Restaurant Reviews

The classic Surf Taco.
Surf Taco has 13 Jersey locations, but only the one in Jackson has a liquor license. The full bar, she says, stocks a number of craft beers on tap, and the seafood tacos are a smart choice.
Baby kale salad.
Brothers Nick and Peter Dedes sold their long-running diner, the Union Plaza, and in 2016 opened Echo Tape & Grille.The Echo has an indoor fire pit, craft beer and a wide-ranging tavern-style menu.
Visit Surfing Pig in North Wildwood, and you will swear that owners Bill and Megan Bumbernick can get those critters to do anything, but especially to taste mighty fine in a variety of ‘cues. Yet reasons to visit include terrific crab cakes, prime rib and tropical cocktails.
Risa Boyer opened Vanillamore in Montclair last September. As you might expect, desserts were a big feature of the menu. But the savory menu is anything but token.
Moulard duck with roasted artichokes, kale purée and a sweet-sour agrodolce sauce.
Digging into the regional cuisines of their ancestral land, a chef and his wife make culinary waves in a small town.
The 1859 farmhouse that for years held La Campagne restaurant in Cherry Hill has been renovated by new owners and renamed Farmhouse. It’s tapping local farms and waters for produce and seafood, but so far settling on a signature cooking style has proven to be a bit more challenging.
Hoagitos began in 2013 as a pop-up on the Asbury Park boardwalk. In 2016, it expanded to a year-round restaurant in Belmar offering gourmet small hoagies and sliders
Hackettstown, in rural Warren County, is known largely for its fish hatchery and manufacture of M&Ms. But the food at chef Bill Van Pelt's two-year-old New American restaurant, James on Main, provides more than reason enough to go.
Seafood sampler with two fried cod fillets, fried shrimp and a crab cake.
Great sunsets along with a hearty sampling of seafood dishes at this charming Atlantic City spot.
Founded more than 30 years ago as a spin-off of one of the original Jersey Mike’s sub shops, subs and sandwiches are still what the Bread Board Plus does best.
Opened in 2016, White Maple Café in Ridgewood has found a following. But under its current chef, it still needs to raise its game in the kitchen and be more informed and polished in service.
An inviting Italian restaurant serving generous portions of the classics—pizza, pasta, panini and more.
Drizzling chili-steeped honey over fried smoked chicken and biscuits.
Inspired by a resilient grandma and a six-month tour of the South, a couple adds breadth to a top dining scene.
At Pierogies House in Morristown, chef/owner Evelina Berc brings the hearty and affordable cooking of her home country to soul-stirring life. Yes, the wonderful pierogies are the heart of the small menu. But the soups are not to be missed.
Tacos, pescado (left) and pastor.
The company behind three of Princeton’s most contemporary restaurants dips south of the border to create its latest crowd pleaser.
Jumbo shrimp in butter and garlic sauce.
Queen Margherita, a popular Italian restaurant in Nutley, offers a lot more than the famous pizza style created for Italy’s Queen Margherita in Naples in 1889.
Teriyaki chicken wrap.
At Tender Lovin Grill in Hillsborough, grilled, hand-breaded chicken tenders are the main event, but there’s lots more comfort foods on the menu.
Coconut-curried vegetables with coconut rice.
In Millville’s Glasstown Arts District, Eric Nyman is cooking from scratch at his super casual Wildflower Vegan Café.
The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville has survived 111 years, fire, flood and name changes while pampering a well-heeled clientele. But ownership has brought in a new chef and is launching a multi-million renovation.
Gone from the scene more than two years, chef Zod Arifai has opened the Duke and Elephant in Martinsville, a promising addition to the area’s dining scene.
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