Zinburger Comes to Morris Plains & Other Openings

We were served juicy, thick, burgers at the newly opened eatery and, not only were they exemplary, they actually looked like the burgers on TV commercials!

ZINBURGER WINE & BURGER BAR, MORRIS PLAINS

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, the upscale burger restaurant that offers gourmet burgers, salads, shakes, wine and beer has opened its largest restaurant, first test kitchen and private dining room at 1900 Rt 10, Morris Plains (973-998-9766). We were invited for a tour and tasting, and since we had never been to any of their other NJ locations (Cherry Hill, Clifton and Paramus), we were looked forward to tasting their food. Bottom line: It was delicious, and we love that we can have a glass of wine with our meal.

The décor is sleek and contemporary with an open kitchen, wood floors and rich wood walls. Blackboards list beers, wine and burger specials. High tops with lime-green seats, lime-green striped booths lining the walls, tables and a 15-seat, high-top communal table allows for a seating capacity of 286 in the restaurant and bar. Sixteen high definition televisions are located throughout the space, and there is a large patio with a fire pit, weather permitting. Having a party? There is a private dining room, which seats up to 32 and an additional 21 on the private patio. The test kitchen allows their executive chefs to work on menu development, test new technology, create training videos and hold conferences for general managers and chefs. There is even a small wine tasting room.

We started with two salads: Napa with mixed greens, iceburg lettuce, dried fruit, Marcona almonds, goat cheese and goat cheese vinaigrette; and Farm containing mixed greens, cabbage, radishes, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red quinoa, garbanzo beans, feta cheese and champagne vinaigrette. Both were colorful, flavorful, fresh tasting and one is large enough to share.

All of the beef is fresh-ground daily. Certified Angus beef or American-style Kobe beef is used, and the whopping 8-ounce gourmet burgers are cooked to order on a 400-degree grill that creates a crunch seal. All burgers are served on a natural potato bun.

The Zinburger with Manchengo cheese, onions slow cooked in the Zinfandel wine and honey, lettuce and mayo was our favorite and had a different taste and texture from the rich Kobe burger with cheddar cheese, wild mushrooms, lettuce and mayo. The El Diablo with pepper Jack cheese, braised onion, lettuce and chipotle mayo lived up to its name with the fire-roasted jalapenos adding lots of heat. West coast chicken made with skinless and boneless chicken breast was accompanied by Havarti cheese, fresh avocado, tomato, lettuce and mayo, and was as extremely juicy as the burgers. Diners can craft their own burgers with a variety of cheeses, avocado, onions, bacon fried egg, mac & cheese and many more options.

And, of course, you need something serious to drink with all of this food. A full bar with cocktails, 24 beer selections including 16 on tap, and a wine menu that includes 23 varieties priced from $5.50 to $12.50 a glass is available. I opted for the Educated Guess, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon. Lowell tried the Caymus Conundrum Red, CA, Red Blend. Happy Hour is held on weekdays from 3 to 6 PM and features discounts on beer and cocktails, and some food items. On Wednesdays, guests can enjoy half-price bottles of wine.

Non-meat eaters have choices such as salads, including seared ahi or Chinese chicken; a chicken burger; turkey sloppy Joe; veggie burger; and ahi sandwich. Or forget the burgers and have dessert. While there are two pies offered, fresh banana cream and rich chocolate cream, we tasted a few shakes. Think of the visually enticing Banana Royale as a banana split in a glass. It is made with vanilla ice cream, banana, brown sugar caramel, Ghirardelli chocolate topped with fresh whipped cream, peanuts and a cherry. Oreo cookie lovers should try the Cookies & Cream created with vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookies and fresh whipped cream. Our favorite was the Bars of Zin, as it had chocolate ice cream, hazelnut spread, Kit Kat pieces, and fresh whipped cream.

Sides were zucchini fries sprinkled with Parmesan paired with ranch dipping sauce; double truffle, or you may think of them as double trouble fries, with truffle aioli, truffle oil and Parmesan cheese; and a refreshing yogurt dipping sauce accompanied the sweet potato fries.

Upon leaving our tummies were happy and full. Zinburger will be a welcome addition to our rotation of restaurants.

Zinburger
1900 Rt 10
Morris Plains
973-998-9766

Zinburger farm salad

Zinburger farm salad.

Zinburger burger

Zinburger burger with onions slow-cooked the in Zinfindal wine and honey.

Zinburger banana royale 2

Zinburger Banana Royale

Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

OTHER NJ RESTAURANT OPENINGS

B2 Bistro & Bar, 141 Shrewsbury Avenue, Red Bank (732-268-8555).

Bell + Gray, previously Carrino Provisions has opened at 8 Erie Street, Jersey City (http://njmonthly.com/articles/eat-drink/table-hopping-with-rosie/bell-gray-opens-in-jersey-city) Phone: 973-988-2836.

Plum Bakery, offering gluten free items, has opened at 179 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair (973-509-PLUM).

Tori Ramen & Chicken, 40 Chestnut Street, Ridgewood (201-857-0908); BYO. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Steamed Chinese style white, whole wheat or spinach buns are used at Wow Burger which has opened at 112 East Main Street, Ramsey. Pick your bun, pick your meat (chicken, beef or turkey), opt for 3 free toppings and choose a sauce and you have created your own “wow” burger.

CLOSINGS

Molly Maguire’s Gastropub, Red Bank has closed and been sold to Victor Rallo, owner of Undici in Rumson and Birravino, in Red Bank who plans on opening a smoked-barbecue restaurant.

Yellow Plum, Bloomfield

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We were served juicy, thick, burgers at the newly opened eatery and, not only were they exemplary, they actually looked like the burgers on TV commercials!
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