Restaurant Reviews

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.
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.
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