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


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Had dinner again at Taverna Mykonos...overall, like I said last time -- a nice place, with a nice ambiance, very good service, and overall this led me to a nice experience. Obviously this place is highly rated, very popular, and has a very good, strong following.



Once again, the service was very good. A tad, just a tad intrusive, but very good. That said, listen, plain and simple -- the food is very good here. Many people like it very much. Too many people like it very much, so it must be me. I like Greek food, Mediterranean, etc., but the place just doesn't thrill me. Again, it must be me.



While it's different, I like the menu at Oceanos much better. So, that's just my personal opinion. Kind of like blue cars? I don't know, I just don't like blue cars. LOL. The menu at TM is good -- but for me, the "Greek" components of the menu is just a little too pretentious. I don't know if that makes sense, and perhaps it should be as the place really is "fine dining" so to speak. The price-point is somewhat "high end" or "expensive" but again, that's OK. If you like the place, you have no problem -- as you are going to get good food, service, experience. If I really liked the place, a lot, like I do with Oceanos, I would not say it's expensive. You get "value" for what you are getting. As far as the fish dishes I saw, specials, etc., were just a little too much -- too busy. Some of the others, same thing. I just look at the menu and have these mixed feelings, a bit difficult to "maneuver" so to speak. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this place -- it's just me and my personal likes, tastes, etc.



I would recommend it -- for tastes other than and different than mine -- and for a change of pace, convenience, etc., I would go back. Like I said, overall, it is nice place, nice experience, good service, and quality, very good food.


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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

Had dinner at The Risotto House (the Hasbrouk Heights location)...I had been wanting to get here for quite some time, and I am very glad I finally did. Both locations are BYO.

 

Looks are deceiving for this simple, store-front, on the main drag kind of place. Inside it's more like fine dining -- nice atmosphere and ambiance, very nice, polite service, tables not close together, well placed, intimate, nice tablecloths and dinnerware, etc. We were greeted, seated at a nice table, and our wine was immediately attended to. Service was excellent throughout.

 

We started with a cold seafood salad, consisting of shrimp, mussels, scallops, and calamari, marinated for just the right balance. I am a fan of seafood salad, and many places just throw it together. This one was very good and prepared very well. The seafood was good quality and fresh -- nice size shrimp, plump, tasty, and nice scallops as well. We also had the stuffed mushrooms -- which I often avoid, unless I am at a very good, fine dining, etc., restaurant. I've just found too many poor efforts at stuffed mushrooms -- watery, overcooked, pre-made, poor stuffing, etc. We decided to give this a shot here -- and we really enjoyed it. Their version were large portabello mushrooms, stuffed with sausage, roasted peppers, parmesan cheese and sausage. It was excellent and executed extremely well. There was a lot of flavor here, and you could get the nuances of the sausage and cheese, and the flavors blended together very well. I really liked this appetizer a lot.

 

There was also a "daily special" menu -- a one page menu, with several appetizers and several entrees, all of which sounded very appetizing. They also had a special risotto and another two entrees which were reviewed by our waiter. Regarding our waiter -- he was a very nice, polite young man. He knew the menu exceptionally well. After we asked a question or two, which he answered extremely well, he asked us a question or two about our likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. -- and he suggested an appetizer for our next visit. Very professional. I watched other waiters, and they were all very polite, personable, and very professional. I recognized one of the waiters, who is a real pro, a seasoned veteran of a few fine dining establishments in Northern NJ.

 

On to the entrees -- simply put, this place is called The Risotto House, so what do you expect? LOL. Check out their website. Actually, they have a good selection of chicken, veal, meat, fish, and a few pastas, good and diverse depth...and they have a very extensive list of various risotto dishes, in excess of a dozen, not including the specials. We went with a risotto with mixed mushrooms and the risotto del mare (seafood -- with shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops and calamari/squid). Now, I've always said that risotto is a make or break dish. It sounds simple, but it really needs to be prepared well -- "just right" -- or else the dish can be a flop. Depending on the ingredients, additions, etc., they have to be coordinated as well. Bottom line -- both were done perfect in my opinion. They both had just the right cook time, balance between the cream, sauce, ingredients, and so on, and the delicate risotto itself. Both were excellent and I enjoyed both very much. I found them to be the perfect balance, not heavy and pasty or too creamy, and not too mushy or not combined well. Really just done perfectly in my opinion.

 

Two appetizers and two entrees were about $55. We brought our own bottle of wine of course.

 

The Risotto House was very, very good. I enjoyed it a lot. A return visit will be very soon. It was a very nice night, an excellent experience, and very good food.

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Can't believe I forgot this one and didn't post...

 

Recently had dinner at El Cid...now I've been here numerous times over the years. Bottom line -- I've never been disappointed. Yes, we've all heard the the criticisms that it's big portions and the food isn't that good, or it's simply quantity over quality, and so on. Now, two things, first, in my opinion, if you don't like the food...don't go! Pretty simple in my mind. Second, in my opinion -- none of that is true at all. The steak is not Peter Luger's. It's not supposed to be. The lobster is not the Oceana, the Water Club, the Palm or some other top lobster/seafood place in NYC. It's not supposed to be. However, it's quality, good food. I eat out almost every night. Now, while I know what I like, what my friends like, etc. -- I also know "good" food and "bad" food. Sure, everyone has different likes and dislikes, tastes, etc. -- but bad food, bad quality, etc. is constant, and this is NOT it. They use good food, ingredients, fresh, quality, prepare it well -- and they serve good food here. It's not supposed to be "fine dining" so to speak -- but it's good food, very good service, and good times.

 

The scallop appetizer and the chorizo were both very good. I like chorizo -- good chorizo -- and it's not easy to order often. It can be a tough dish to pull off well...Chorizo is often "oily" and "greasy"...sometimes they "kill" it -- but here they do it well. A lot of flavor and taste, and prepared very well. The scallops also had nice flavor and taste. The bread was fresh, warm and had a nice balance and crust. The entrees were also very good -- yes, big portions -- from a chicken special, to the surf and turf, to the paella, monkfish, and so on. The chicken special was excellent -- moist, tender chicken, very good quality and prepared very well. The paella was traditional, but everything was done perfectly, from the chorizo to the chicken, seafood, shellfish, and the lobster and rice. The monkfish was also excellent. The various lobsters -- including the surf and turf -- were very good.

The service is very good. The place is always crowded and has a strong following. It's a quality, local Spanish/Portuguese place, with a nice ambiance, good fun, and a nice experience. I don't care about what the "authentic" police say. I don't care what the "advertising" police say, and so on. LOL. It is not the best paella, lobster, etc. you will have -- not in NYC or Newark -- but it's good, local cuisine.

 

I never have a problem going back to El Cid and always enjoy a good meal.

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Here is an article I recently read on the place:

 

http://www.boozyburbs.com/2015/01/13/opening-alert-craft-house-tappan-ny/

 

A friend of mine is working there. She told me about the principals involved, their background, what they were looking for, aiming for, etc. She's an industry veteran and from what she told me, it sounds very interesting. I am actually going to stop in later this week.

 

Here's their menu, from their website...

 

http://www.crafthouseny.com/menu-1/

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Went to Stickey's in Hillsdale on Sat. night after trying two other restos and not being able to get in. We had burgers,fries and cole slaw and it was all top notch. My wife said this was her favorite burger(She's a die hard Davey's person). They cooked the burgers exactly like we asked for it. We had 1/4lb and a 1/2lb burgers. Tax and tip was $25.I've been for the BBQ in the past and wasn't impressed, but these burger will make me come back.

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Craig Levy and I used to work together years ago. If you guys want to get together for a "check it out" dinner I'd be good to go.

 

I'm in...lunch or dinner...great idea Nick.

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Craig Levy and I used to work together years ago. If you guys want to get together for a "check it out" dinner I'd be good to go.

 

I'm in...lunch or dinner...great idea Nick.

 

 

I'm in, as well.

 

How about sending me PMs with some general dates, lunch/dinner etc and I'll make the calls.

 

Anyone is welcome, of course.

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Craig Levy and I used to work together years ago. If you guys want to get together for a "check it out" dinner I'd be good to go.

 

I'm in...lunch or dinner...great idea Nick.

 

 

I'm in, as well.

 

How about sending me PMs with some general dates, lunch/dinner etc and I'll make the calls.

 

Anyone is welcome, of course.

 

 

PM's sent...

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PM replied.

 

Dinner at Joyce in River Edge last night. Not Good. Will post details later.

 

ETA: The much touted Ox Tongue and Tripe dish was an OK mass of protein heavy on the tripe with some, I repeat some, thin slices of tongue.. Chewier than I liked; the dish was fine, not transcendent. The chili oil dressing (its a chilled dish) was a one-dimensional to my taste. As I said OK. It was a very large portion.

 

The larb like chicken and lettuce wrap dish was also fine.

 

The Szechuan Beef dish had more dried chilies than than the dried strips of beef--handfuls of the stuff. Very difficult to eat.

 

My Braised Pork and Cabbage (a hunk of greyish on the inside pork belly and dull brown cabbage) was tender, but this was no doubt due to the number of reheats. Yeah, it had that older three or four times cooked edge to it. It tasted old, not bad, just old. The cabbage was an over-cooked sodden mess. The dish was a complete miss.

 

The place was empty when we left at 7:30. We may be back, Maybe we ordered the wrong stuff. Maybe, but I find it hard to believe that the stuff we ordered was well prepared authentic food.

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I've got to agree with you about Joyce. We've gone since the first week. In the beginning the food was much better than it is now. The last time we went convinced me that we need to take a break,and hope it improves. I also noticed the drop off of customers in the restaurant, it didn't fill up the whole time we were there.

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I've been hearing some similar comments about Joyce. They opened with such positive reviews, comments, and I know a few people who were raving about the place.

 

I wanted to go, and should have as it's about 5-10 minutes from my office. Well, unfortunately, as it happens occasionally, I didn't make it -- and by the time I had plans to go, a few people told me the place had "slipped" so to speak.

 

Sorry to hear.

 

What about the other place people were talking about -- the one in Wallington -- how's that place doing? Any recent reports?

 

Thank you in advance.

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That would likely be Lan Sheng. Haven't been there yet, but the Yelpers like it. Continued good marks from many people.

 

I'm delighted as that may be an opportunity for other older industrial towns awash in bar and restaurant licenses to attract good chefs / owners at a reasonable price. That's good for the business all around.

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