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A Brunching We Will Go

Posted January 16, 2009

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Here is a selection of leading brunch places in New Jersey. All are à la carte unless otherwise noted. Entrée prices generally range from $6 to $16, with exceptions noted.

NORTH

Amanda’s 908 Washington Ave, Hoboken (201-798-0101). Casual elegance at venerable restaurant. Mainly upscale breakfast items, but salads, too. Creamy polenta with apricot compote; mozzarella, tomato, eggplant fritatta; croissant French toast. Sat and Sun, 11 am to 3 pm.

Arthur’s Landing
Port Imperial, Pershing
Road, Weehawken (201-867-0777). Upscale with drop-dead views of Manhattan. Poached eggs on potato pancake; shrimp and scallop risotto; à la carte or $29.99. Sat and Sun, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Dim Sum Dynasty
75 Franklin Ave, Ridgewood (201-652-0686/0615). Classic Cantonese style, with roving carts carrying selections of small dishes: taro turnover, spring rolls, shrimp balls, dumplings, and steamed buns, priced by the container of three or four pieces, $2 to $3 per container. Sat and Sun, 11 am to 3 pm. 

Hunan Cottage
14 US Highway 46,  Fairfield (973-808-8328). Despite its misleading name, the cuisine is Shanghai and Taiwanese. Highly rated soup dumplings and scallion pancakes. Sat and Sun, 10 am to 3 pm.

Joe Bartoni 151 Valley Road, Montclair (973-746-6700). Terrific Italian-American twist on brunch: panettone French toast and ratatouille-style vegetables topped with a cracked egg and Fontina cheese, all oven-cooked in a clay pot. The homemade doughnuts made to order are reason enough to come. Sun, 10 am to 2 pm. 

Liberty House 82 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City (201-395-0300). Big theatrics with views of Manhattan skyline, set in park. Jazz artist Don Carter plays. Banana pancakes, salmon burger with sweet potato fries, and chicken paillard. Sun, 11 am to 2 pm.

Madame Claude Café 364 1/2 Fourth St, Jersey City (201-876-8800). Casual neighborhood French bistro, serving authentic croques madame, crépes, and real-deal café au lait. Sat and Sun, 9 am to 4 pm.

Marco and Pepe 289 Grove St, Jersey City (201 860-9688). Laid-back urban restaurant, where you’ll find Bellinis, mimosas, and maybe even a Ramones soundtrack playing. Eggs, french toast, and muesli on the menu all day, along with apple and pear salad, and standard comfort foods like BLT or macaroni and cheese. Tues to Sun, 10 am to 4 pm.

Raymond’s 28 Church St, Montclair (973-744-9263). Nostalgic diner-meets-bistro feeling. Best cornmeal pancakes ever. Sat and Sun, 8 am to 4 pm. 

Sweet Basil’s 641 Eagle Rock Ave, West Orange (973-325-3340). Cheerful casual spot serving inventive scrambles, pancakes, fabulous Ahi tuna sandwich. Brunch 7 days, 8 am to 3 pm.

Taqueria 236 Grove St, Jersey City (201-333-3220). Authentic Mexico City-style tacos, flautas, and huevos rancheros. Sat and Sun, 9 am to 4 pm.

The Terrace at The Hilton Short Hills 41 JFK Parkway, Short Hills (973-912-4757). Top-ranked, much-beloved, special-occasion favorite—buffet style at its best. $42 per person, half price for children aged 4 to 12. Sun, 10:30 am to 2 pm. 
 
Toast 700 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair (973-509-8099). Huge menu of creative egg dishes and other breakfast treats, plus wraps, sandwiches, and salads. Open seven days from 7:30 am to 3 pm. On weekends arrive early. 

Verjus 1790 Springfield Ave, Maplewood (973-378-8990). Fine modern French does all the breakfast basics with highest quality, plus lunch and dinner. Three-course prix-fixe $25. Fizzy cocktails available. Sun, noon to 2 pm.

CENTRAL

Avenue 23 Ocean Ave, Long Branch (732-759-2900). Seaside and swanky. Gorgeous biscuits and breakfast classics, Mediterranean sandwiches and hanger steak. Entrées range from $9 to $16, though raw bar prices are stratospheric. Sat and Sun, 11 am to 3 pm.

Brothers Moon Café 7 West Broad St, Hopewell (609-333-1330). Shrimp and prosciutto omelet with potato hash and vegetables; grilled mushroom, peppers, goat cheese, and mesclun on brioche; and buttermilk pancakes. Sun, 10 am to 2 pm. 

Café at Rosemont 88 Kingwood Stockton Road, Rosemont (609-397-4097). Comfy and quaint general store atmosphere. Russian peasant omelet (potatoes, sour cream, scallions topped with caviar) and French toast made with baguettes. Sat and Sun, 9 am to 2 pm.

DeAnna’s restaurant 54 North Franklin St, Lambertville (609-397-8957). Upscale, classic brunch with popular sandwich and soups. Sit and relax at the bar with a Bellini. Sun, 11 am to 3 pm.

Elements 163 Bayard Lane, Princeton (609-924-0078). Hot new destination offers daring brunch dishes such as Terhune apple crépes and poached organic eggs with beef tongue, espelette, and hollandaise. À la carte items from $8 to $35. Sun, 11 am to 2 pm.

Fromagerie 26 Ridge Road, Rumson (732-842-8088). Recently taken over by celebrity chef David Burke with his upscale creativity. Pretzel-crusted crab cake appetizer, ham-and-cheese-omelet strudel, handmade cavatelli, and braised short ribs. Three courses available à la carte with entrées from $14 to $26 or prix fixe $29. Sun, 11 am to 2 pm.

Langosta Lounge 1000 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park (732-455-3275). Sparkly setting made of recycled architecture.  Ocean views and eclectic world cuisine:  Mexican tortilla pie; poached eggs on brioche with asparagus; and sautéed garlic lobster. Sun, noon to 4 pm.

Market Roost 65 Main St, Flemington (908-788-4949). Upscale casual, with relaxing atmosphere and a long-established brunch following. High-quality ingredients and creativity add flair to traditional brunch items like waffles made with organic flour, potato pancakes sautéed in clarified butter, and cooked Granny Smith apples and sour cream. Also: fresh pineapple and corn fritters, fresh omelets, and eggs benedict with hand-whisked hollandaise over a croissant. Sun, 9:30 am to 2 pm.

Meil’s Restaurant Bridge and Main, Stockton (609-397-8033). More breakfast than brunch. Homey, stick-to-the ribs comfort food, featuring interesting omelet variations (think pear, chutney, and cheddar); potato pancakes; sausage and biscuits. Mon–Sat, 8 am to 11:30 am; Sun, 8 am to 1:30 pm.

Molly Pitcher Inn 88 Riverside Ave, Red Bank (732-747-2500). As upscale as it gets. Great for special occasions with the vista of the Navesink River and buffet style, which includes omelet, waffle, and carving stations. Sun, 11 am to 1:30 pm. 

Rats 16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton (609-584-7800). Upscale live-jazz brunch overlooking 35 acres of Grounds for Sculpture. Free admission to the legendary sculpture park after your meal. Grand-style cold buffet, along with à la carte entrées from omelets to seared scallops. Prix fixe is $49. Sun, 11 am to 3 pm.

Stone House 50 Stirling Road, Warren (908-754-1222). Gorgeously restored catering hall with exposed beam and brick. Open kitchen offers local and seasonal produce. Fruited pancakes, french toast, variations on benedicts (steak and apple-smoked bacon), roast chicken salad, grilled salmon. Sun, 11 am to 3 pm.

Za Restaurant 147 West Delaware Ave, Pennington (609-737-4400). Artful salads, sandwiches, and eggs, such as lobster eggs benedict, Za frittatas—all with a global sensibility. Brunch/lunch Mon–Sat, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

SOUTH

Alexander's Inn 653 Washington St, Cape May (609-884-2555). Five-course upscale Victorian-style brunch: sausage-nut strudel and scrambled eggs, Russian omelet featuring caviar, and pecan buttermilk pancakes. Prix fixe is $24.95. Sun, 10 am to 1 pm.

Casona 563 Haddon Ave, Collingswood (856-854-5555). Upscale Cuban/Latino fusion serves up tropical waffles with guava syrup, arepas (corn patties), citrus-marinated shrimp, and the classic Cubano sandwich. Sun, 11:30 am to 3 pm. 

Mad Batter 19 Jackson St, Cape May (609-884-5970). Fun brunch located in Carroll Villa Hotel features homey, comfort breakfast foods from high-quality flapjacks to eggs to specialty drinks from the hip bar. 8 am to 3 pm (in season seven days a week; weekends only during winter).

Robin’s Nest Restaurant 2 Washington St, Mount Holly (609-261-6149). Popular casual Victorian, featuring breakfast standards and flavorful specials such as the pulled-pork sandwich and eggs with crispy tortilla. Champagne cocktails. Sun, 10 am to 4 pm.

Swanky Bubbles 482 Evesham Road, Cherry Hill (856-428-4999). Classic lox and breakfasty brunch items with a twist, such as fall-spiced pancakes and fiery Bloody Marys. Sun, 11 am to 3 pm.

Telford Inn 145 Bridgeton Pike, Mantua (856-468 0535). Casual 1812 atmosphere verges on colonial decor, and the high-volume buffet is always fresh. $10.95 gets you an omelet to order, and the waffle iron is readily cranking out fresh ones. Sun, 9:30 am to 1 pm.

Tortilla Press 703 Haddon Ave, Collingswood (856-869-3345). Popular Mexican offers cinnamon and triple-sec French toast, breakfast burrito, and, of course, huevos rancheros. Sat and Sun, 10 am to 4 pm.

Click here to read this month's feature dining story: The New Brunch.


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