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Some of NJ's best Sicilian pizza is now in Verona

Isn't there a Mr. Bruno's in Saddle Brook too? That's the one we frequent. This is really great news since my mother lives in Caldwell.

For a sicilian rec, have you ever had Al Santillo's in Elizabeth? It's without a doubt, to me, the best pizza on earth...both the rounds and the squares. Ask for the sicilian well done and he finishes it directly on the brick for that extra crunch. Dude is a true auteur.

Sep 28, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

What is your dirty little food secret?

Taylor Ham! Taylor Ham! Taylor Ham!

Gotta cut a slit so it looks like pac man then cook it until it gets nice and black.

Aug 04, 2013
tamerlanenj in General Topics
1

Olive Lucy's in Morristown

This place is fairly new....less than a year old. My wife and I live down the block and had been meaning to try it, but with our baby we rarely get out. Finally got there tonight for her birthday and...WOW. We've lived in Boston and NYC and frankly this place would be right at home in a major city not only for ambiance and design but for the creativity and sophistication of the menu. It's a Portuguese/Italian fusion place with a heavy emphasis on seafood....they refer to it as Iron Bound meets Little Italy, but definitely to us it seemed more the former than the latter in terms of flavors. And this is a FLAVOR FORWARD restaurant. Big, bold tastes all the way down the menu.

We started with fantastic appetizers of mussels and tamales. The mussels are the best I've had in New Jersey...far from your North Jersey Italian standard with red sauce or white wine/garlic broth, these are served in a pungent and spicy liquid so herbacious that it's green. Very bright and fresh tasting, with of course punches of garlic to go with the hot peppers. Mussels themselves were plump and fresh.

The tamales...oh man, the tamales. Fluffy, slightly sweet clouds of cornmeal served over husks with shrimp, lobster, chourico, and crispy shallots and a rich seafood sauce. Wow.

Mains on the menu are divided between proteins/seafood entrees and pastas. We had one of each to share. The braised short ribs had a fairly standard continental profile...a deep rich red wine reduction....but really well executed. The ribs themselves were moist, the the crispy fingerling potatoes that soaked up the sauce underneath were unbelievable. The whole affair was topped with more of the crispy shallots (or were they leeks?) which helped balane the textures.

For the pasta, we had the dish of the night, for me anyway: black linguini with clams and sausage. All their pastas are made fresh, and this black squid ink linguine was perfect. The sausage was a very thinly sliced linguica I think. The clams were perfectly cooked and plump (I got a little grit, but eh...). The dish was tied together by a rich, clammy white wine sauce, but what really put it over the top was the generous topping of queso fresco and sweet roasted garlic cloves. Some, I suppose, might find the dish a bit loud, and there is, to be sure, a lot going on. However, somehow, getting the clam, the sauce, the sausage, the garlic, and the queso fresco together on the fork in one bite resulted in something out of this world.

Deserts were fine. I don't really care about them so I don't pay too much attention. One was a nice key lime mousse pie, the other some kind of chocolate mocha cake.

Altogether the check came to $89 before tip. When you consider that we paired the meal with a 2007 Pietranara Brunello di Montalcino that we brought with us from home, it certainly felt like a bargain.

Aug 03, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

New York style bagels

Yeah, Bagel Rising is pretty good. Do they still carry them at Espresso Royale?

Jun 18, 2013
tamerlanenj in Greater Boston Area

New York style bagels

I moved away from Boston back to my ancestral home of North Jersey, and it's sad to say that even around here most places are mediocre these days. The post above has it right...bigger, softer bagels have come into vogue, and now I have to hoof it to Bagel Supreme in Union County or Sonny's in South Orange...I can no longer rely on my neighbhorhood joints.

I never really found anything matching the bagel of my youth in Boston. Kupel's was just ok. Oddly enough, I sort of liked Finagle a Bagel, especially fresh. They aren't really that NYish but I guess I sort of acclimated.

There was also a franchise in the BU College of Arts and Sciences of Einstein Brother's Bagels that were pretty dang close. Any other non-BU branches around?

Jun 18, 2013
tamerlanenj in Greater Boston Area

Shake shack

I give them credit for starting a trend, but it just isn't that special anymore. There are so many great burger places doing a similar shtick now from Manhattan to Brooklyn to New Jersey to Long Island to Westchester and back again. Why put up with the line? Don's in Morristown NJ is just as good. So is Petey's in Astoria.

Also, a lot of these places have better fries (hand cut double fried, etc)

May 20, 2013
tamerlanenj in Chains

Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza - Morristown

The place is expensive but imagine the rent on south street. They are definitely turning out high quality if not mind blowing pies.

Apr 24, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Bennigan's Is Coming Back To Saddle Brook, New Jersey......

Dude, this place is utterly PACKED every time I drive by. O admit I'm at least curious....seems like part of a nationwide rebranding/overhaul.

Feb 23, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Mehndi in Morristown

Yes...next to Suvios! Fantastic malai kofta!

Feb 23, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Mehndi in Morristown

Caffe India is much better!

Feb 21, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

More Burgers!!

What are the hyped burger joints in Paramus.

Feb 18, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza - Morristown

And yes, it is pricey. I'm not sure how Ridgewood and Morristown rents compare, but $11 for a Margherita at A Mano is a lot more palatable.

Feb 10, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Millie's Old World Meatballs and Pizza - Morristown

Millies does make their own mozzarella.

we have tried both the wood and coal pies. The coal is great, the wood exceptional...I wasn't a huge fan of the chunky highly acidic sauce on the coal pie...but the marinara they serve with their meatballs is quite good. Crust on the wood fired pie was about perfect. The coal was good too, but soggier towards the middle. Loved the spicy soprasetta as a change from pepperoni.

the meatballs are deep fried. Very crust outside but a bit dry inside...at least for takeout. Dine in probably better.

Feb 10, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

I like Reservoir but it is more ny style than bar pie. Do try Star, and soon. I too was skeptical, not considering myself a fan of the thin crispy bar style...but just go, order one plain and one pepperoni...it will forever change your outlook on pizza imho.

Feb 09, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

Bivio in little falls charges 11 for a margherita that is hard to imagine topping. Millies wood fired pies did seem a little larger though. My wife and I shared one and a side of two meatballs and had enough food.

Feb 08, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

ChowHounder411...looks like the pizza gods were listening to you re Morristown. Millie's old world just opened on south street...pretty sweet...they have two ovens, one wood for Neapolitan style and one coal for more Brooklyn style pies. We tried the wood fired pies and found them excellent. They also specialize in meatballs...though I found there's a tad dry.

check it out!

Feb 08, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

6 Months of Terrible Food Since Relocating to Rahway, NJ

Santillos in Elizabeth was a religious experience for me.

Feb 08, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

My favorite burgers in New Jersey are served at...

Dons in Morristown is easily my favorite burger going right now.

Feb 08, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

What became of NJ Sizzler locations?

West Caldwell became a panera
place was truly awful!!

Jan 27, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Donuts in North Jersey

$15 to get over the tunnel now! That's pricey for some donuts.

Jan 11, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Donuts in North Jersey

Thanks TK! Plainfield donut shop sounds like exactly what I'm looking for based on yelp reviews.

there's a place on mt. Pleasant in Livingston. Anyone tried?

Jan 11, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Donuts in North Jersey

Ever heard of a typo? Jeez. See how the I is next to the O?

Jan 10, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Donuts in North Jersey

I lived in New England for many years, and independent homemade donut shops seem to be more prevalent there. I haven't found anything to speak of near my new home in Morristown! I do love Donut Plant in the LES but I can't be driving into the city just to get Donuts!! (though I did do it one morning to surprise my pregnant wife
..left at the crack of dawn and was through the Holland tunnel.and back in no time!).

So point me to the good donut shops! I am more interested in donut specific joints, but if you know a bakery with good donuts, I'd love to hear.

Jan 10, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Rehearsal dinner within 15-20 minutes of Morristown

Did you think about Roots or Sebastians? Either would be better than Ruths Chris.

Jan 10, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Why are there so many terrible restaurants in Jersey?

Bivio in Little Falls is better than any pizza in Manhattan. FACT.

Jan 02, 2013
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Just Moved to Summit, NJ (from Brooklyn) and struggling to find good food! Help.

I've just recently moved to Morristown....some thoughts on that nearby scene:

Kebab Fusion: Very solid middle eastern/greek. Very good felafel, excellent shawarma sandwiches. Nothing to wow someone who lived in, say, Astoria, but good for this area.

Don's: Outstanding burgers. One of my favorites. Better than Shake Shack, and I mean that 100 percent. Just one of the most flavorful burgers I've eaten. Good hand cut fries and shakes too. Best Hot Dog south of Boston.

Shake It: Same kind of menu as Don's (burgers, fries, shakes). Not quite as good, but still solid...and they ahve the Shake Shack style crinkle fries if you like those.

La Estacion: Above average Mexican for the area, both in terms of quality and authenticity. If you avoid the burritos and stick to the traditional entrees, you're in good shape.

Raul's Empanadas: Awesome little divey spot with tons of varieties of empanadas right in downtown MoTown. Better than you get from your average empanada truck in NYC, with other menu options like chicharrones and arepas.

Caffe India: Solid, above average for suburban Jersey indian food. My favorite in North Jersey would be Brick City in Montclair, but this is a good, close option.

Pizza: Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany/Boonton is fantastic, though maybe not quite the destination that Star Tavern in Orange is. Aside from that, pizza around here is pretty meh. Have you been to Star yet? It's worth a drive. So is Reservoir imho.

The Artist's Baker: a first rate artisan baker, specializing in french style (croissants, macarons, quiche, brioche, etc.) Really worth a trip.

Dec 11, 2012
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

6 Months of Terrible Food Since Relocating to Rahway, NJ

Rahway is one thing, but the plenty of communities in NJ are drowning in money. Now taste? That might be another thing...

Dec 09, 2012
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

6 Months of Terrible Food Since Relocating to Rahway, NJ

Funny, since it's owned and founded by Raul Silva, a Mexican.

Dec 09, 2012
tamerlanenj in New Jersey

Fuloon As Good As Ever 12/4/2012

I moved away from Boston a few years ago, and the steamed beef szechuan style at Fu Loon is one of the things I miss most in the world. Right up there with Speed dogs. And it's not even as crazy hot as it looks!

Dec 09, 2012
tamerlanenj in Greater Boston Area

6 Months of Terrible Food Since Relocating to Rahway, NJ

You might be confused about what he means by "Sloppy Joe." He's not talking about meat sauce on a bun, but a unique Jewish Deli type creation. Basically a multi-tiered pastrami or other deli meat sandwich with cole slaw and russian dressing.

Dec 06, 2012
tamerlanenj in New Jersey