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Aliperti's and Lana's


Randi
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Has anyone been to Aliperti's in Clark? It's an Italian Restaurant just south of Central Ave on Raritan.

And what about Lana's? That is on Raritan also, just north of Central Ave. It is a new restaurant in the Hyatt Hills Golf Complex. The sign says "Lana's Fine Dining". Anyone know just HOW fine??

I am trying to decide on a restaurant for a business dinner within a couple of miles of the Clark Crowne Plaza. Can't be BYO.

Eliminated Garlic Rose since we will be about 15 people and hard to know if everyone likes garlic THAT much. Also had to eliminate Theresa's and Le Rendevouz (kinda far anyhow) since they are BYO.

Considering Stage House tho it is a little far. Might be too expensive...(but damn! I want to try that place!)

Any other thoughts? Lana's and Aliperti's seem so close but I know nothing about them!

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Haven't been to Aliperti's in a few years, so I can't provide any recent comments on food/service.

However, I seem to recall the food was OK. Not red-checked tablecoth Italian, but you can pretty much get the standards, as I recall.

Also, one of the occasions when I ate at Aliperti's was a shower (probably bridal, but could've been baby), and it was held in a private room. That might make this a suitable place for your gathering.

Good luck!

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<<And what about Lana's? That is on Raritan also, just north of Central Ave. It is a new restaurant in the Hyatt Hills Golf Complex. The sign says "Lana's Fine Dining". Anyone know just HOW fine??

>>

Have not been but I did work on the wine program with the owner and chef. Chef worked at La Griglia and supposedly has good credentials.

Let us know, please.

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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How about Chez Catherine in Westfield.  It is wonderful, has liquor and was rated one of the best in 2003 by NY Times.

The problem is, according to their website, the only thing they offer is a $45 prix fixe menu. Since it is a business dinner for 15 people, it seems expensive and not flexible enough for this group. (Although I am sure the ala carte cost per person will reach that in any case, we tend to order appetizers and sides to pass and share when we have these meetings.)

The Stage House has a $29 Market Dinner with 3 courses, along with the option of ala carte choices, so gives us more flexibility.

Thanks for the suggestion, tho. I would love to try Chez Catherine one day.

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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I decided to try Lana's today for lunch, to scope it out as a possible site for our business dinner next week.

I am glad I did! I thought it was terrific. The place was completely empty when we got there (about 12:45 PM) which is sad, athough I assume when the weather is better they will get busier (they are located in the Hyatt Hills Golf Complex, in Clark.)

While we were there, only one other table was occupied.

The server brought some bread by the table for us to choose from. There were fennel raisin rolls, cranberry bread, olive bread and plain rolls. There was olive oil on the table.

We shared an appetizer of warm goat cheese medallions, smoked and sweet chilies, cumin, arugula and aged balsamic vinegar. Delicious!! I want to go back and get that again (and not have to share it! :rolleyes: )

My entree was spiced roasted diver scallops with chanterelle mushrooms, baby spinach, parsnip, and carrot-ginger emulsion. There were 3 huge scallops, nicely presented. Also delicious.

My coworkers each got a sandwich. One got grilled sashimi yellowfin tuna with orange segments, spicy arugula and citrus pesto, grilled maui onion and sprouts on focaccia bread. She chose fresh fruit on the side (other choices were "american fried potatoes" and potato salad.) She said it was an excellent sandwich.

My other coworker got the grilled skirt steak sandwich, with bleu cheese, watercress, grilled maui onion and fig balsamic dressing. He chose the fries (which were served in a bucket). He said the sandwich was "interesting" but I think the problem was that it came out rare (he hadn't specified how he wanted it done).

Some of the other items I am eager to try include: Rustic cripsy gnocchi with lemon-brown butter, sage, and aged balsamic; the roasted butternut squash soup with roasted duck and pumpkin seed oil, and some desserts, including Dulce de leche pancakes carmel brulee; fall fruit fricassee with puff pastry and rum raisin ice cream; Meyer lemon tart with candied lemon, orange and basil salad; and carmelized and rosemary scented plum tart with quince sauce.

Oh, by the way, the executive chef is Humberto Campos. (Phil, is he the one from La Griglia?) The owner stopped by our table to welcome us. All in all it was a very positive experience.

I hope people discover this place - they are trying hard and I would love to see them succeed.

Lana's Restaurant (in the Hyatt Hills Golf Complex)

1300 Raritan Road (just north of Central Avenue)

Clark

(732) 669-9024

open for lunch Tues-Fri 11-2:30

open for dinner Tues-Thurs 5-10 PM; Fri&Sat 5-11 PM

full bar

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Randi,

So glad you had a good experience at Lana's

Yes to the best of my knowledge Humberto did work at La Griglia as well as other fine dining establishments. A very nice young man and very earnest in his work. Lana and her business partner, Peter, are very nice folks as well and I wish them success.

Phil

I have never met a miserly wine lover
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If you don't mind, could I ask you what the prices were like?

Sorry, I meant to include that in my post. We got out of there for $55 for the 3 of us, including the above dishes one diet soda and tax and tip.

My scallops were $16, the appetizer was $7 and the sandwiches were $9.

I decided we are going to Lana's for our business dinner next week. I am happy to give them the business. I did check out Stage House today for lunch - it was incredible, but not as convenient to the hotel for my group.

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Hello Everybody. I am Bob and this is my first post. I just came back from Lana's at the Hyatt Hills in Clark. Four of us ate, including my son and daughter, and I would like to give a report.

The atmosphere is country club nice--a rather large room in beige-tones. The maitre-d' is welcoming and friendly. The room was about 2/3rds full and we were given a choice of tables (and picked one in front of the kitchen door--oh well).

The menu is large, but there are no specials. The wine list has quite a few selections, and the by the glass pour is generous. You get a small carafe that works out to a glass and a half or so. I like that. The house Pinot Grigio was fruity and un-oaked, as it should be. A pre-dinner mini-appetizer of smoked salmon with Japanese veggies was offered over and above the menu selection. It was delicious even as we had already ordered two appetizers to share for the table: Smoked salmon with Japanese veggies and a Mediteranean Antipasto of Prosciutto, Soprasato (or how you spell), Mortadella, two cheeses, two kinds of olives, roasted peppers, and nice lightly cured anchovies.

For main courses we had, respectively, rib steak with pommes frites, seared salmon (I know; redundant twice over!); linguine with white clam sauce, and some kind of pasta Bolognese. We shared a bottle of Carneros Creek Pinot Noir that was fairly priced and very full bodied--with a real Burgundian robe. We also got a mini carafe of the house Oregon Pinot Noir (which was OK, but not nearly up to the Carneros Creek).

Two deserts, were ordered, both the warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and rose hips were devoured, along with coffee and espresso among the four of us. It was a good evening.

Strong points: The atmosphere was very nice and the food quality was mainly good. My salmon (the dinner plate) was a little more cooked than I had ordered, but it was very flavorful. The port-wine reduction worked very well with the Pinot Noir. The rib steak was full of flavor and appropriately marbelized (don't tell your cardiologist, or your mad cow witch doctor!). The two pasta dishes were consumed without complaint; I was given one clam to eat and it was succulent.

Weak points: There is a long wait between courses. If you don't mind sipping wine and conversing, it is not a problem. It would be less a problem if you did not have your children with you (as we did), or if it were a byo place and you did not have to pay for the extra wine, BUT, all in all it was not such a problem. The other week points are minor and correctable. The butter was ROCK hard, and there were no salt shakers on the table. With the rib steak and pommes frites a LITTLE salt would have been welcome (at least for me; at least the option should be there)

Overall rating: I will go back. I think it is a nice, medium up-scale place with decent food and good atmosphere. I would like to hear from other people.

:raz:

Edited by tcnjgened (log)
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The butter was ROCK hard, and there were no salt shakers on the table. 

Hi Bob,

Great first post :smile: Glad you enjoyed Lana's - I was so glad to hear that the place was 2/3 full that night. (Maybe from everyone who read my post? :raz: )

About the salt shakers - when we were there they had little dishes with salt and pepper with tiny spoons. (I am sure there must be a name for those)....

And we didn't even get butter - there was olive oil on the table for the bread.

Thanks for the great review - it will help me decide what to order when I go back there this week!

Randi

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Well, last night was our business dinner at Lana's. There were 12 of us. We got there around 6:30, and didn't leave till 10 PM and a MARVELOUS time was had by all!

Sadly (for the restaurant) no one else came in to dine the entire night :sad: The good news was that we were free to be fairly animated (after about 10 bottles of wine, I think!) since there were no other diners to disturb.

Everyone raved about the place - they loved the food, appreciated the atmosphere, and thought the staff was friendly and attentive (what else did they have to do?? :raz: )

The food was superb - we ordered several appetizers and every dish was inhaled! We got 2 seafood towers ($65 each) which consisted of 6 clams, 6 oysters, 4 huge shrimp, jumbo lump crabmeat, ceviche salad, and 6 pieces of assorted sashimi (per tower). We also got 4 orders of my fave from last week - the warm goat cheese medallions ($10 each) and 2 orders of fabulous oysters rockefeller ($10) (they were delicious! with sauted spinach, chorizo and ouzo).

Oh, the wine - we had a couple of bottles of Cakebread Chardonnay (I think $65) and around 8 bottles of Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1999 - which everyone raved about. (sorry, didn't see the price).

Four of us got the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Duck and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Oil ($6). I liked it but the other 3 folks raved and raved about it! We even enjoyed the way it was served - beautiful deep oval bowls were brought to us with a portion of duck confit in the bottom, and the soup was poured from individual stainless serving pitchers into our bowls.

Oh, the very fresh (and warm) olive bread and cranberry nut bread was brought around and offered to us throughout the meal. (note to Bob - there was proper-temperature sweet butter on the table along with olive oil. And we did have salt and pepper - altho not shakers...little flat dishes with serving spoons)

Ooops I almost forgot - we received a tasty amuse of goat cheese quiche.

The entrees that were ordered were: Three of us got the Center Cut Pork Chop with Honey-soy-basil marinade, Grilled Black Plum and Seckle Pear with Potato Puree and 25 yr old balsamic vinegar ($23); 2 people got the Prime aged rib-eye steak (22 oz) ($29); 2 got the filet mignon ($25); one got Seafood Cioppino ($24); one got the Roasted Diver Scallops ($24); one got the Brasied Lamb Shank ($28) and 2 folks got pasta dishes (not sure which ones) ($19 each).

We got coffee and cappuccinos and a few of us ordered desserts including rum raisin ice cream ($6); the Warm chocolate cake with ice cream and rosehip preserve ($8) which was pronounced "amazing"; a lemon tart ($8) and a couple of orders of dulce de leche pancakes with vanilla ice cream ($8) (which were INCREDIBLE - 2 pancakes rolled up with with caramel inside, put under a flame to crystalize the sugar, and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with thin shreds of fresh mint on top).

We weren't sure what was on the ice cream - it tasted like spearmint. We asked for clarification, and they brought out the chef (Humberto Campos). When he came to the table we applauded him! (Unfortunately I can't remember the kind of mint he said it was.) We chatted with him a bit and learned that he has worked at Restaurant Nicholas and Stagehouse Inn (among others).

Everyone kept thanking me for choosing Lana's. (Even today they continued to thank me at our meeting!)

I am sure once the weather warms and the golf course gets busy, Lana's will be busy as well!

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Cann I work where you work?? 

"And we did have salt and pepper - altho not shakers...little flat dishes with serving spoons)"  Salt cellars?

Well you used to work in the TOWN where I worked...I guess that doesn't count? :raz:

And I was going to say salt cellars - but I've never heard of pepper cellars. And these were very shallow and I picture salt cellars as something deeper? So since I didn't know how to say the salt AND pepper were in these dishes, I decided to call them...well...."dishes"!

This is all new to me....heck, I didn't even know what to call the things they served the soup from!

Randi (who is willing to learn!)

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Just a couple of additions to this thread - first, I have the wine prices from our Weds. nite dinner - the Cakebread Chardonnay '01 was $52 not $65. And the Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon was $60.

One more thing - my company was looking to change locations for an annual sales award dinner next month (for over 50 people) and have taken my suggestion to have it at Lana's, so we are working out those details with Peter and Lana now :smile:

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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  • 1 month later...

I just got back from Dinner at Lana's again. I am happy to report the place was packed on a Saturday night! We got there at about 5:30 and we were the first ones there, but people flowed in steadily...and by 7 they were basically full.

Maybe it had something to do with this??

Cody Kendall's Review of Lana's in the Star Ledger

Cody gave them 3 stars - and called them a treasure!

Dinner was fine tonite, altho my friend and I both had to send our steaks back...I ordered medium rare and she ordered medium and hers came out well done and mine was medium well.

They did redo them, and were gracious about it.

I loved my oysters rockefeller - this time in addition to the spinach, chorizo, and ouzo, there was frizzled lemongrass on top. Very yummy. My friend loved her salad - she got the boston bib salad with honey roasted nuts, pears, fresh lemon and herbs (it comes with feta cheese but she got it without it.)

They were very accommodating when I asked if I could get something in place of the fries that came with my pan roasted ribeye steak. I chose sauted brussel sprouts. It also came with delicious sauted spinach, which I think might have been sauted in the steak's pan as it had the flavor of the steak (or maybe just from the juices on the plate?).

My friend's filet mignon came with broccoli rabe and sliced fingerling potatoes.

For dessert we got the molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream (incredible) and the dulce de leche pancakes (which I had gotten before and adored - but it was different this time, and I was disappointed.)

I was surprised they were reviewed so soon after opening (the review was in the Feb. 15th paper - they were open less than 2 months at that point). But I am SO happy to see the place filled with people.

Dinner was $120 with tax and tip (we didn't have drinks).

Oh - we did have our company's awards dinner there last month and they did a great job.

I really like this place.

Randi

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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Got to get here. Thanks for the report.

I have noticed that new restaurants are getting reviewed earlier and earlier. It used to be that a reviewer gave them 6 months to get their act together. Now it is 3 months or less. Today Charka was reviewed in the Star Ledger and they just opened in February.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 1 year later...

Went back to Lana's last night with 2 coworkers.

I started with the seared Hudson Valley foie gras with tahitian vanilla bean scented figs, berries and port wine ($18). It was delicious. The first bite, with its crispy edge and melting texture was straight from heaven!

My main was rack of lamb - very good. For dessert I got caramel glazed bavarian cream and pear genoise with caramel sauce. Yum!

My dining companions got an antipasto starter (parma ham, caper berries, artisan cheese, white anchovies, artichokes and olives) and a salad, and for their mains: the veal "porterhouse" chop and the mahi-mahi. One of them got dessert - a chocolate hazelnut praline truffle "bomb". It looked great.

They served an amuse of tuna tartare and beef which only I ate (and even I was reluctant - I am not really excited by "raw") And a dessert amuse of 3 different little bites - which we didn't eat (too full!).

The restaurant was virtually empty at 6 PM and completely full around 9 and still quite busy when we left at 11. They had live jazz (very pleasant) and the bar was full all night.

Another great meal at Lana's.

"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best --" and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called. - A.A. Milne

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