Slate Restaurant & Lounge
437 Main Street, West Orange
Hours: Dinner—Sun–Sat, 7–10 pm; bar opens at 4:30 pm, kitchen opens 5:30 pm; lounge/dance, Thurs–Sat, 10–2 am.
Style: Lounge atmosphere—lights turned low, a color-changing crystal chandelier and multiple screens showing sports. Dine at the bar, at tables or on cushy oversized sofas.
Don’t Miss: Pop some edamame ($4) while you peruse the Asian-fusion menu. Tasty small plates include hot and sweet calamari ($9) with honey balsamic reduction and hot cherry peppers; Buffalo-style Fiesta wings ($6); and quesadillas ($7) with garlicky, pan-seared chicken, Monterey and asiago cheeses. If you want steak, there are two: filet mignon ($24) topped with shiitake and cremini mushrooms and mustard-cream sauce, and New York strip ($21) with chimichurri sauce and a side of cajun fries. From the sea, there’s mahi-mahi ($18) with Thai chili sauce balanced by the sweetness of mangoes; and Chilean sea bass ($22) with strawberry-mint salsa and rosemary rice. An eclectic lineup of sushi rolls ($10) include pleasant surprises such as the Sensei (shrimp tempura, tomatoes, mozzarella and wasabi dressing) and the Main Street (deep-fried big-eye tuna, salmon, yellowtail, scallions, spicy mayo and orange roe).
Heads Up: After 10 pm Thursday and Friday, tables give way to a dance floor, and the resident DJs and state-of-the-art sound system take charge.
The Scoop: At happy hour (3 to 7 pm daily) drafts are $2, bar bites $4. Night owls have their own happy hour (10 pm to 2 am) with $4 Ciroc vodka and $4 bar bites.