserts as well as serving as Jack Mistretta's sous chef for two and a half years. Coming from previous experience, my focus is to keep serving the best quality food, from appetizer through dessert, managing both sides of the kitchen. Both Jack and I have our degrees in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. My commitment to high standards of quality are stated in the Record review from Ms. Ung.

I have recently changed to our summer menu, with some seasonal lighter fare in addition to signature dishes. Once again, thank you for your support.

Adam Weiss

"To invite a person to your house is to take charge of his (her) happiness for as long as he is under your roof."

Brillat Savarin

You don't have to like everything I make, but you still have to eat it.

A Co-Worker from Work

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Thank you very much for your discussion of Esty Street. During my tenure at the restaurant, I have been preparing the desserts as well as serving as Jack Mistretta's sous chef for two and a half years. Coming from previous experience, my focus is to keep serving the best quality food, from appetizer through dessert, managing both sides of the kitchen. Both Jack and I have our degrees in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. My commitment to high standards of quality are stated in the Record review from Ms. Ung.

I have recently changed to our summer menu, with some seasonal lighter fare in addition to signature dishes. Once again, thank you for your support.

Adam Weiss

Thank you for the info/update. So you are "the guy"? LOL. Well, you should know that after hearing this story here, I started to ask a few friends of mine about Esty Street -- and the comments, about you, the restaurant, etc. have been excellent. While I had somewhat "forgotten" (not really fogotten, but more just fell off my immediate radar screen a bit) about Esty Street, between what's been said here, and mostly from people who I know and respect -- I now want to go back and very soon!

Adam, one friend of mine said you really "stepped up" but was more than ready to do so. Another said "you were ready and overdue" so to speak.

So, congratulations on what you've been doing and what you've accomplished -- and all the best for the future. I'll make sure that I say "hello" when I am there.

Eric

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