Restaurant Reviews

At Holy Tomato in Blackwood, customers sit at close-set tables under ornamental lights and quippy signs to enjoy whole pizzas (no slices) and novelties like cheesecake in warm butter-rum sauce.
That is how chef Rosaria Conti’s skill with dough is described by Paula Giordano, her business partner. It's a just description for Conti’s pizzas and pastas. But he says not all of Valentina’s menu meets that golden standard.
The Korean word "Gayeon" translates to "beautiful encounter" into English. With few exceptions, the restaurant lives up to its name.
You’ll taste the South in virtually everything from chicken, meat and seafood to mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas at this down-home eatery.
Owners Cory and Natalie Reuss met in Austin, Texas before moving to Collingswood. The couple opened Macona BBQ over the summer in the space that once held Sweet Freedom Bakery.
That, more or less, is what noted chef James Avery (of the Bonney Read in Asbury Park) set out to create with his “neighborhood kitchen” Farmly.
Pho crab fried rice banh mi.
SEAK (Southeast Asian Kitchen) in Edgewater, serves mostly Vietnamese and Thai food in a colorful contemporary space with a few tables offering Hudson River views.
After running Rick’s in Lambertville for 13 years, chef Alex Cormier thought he was done with restaurants until his business partner pulled him back in. Together they reinvented the Broadmoor, a long-shuttered Lambertville institution.
The bulging burger beckons strongly.
Leia Gaccione’s second place named for cross streets elevates the intersection of familiar and amazing.
Brioche French toast dipped in custard, dusted with powdered sugar and served with fresh fruit
Giovanna Germinario and her family run Giovanna’s Cafe. As Sabrina Bush writes, it's a small, homey place for breakfast and lunch with an Italian-American accent.
House-made empanadas.
Try Division Cafe in Somerville, where there are about half a dozen different varieties of empanadas. While you’re there, try some of the other Latin-American specialties.
Pan-seared duck breast, cabbage, leeks, chile, duck confit and a Bixi Bixia sauce.
The Grand Tavern in Neptune has earned a loyal following, especially from local chefs, bartenders and sommeliers. The food is good, if uneven, but the reason the place is rocking is the quality of its bar scene.
Rice-noodle soups.
The menu is vast at Pho 9 Vietnamese in Cherry Hill, but servers will help you find your way. And psst: portions are huge.
Manti, a type of Turkish ravioli.
Bosphorus is named for the strait that separates Europe and Asia and divides the city of Istanbul. Its Turkish cuisine is itself a bridge.
The signature risotto al Chianti.
Chef and bicyclist Anthony DeVanzo balances tradition and creativity at his refined Italian BYO.
The Jack Talk Thai mussels.
The Salty Whale & Guesthouse has been fully refurbished and renamed by new owners. The Guesthouse is still in the works, but the restaurant features appealing wings, mussels in Thai green curry and coconut milk and a host of burgers and sandwiches. At dinner, there’s a bone-in pork chop for $26.
The buon-santo panino.
The recently opened Dolce & Salato is a cozy Hoboken storefront—part café, part takeout shop—celebrating the foods of southern Italy and Sicily.
At Marandola’s in Bradley Beach, Mark Marandola says he makes his Italian menu 'not too red-saucy.’ He calls it “a mixture of traditional and a little innovative.”
The new MudHen Brewing Co. in Wildwood is an all-year venue with plenty of dishes to lure the hungry as well as brews to entice the thirsty.
You don’t have to be Bugs Bunny to salivate over this roasted carrot salad. Its contrasts and confluences of flavor, color and texture are what’s up, Doc.
Ben Pollinger, who won a Michelin star in New York in 2006, finally opens his own restaurant—in his home county.