Mom and Dad came to visit this weekend, and we ended up going out for a few meals. Nobi, of course, because they have wonderful sushi. Lunch the next day was in Montclair, but when we got back to TR, it was too late to cook, so we went to Basil T’s next to the Seacourt Pavilion. Little pricey, but the food was really tasty, and the service was attentive. Hubby liked their own Oktoberfest beer, although Dad wanted something a little fizzier. We’ll go back again, for certain, but maybe split some entrees, because they were huge. I needed to leave a lot behind so I could fit the dulce de leche cheesecake. Yum. Next morning, Mom and Dad treated us to breakfast, which we had at Wolfie’s diner on Route 37. You walk in, and at first it looks like a deli, because the deli case and slicers and all are right there. Breakfast was delightful, the waitress was a real hoot. Only bad thing was fake maple syrup, but I’ll forgive them that and bring my own next time to go over the yummy cinnamon topped french toast. That night it was just hubby and me, and we debated pizza, but decided to sit down for dinner at Rockafella’s instead. I know this is a big local favorite, and it was quite crowded, but I wasn’t incredibly impressed. Hubby’s salmon with mussels and clams came with two mussels and three clams. My capellini was thicker than #9 spaghetti. It took over two hours, and we didn’t have appetizers or dessert – the waitress seemed to be deliberately avoiding our gaze. We’ll try the pizza another time, just in case, but service is really important to us, and if we have a choice between good service or bad, the food has to be superb and unique to bring us back to a place with unsatisfactory service.
If you’re in the NY Metro area of NJ and want to find someplace to spend your money, here are a few of my personal favorite spots.
The kids are older, and mostly not too finicky about food, so they get to go with us to a lot of these places:
TERRAZZA RISTORANTE & BAR in Nutley, 507 Franklin Ave., (973) 661-4300. Very tasty food, Italian, but not a pizza and linguini place. I loved their gorgonzola ravioli with balsamic vinegar tomato sauce, and they have a salmon and steak that are house specialties that are wonderful.
And speaking of good Italian –I Fratelli Ristorante at 1099 Broad St. in Bloomfield is fabulous. (973) 338-4888. I had a stuffed portabello mushroom appetizer and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. The calamari is cooked just right (harder than it sounds) and the eggplant rollatini is delightful, with the addition of golden raisins.
Another short trip for us is Bloomfield Steak and Seafood at 409 Franklin Ave. in Bloomfield, (973) 680-4500 is in one of our historic homes, and the atmosphere is nice and cozy. The food is American/Continental, tasty and well-presented.
Brookside Thai just opened on 378 Broad Street in Bloomfield, and the food is authentic and fabulous. They still have some kinks to work out in the speed of service department, so either plan a long, leisurely meal or order takeout. (973) 566-0057.
Our latest favorite for Indian food is Satish Palace at 397 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair. (973) 746-4477. They have an extensive menu, and on Wednesday nights there’s a buffet. (We usually go out the back and across the street to Montclair Book Center to top off that night’s trip out.) Of course, if you’re looking for real Indian – the stuff they eat, not the stuff they serve to the general public, take the Iselin exit off the Garden State Parkway (127) and head over to Oak Tree Road. Restaurants, jewelry, groceries, clothes, bakeries, video stores, all for the Indian population of NJ.
We’re still looking for good local Chinese. We have tons of places, but since the management at our old favorite left, we haven’t been able to find anything to compare. If you have recommendations, e-mail me.