GoodFellas Ristorante: Italian; Garfield; 661 Midland Av; 23/19/$40; 973-478-4000; Family style Italian so less needed; Lobster tail fra Diablo and shrimp scampi; Zuppa Di Pesce; Hugely long menu with all the standard Italian classics included; Old world charm; “Sopranos” feel. Great for groups. Authentic as they come. Certainly an older crowd; Full bar. Great seafood salads. Freshest Mozz. Lots of specials that change daily. http://goodfellasristorante.com/
La Cambusa: Italian; Garfield; 517 River Dr; 25/18/$39; 973-272-8739; http://cambusanj.com/; Lots of rave reviews for this spot; Homemade pasts; Freshest ingredients including top notch seafood; Imported Mozz; Pasta Fagioli is yum; Huge menu; Bronzino; Zupa di Pesce; Grilled salmon; Shrimp francese; Veal Caprese; Homemade Tiramisu; Burrata; Seafood Carpaccio; Closed Monday; No Rez and Full Bar.
La Fortaleza: Mexican; Garfield; 361 Midland Av; 24/19/$38; 862-295-1433; Been around forever, this Garfield institution is so much fun; Over the top décor; HH M-Th 2-6pm with half priced margaritas, sangria and wings; Great Guac; Food items and drinks come in crazy-designed glasses and plates; Super fun; Have to see this place to believe it. Oh – the food is quite good too. http://www.lafortalezamexrestaurant.com/
RoCCa: Italian; Glen Rock; 203 Rock Rd; 22/18/$40; 201-670-4945; www.roccanj.com/; Connected to a Market to buy goods; Inventive, well prepared classic Italian dishes; Fair prices and generous portions; Family style available; BYO; Well-spaced tables; Top shelf desserts. Market has incredible breakfast & lunch (especially sandwiches) selections to go; Closed Monday. Go on a Sat for dinner before 7pm to catch market open for business. Chilled Seafood Salad; Homemade pastas; Limited menu.
RyuGin Japanese: Japanese; Glen Rock; 1014 S Maple Av; 25/16/$45; 201-689-1388; www.ryuginglenrock.com/; Wildly popular local sushi spot; Bamboo separated tables or sushi bar; Kani Salad, Seafood Soup, Soft Shell Crab, Yakitori, Sushi Pizza, Spicy Tuna Tartare. Lots of Udon Soup options; Sushi/Sashimi Combo for $26; Tekka Don; Tons of regular and special rolls as well. Something for everyone. BYO. Lunch specials.
Tani Sushi & Asian Grill: Japanese; Glen Rock; 206 Rock Rd; 22/19/$38; 201-612-1188; www.taniasiangrill.com/; More of a Pan-Asian scene; Extremely date-friendly; Ultra cool décor, spacious, Manhattan feel; Endless menu of sushi, sashimi and special rolls; Try the crispy duck or Pad Thai; BYO; Large portions; Really a winner in an area in need of a trendy place. 201 Mag Best Japanese runner up.
Art of Spice: Indian; Hackensack; 159 Main St; 24/19/$32; 201-342-3444; www.art-of-spice.com/; Rave reviews for this welcoming Indian place near Riverside Mall; Lunch buffet is $11 weekdays and $13 on weekends – giving it away! All entrees include Basmati rice; Try the Goat Rogan Josh; They have all the classics such as Chicken Makhani and Tikka Masala; Over a dozen vegetarian options in both apps and main courses; Many tandoori specials, soups and a variety of Naans.
Bangkok Garden: Thai; Hackensack; 261 Main St; 24/15/$32; 201-487-2620; www.bangkokgarden-nj.com; Nothing fancy but the food is what you come here for; Endlessly long menu of everything Thai- from the curries to the Pad Thai and variations thereof; Top notch soups; Food for sharing. Specialize in seafood entrees; Now a full bar; Did I mention menu is miles long? Charming service for genre. Food is a step above for Thai. Oldest Thai place in county. Drinks are strong and cheap!
Brooklyn’s Coal-Burning Pizzeria: Italian; Hackensack; 161 Hackensack Ave @ Rt 4; 25/12/$20; 201-342-2727; No slices served; BYO except Hackensack location which has beer/ wine; Fresher than fresh coal over pizza; Truly melt in your mouth pizza; Crust is beyond outstanding. Plenty of tables and it’s ideal for a heavenly lunch.
Casual Habana Café: Cuban; Hackensack; 125 Main Street; 24/17/$32; 201-880-9844; BYOB; Try the Pork Shank (baby Pernil), Oxtail empanadas; and wildly flavorful steaks; Prices are very inexpensive and the surroundings surprisingly hip and comfortable; Exposed brick walls; Seafood options include Snapper, various shrimp dishes, Tilapia and Cod. 3+ soups to pick from and gracious service. Smoked paprika Calamari; Appetizer tower – pick any 3 tapas; Huge menu. New Milford location. www.casualhabanacafe.com/;
Cheesecake Factory: American; Hackensack; 197 Riverside Sq Mall area; 21/17/$34; 201-488-0330; www.thecheesecakefactory.com; One of the longest menus you’ll ever see; Huge portions; Always decent and sometimes excellent; Great for large groups; Extremely popular- come early; Every possible cuisine available. One of the better American chain restaurants; Full bar; National chain whose formula works.
Choripan Rodizio: Argentinean; Hackensack; 10 Sussex St; 24/19/$45; 201-880-7941; http://choripantoo.com/; You can have the meat – all you can eat for $35; Expertly prepared; You can also try a sampler platter for $40 of all the different meats served at once; Great for parties or birthdays; BYOB; Everything is large here – and served in mammoth portions. Food brought at once – not taken off skewers. Lots of a la carte options but no big salad bar.
Houston’s: American; Hackensack; Riverside Square Mall @ Rt 4; 24/21/$55; 201-488-5667; www.hillstone.com; Part of Hillstone ownership group; It’s an excellent high-end chain; Chicken finger appetizer is incredible; Grilled Bronzino, Pork Ribs, Rib-Eye, Pork Chops, Pan Seared Tuna, Prime Rib, NY Strip, Burgers & salads and also a fine wine list. Efficient service and date friendly. What a find for a mall-located restaurant. Great bar scene. Very pricy for genre overall.
Lotus Café: Chinese; Hackensack; 450 Hackensack Av; 21/15/$25; 201-488-7070; www.lotuscafehackensack.com/ One of the better Chinese restaurants in Chinese restaurant-starved (sit down places) Bergen county; Giant selection to pick from; BYO; Poor décor- in a strip mall; Tasty food with very few ‘misses’. Near Riverside Mall; Great effort made by the staff and cheap prices. Seafood Soup;
Maggiano’s: Italian; Hackensack; 70 Riverside @ Rt 4; 20/19/$35; 201-221-2030; For a chain- very high quality; Family style dining; Huge portions of well prepared food; Perfect for groups; High energy setting; Decent cocktail and wine menu. Endless menu. Perfect spot to go to with a crowd; Attractive setting. Consider them for a birthday party or anniversary with the family. www.maggianos.com/
Morton’s Steakhouse: Steakhouse; Hackensack; 274 Riverside Sq; 25/23/$83; www.mortons.com; Large steakhouse chain located in Riverside Mall; Drinks are very reasonably priced for genre; Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes; Ahi Tuna Tower; Filet Mignon; Bone-In Rib Eye; Prime Rib and Porterhouse; Also- King Crab, Shrimp and Lobster dishes; Mac N Cheese as a side option. Very expensive but damn good! Also, the service is absolutely outstanding. Great for birthdays. Great desserts. Plan to spend at least $75/person.
Oceanaire: Seafood; Hackensack; 175 Riverside Mall; 22/22/$55; 201-343-8862; www.theoceanaire.com/Home.aspx; This high end mini chain attempts to be another Legal Sea Food but needs some work; Slightly overpriced and average service; M-F Happy Hour $5-$7 appetizers & drinks 4-7pm; For dinner, great Raw bar; King Crab, Twin Lobster Tails, bout 5 different cuts of steaks. Mahi Mahi, Arctic Char, Crispy Soft Shell Crabs, Seabass.
PF Chang: Chinese; Hackensack; 50 Riversource Sq @ Hackensack Av; 19/20/$38; 201-646-1565; Never disappoints – for a chain – if you lower your expectations; Interesting menu featuring all sorts of different dishes from each region of China; Seafood, chicken, duck, beef, dumplings- all featured; Cool décor but mixed service. Always popular as it is a fun place to eat. Actually has great drink deals. Ideal break from shopping. Happy Hour M-F 3-6pm – discounted apps and drinks. www.pfchangs.com;
Port of Call: American Buffet; Hackensack; 450 Hackensack Av; 20/17/$28; 201-488-0888; www.pocrestaurants.com/ Huge buffet restaurant worth your time and a visit; Features a Panini station; Tons of seafood; Sushi stations- endless options; Hot entrees including Osso Bucco, Prime Rib and other great meat dishes; Chinese options; Raw Bar; Lots of desserts; BYO allowed. Great for families. Dinner M-Th $25 and $28 weekends; Lunch $14 M-F and $18 weekends.
Rosa Mexicano: Mexican; Hackensack; 390 Hackensack Av @ Riverside Sq Mall; 21/22/$46; 201-489-9100; www.rosamexicano.com; More of an upscale Mexican ‘chain’ which features 3 locations in Manhattan; Known for outstanding Pomegranate Margaritas and homemade guacamole; Gorgeous Mayan décor; Dishes are unique and not your standard Mexican fare; Upscale feel perfect for a date or a great meal after shopping at Bloomingdales. Can be noisy and always crowded.
Solari’s: Italian; Hackensack; 61 River St; 21/17/$38; 201-487-1969; Live music on Saturdays; Absolutely huge menu, yet you feel they care for each dish; Affordable and higher end items to choose from. Active bar scene; Locals love the place- been around for 75 years and 3 generations; Fun time while eating. Not pretentious at all. Family run business; Try the Shrimp Scampi or Linguini with Clams. Bit of a scene at night later on. www.solarisrestaurant.net/
Stony Hill Inn: American; Hackensack; 231 Polifly Rd; 21/25/$59; 201-342-4085; www.stonyhillinn.com; Dining on a large estate- gorgeous setting; Filled with history; Menu inspired by Italian and French cuisine; High end shi-shi menu items but also many classic favorites like Linguine Carbonara, Shrimp Scampi and Calamari Fra Diavolo over linguine. Multiroom, elegant colonial charm; Wedding central here. Ideal for a special occasion. They serve Sunday Brunch Buffet for $30 w/ 1 free mimosa. Expensive tabs.
Tandoori Chef: Indian; Hackensack; 258 Main St; 21/15/$33; 201-457-1557; http://tandoorichef-nj.com/; Try the chicken Tikki masala or Butter chicken; Goat curry available; Large assortment of vegetable entrees; Their Naan does stand out; Have a daily Lunch buffet that is very inexpensive. Good sized portions and management makes a strong effort to impress. Lamb vindaloo is yummy.
Donatella Ristorante: Italian; Harrington Park; 12 Tappan Rd; 22/19/$41; 201-767-4245; Experience home-made pasta made with their on site flour mill which is hand crafted daily; Full bar; Other menu items include a chilled seafood tower for two for $49; Oysters; Artichokes; Five veal dishes; Filet of sole; Red Snapper; Halibut; Branzino; Roasted Chilean Sea Bass. Just a huge assortment and this newcomer is worth a visit. http://donatellasitalian.restaurant/
Ivy Inn: American; Hasbrouck Heights; 268 Terrace Av; 22/24/$55; 201-393-7699; www.ivyinn.com; All kinds of dishes on the menu; Seafood to Cajun to French inspired to steaks; Relaxed, casual environment; Great brunch – well priced $23 2-course prix fixe w/ 1 drink; Cozy, romantic setting; Has an excellent bar complete with happy hour 4:30-6:30; European cottage house feel; Live Piano music on weekends. Great for lunch, romance, or a mature well managed dinner. 201 Mag winner for romance, brunch. Sautéed calamari. Filet Oscar.
Mount Fuji: Japanese; Hasbrouck Heights; 193 Route 17 S @ Teterboro Airport; 22/24/$45; 201-288-2800; Gorgeous setting; Interior feels like Japan and serving staff ultra-friendly and in traditional attire; Known for Hibachi- with fun cooks performing at your table; Extended sushi menu as well. Great for groups. Option for private table (for non-hibachi); Great mixed drinks. Affordable overall. Can’t go wrong. www.mtfujirestaurants.com/
Sofia’s Mediterranean Grill: Mediterranean; Hasbrouck Heights; 24/16/$36; 201-462-0123; RAVE reviews; BYO; Grilled Calamari; Amazing Dips; Grilled Feta appetizer; Gyro platters are mouthwatering; Grilled Pork Chops; Seafood Medley includes grilled calamari, shrimp and octopus over rice; Mousaka, Pastichio on the menu. Lots of desserts; Closed Sunday but otherwise open for lunch & dinner. www.sofiasmediterraneangrill.com/
Alessandro: Italian; Haworth; 157 Terrace St; 23/14/$36; 201-385-8544; http://www.alessandrosnj.com/; Small neighborhood Trattoria; Filled nightly with locals; Lunch and dinner served; 10 or so tables so reserve; It is BYO with liquor store next door; Try the seafood risotto; Grilled calamari appetizer. They feature excellent pizzas; Slow but friendly service from the owner and his staff. If crowded, you will wait for food; However, when on their game, few places offer better Italian ‘classics’.
Bottagra: Italian; Hawthorne; 80 Wagner Rd @ Thomas; 20/23/$48; 973-423-4433; www.bottagra.com; Revolutionary era home remodeled into a gorgeous ‘Tuscan Villa’; Full bar; Owners are young and energetic and it translates into the food; Try something from the raw bar, the Italian Seafood Salad, or one of the many pasta, steak or veal dishes. Seabass excellent. The Antipasto. Large menu for all. Great for small-medium private parties. The brunch is crazy – like a Rave party. See website.
Justin’s Ristorante: Italian; Hawthorne; 234 Lafayette Av; 21/16/$42; 973-423-4345; www.justinsristorante.com/; Nothing stands out as brilliant but everything they serve is reliable; Mostly Italian classics served with care; Lots of specials; For instance, you can order shrimp either scampi, francese, marinara or fra diavolo; Excellent fresh hot bread; BYO; Attentive service; Like you are in someone’s house.
Della Cucina: Italian; Hillsdale; 100 Park Av; 21/19/$42; 201-722-8880; http://dellacucinanj.com/; Southern Italian, welcoming staff, and a large menu highlight this reliable spot for locals; Try the antipasto or meatballs for an app; For a main course, the personal pizza pies are delicious – 10 to choose from; Entrees range from $12-$22 but most less than $18; BYO as well; Perfect mid-week dining experience.
Golden Dynasty: Chinese; Hillsdale; 295 Kinderkamack Rd; 21/18/$35; 201-358-8685; 5-time winner 201 Mag best Chinese but mixed reviews elsewhere; Great website with pics of all dishes and drinks; Full bar; 8 million items on menu; Shrimp dumplings; PuPu platter appetizer; Crispy shrimp with salt and pepper; Orange flavored beef; All the classic dishes; This to me is a ‘real’ (American) Chinese restaurant. www.goldendynastynj.com/hillsdale/index.html;
Matsu Sushi: Japanese; Hillsdale; 140 Broadway; 24/18/$35; 201-930-1896; www.matsunj.com/; Won 201 Magazine’s vote for Best Japanese of 2012, 2013; 2016; Known more for terrific sushi; Try the crispy shrimp salad; BYO and near a Bottle King; Lots of special rolls, appetizers – large menu; Prepared/ cooked items worth it as well. Feature lunch specials under $10; Always fresh; Small local spot that gets it done.
Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern: American; Ho-Ho-Kus; 1 E Franklin Tpke; 22/24/$48; 201-445-4115; www.hohokusinn.com; Gorgeous multi-room setting ideal for showers, private events; Restaurant is in a Dutch Colonial mansion; They feature an incredible Sunday Brunch buffet for $35 with unlimited mimosas & Bloody Mary’s; Outdoor dining available; Full bar with BYO options; Best part- the cozy tavern for a drink to relax. 5 separate dining rooms add to charm. Non-brunch menu gets mixed reviews.
St. Eve’s: American; Ho-Ho-Kus; 611 N Maple Av @ Rt 507; 23/20/$45; 201-857-4717; www.stevesnj.com; Seasonal menu and flavors abound at this tasty New American; BYO; Seafood and meat dishes grilled over a wood fire; Menu is limited so check website but currently features Seared Sashimi Tuna; Pork Meatballs; Filet Mignon Ravioli; Duck Breast; Sea Scallops. Closed Mondays. Do have daily specials. Lunch served.
Amanda’s: American; Hoboken; 908 Washington @ 9-10th St; 25/24/$56; 201-798-0101; www.amandasrestaurant.com; Romantic, elegant & charming; Perfect for a celebration, anniversary or date; Great attention to detail; Sunday Brunch is outstanding ($9 Bloodies); Gorgeous interior and service is solid. Not a huge menu selection, however. Early bird specials. Charming with top service. Seasonal menu so check website. Classy all the way. Dinner menu changes so check out website.
Anthony David’s: Italian; Hoboken; 953 Bloomfield @ 10th St; 25/20/$43; 201-222-8399; www.anthonydavids.com; BYO with inventive, nearly perfect Italian selections; They have a formal dining room and more casual bistro setting; Desserts excellent; Daily brunch; Gourmet market next door for shopping. Fantastic artisan cheese plates. Known for desserts- especially doughnuts. Serve a wonderful brunch. Seasonal menu. Order the Antipasto –pick 4-6 items; Tuna tartare; Very small dinner menu. Just love the vibe here.
Augustino’s: Italian; Hoboken; 1104 Washington Av @ 11-12th St; 25/16/$49; 201-420-0104; Cash only- 10 table classic; Make a reservation and be prepared to consume incredible food; Homemade specialties; Spirited staff; Old school Italian feel- terrific atmosphere; One of the best around. Has a small bar. Truly an experience. No website sadly; This place serves GOOD food. Pork chop and Chicken Parm stand out. www.yelp.com/biz/augustinos-hoboken
Bin 14: Italian; Hoboken; 1314 Washington @ 13th; 22/22/$46; 201-963-9463; www.bin14.com; Wine bar with Italian entrees and small plates; Sophisticated, date friendly space; From owners of Anthony David’s; Excellent wine list as you can imagine; Has wine tastings and events – see website; 80 wines by glass and 90 bottles; Wonderful bruschetta’s and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch; Brunch served with Bloody Mary bar $6/drink. One of the best date spots in Hoboken;
Court Street: American; Hoboken; 61 6th St @ Hudson-Washington; 22/18/$41; 201-795-4515; www.courtstreet.com; Incredible Italian/ American menu; Fantastic, inexpensive brunch- pitchers of Bloody’ s, Mimosas or screwdrivers only $12; Wednesday is Lobster night – 2 for $36; Monday is Prime Rib night for $21.95; Well priced, giant steaks; Tasty pasta selections; Wine tastings; Something for everyone. Spacious décor; Excellent salads; Tons of seafood.
Cucharamama: South American; Hoboken; 233 Clinton @ 3rd St; 24/21/$44; 201-420-1700; www.cucharamama.com; Great quality from celeb chef Maricel Presilla; Dishes are works of art; There is also gorgeous artwork on walls; Outstanding bar and sexy scene; Huge menu featuring ethnic dishes from all over South America; Beautiful ambience. Unique dining experience. Eye-opening presentation; A winner & must try. Beware of one thing – service notoriously slow. Cuisines of most South American countries represented.
Dino & Harry’s: Steakhouse; Hoboken; 163 14th St @ Bloomfield; 22/21/$58; 201-659-6202; www.dinoandharrys.com; This steakhouse is all the rage in Hoboken; Modern, hip look to it; Full bar; Known for steaks cooked just right; Set in a former saloon; Great nightly piano music and jazz; Salmon tartare; Raw bar; Halibut, salmon, shrimp risotto; Sirloin is $44; Filet Mignon, Rib Eye the same; Lamb chops; Smoked Bacon; Service iffy.
Elysian Café: French; Hoboken; 1001 Washington @ 10th St; 22/21/$38; 201-798-5898; www.elysiancafe.com; Oldest restaurant in Hoboken- in a converted Saloon; Fantastic brunch; Known for impeccable Steak-Frites; Inventive cocktails; Just a solid French bistro, casual feel. Two for one entrees at the bar on Monday. Patio seating in summer. Have a great Lobster roll, Cod Fillet and Short ribs. Cute date spot. Open daily for lunch/ dinner; Brunch drinks sadly not included- but discounted. Best for sitting outside in summer.
Grimaldi’s Pizza: Pizza; Hoboken; 133 Clinton @ 2nd St; 24/13/$20; 201-792-0800; www.grimaldis.com; All about the pizza at this Coal oven institution. The original and far more famous sibling is in Brooklyn; No slices; Fresh mozz on the pies is fresh and perfect. Outdoor seating. They serve wine and beer. Has 2nd location in Hoboken now at 411 Washington @ 4th-5th; Small pie – 6 slices is $14.75 but worth it.
Karma Kafe: Indian; Hoboken; 505 Washington @ 5th-6th St; 23/19/$28; 201-610-0900; www.karmakafe.com; One of the best Indian restaurants in Jersey; $9.99 all you can eat lunch buffet; Have a Taj beer and Tiki Masala; Very tasty, well spiced cuisine; Seats 50; Great value. Large menu; Exotic flavors – they do a lot with the space they have. Very popular. Ample portions. Outdoor seating. Creative, endless menu – love it.
La Isla: Cuban; Hoboken; 104 Washington @ 2nd; 25/11/$32; 201-659-8197; https://laislarestaurant.com/; Voted Best Cuban by NJ Monthly; Extremely authentic; BYO; Sunday Brunch; Very small & non-descript décor; Freshest ingredients; Can eat inexpensively here for breakfast, lunch or for a pressed sandwich; Great experience. Due to quality & price – often line to get in. Casual and worthy take out option. Famous French Toast.
Lola’s: Spanish; Hoboken; 153 14th St @ Bloomfield; 22/21/$38; 201-420-6062; www.yelp.ca/biz/lolas-hoboken Numerous hot and cold tapas selections; Wine bar and great sangria; Has daily specials; Happy hour 4-8pm daily with great drink specials; Sexy interior – date friendly; Fun vibe; They have 100+ different items on menu, all tapas and they specialize with seafood Tapas.
Madison Bar & Grill: American; Hoboken; 1316 Washington Av @ 14th St; 21/19/$36; 201-386-0300; Catering to a hip 20s and 30s crowd at night; Incredible $31 all you can eat Sunday Brunch buffet with 1 drink included; Neighborhood favorite; Parking validation; Classic barroom; Great salads; Sliders; Paninis/ Sandwiches and standard American entrees; Laid back place; Weekend it’s a great bar scene. M-F Happy hour 4-8pm. www.madisonbarandgrill.com;
Margherita’s: Italian; Hoboken; 740 Washington Av @ 8th St; 21/16/$26; 201-222-2400; www.margheritascafe.com/; Family owned and run for years; They take pride in their food; Known for incredible pizzas; BYO; Huge menu of the most classic Italian pastas, chicken, seafood and veal; No Rez policy; Tight quarters; Some outdoor seating; Gets crowded in the summer and on weekends. Casual place. Friendly service.
Napoli’s Brick Oven Pizza: Pizza; Hoboken; 1118 Washington St @ 12th; 24/13/$20; 201-216-0900; Known for outstanding brick-oven pies; BYO as well; Can sit down there and have dinner / lunch; Lots of pasta and other entrees too; But, this place is known for pizza; Super casual; Ideal for an early weekday dinner or weekend lunch. Fast service; Try their Bruschetta! Huge menu. www.napolishobokenpizza.com;
Pilsener Haus: German; Hoboken; 1422 Grand @ 15th St; 21/20/$38; 201-683-5465; www.pilsenerhaus.com/; Gigantic Beer Garden; 2,000 Sq foot outdoor patio; 6,000 sq feet inside; Upstairs lounge; Over 20 imported German drafts and 50+ other beers by the bottle; Great Bavarian pretzels, strudels, goulash, schnitzels, sausages, rotisserie chicken and more; Opens at noon on weekends; Giant steins of beer available; Weekend brunch.
Robongi: Japanese; Hoboken; 520 Washington Av @ 6th; 23/16/$30; 201-222-8388; http://robongi.com/hoboken.aspx Robongi serves inventive Japanese cuisine ranging from sushi, sashimi and salads to dishes like carpaccio’s, ceviche’s, tartare’s, filet mignon, grilled spicy shrimp and specialty rolls; BYO; Fantastic prices; Cramp quarters – so go early, on a weekday or for lunch. Very cool, hip spot, however. Fun, cheesy décor.
Sri Thai: Thai; Hoboken; 234 Bloomfield St @ 2nd-3rd St; 20/12/$23; 201-798-4822; www.srithaihoboken.net/; Small place, with almost no décor; However, one of the better Thai joints around with a huge menu begging you to try multiple selections, for a tour of Thai cuisine; Perfect for lunch or a quick bite out. BYO. Friendly decent service. Might be better for lunch – certainly not a great date spot. Kaw Pad with Crab; Pad Thai; Yum.
Sushi Lounge: Japanese; Hoboken; 200 Hudson @ 2nd St; 21/19/$41; 201-386-1117; www.sushilounge.com/hoboken/; Cool décor, cool scene, great drink specials and cocktails; Top selection for a date spot; Creative sushi rolls- both ‘regular’ and special rolls; Tons of hot dishes served; Clubby feel; Stylish- with great food. DJ playing music on weekends; Specialty drinks are yummy; Happy hour weekdays 3-6:30pm; Sangria Sundays, Martini Tuesdays (drink specials); Ideal for couples to dine out before bar hopping. Food good, not great.
Trattoria Saporito: Italian; Hoboken; 328 Washington St; 23/20/$45; 201-533-180; www.trattoriasaporito.com; Red-sauce emphasis here at this classic local BYO; Very attentive service; Wonderful hot seafood appetizer; Fresh Mozz; Excellent soups; Giant selection of homemade pasta dishes; Specials always imaginative; Also, a great location close to the waterfront and local bars.
Fontana di Trevi: Italian; Leonia; 248 Fort Lee Rd; 22/18/$42; 201-242-9040; First rate classy Italian; BYO; Old, welcoming setting; Try the Ossobuco, Linguini with little neck clams, or seared bronzino; For me – the double think cut veal chop; Closed Monday; It is certainly a stand-out for the area; Make a reservation as it is popular. Reliable standards on the menu as a whole. Tableside Caesar salads. Homemade Mozzarella. https://www.yelp.com/biz/fontana-di-trevi-restaurant-leonia
Casa Arturo Bistro: Italian; Little Falls; 75 Main St; 24/18/$42; 973-837-8282; Hidden local gem; BYO; Closed Monday; Fairly predictable but expertly prepared menu; Grilled Calamari; Wonderful soups; Veal saltimbocca; Blackened Port chops; and a dozen or so pasta dishes plus daily specials; Welcoming staff and consistency across the board. http://www.arturobistro.com/
Rare, The Steak House: Steak; Little Falls; 440 Main St @ River Rd; 22/20/$58; 973-256-6699; www.rarestk.com; Fairly new steakhouse that incredibly serves about 15-20 items that are NOT steak including many pasta dishes, lamb, chicken and others; Serves the usual steak selections; Usual sides – including Mac n Cheese; Great appetizers; More affordable than most in genre; $5.50 draft beer for God’s sake; Prime Rib, Porterhouse, Filet Mignon, Veal Rib Chop, Sirloin, Lobster. Great website – check out. Raw Bar. Smoked Salmon, Burrata, Chilled Seafood platter for $33. Happy Hour 4-7pm.
Sear House Grill: Steakhouse; Little Falls; 1 Newark Pompton Tpk; 23/24/$64; http://www.searhousegrill.com/; From the owners of Sear in Closter, another location of their stylish steakhouse; Huge menu; Gorgeous, sleek interior and romantic female-friendly vibe; Excellent bar scene and wonderful cocktails; Very attentive service; Happy Hour daily; Options for anyone and perfect for small private events.
Stamna Greek Taverna: Greek; Little Falls; 66 E Main St; 25/18/$43; 973-256-6400; www.stamnataverna.com; Extremely affordable Greek cuisine; Menu has large selection of Grilled Meat and Seafood dishes; Also serves about every known appetizer and Greek traditional favorites in a comfortable, if uneventful setting. BYO. Try the appetizer spread platter (dips); Rabbit stew, Lamb Kabobs, Moussaka; Grilled Calamari; Large portions; Family run; One of the best Greek menus I’ve seen – 2nd only to Varka. Fall off the bone lamb. Bloomfield location as well.
Minado: Japanese; Little Ferry; 1 Valley Rd; 21/16/$34; 973-734-4900; www.minado.com; They offer a massive all you can eat Sushi, sashimi, and Japanese entrée buffet; Grill station; Lunch: $18 weekdays, $22 weekends and dinner is $31 / $33. Mixed quality but it is a lot of fun. I suggest lunch. Seating is mainly booths and open tables; Loud, under-dressed crown. Giant assortment of food. Beer & wine served. Best Asian buffet around.
Segovia Steak & Seafood: Steakhouse; Little Ferry; 217 Main St; 23/18/$40; 201-814-1100; www.segoviasteakhouse.com; Spanish chophouse with great prices for the genre; Try the rib eye and lobster tail combo; Seafood Paella is delicious; Massive pork chops; Full bar; Huge portions; Awesome bread; Get a pitcher of sangria; Extremely reliable for steak and seafood overall and a fun atmosphere; Very popular. Tapas menu. Endless specials. They will prepare grilled calamari for you.
17 Summer Restaurant: European; Lodi; 17 Summer St; 24/20/$50; 973-928-4780; http://17summerrestaurant.com/; Open kitchen format; BYO; Very small with seats for 22; Closed Sunday, Monday; Limited menu includes Burrata, Bison Carpaccio, Fettuccine Carbonara, the Fish of the Day, Duck, Pork Chops and Steak; Very friendly & helpful staff; More of a place for foodies; Book in advance as it remains popular since 2012 opening.
Sergio’s Missione: Italian; Lodi; 2 Mercer St; 26/19/$45; 973-778-4545; http://www.sergiosmissione.com/; Incredible google & Yelp reviews. Try the mixed grilled seafood platter over arugula; Clams on half shell; The main courses are traditional dishes mainly with lots of chicken, veal and pasta options. Closed Monday. Dinner only. BYO. Also – huge number of nightly specials! Prepare to be wowed.
Casa Giuseppe: Italian; Lyndhurst; 503 Valley Brook Av; 24/19/$45; 201-460-0060; www.casagiuseppelyndhurstnj.com; The chef/owner and biker has been cooking Italian classics for 40+ years; Pleasant dining room and service; BYO; Numerous shellfish options; Dinner only; Menu highlights include sautéed calamari, pork shank wings, seafood salad, and many veal/chicken entrees; Very inexpensive. Live music Thursdays.
Gelone: Italian; Lyndhurst; 650 Ridge Rd; 24/20/$45; 201-372-9200; http://gelonelyndhurst.com/; Well-spaced tables and somewhat pleasant décor; More old school feel; BYO; Rigatoni with Spinach, garlic and Shrimp; Seafood salad; Caprese; Calamari salad; Bruschetta; Great antipastos; Grilled calamari; Clams; Lots of pasta, Veal and Chicken dishes; Great menu overall and affordable. Rave reviews online except for rushed service.
Hiro Sushi: Sushi; Lyndhurst; 555 Valley Brook Av; 26/18/$28; 201-896-8088; Incredibly well reviewed; Open daily 4pm – 10pm; BYO; Small, intimate setting; Amazing Miso Soup; Freshest sushi/ sashimi; All appetizers under $10; Fifteen different special rolls prices $7-$11; Just so affordable and excellent. Almost giving away quality food. Try this place today. http://hirosushinj.com/
Mariachi Grill: Mexican; Lyndhurst; 262 Ridge Rd; 25/12/$28; 201-528-7493; http://themariachigrill.com/; Simply fresh and homemade Mexican cuisine; For sure authentic; Steak fajitas are outstanding; The space is tiny and very casual – best for lunch or take out. BUT – the food is so good you’ll want to return; Oh the salsa, guac and enchiladas; BYO; Hidden Gem.
Michael’s Riverside: Italian; Lyndhurst; 528 Riverside Av; 21/23/$48; 201-939-6333; www.michaelsriverside.com/; Somewhat large menu of really only ‘classic’ Italian appetizers, entrees and steaks; They do a very nice job; Place does a huge catering and special event business; They have a bar which features 22 different Martinis for $8 each – might want to come early for a cocktail; Nice place for a family event. Chilean Sea Bass, Steaks under $30, Stuffed Shrimp with Crab. Very affordable for genre.