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Post-Graduation Dinner


hitmanoo
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My wife will be getting her Masters in Teaching from Montclair State in a couple of weeks, and the family would like to celebrate afterwards with an early dinner.

1. It's a Sunday early afternoon

2. Hopefully somewhat casual

3. Accomodations for about 8 people

4. Not too far west of the college, as people will be coming from east of NYC

I had been thinking of An American Grill in Randolph, but unfortunately, I think it would be a little too far a drive for some of the people.

any ideas?

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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I cannot remember if they are open on Sundays, but Corso 98 does a great job and I've gone there before a concert in jeans and a sweater, so casual would do the trick. They are on Walnut Street in Montclair, not too far from campus.

On a weekend without traffic, I typically can make it from campus to An American Grill in a little over 1/2 hour, if you want to go there, however.

By the way, I'm assuming since you mentioned Sunday that you're going to the Graduate Convocation--I'm the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and will be the emcee and calling your wife's name! (tall girl in purple academic robe). The ceremony should last from 1-2:30, and there will be a nice reception with appetizer food afterwards--stop by and say hello from a fellow egulleteer!

Casey

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One word: FASCINO. And of course, it's BYO.

Of course, I have other ideas, but that's my top choice! :-)

The Jefferson in Hoboken (parking included in a big lot less than 1/2 block away) and the patio will be open if it's nice out. Close to NYC, and if any of your guests come via mass transit, you can put them on a ferry, bus or the PATH from there.

Trattoria Fresco in Caldwell (BYO)

Petite Cafe in Nutley (BYO)

Congrats to the Mrs.!

"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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One word: FASCINO.  And of course, it's BYO.

Of course, I have other ideas, but that's my top choice!  :-)

The Jefferson in Hoboken (parking included in a big lot less than 1/2 block away) and the patio will be open if it's nice out.  Close to NYC, and if any of your guests come via mass transit, you can put them on a ferry, bus or the PATH from there.

Trattoria Fresco in Caldwell (BYO)

Petite Cafe in Nutley (BYO)

Congrats to the Mrs.!

Fascino is a wonderful restaurant, but unfortunately they are already booked. :sad:

I had thought of Trattoria Fresco, but their service is so hit and miss. For every time I've had a positive experience there, I've had two negative experiences. I think we'll steer clear of there for our celebretory dinner.

The Petite Cafe in Nutley is only open until 3 on Sunday! :sad: I just discovered that. I'm not having much luck here... I'll give a call to confirm...

Thanks for your suggestions. Please keep 'em coming.

I'm going to take a look at The Jefferson

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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Be sure to chat with Michael (Chef) when you do get to The Jeff! He's a doll. Tell him Curlz sent you! :wink:

"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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How about Salt of the Earth in Nutley? Great food, not over the top, and BYO.

"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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Due Amici in West Orange is a very good, BYO Italian. They are always having afternoon parties and I think everyone would like the food. I'm not sure if a BYO works for you.

Susan

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indigo smoke on bloomfield ave in montclair. call to see what time they open. outstanding bbq. there is a thread on here somewhere about it.

Indigo Smoke? An ok BBQ place.

Not along the lines I was thinking, but thanks for the recommendation.

For those interested, my wife has changed her gameplan completely, and the new frontrunner is the Highlawn Pavillion in W. Orange. Not the casual place she originally mentioned to me, but it's her graduation...

For the record, I find the views at the Highlawn to be breathtaking, but I feel that the food is mediocre.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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Totally different is an understatement! But as you say, it is HER graduation...

I still think you should consider The Jefferson, if only to get out of that immediate area when thousands of others are looking to have a similar experience. HP might be a little bit in 'factory' mode that afternoon, no?

"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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Totally different is an understatement!  But as you say, it is HER graduation...

I still think you should consider The Jefferson, if only to get out of that immediate area when thousands of others are looking to have a similar experience.  HP might be a little bit in 'factory' mode that afternoon, no?

You won't get any argument here. Sometimes I wonder why I'm even asked for my opinion... :hmmm:

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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When you said somewhat casual, and 8 people, I immediately thought of Taro, a very smart/casual pan-asian in Downtown Montclair. One of the nice features about Taro is that you will be able to get a LARGE round table, which is very desirable for 8 people. Instead of the rectangular shape where you are actually broken off into 2 cliques, their giant round tables are great for large groups.

The food is actually quite interesting, a blend of asian and continental. I've been a couple of times in the past few months and found it very good. Taro Web Site

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The Jeff has a liquor license. A full bar, and extensive wine list. Not that I'd ever... :smile:

"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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By the way, I'm assuming since you mentioned Sunday that you're going to the Graduate Convocation--I'm the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and will be the emcee and calling your wife's name!  (tall girl in purple academic robe).  The ceremony should last from 1-2:30, and there will be a nice reception with appetizer food afterwards--stop by and say hello from a fellow egulleteer!

Casey

My wife just told me that MSU has cancelled the post-ceremony reception! This news is disconcerting. Apparently, students complained that they'd rather spend time afterwards with their families. In my opinion, this is just a cheep cop-out by MSU. Wouldn't it be fair to surmise that students would not complain about such a reception, but rather they'd just skip it if they chose to make other plans?

Anyway, I'll still try to say hello after the reception.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

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I don't want to turn this into a discussion on higher education, but I do have to say something in response. The reception was not cancelled due to money--I have the money in my budget! And the faculty and administrators are planning to stay afterwards to mingle and celebrate with our students--Last year, we had 100 graduate faculty attend who were very proud of their students! Also last year, most students left immediately following the ceremony to have dinners out with family, and didn't stay for the reception, which resulted in a great deal of wasted food. When we started hearing from about 75% of students picking up tickets that they weren't going to stay, we decided not to be wasteful with food, or with student and taxpayer money to pay for things that would ultimately wind up in the garbage.

With the current news on other higher education institutions in the state frivously and unethically spending money and being investigated by the FBI (if you've been reading the Star Ledger), I would think that this type of responsible decision making would be welcomed! Every person who reports to me will be staying until the last student leaves, posing for pictures and taking them, and congratulating the students on this fine accomplishment. Then we will also go out to a nice dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of our extraordinary students, though probably not for a week or two after we catch up on much needed sleep. (Lou, I'm trying to persuade them to make the drive to your place, so I may finally be in touch!)

Hitmanoo, I really look forward to meeting you and your wife, and sincerely hope the rain holds off and that you've found a great place for dinner (I look forward to the review!).

Zhelder, this is a very different place than 10 years ago--let me know if you'd like to visit some time (just PM me) and we'll take you on a tour and tell you about how its changed!

I probably set us down this tangential path by my first comment above, so I apologize to my fellow egulleteers for that, but I hope we can return to talking about NJ Dining!

Casey

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