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This week on Table Hopping With Rosie read about updates on NJ restaurants who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, Samba in Montclair, Bellissimo’s in Little Falls, a few places she ate at while her kitchen was being renovated, where to dine on Thanksgiving and much more news about NJ restaurants.
HURRICANE SANDY UPDATES
BENEFITS, RELIEF EFFORTS, AND EVENT DATE CHANGES
Restaurant chef/owner Zod Arifai wrote, “In the wake of the disaster the was caused by Hurricane Sandy and now the Nor’easter, thousands of peoples lives have been disrupted. Electric, gas and food, which we all take for granted have been in short supply. Many people I come across have expressed that they are looking to go out to have an inexpensive, quick, casual, hot meal without any fuss. In appreciation for our customers and their needs, all three of my restaurants, Blu (973-509-2202) and Next Door (973-744-3600), both in Montclair and BYO, and daryl in New Brunswick (732-253-7780), will be offering a $19.50 menu, which includes two courses, plus a few bites of a sweet ending. The menu will be available everyday, including weekends through November 30. December 1 through December 30, 2012, the menu will be available weekdays only. This menu does not include beverages, tax, or gratuities.”
First course: Choice of salad (baby lettuce, roasted beets, pear, toasted walnuts and gorgonzola), or butternut-squash soup with apple and cranberry. Second course: Choice of linguini with shrimp, tomato, chili flakes, basil and mint; or Idaho brook trout with asparagus, wild mushrooms, cauliflower, and truffle broth; or brisket of beef with caramelized Brussels sprouts, potato puree and portobello. Dessert is a scoop of vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
On November 15, the Kolo Klub will have a “Rebuild Hoboken Bash” from 7 to 11 PM. One hundred percent of the $5 raffle tickets sold and 30 percent of bar profits will go to RebuildHoboken.org. Information: 201-683-5465.
Until November 18, Chinese Mirch in North Brunswick will donate $1 to the Red Cross for Sandy Relief Fund for each person that dines with them.
Chef Rob Ubhaus owner of Rob’s Bistro in Madison would like to do something for all of the restaurants in the Long Beach Island area and Jersey shore that have been destroyed. His restaurant is closed on Monday, and he may host a pop-up restaurant on Mondays featuring Jersey Shore chefs, whose restaurants have been destroyed cooking dishes from their menus. Proceeds will go to the rebuilding of their destroyed restaurant. Contact him at email@example.com for details.
The Lageder Wine Dinner at Eno Terra, Kingston has been rescheduled to November 28 from 6 to 9 PM. Information at http://www.enoterra.com or call 609-497-1777.
On November 26, a five-course dinner with wine pairings to benefit the four members of the Restaurant Nicholas family who lost everything in the storm—chef de cuisine Nicholas Wilkins, pastry chef Kelly Kennedy, captain Dominic Aviles and food runner Jay Bitner. The dinner will be held at Restaurant Nicholas, 160 Route 35 S, Middletown. 6:45 PM; $200. Reservations: 732-345-9977. For menu information visit, http://www.restaurantnicholas.com/
The Salt Creek Grilles at 1 Rockingham Row, Princeton (609-419-4200) and 4 Bingham Ave, Rumson (732-933-9272) are offering free gift cards to anyone who makes a donation to the American Red Cross while at the restaurant. Diners simply text REDCROSS to 90999 in any amount, show their server, and they’ll get a gift card to match the donation up to $50. This promotion will be in effect until the end of November.
Many people in Hoboken have been affected by Hurricane Sandy and volunteers and donations are needed to help Zack’s Oak Bar and Restaurant at 232 Willow Avenue serve a special Thanksgiving dinner to needy and disadvantaged families. The owners of Zack’s and The Fig Tree in Hoboken wrote “both our restaurants suffered major losses. We are open but offering limited menus until our suppliers are fully operational and our lost equipment is repaired or replaced.” For information on how to help, call 201-653-7770.
Zana D Restaurant, 50 Prospect Terrace, Tenafly, will hold a Sandy Relief Fun Raiser on November 15 from 5 PM to closing. Reservations and information: 201-894-1211.
Here is partial list of New Jersey restaurants that are open. Is your favorite dining spot open and not listed? Please let us know. Do you know of any special events to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org
709, Point Pleasant
Bahr’s Landing, Highlands
Basil T’s, Red Bank
The Bernards Inn, Bernardsville
Bistro by the Beach at the Sandpiper Inn, Spring Lake
Black Trumpet, Spring Lake
Calandra's Bakery, Newark
Carmine’s Atlantic City is open and until November 15 (For each Carmine Cares cocktail ordered a $1 donation will be made to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy).
Charley’s Ocean Grill, Long Branch
David Burke Fromagerie, Rumson
Eno Terra, Kingston
The Fig Tree, Hoboken
Front Street Trattoria, Red Bank,
Il Michelangelo Restaurant, Boonton
Jamian’s Food & Drink, Red Bank
Krug's Tavern, Newark
Kolo Klub, Hoboken
The event side of Maritime Parc, 84 Audrey Zapp Drive, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, is open and chef/owner Chris Siversen expects that the a la carte side may open as early at November 29. Pastry chef Elizabeth Katz is selling chocolate-pecan, pumpkin-spice, and sour-cream, apple-crumb pies for Thanksgiving, and the restaurant is donating half the proceeds to the restoration of Liberty Park. The 10-inch pies are $30 and may be ordered through November 20; pick up is Wednesday, 11/21 between 10 AM and 8 PM at the restaurant. To order, call 201-413-0050. Check the website for updates: http://maritimeparc.com
Damage at Liberty House, Liberty State Park, Jersey City has been repaired and they were open last weekend for events with the help of generators. However, the state is requiring that the restaurant stay closed as the park is not open to public. They are hoping all will be back to normal this week. Call 866-683-3586 for information.
Mon Alyssa, Brick.
Mr. Shrimp, Belmar.
Nicholas, Red Bank
Ninety Acres, Peapack-Gladstone has reopened with a limited menu.
Pazzo Pazzo, Red Bank
Pig & Prince Restaurant & Gastro-Lounge, 1 Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair (973-233-1006) has been open and has a charging station for your portable devices.
Pilsener Haus & Biergarten, Hoboken
Ryland Inn, Whitehouse
Salt Creek Grill, Rumson
Shipwreck Grill, Brielle Bar
Stage House Tavern, Scotch Plains
Temple Gourmet, Red Bank
The Greek Taverna restaurants in Edgewater, Montclair and Glen Rock
The Mill at Spring Lake Heights, Spring Lake Heights
The Spanish Pavilion, Harrison
Tre Amici, Long Branch
The following restaurants are open in Asbury Park.
At The Table
Bond Street Bar
Casa Di Dolci
Crust & Crumble
Ivan & Andy’s
Old Man Rafferty’s
Twisted Tree Café
Asbury Park Roastry
Jimmy’s Italian Restaurant
Hotel Tides Restaurant
The following restaurants are open in the Matawan-Aberdeen area:
No. 1 Chinese
Wing Hing on Route 34
RESTAURANTS THAT ARE CLOSED
Matisse in Belmar is closed until further notice.
The following restaurants are closed in Asbury Park.
Cubacan Langosta Lounge
McLoone’s Asbury Grille
McLoone’s Supper Club
Get a taste of Brazil at Samba in Montclair. This adorable restaurant has 32 seats and walls whimsically decorated with copper pots, silver antiques, mirrors, and window frames. Menus are presented on wooden planks, and tables are adorned with cloth napkins, mismatched silverware, and candles that we found charming. Starters were crispy, tiny pieces of chicken on the bone with garlic and fresh parsley (bet you can’t eat just one); a colorful, baby arugula and mango salad with caramelized pistachios and an orange vinaigrette dressing; clams in garlic-and-white-wine sauce—perfect for dipping the bread from Balthazar in; and a favorite bar snack in Brazil: pastries filled with cod. A picture-perfect, whole-broiled red snapper was presented with the head and tail on making for a moist, delicate fish, while the grilled salmon was enhanced with a passion-fruit reduction. Grilled chicken breast came with carrots, broccoli, white rice and black beans. Our favorite dessert was the flan caramel, while others at our table were partial to the coconut pudding with prune sauce.
7 Park St
Baby arugula and mango salad with caramelized pistachios.
Whole red snapper at Samba.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
BELLISSIMO’S, LITTLE FALLS
Bellissimo’s in Little Falls is back. Here's a brief history: The restaurant closed in August of 2007. In January 2008, South City Prime opened but closed in January 2009. In the same month, Fire & Oak was born and they closed in December 2009. In October 2012, a full circle was completed when Bellissimo’s reopened. Based on the crowd on a recent Saturday night, they are as popular as they were before they closed. The reclaimed barn-wood paneling, which reminded us of a cattle car when the restaurant was Fire & Oak, is gone. The two dining rooms, separated by a stunning translucent wall for wine storage, are elegant. Tables are beautifully set and waiters wear tuxedos.
Dinner started with a complimentary eggplant appetizer, and the waiter reciting the specials without the prices. Flavorful stracciatella (an egg-drop soup with spinach); a side of escarole with plenty of garlic; golden- and red-beet salad with goat cheese; and a beautifully plated pear salad with walnuts, mesclun and gorgonzola cheese were all recommended appetizers. Angel hair pasta was a winner with large chunks of jumbo-lump crabmeat, garlic and chopped tomatoes. The three meat dishes were exceptional and obviously made with a high-quality products. Scaloppini was tender and enhanced with a stuffing of prosciutto and mozzarella in a mushroom Marsala sauce. A humongous veal giambotta (a loin veal chop with potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and peppers) was devoured. Four ribs of Colorado rack of lamb were served medium-rare as ordered, and while outstanding, we would have preferred two double-thick chops rather than four thinner ones. The dessert list which was again recited without prices was small with the usual options such as cheesecake, cannoli, ice cream and apple strudel.
1 Newark Pompton Turnpike
Pear salad with walnuts, mesclun and Gorgonzola cheese.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
BUFFETS AT THE MANOR, WEST ORANGE
There are a bevy of buffets offered at The Manor in West Orange. On Wednesday there is a lunch buffet from noon to 1PM for $23.95. Their renowned lobster buffet is offered Wednesday through Friday from 6 PM, $47.95; children ages 4 to 12, $19.95; and on Saturday from 5 PM, $55.95; children ages 4 to 12, $29.95. In December, the lobster and lunch buffet will be available Tuesday through Friday. The Sunday brunch buffet has seatings at 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM and 2 PM. Yep…. there’s one more, a Sunday family-dinner buffet with seatings at 3:30 and 4:30 PM, $39.95; children ages 4 to 12, $19.95. If you are looking for an intimate event space, the Clifton Ward Room with hardwood walls, polished silver and a stunning Tiffany chandelier has seating for up to 16 people.
111 Prospect Ave
MUSHROOM NIGHT AT BROTHERS MOON, HOPEWELL
Wednesday is Mushroom Night at the Brothers Moon in Hopewell with a prix-fixe, four-course mushroom menu for $49, plus tax and gratuity. Options include: roasted, local oyster mushrooms with red onion, mixed greens, fried egg, shaved Manchego and truffle vinaigrette; sesame, seared tuna with shiitake mushrooms and kale chips; grilled filet of beef with tempura-maitake mushrooms and glazed, fall root vegetable; and fancy chocolate ice cream. Additionally, the Brother’s Moon is continuing to offer their three-course preset menu on Tuesdays and Thursdays for $37.
The Brother’s Moon
7 W Broad St
EATING OUT BURNOUT
We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation and have been writing about our experiences every Wednesday since October 24 on Table Hopping With Rosie—Restaurant News. Please share your renovation stories, good or bad, with us.
How do you prepare to eat out or bring in food every night for a month? We certainly eat out a lot for my Table Hopping With Rosie column but we are able to pace ourselves. There have been nights when I have said to Lowell, “Good news, we’re eating home tonight.” But to eat out every night? It’s not a fantasy, and it can get old and expensive. In any case, figure in the cost of eating out or bringing food in when you budget for your kitchen. Here are a few places we tried:
The night before construction started everything was packed up and brought down to the basement. Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils were crowding our dining room table. Our refrigerator was in the garage and we had one more day to use the microwave, so we brought in food from Whole Foods. The cabbage stuffed with wild rice (would have this again) was a delightful change from the traditional cabbage stuffed with meat. We also bought a few meatballs with Sunday gravy which were rubbery and, in our opinion, awful.
We had an early dinner at The Americana Diner, West Orange which is open 24/7 and have been told it gets crowded after the bars close. The early bird special consisting of juicy strips of chicken breast with sausage, peppers, and pasta was, surprisingly, as good as what we’ve had at some basic Italian restaurants. The chicken-noodle soup and salad, which came with this meal, were forgettable. However, the BLT and avocado salad was fresh tasting and filling. It consisted of a whole, sliced, ripe, fresh avocado; lots of sliced, tasty, tomatoes; greens; apple-smoked bacon; and crumbled, blue cheese. Both portions were huge. We brought home leftovers, which we didn’t eat because we couldn’t heat up the chicken, and by the next day, the salad was soggy from the dressing.
We decided to try the Ritz Diner in Livingston, as I have only been there for lunch, and Lowell had been there, only once, for breakfast. The coleslaw, placed on the table upon arrival, we found too sweet. Soups came with our dinners, neither was to our liking. The chicken soup tasted more like water to us, and the lentil soup was thin. Two humongous peppers, one red and one green, were stuffed with flavorful beef and surrounded by a pleasant tomato sauce, a good choice. The menu, as expected, was huge and had a great quantity of fish specials; we opted for scrod. The thin overcooked filet was not a good choice.
Stuffed peppers from the Ritz Diner, Livingston.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
We’ve been fans of Livingston Bagel since we moved to this area and have used them exclusively when ordering deli or fish platters. We ordered sandwiches for take-out, one tuna and one fresh turkey, as well as health salad, and everything was excellent. Actually, the sandwiches were so big, Lowell and I ate half of each one and had the rest for lunch the next day. Highly recommended.
In between the above places we had pizza, Chinese food, dinner at family or friends houses (thank-you all!), and met friends for dinner. Two that standout were Razza Pizza Artiginale in Jersey City and a media dinner at the Pig & Prince
Although we still had restaurants that we wanted to try, our kitchen was completed enough for us to be able to use it within two weeks. Then we had an uninvited visitor named Sandy and an invited visitor, PSE&G, who took 6 days to make an appearance at our home. We were kitchen-less, heat-less, and for a short time water-less. Read about Sandy not being dandy next week.
The following restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22:
Celebrate Thanksgiving at Amanda’s, 908 Washington St, Hoboken with a three-course, prix-fixe menu for $45 served from 1 to 7:30 PM. Reservations: 201-798-0101.
Anthony David's Gourmet Market, 953 Bloomfield St, Hoboken will not only cook your Thanksgiving dinner for pickup, but will also carve the turkey at no extra charge. They are also donating five percent of all proceeds from Thanksgiving dinners/turkeys/sides/desserts (pickup only) to the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund (rebuildhoboken.org). Menus and information at www.anthonydavids.com/adg/index.html or call 201-222-8399.
There are a two dining choices at the Bernards Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville. A grand buffet from noon to 6 PM, $65; children ages 5 to 12, $29; ages 2 to 4, $15; under 2, free. A three-course, prix-fixe dinner will be served from 1 to 7 PM, $75; children 2 to 12, $35. Reservations: 908-766-0002.
If you can’t wait for your Thanksgiving fix, Burger Deluxe, 1420 Rt 23 in Wayne is spicing up their menu for the holiday season with a Thanksgiving turkey burger, topped with stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce, and pumpkin, mashed potatoes. This promotion will be available the entire week before Thanksgiving. Phone: 973-305-0033.
Casa Dante, 737 Newark Ave, Jersey City will serve a homemade Thanksgiving feast from 11:30 AM to 9 PM. Reservations and information: 201-795-2750.
The fireplaces will be roaring and Frank Sinatra will be on the stereo at Catherine Lombardi, 3 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick from 1 to 6 PM. A four-course Italian-American style Thanksgiving feast will be offered, which includes turkey, pasta and eggplant, soppressata and much more for $39. Their regular menu will also be available. Reservations 732-296-9463.
A three-course Thanksgiving feast will be offered at Chakra, W 144 Rt 4 E, Paramus. 1 to 6:30 PM; $42, plus tax and gratuity. A children’s menu will also be available. Reservations: 201-556-1530.
Enjoy a Thanksgiving feast at one of Crystal Springs six resort locations. Choose from buffet dining to sit-down dinners, and check out their overnight packages. Information and reservations: http://crystalgolfresort.com/DiningWine/Thanksgiving.aspx or call 973-827-5996, ext 3.
The Frog & the Peach, 29 Dennis St, New Brunswick will be serving a three-course Thanksgiving dinner. 1 to 7 PM, $45; children, $16. Reservations: 732-846-3216.
Highlawn Pavilion, Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange will be serving a four-course dinner with selections crafted by executive chef Mitchell Altholz. Noon to 7:30 PM; $59, plus tax and gratuity. A children’s menu is available upon request for ages 4 to 12. Reservations: 973-731-3463.
High Street Grill, 64 High St, Mount Holly will be open from 2 to 6 PM on Thanksgiving with a prix-fixe menu and all the traditional sides, including a Griggstown free-range, hormone-free turkey. Reservations 609-265-9199.
Indigo Kitchen, 615 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair will have a buffet on Thanksgiving, which will include turkey, homemade stuffing, their famous sweet potatoes, and all traditional goodies with a modern twist. Adults, $30; children under 12, $15. Call 973-707-2950; BYO for reservations and information. Pickup items will also be available for pre-orders.
Lorena’s, 168 Maplewood Ave, Maplewood will be open for Thanksgiving Day from 3 to 8 PM. Reservations: 973-763-4460; BYO.
Celebrate Thanksgiving at The Manor, 111 Prospect Ave, West Orange with a la carte or buffet dining. A four-course menu specially crafted for the holiday will be offered from 12:30 PM to 6:30 PM, $62.50; children’s dinner available on request for ages 4 to 12, $25.95; plus tax and gratuity. A Thanksgiving buffet will be served from 12:30 to 6:30 PM, $52.95; children ages 4 to 12, $19.95; plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 973-731-2360.
A buffet will be served at the Olde Mill Inn, and dinner will be available at the Grain House Restaurant, 225 Rt 202, Basking Ridge on Thanksgiving. Information at OldeMillInn.com or call 908-696-2335.
Rat’s Restaurant, Grounds for Sculpture, 16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton will be open for Thanksgiving dinner; adults, $59; children, 5 to 14, $24; under 4, free. Pre-ordered dishes will also be available for take-out. Reservations: 609-584-7800.
This Thanksgiving executive chef Anthony Bucco of the Ryland Inn will be presenting a three-course dinner. Choices include a vegetarian tasting from 1 to 7 PM; $69; children 3 to 12, $29. Reservations: 908-534-4011.
Salt Creek Grille, 4 Bingham Ave, Rumson, will offer diners a soup-to-nuts dinner and house-made apple and pumpkin pies, along with views of the stunning Navesink River for Thanksgiving. Along with an a la carte menu, the restaurant will have a limitless roast turkey dinner for $29; children, $12 from noon to 7 PM. Reservations: 732-933-9272.
A three-course Thanksgiving turkey feast for $59 as well as the a la carte menu will be available at Stage Left, 5 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick from 2 to 7 PM. Reservations: 732-828-4444.
The Washington Inn, 801 Washington St, Cape May will be serving an a la carte dinner from 1 to 7 PM. Take-out is also available. Information or reservations: 609-884-5697.
Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to email@example.com.