This vibrant Bergen County village, about 20 miles from midtown Manhattan, boasts a pleasantly old-fashioned shopping district.
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Best read: A large selection of autographed books can be found at Bookends (232 East Ridgewood Ave, 201-445-0726), a cozy, independent shop where top authors such as James Patterson and Mary Higgins Clark regularly sign their works.
Don’t miss: Country Pancake House (140 East Ridgewood Ave, 201-444-8395) serves more than a hundred varieties of pancakes.
Show someone: P.S. I Love You (123 East Ridgewood Ave, 201-689-1414) carries gifts ranging from vintage T-shirts to jewelry.
Best homemade ravioli: A & B Ridgewood Bakery & Cafe (18 East Ridgewood Ave, 201-612-6888) carries more than a dozen varieties, including eggplant, lobster, and four-cheese ravioli.
Best pub fare: For good food and cheap drinks, try the restaurant upstairs at Mac Murphy’s (8 Godwin Ave, 201-444-0500), a favorite sports bar among the locals.
Take a tour: Schoolhouse Museum (650 East Glen Ave, 201-447-3242) provides a look at life in the Saddle River Valley in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Exhibits include Native American artifacts and a model of an early American Dutch colonial home. Open May through October; tours available by appointment year-round.
Hidden gem: Mela (47 East Ridgewood Ave, 201-445-6060) is an authentic Indian restaurant in a casual space.
Tell the rug rats: Eat Your Spinach (42 E Ridgewood Ave, 201-444-5503) has colorful original clothing designs and accessories for kids.
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Owners and chefs, Ariane and Michael Duarte have successfully reinvented themselves with the opening of Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona. We love the new space, the new concept and the new menu.
Many restaurant websites make it hard to find basic info. It's the opposite of whack-a-mole: instead of smacking down things that pop up, you have to look under every lid to find fundamentals like hours, credit cards accepted, sometimes even phone and address.
Lots of them, actually. In the glass-enclosed conservatory of Pleasantdale Chateau, an upscale catering facility in West Orange, two towering orange trees are sprouting fruit among the flowers and other vegetation.