ENO TERRA, KINGSTON
Sitting by the fireplace at Eno Terra, 4484 Route 27, Kingston, on a cold winter night, we couldn’t decide what to order, as all the dishes sounded so delicious. The seasonal menu, which offers organic and local ingredients sourced within 50 miles, allows diners many options, from snacks to a large multi-course meal paired with wines from the extensive list. Eno Terra is owned by the Terra Momo Restaurant Group, which also owns Mediterra, Teresa Caffe, and Witherspoon Bread Company, all located in Princeton. The executive chef is Christopher Albrecht, who has an impressive bio. He worked at Gramercy Tavern and Craft in New York City and at Craftsteak in Las Vegas and NYC. Eno Terra is also certified by the Green Restaurant Association for environmentally friendly practices.
We started our dinner with bruschetta topped with fresh ricotta and local honey; flatbread topped with herbed goat cheese, braised lentils, and baby mustard greens; sweet Italian sausage with braised lentils and butternut squash; grilled littleneck clams with roasted tomatoes, arugula, lemon, and pancetta; marinated cauliflower with chili flakes, herbs, pine nuts, bread crumbs, and hot sopressata; and sweet potato, pear and crème fraiche soup. All were worth ordering, although the clams and the sausage dish were definite favorites. What we didn’t order and is on our “next time” list is a combination of salumi and formaggi, freshly prepared at a salumi bar by the entrance of the restaurant. The braised rabbit pappardelle with scarlet turnips, beets, and Swiss chard was a pleasing dish, as was the bucatini all’amatriciana with tomato, herbed bread crumbs, and chili flakes. Vibrantly green linguine al pesto di arugula with aged Parmigiano-Reggiano was visually appealing as well as flavorful. The strozzapreti with mushroom Bolognese had too much cinnamon, marring the flavors. For dessert, a cherry-pear cobbler topped with ice cream from the Bent Spoon in Princeton was large enough to share—but you won’t want to. Buttermilk panna cotta with caramelized apples was heavenly. Eno Terra is open for lunch Monday through Friday and for dinner daily. For reservations, call 609-497-1777.
Grilled littleneck clams with roasted tomatoes, arugula, lemon, and pancetta.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein.
Along with Peruvian, Ethiopian, and Thai cuisines, to name but a few of the ethnic options in Montclair, the Brazilian restaurant Samba Montclair opened in December. Located at 7 Park Street, this small 40-seater is charming, with copper pots and antique trays on the walls, plus candles, wood tables, linen napkins, tile floors, and unmatched utensils and plates. It all works. Owner Ilson Goncalves told us that it took a year to find a chef who could accurately and alluringly cook the dishes he grew up with. “I want to serve what my mother cooked,” Goncalves said. His choice: Roger Gomes, from the state of Ceará, Brazil.
The warm multigrain bread was a perfect sponge for the irresistible garlic and olive oil that came with the sautéed shrimp appetizer. Other worthy starters were a dish of three little fried pastries, one filled with chicken, one with cheese, and one with beef. The menu includes salads and fish, chicken, and steak entrées. A vegetarian option of rice, beans, breaded fried banana, and sautéed vegetables is also available. We opted for two apps as an entrée: crisp chicken on the bone with garlic and fresh parsley, and Brazilian pork sausage with caramelized onions and fried yucca. Both were delish. Pan-fried steak, a thin but large serving, was topped with two fried eggs. Sautéed collard greens (a common vegetable in Brazilian cuisine), white rice, and creamy breaded fried banana tied together this intensely satisfying dish. We also had a side of black beans, because you can’t have white rice without black beans! After this belt-busting dinner we tried a few desserts, all of which are made in house. Do not miss the mango mousse and carrot cake topped with Brazilian chocolate. For reservations, call 973-744-6764; BYO.
Pan-fried steak with fried eggs and sautéed collard greens.
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein.
SEASONS 52, CHERRY HILL
Seasons 52, 2000 Route 38 (Cherry Hill Mall), Cherry Hill, which changes its menu four times a year, is featuring a new winter menu with seasonal favorites such as grilled venison chop, farmers’ market vegetable plate, and golden beets with wasabi sour cream. In addition, there is an updated wine menu with two new “Drink Them Before They Become Famous” wines as well as a pair of unique cocktails, the Ruby Red Grapefruit Martini and the Skinny Chocolate Espresso Martini. At Seasons 52, nothing on the menu is more than 475 calories, from the signature flatbreads and appetizers to every entrée and the mini-indulgence desserts. For reservations, call 856-665-1052.
Mondays through Fridays from 4:30 to 6 PM and all night on Tuesdays through the end of March, Avenue, Pier Village, 23 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, is offering a seasonal three-course menu for $27. For reservations, call 732-759-2900.
Prix-fixe Thursdays are featured in February at Rat’s Restaurant, Grounds for Sculpture, 16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, with a special three-course dinner for $39. Call 609-584-7800 for reservations.
Here are some ideas on where to celebrate Valentine’s Day (Tuesday, February 14).
Above, 1 South Orange Avenue (second floor of Eden Gourmet), South Orange, will serve a special Valentine’s dinner with choices from 6 to 11 PM. Reservations: 973-762-5900.
Take a cooking class with your loved one on Valentine’s Day. An Evening in Tuscany class will be held at the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing. 6 to 9 PM; $65. To register, call 609-343-4829 or visit www.atlantic.edu/conted.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day a day early at a February 13 cooking class, Liquid Nitrogen: Applications in the Modern Kitchen, taught by Chef Tre Ghoshal from Adara, 77 Walnut Street, Montclair. Prepare and enjoy a three-course meal, with each dish involving liquid nitrogen, and also receive an information packet and recipes. Singles and couples welcome. 5 PM; $250. Reservations: 973-783-0462.
Every lady will leave with a complimentary rose after the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart four-course dinner at the Atlantic City Country Club, 1 Leo Fraser Drive, Northfield. 4 to 9 PM; $55. Reservations: 609-236-4415.
Avenue, Pier Village, 23 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, is offering a four-course dinner for $39 on Valentine’s Day. Reservations: 732-759-2900.
There are a few options at the Bernards Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville. On February 14 beginning at 5:30 PM, executive chef Corey Heyer will present a special three-course prix-fixe menu for $115 per guest. A special Valentine’s Sunday brunch on February 12 will be served from 10 AM to 2 PM and will also include a special holiday treat for children, with make-your-own Valentine’s cookies, cupcakes, and more. Family Valentine’s photos will also be provided. $39.95 for adults, $14.95 for children under twelve; no charge for children under five. For a very special celebration, stay the night with the Valentine’s Day Getaway Package. For dining and getaway package information and reservations, call 908-766-0002.
Bin 14, 1314 Washington Street, Hoboken, will serve a special three-course Valentine’s Day dinner for $65, with seatings at 6, 7:45, and 9:30 PM. Reservations: 201-963-9463.
Culinary director Thomas Ciszak and executive chef Kevin Takafuji from Blue Morel, 2 Whippany Road, Morristown, will celebrate Valentine’s Day from February 11 through 14 with a special six-course menu. 5:30 to 10 PM; $89, $158 with wine pairings, plus tax, beverages, and gratuities. On Sunday, a brunch buffet that includes a glass of sparkling wine, a mimosa, or a Bloody Mary will be served from noon to 2 PM; $28 plus tax, beverages, and gratuities. Reservations: 973-451-2619.
An à la carte menu will be offered at Catherine Lombardi, 3 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, for Valentine’s Day. Reservations: 732-296-9463.
Executive chef Thomas Ciszak from Chakra, West 144 Route 4 East, Paramus, will serve a special four-course prix-fixe dinner February 11 through 14. 5 to 11 PM; $82 plus tax, beverages, and gratuities. On February 12, a three-course Lovers’ Brunch with a complimentary glass of Prosecco will be offered from noon to 3 PM; $42 plus tax, beverages, and gratuities. Reservations: 201-556-1530.
Classic Thyme Cooking School, 710 South Avenue West, Westfield, is presenting a full-participation cooking class with Daniel Rosati from 7 to 10 PM on Valentine’s Day; $70. Reservations: 908-232-5445.
Daryl, Heldrich Hotel, 302 George Street, New Brunswick, under the direction of Chef Zod Arifai, will serve a luxurious four-course prix-fixe menu for Valentine’s Day, featuring new dishes and favorites from Blu in Montclair. $75, $125 with wine pairings, plus tax, beverages, and gratuities. Reservations: 732-253-7780.
David Burke Fromagerie, 26 Ridge Road, Rumson, will offer a three-course Valentine’s dinner for $75. Reservations: 732-842-8088.
The Dining Room at Anthony David’s, 111 Tenth Street, Hoboken, will offer a three-course dinner for $75 from 5 to 10 PM. Reservations: 201-222-8359; BYO.
The Elan, 111 Route 46 West, Lodi, will serve a special four-course dinner on Valentine’s Day from 6 to 10 PM, for $129 per couple. Price includes beer, wine, champagne, taxes, tip, and roses. Reservations: 973-777-0503.
Fascino, 331 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, will offer a four-course Valentine’s Day menu for $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity. 5 to 9:30 PM. Reservations: 973-233-0350; BYO.
Firecreek Restaurant & Bar, 13109 Town Center Boulevard, Voorhees, will serve its à la carte menu as well as special additions for Valentine’s Day. Reservations: 856-344-7901.
Grounds for Sculpture, 16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, offers many options to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day. On February 11, a Valentines’ Tea will be held at the Peacock Cafe from 4 to 6 PM. A brunch will be offered on February 12, which includes a tour of the kitchen at Rat’s Restaurant; adults $59, children ages five to twelve $24. On February 14, a special five-course tasting menu will be offered at Rat’s, along with an à la carte menu. Reservations: 609-584-7800.
Highlawn Pavilion, Eagle Rock Reservation, West Orange, with its gorgeous views of the New York City skyline, will offer a four-course prix-fixe dinner for $74 per person. Reservations: 973-731-3463.
Honey’s Kitchen, 48 Clinton Road, Fairfield, will offer a special Valentine’s dinner. Reservations: 973-287-6749.
Bring your special someone to the Manor, 111 Prospect Avenue, West Orange, where executive chef Mitchell Altholz will present a four-course prix-fixe dinner in the Terrace Lounge, or opt for the lobster buffet dinner. Lobster buffet seatings are from 5 to 9:30 PM; $62.95. Terrace Lounge seatings are from 5 to 9 PM; $75.95. All ladies will receive a long-stem rose. Reservations: 973-731-2360.
Executive chef Frank Falivene from MoonShine Modern Supper Club, 55 Main Street, Millburn, is offering specials for Valentine’s Day to augment the restaurant’s New American menu. Reservations: 973-218-6042.
Picnic, the Restaurant, 14-25 Plaza Road North, Fair Lawn, has two seatings available on Valentine’s Day. At 6 PM, a three-course dinner will be offered for $65. A four-course dinner will be available at 8:30 PM for $75. Reservations: 201-796-2700; BYO.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 13 or 14 in the newly renovated dining room at Restaurant Lorena’s, 168 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood. Chef Humberto Campos Jr. will offer a three-course prix-fixe menu for $95 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 973-763-4460.
An à la carte menu as well as a steak menu will be offered at Stage Left, 5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, on February 11, 12, and 14. Reservations: 732-828-4444.
Executive chef Bill Zucosky from the Strip House, Westminster Hotel, 550 West Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, has created a three-course Valentine’s Day menu designed for couples to share; $75 per person plus tax, beverages, and gratuities. The regular à la carte menu is also available. Make the night extra-special and check into the Westminster Hotel for a lovers’ getaway package available over two weekends: February 10 to 14 and February 17 to 19. Starting from $169 a night, the package includes rose-petal turndown, a bottle of chilled champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, a $100 certificate good toward dinner for two at the Strip House, early check-in at 1PM and late checkout at 2PM, and an upgrade to a private suite for additional $70 (subject to availability). Restaurant reservations: 973-548-0050. Hotel reservations 800-388- 2741.
On February 11, learn how to cook a romantic Valentine’s Day brunch at the Tortilla Press Cantina, 7716 Maple Avenue, Merchantville. 11AM; $34.95 plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 856-979-3333.
If you prefer to have a quiet romantic meal at home, WannaBee Chef, 18 Union Avenue, Cresskill (201-503-0335), will create a dinner for you, with warming instructions. Orders are taken until February 10 and can be picked up after 5 PM on February 14.
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