Restaurant Reviews

Hamachi crudo with pistachios.
Philip Manganaro didn’t plan on his modest, 32-seat byo becoming a sensation. But runaway success is a good problem to have.
At Zeugma Grill in Montclair, chef Can (pronounced John) Alp, 28, scores with his unique Avoganoush, a literal mashup of avocado and baba ghanoush.
The signature Claremont Burger, with bacon, frizzled onions and cheddar on a brioche bun topped with two crispy onion rings made with red onions.
The Claremont Tavern in Bernardsville has beer, flatscreens and pub faves, but also 14 small salads and starters like wasabi spring rolls.
Pesto with semi-dried tomatoes.
Coal burns very hot, so it takes an attentive pizzamaker to tend a pie in a coal-burning oven. Bricco Coal Fired Pizza in Westmont does the job well.
A whole roasted Amish chicken.
At Horseneck Tavern in North Caldwell, classy meets casual, and specialties range from pillowy pierogi to baby back ribs and roast Amish chicken.
The folks who created Barrio Costero, a modern take on Mexican food, have taken the same approach with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern in their new restaurant, Reyla.
Chef Dominic Piperno made sure to install a large wood-burning grill and oven when he opened Hearthside in Collingswood in September. He is making good use of the grill—and also turning out some deft pastas.
Pork tenderloin with fennel-corn kimchi, blistered shishito peppers and green-garlic potato puree.
Visits to Charleston, South Carolina, inspired this neighborhood fave, which feels gracious and homelike, yet hip.
The Ironbound section of Newark is known for its Portuguese and Brazilian restaurants, but there's something different there—barbecue at City Rub Smokehouse.
Fast-casual spot with serious surf vibe serving an array of different proteins.
After Hurricane Sandy, the restaurateur needed four years to rebuild his Sea Bright restaurant, elevating it a cautionary 14 feet above ground level. Has McLoone elevated the food and service as well as the structure?
Edward’s Steakhouse was shuttered by Sandy’s storm surge, but the restaurant has come back strong, from its dry-aged steaks to its house-made icebox cake.
The restaurant’s signature dish, lasagna, made from Symon’s mother’s recipe.
Inspired by his mom’s home cooking, Iron Chef and The Chew co-host Michael Symon brings Italian gusto to the Borgata.
The El Jefe brings you chopped chorizo with salsa verde, sour cream, guacamole, crispy potatoes and raw onions.
At Loteria, a modern Mexican restaurant in Asbury Park, Corona beer bottles are repurposed as salt and pepper shakers. But the tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas and other items are flavorful to begin with.
The falafel, a chickpea patty with greens, pickles and Greek yogurt spread (pictured, with side of cold ramen salad).
At the Square Meal, a cozy café in Oaklyn, sandwiches are the specialty—there are seven signature kinds.
Po'Boy flounder fillet.
P.F. Market in West Caldwell is both a seafood market and a seafood restaurant. The food is fresh, from lobster bisque to the flounder Po’ Boy.
Marie Nicole’s was an institution in Wildwood Crest, where for 16 years it set the standard for fine dining. Last June it relocated to nearby Avalon.
Crispy-spicy Korean fried chicken is just one of the attractions of the new branch of Roosterspin, in New Brunswick. The other is its liquor license, featuring cocktails that are worth a detour on their own.
Seared ahi tuna, sprinkled with Maldon sea salt and topped with julienned snowpeas and spiced macadamias. Hidden beneath the tuna is the coconut jasmine rice that completes the dish.
Scrupulous about freshness and favoring wild-caught over farmed, the owners have made their restaurant a seafood magnet.
B London's perfectly buttery, not-too-sweet scones.
B. London, a casual eatery serving breakfast and lunch daily, features some fanciful British influences, such as the BBB (bangers, bacon and bagel).
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