Restaurant Reviews

thit nuong, with grilled slices of marinated pork
Hên Vietnamese Eatery in Cherry Hill offers six types of the classic bánh mi sandwich. There’s also four pho soups, plus many other dishes at this "stylish eatery…in a clean and modern space" that opened in June.
Seafood fra diavolo with squid-ink pasta
Biagio Iuliano and his wife, Carmela Arale, have run Trattoria Biagio since 2003. They renovated and expanded the Stirling establishment in 2016. It offers “polished cuisine in an elegant setting,” for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
At Casa d’Paco in the Ironbound section of Newark, the Leston family prepare the food of their native region, Galicia, on the northwest coast of Spain.
Sesame-crusted tuna with spicy mango-tahini sauce.
In a space with a vaunted history, new owners introduce a classic cuisine, imaginatively updated.
Louisa’s Café has just 34 seats (up from the original 20, when it opened in 1980), but the reason the BYO is packed is the quality of its seafood.
A bowl of spicy wontons.
Shan Shan Lu, originally from northwest China, opened Shan Shan Noodles in Parsippany in 2014. Asian noodles in all forms, with all sorts of accompaniments, are its specialty.
After launching Satis Bistro to success in Jersey City, chef Michael Fiorianti did less well with a Satis branch in Bloomfield. So he closed it and reopened as Braun’s Tavern.
The cinnamon roll.
Disco fries, pork-roll waffle sandwiches and boozy milkshakes are on the menu at Asbury Lanes Diner.
That’s the vibe that restaurateur Eddy Sujak says he was shooting for in opening Sofia in Englewood. On a largely Italian menu, the steaks are worthy of high praise. The rest ranges from good to needs-some-work
Broiled oysters topped with tomatoes and shallots.
Tapas-style appetizers are abundant and easy to share at this sleek, diner-like spot.
Shrimp with guanciale in Hennessy cognac tomato sauce on polenta and grits.
In his own joyous and artful way, Marcus Samuelsson binds the many strands of Brick City into an alluring whole.
The meal pictured consists of goat caldereta (top), a thick, hearty stew made with carrots, potatoes and tomato sauce, and chicken adobo (bottom).
In Neptune City, you will see a Philippine flag—red and blue with a golden sun—flying outside Kamayan Grill. “Kamayan” is a Filipino style of eating food by hand, but no worries, utensils are supplied.
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.