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So...where'd you eat this week?


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Wanted to get some activity here...so where'd you eat this week? New, old, good, bad, same as last time?   Just a quick two (more later) -- I grabbed lunch/burger at the Dutch House (Fair Lawn, revi

Had lunch at the Emerson Hotel...nothing new. Same menu, same people, same same. LOL.   If you like their open-sliced steak sandwiches, well, they are the same too. Good service, nice crowd, and cer

Had dinner at Rudy's -- the Cliffside Park mainstay classic...I went to Rudy's for the first time in 1984...and not much has changed...and that's a good thing...a very good thing.   Walk into Rudy's

I like the Knife & Fork and the White House. Had a really good lobster thermidor at the K&F a few years back. Anyone been to Dock's lately?

 

Haven't been to Dock's, but several of my friends have and all the reports have come back favorable and very good.

 

The K&F had a lobster thermidor "special" -- and I forget the details, but their lobster thermidor is their own take/version on it.

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Went to Restaurant Serenade this weekend as well. I wanted to be impressed. I planned many dinners there during my years as a meeting planner and live 2 miles away. Sadly, I wasn't. I felt it was too precocious. I'm never a fan of wine lists with limited affordable, aka less that $100 per bottle wine lists. I always also disappointed by their pork chop entree, which was highly recommended. I have a tendency to over salt everything, but even this was too salty for me. The vibe wasn't relaxing. Yet, I've been completely relaxed at more "formal" , at least by dress code standards, places such as Highlawn and the Manor. My husbands salmon was delicious though. I will probably give it another try, but being an almost lifetime resident of Morris County and having worked in many fine dining establishments, I must admit I can find better places to spend our money.

 

Dee and I have visited Serenade regularly for most of its existence, and it's certainly had its ups and downs.

 

On a visit two or three years ago, I was distinctly underwhelmed. Nothing stood out as poorly executed, service was polished and friendly, but it just didn't seem to hit the right notes for a place of its historical caliber. I felt perhaps there was no soul, everyone was executing from a manual. But our most recent dinner, in September of 2013, was pretty good. I wrote a very favorable comment about it on the Serenade thread. Good, but expensive. At the time, I considered it superior to a then recent poorly executed dinner at Nicholas.

 

On the other hand, dinner in the bar is an absolute steal for the price.

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Went to Restaurant Serenade this weekend as well. I wanted to be impressed. I planned many dinners there during my years as a meeting planner and live 2 miles away. Sadly, I wasn't. I felt it was too precocious. I'm never a fan of wine lists with limited affordable, aka less that $100 per bottle wine lists. I always also disappointed by their pork chop entree, which was highly recommended. I have a tendency to over salt everything, but even this was too salty for me. The vibe wasn't relaxing. Yet, I've been completely relaxed at more "formal" , at least by dress code standards, places such as Highlawn and the Manor. My husbands salmon was delicious though. I will probably give it another try, but being an almost lifetime resident of Morris County and having worked in many fine dining establishments, I must admit I can find better places to spend our money.

 

Dee and I have visited Serenade regularly for most of its existence, and it's certainly had its ups and downs.

 

On a visit two or three years ago, I was distinctly underwhelmed. Nothing stood out as poorly executed, service was polished and friendly, but it just didn't seem to hit the right notes for a place of its historical caliber. I felt perhaps there was no soul, everyone was executing from a manual. But our most recent dinner, in September of 2013, was pretty good. I wrote a very favorable comment about it on the Serenade thread. Good, but expensive. At the time, I considered it superior to a then recent poorly executed dinner at Nicholas.

 

On the other hand, dinner in the bar is an absolute steal for the price.

The bar menu is especially appealing to me, so I will go back to give it a try. And I know basing a restaurant, on the first visit, nevertheless on a Sunday of a three day weekend is hardly giving it a fair shot. I just could not help but to think the rose by the glass at $20 per glass was marked up to provide the waiters, who were wearing suits, complete with a jacket, with their dry cleaning bills.

 

I agree with the soulless point, something just didn't sit well with me overall. In all fairness, I do tend to lean towards steakhouses when we want to spend a couple hundred dollars on a dinner. The bread basket was excellent, although I do prefer being given a full basket rather than an table side choice, but that's overly picky of me. My husbands appetizer special of the lobster salad was excellent, my soft shell crab app was also excellent, but sloppily prepared and hard to eat neatly.

 

Overall, I found the scene pretentious. Other tables were flamboyant in their choices, men telling their wives what they thought they should have and it seemed like most of the men around us should have just smacked their net worth (or an unmentionable body part down) on the table as it was a classless attempt to show off. That type of thing makes me insane, as a diner and as a previous employee of fine dining establishments.

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In the course of my travels...Rutt's Hut and Buffalo's Chicken Shack...both very much the same and thankfully so. Rutt's Hut is simply a classic hot dog joint. Hope it never changes. Buffalo's Chicken Shack -- had some boneless wings with the classic BBQ sauce. Also had the nachos which were very good. Classic wing place -- variety of sauces -- and very, very good wings!

 

Also had dinner at Varka...excellent as always.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Callahan's Hot Dog truck, on Father's Day in Closter....you can see my comments on the Callahan's thread, but the bottom line -- CLASSIC CALLAHAN'S!!!

 

They are doing it and doing it right -- and I enjoyed the dogs very much. Excellent hot dogs....Callahan's is back.

 

I just had dinner at Dimora in Norwood -- excellent appetizer special of grilled artichoke appetizer, with some red peppers, and hearts of palm. Chicken special was very good, liked by all. I had one of the risotto specials. I was offered three different kinds, and I went with the seafood. It was described as coming with shrimp, lobster and clams. It was very good seafood, a reasonable amount of shrimp, lobster and clams, and the seafood was well prepared. I was recommended to try a "pink" sauce. I wasn't thrilled with this, but for a change of pace, sure, why not. It was OK. Maybe I am a bit indifferent on this sauce. But the risotto was not prepared well in my opinion. It was overdone, too soft, "mushy" and clobbered by the sauce. My friend pointed out that while the menu said M.P for the risotto special(s) -- the bill priced it at $45. Considering I wasn't ecstatic with the dish, that was a point to note. I wouldn't order it again this way, but I might try this seafood risotto with a different, lighter, simpler sauce -- and I hope to like it as much as I like well executed/prepared risotto.

 

I would have no problem going back, and I would take one more shot at a risotto dish. Risotto can be make or break, and not easy to execute perfectly. Regardless, several people I know like the place, and I do to, so I'll go back.

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Also had a quick bite at the Mason Jar -- same same. Reliable, good, better than typical pub grub food. Very good mashed potatoes, good mac and cheese side for my chicken jar-b-que sandwich, and everything else was good. Nothing that lights the world -- not my world -- on fire, but a good, local, reliable place with a deep menu. A lot to offer there.

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Friday night went to E&V -- had the calamari salad appetizer, again, very good. The bread is also very good. Not sure where they get it from. I went with the seafood risotto again, executed well.

 

Also had dinner at Dimora, Masago and Park West. More details to follow, but the latter two -- very good, as always. Wasn't completely thrilled with the seafood risotto at Dimora.

 

Also stopped in Roots new location in Ridgewood...more details to follow, but a return trip very soon is planned.

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I haven't been to E&V in decades, thanks for mentioning it.

 

The distance, and a number of good competitors pushed it out of the rotation.

 

I hear you. It wouldn't be a regular of mine -- strictly due to distance and alternatives -- except I am in that general area often. It's still classic. Excellent following, classic Italian food, good, reliable, some good specials, etc. In my opinion, there aren't a ton of good Italian food places around the area, so when I find one I like, I stick with it. Like I said, I went to Dimora and while I'll go back, I am not sure it would be one of my favorites. Plus, I am not in that are very often.

 

With Italian restaurants, I tend to "go out of my way" in order to go to one that is very good, excellent, etc. I am lucky that there are a few very good ones near me, in the areas I tend to be in, etc.

 

I've always liked E&V and they've been around a long time.

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So we went to Roots in Ridgewood. The place is very nice, large, expansive, well done. The place was crowded -- the bar, the dining room, etc. I don't think I saw an empty table. The menu is typical Roots -- high-end, quality, well done, steak-house menu. The service was excellent. Management has a strong presence and they are doing whatever they can to make sure you have a quality, good experience, etc.

 

The food was very good, excellent -- as I expected -- and it didn't disappoint.

 

We walked from another place in Ridgewood, so I can't speak to parking and whether or not they offer valet parking.

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Dee and I had dinner with friends at Three West in Basking Ridge a few months ago. It is also a Harvest Restaurants property.

 

The captain told us he had been promoted as three of his co-workers were selected to be part of the opening team at Roots in Ridgewood. Harvest is very engaged in promoting from within, training people, and offering classes on many aspects of the business. So, people are selected from other Harvest properties to "seed" the new place with employees who understand the culture and are promotable.

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Bibi'z Lounge in Westwood. No dish stood out - and that's my whole review. I'd eat there again - if someone else was buying.

 

I miss the world' best hot dogs - ever - from the truck that used to park on Old Hook Road just past the farm. #2 will always be the Midtown Grill in Clifton.

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