Friday March 06, 2015SUBSCRIBE
New Jersey Monthly Magazine
Tanner, Pat

FIx (Or Clean) Anything!

Got a family heirloom in need of restoration or a garage-sale find and requires sprucing up? Here's your guide to Jersey's top fix-it professionals. more

Picnic on the Square

Chef Christine Nunn reinvents her late great Picnic in a hot new locale. It’s the most fun you can have while fine dining. more

Cakebread and Agricola, a Dynamic Duo

Cakebread Cellars, for four decades a well-regarded Napa Valley winery, has a colorful name that is actually the name of the family that founded and runs it. On February 10, Dennis Cakebread will team up with Josh Thomsen, executive chef of Agricola in Princeton, for a dinner featuring several rare Cakebread wines.


The Best of New Jersey 2014

Our readers have spoken. Here are your favorites for food, shopping, recreation and all kinds of fun—in every corner of the Garden State. more

Jewish Soul Food, Israeli Style

Israeli cookbook author Janna Gur—one of the pre-eminent experts on the Israeli food scene—is coming to New Jersey to make two appearances next month. Discover why some see her becoming the Julia Child of Israeli cooking.



Chris Tarta opens his second restaurant, pairing with two-time Ultimate Chef Bergen County winner Adam Weiss. more

Taking Stock of Stockton

A romantic inn, a riverside stroll and plentiful culinary treats. more

The Ultimate Market For NJ Foods?

The Better World Market in Somerset has the largest selection of Jersey-made food products I have ever seen under one roof—and I've shopped under a lot of Jersey roofs, not to mention under the sun at farmer's markets and roadside stands.



Chef Ryan DePersio and his partners grab the spotlight with Battello in Jersey City. more


Amuse resembles a bistro in its comfy, cheerful setting and its relaxed, unfussy service. But its expert execution of classic dishes make this spot something special. more

LP Steak

A twist on the traditional steak house, LP Steak adopts a down-market hipster style while also paying careful attention to their seafood, sides and starters. more

Pascal & Sabine

Asbury Park’s hippest restaurant creators take you on an enchanting culinary ride. more

Yellow Plum

Originally offering a small but ambitious New American menu, Yellow Plum has since expanded to include more familiar, price-friendly dishes. more

Hungry for Meaning: Critic Frank Bruni

A talk with former New York Times restaurant critic, now op-ed columnist, Frank Bruni, on teaching food writing at Princeton this semester. more

Of Food and the Feminine

Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s has called Judy Wicks “one of the most amazing women I have ever met,” one who “continues to blaze new paths on the road to a truly sustainable, people-centered economy.” I caught up with Wicks, who will give the keynote address at a Slow Food Northern NJ gathering this Sunday, March 23rd.


Food with a View: Waterfront Dining

Sunrise, sunset or anytime in between, these waterfront eateries offer a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. more

Carriage House Bistro & Bar

The restaurant at the Papermill Playhouse provides reasonably priced food and efficient service that gets you into your theater seat on time. more

Bistro Seven. Three

A modern bistro with global eclectic fare. more


A southern-inspired, new American BYO that boasts local Jersey ingredients and a down-home atmosphere. more

Park Avenue Bar & Grill

With five dining areas in a beautifully restored 19th-century brick building, this Union City charmer offers options ranging from upscale, globally influenced, New American fare to a hip bar with a late-night menu to Sunday brunch. more


From the owners of Princeton's Elements comes a casual, affordable, global tapas bar named for France's famous wind. more

Saddle River Inn

The Saddle River Inn has undergone a gentle metamorphosis. New owners balance rustic tradition with modern sensibilities. more


Whether you say Agri-cola (wrong) or A-greek-o-la (correct; it’s Latin for farmer), Princeton’s new Agricola raises farm-to-table a nifty notch. more


Lisa Stanko-Mohen, a mother of five, mastered her craft by making actually 3,000 pounds of pasta a week at Mario Batali's Eataly in New York after she graduated from culinary school in 2007. Now Pat Tanner reviews Pastaio, the Italian restaurant Stanko-Mohen and her husband opened in Spring Lake. more

Tavro Thirteen

Gus Tzitzifas, owner of the Marlton Diner and other properties, calls his new Swedesboro restaurant Tavro Thirteen, tavro being Greek for bull and 13 being, well, his lucky number. What may be luckier is his landing celebrated Philadelphia chef Terence Feury to head the kitchen. Pat Tanner gives you the lowdown Feury's New American menu, the restaurant's decor, craft beer, cocktails, wine list and more. And that's no bull. more

Chef Lectures Princeton PHDs!

Okay, they're PhD candidates, but these experts in materials science (polymers, nanotubes…) sought kitchen wisdom from chef Scott Anderson of Elements. more

In Princeton, the Other Shoe Drops

Since at least last summer, Princeton has been abuzz about the any-month-now opening of two highly anticipated restaurants: Agricola and Mistral. Agricola finally opened last month. Now all eyes turn to Mistral, from the team that created Elements, a perennial on NJM's Top 25.  Elements executive chef Scott Anderson gave me a tour of the space.


Agricola: The Most Anticipated Restaurant, Finally to Open

Agricola has not even opened, but it has amassed 900 likes on Facebook. I was able to get a tour of the long-awaited Princeton farm-to-table restaurant, originally expected to open last September. It looks now as if it will begin serving customers late this month.



After its acclaimed original chef, Anthony Bucco, left to revive the Ryland Inn, Uproot in Warren decided to take its food in a more approachable direction. With CIA grad Mark Farro, the son of the owners, in charge, the kitchen is turning out easy-to-like bar fare and hard-to-resist desserts. Pat Tanner gives you the whole picture in her review. more

Mockingbird Cafe

Or, rather, chefs Kathy and Tom West do the playing, serving a dish called Oysters Bingo at their little Mockingbird Café in Basking Ridge. The fare is eclectic, from those gently pan-fried oysters with beurre blanc to meatloaf, crab cakes and ricotta gnocchi. But as Pat Tanner writes in her review, one thing you can count on is quirkiness, in more ways than one. more

Khyber Grill

To stand out in the Indian communities of Union County, an Indian restaurant must be outstanding. Khyber Grill passes the test. more

MoonShine Modern Supper Club

No self-respecting hillbilly would be caught dead at MoonShine Modern Supper Club in Millburn—it's much too sophisticated, and the drinks it serves are a long way from throat-searing hillbilly hooch. Just watch your step going in, advises Pat Tanner in her review. more

This Online Cooking School Has Quite a Pedigree—And It's Free!

Chris Young, principal co-author with Nathan Myhrvold of Modernist Cuisine—that groundbreaking, 2,438-page, innovative bible of cooking in the 21st century—was in Princeton recently. Over coffee at Small World, we talked about ChefSteps, the new free online culinary school he has launched with fellow Modernist Cuisine alums. Its step-by-step lessons use video, photographs and precise instructions that go far beyond what any physical book can offer.


Of Conquerors and Cuisine: Maricel Presilla Wins A James Beard Award

This has been a breakthrough year for Maricel Presilla. As chef/co-owner of Hoboken’s celebrated pan-Latin restaurant Cucharamama, she was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Mid-Atlantic Award four of the last five years before finally winning it last May. more

SIDES WAYS: Last-Minute Ideas For a Tastier Thanksgiving

With all due respect to the green bean casserole, it and other traditional holiday sides are fat-and-carb bombs that leave many eager eaters nodding off on the couch after dinner. Here, courtesy of four top Jersey food pros, are some lighter—and, I think, tastier—sides to serve with the holiday gobbler or ham.



Hidden behind a discount gas station on a gritty strip of Route 9 in Old Bridge, Just restaurant surprises you when you walk through the door—it's a glamorous supper club, pricey too. In her review, Pat Tanner takes its measure, especially on the plate. more

Marsilio's Kitchen

Marsilio's, an institution in Trenton's famed Chambersburg, long but no longer a predominantly Italian neighborhood, closed in 2007 but is back as Marsilio's Kitchen in Ewing. Owner Alan Meinster still greets his customers, but reviewer Pat Tanner notices that some things have changed, not always for the better. more

Azure by Allegretti

Azure by Allegretti, one of the signature restaurants at the new Revel Resort in Atlantic City, impressed reviewer Pat Tanner on her first visit, soon after it opened. But by her second visit, certain things had changed. Did Pat's impression change? Read on to find out. more

410 Bank Street

"Fasten your seatbelt if you love this Cape May juggernaut," writes Pat Tanner in her review, "because it will be a bumpy ride." Our readers love 410 Bank, but Tanner, who fondly remembers the one-time innovator, was chagrined to see what it has become. more


After folding his highly praised place in (215), Brian Held moved here, ditched formality and is winning new fans. more

Jersey Wines Rise to the Occasion

New Jersey wines hold their own against prominent French vintages. more

Saluté Brick Oven Bistro

Saluté Brick Oven Bistro in Montclair has a look—and taste—intended to suggest an Italian farmhouse. Good things do come out of that oven, Pat Tanner writes in her review, but not everything would do an actual Italian farmhouse proud. more

Jersey Wines Shine Vs. French Competition

There were gasps from the audience — even from the wine judges themselves and, I must admit, me — when the results of the so-called Judgment of Princeton were announced last Friday at the conference of the American Association of Wine Economists.


Osteria Morini

Sensing a shift in public mood, a leading Italian restaurant remakes itself in the more casual mode of a country osteria. more

Satis Bistro

Satis Bistro in Jersey City, writes Pat Tanner in her review, combines the most beloved dishes of French bistros, Italian trattorias, Spanish tapas joints and Portuguese cafes. That's a lot to juggle, but by adding a modern twist, Tanner says, Satis succeeds more often than not. more


Sea-wind foam, porcini "soil" and neon-hued gels are part of what Tre Ghoshal, chef/owner of Adara in Montclair, calls "postmodern dining," sometimes known as molecular gastronomy. "It can and should be be witty, provocative sleight of hand," writes Pat Tanner in her review. Does Adara meet that standard? Read her and find out. more


On the campus of Kean University, a bold and beautiful restaurant bids for high honors. more

Sip and Tell

Jersey wines have come a long way. Now our panel of experts rates them in a blind tasting to determine which ones, if any, have truly arrived. more

Steakhouse 85

Steakhouse 85, with its handsome decor, offers not only steak, but seriously good seafood. more

Bell & Whistle

This casual American bistro takes its name from its location near the town's fire siren and church bell, which follows the local focus of the menu. more

Drew's Bayshore Bistro

Its new location is more upscale, but the chow at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro is as sassy and down home as ever, and that’s reason to cheer. more


After making his name at the original Patria in Manhattan, chef Andrew DiCataldo reinvigorates the new Patria in Rahway. more


What's in a number? If the number is TwoFiftyTwo, a French- and Italian-influenced restaurant in Bedminster, the answer is a place that "should feel like an extension of home," says chef/owner Melissa Hill. Read Pat Tanner's review. more


At Rat's in Hamilton, there's art in the park—and on the plate. more

Look Who's Behind the Counter

Chefs take to takeout—to branch out or to find an upside to the downturn. more

Copper Canyon

Pat Tanner praises the "finesse and artful presentation" of the Tex-Mex classics at Copper Canyon in Atlantic Highlands. Not everything, however, is at that level. more

Le Rendez-Vous

One of the better French restaurants in the state, Pat Tanner reports, is Philippe Lièvre’s Le Rendez-Vous in Kenilworth. Don’t miss the hanger steak with crispy frites, Tanner advises, or whatever crepe is on the menu. more

Floyd Cardoz Wins "Top Chef Masters"

When I asked Verona resident Floyd Cardoz how his life had changed in the 36 hours after he emerged victorious in season three of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters last week, he said half-jokingly, “I’ve suddenly become a ‘personality.’ I now have many more followers on Facebook.”



Quintessential bistro dishes shine at this traditional French restaurant in Montclair. more

Belford Bistro

Stirring the pots harmoniously, a husband-and-wife team gives Monmouth County diners a reason to cheer. more

Fortune Cookies

Despite its unpromising name, Fortune Cookies in Bridgewater is that exciting rarity, a place to sample authentic Chinese cuisine, in this case, Hunan, reports Pat Tanner. more

Trinity and the Pope

Pat Tanner reviews Trinity And The Pope in Asbury Park, a restaurant where the trinity of Creole cooking (onions, celery, and bell peppers) plays a strong supporting role. The Pope? That's garlic, according to chef/owner Marilyn Schlossbach. more

"Top Chef" Winner Speaks

When I caught up by phone with Kevin Sbraga, executive chef at Rat’s restaurant in Hamilton, 36 hours had elapsed since he was crowned the winner of this season’s Top Chef. Since then, he admitted, “It’s been pretty crazy. There really are no words to explain it..."


The Lennon-McCartney of Cookbook Authors?

That’s what Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton—creators of the Canal House Cooking volumes—have been called. Here’s why. more

Peacock Inn

A multimillion dollar renovation brings an eighteenth-century Princeton mansion irresistibly into the present, with food and drink to match. more

Does Dessert Have a Gender?

Some say no, yet most pastry chefs are women. Here’s why. more
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