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Dinner reco for tomorrow night early - great food and vibe a must

Don't bother. We ordered calamari, which was so rubbery it was inedible. Also tried a sliced beef dish that wasn't memorable. The Edward Hopper exhibit, on the other hand, was great.

244 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021

Jan 16, 2011
Laurencat in Manhattan

Dinner reco for tomorrow night early - great food and vibe a must

Madison and 75. After dinner to Penn Station.

Jan 14, 2011
Laurencat in Manhattan

Dinner reco for tomorrow night early - great food and vibe a must

Going to The Whitney for the Edward Hopper Exhibit tomorrow afternoon. Museum closes at 6:00 and we'd like to go to dinner right after. Any recommendations for somewhere close-ish with creative food and a fun attitude? Casual is preferable, and we'd like to keep the tab under $150 for two with a couple of glasses of wine each.

Jan 14, 2011
Laurencat in Manhattan

Shout out to Tolima, Chatham

Based on your comments, and others from different sites, plus the menu looked interesting, we went to Tolima's for dinner. Not a good decision. Certainly the place has no ambiance, though there is an eclectic collection of artwork. The ceiling tiles are in bad shape, and the lighting is poor. But on to the food.

We ordered the crustini sampler (my name not there's) which offers four tastings on tiny slivers of (not great) bread. The toppings were good enough; fried mushrooms, brie with jam, chorizo and (mushy) tomatoes with gorgonzola. Tasty, but far from well-prepared.

There were four of us. I ordered two starters, as the sweet, but unsophisticated waitress told me one or two was as big as a meal. And she was right. I had shrimp with polenta in a sauce with too much cream, and too little taste. My second dish was overcooked beef with ((surprise!) polenta. Both came with spinach, which was fine. The real problem was a complete lack of subtlety.

My dining partners had tialpia with chorizo (tasteless), lamb ribs (too salty) and trout (tasteless).

This place really has nothing going for it, I'm sorry to say.

641 Shunpike Rd, Chatham, NJ 07928

Jun 04, 2010
Laurencat in New Jersey

Moving to Cranford/Westfield area and looking for suggestions

Some of these were covered, but here's my humble opinion. The order is just how I'm remembering the places, not any hierarchy.

1. Bakery - no competition - Natale's in Summit. Croissants, bread, muffins, cakes, cookies.
2. American/pub - Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains. Big place, you can (almost) always walk in and get a seat. Good burgers, varied menu. A few decent wines, and local bands on weekends.
3. Country French - Les Rendez-Vous in Kenilworth. If you understand good French food, you'll appreciate the meals here. Very small place - 10 tables, and the service is okay. But the food is brilliant.
4. Italian take out - Cioffi's in Springfield - Pizza is expensive (some pies over $20) but it's so worth it. Sandwiches are excellent too. Try their Fra Diavolo pizza.
5. Thai - Thailand on Central Ave in Clark - it looks like a diner.
6. Indian - Raagini on Route 22. Try the buffet lunch.
7. Diner - Union Plaza Diner.

Union Plaza Diner
US Highway 22 N, Union, NJ 07083

Raagini Restaurant
1085 US Highway 22, Mountainside, NJ 07092

May 15, 2010
Laurencat in New Jersey

Negeen Persian Grill - Summit, NJ

Just returned from our first visit. The food merits returning. The service, is just something to be tolerated. They simply had too few servers. Most importantly, the bill was incorrect. We ordered three appetizers for 14.95 and they charged individually 5.95 each. Also, they included 18% gratuity in the bill with a line that says "18% gratuity included for parties over 5." There were four of us. I'm a cynic, so I assume they do this to everyone, and I warned those at the neighboring table.

Having said that, the food was tasty, though the meat portions were very slim. Best dishes were the appetizers: chicken and veges in yogurt, smoked eggplant in tomato, and hummus.

I'll go back, but I'll always check my bill.

Etcetera Etcetera

I was looking for her honest opinion. She dealt with the situation appropriately, and that was reflected in the tip.

Nov 22, 2008
Laurencat in Manhattan

Etcetera Etcetera

My friend and I dined here because it is half a block from the theater on 44th Street. Read some good reviews on Chowhound.

Atmosphere: NIce enough crowd, obviously not too effected by the economy. We were there on a Wednesday night. Mostly 40s and up. Mix of friends, couples and small groups. No kids.

Decor is a little odd; framed fabric samples and scrunched-up mesh on the walls. Seating is banquets against the wall, and hard chairs. It???s a little tight. Would be tough for a wheelchair. Also the bathrooms are up a flight of stairs.

Staff: Very friendly and nice. Extremely attentive - refilling water, checking in on you, removing plates as soon as they're empty.

Food: Many choices, including a $35 prix fixe selection, which I had. Straight away they offered choice of water - of course we choice tap - NYC's the best, and provide a variety of bread and an olive tapenade.

My dinner: Mushroom barley soup. Good. Nothing unusual. Short ribs. Very tender, a little too salty. Served with cannellini puree and a tiny bit of broccoli. Dessert was tri-layer sponge cake. Actually it was vanilla pudding/orange sponge/chocolate mousse. Pudding and mousse were fine but the orange sponge cake thing reminded me of the SNL skit "it's a floor wax AND a dessert topping!"

Friends dinner: Beet salad with jicama, smoked prosciutto and goat cheese - best dish. Duck breast with cheese-stuffed potato and a few tiny veges.

I asked the waitress if the cappuccino is most excellent (I'm picky). She said "It's very good." I said "Only very good?" She said "It's fantastic." I said "Is it very good or fantastic" She said "I really like it." So we each ordered a cappuccino. It was okay. Weak. She asked how it was, being attentive again. I told her it was weak, and she brought us two half shots of espresso. Adding that into what was left of our cappuccinos (about half) made them perfect.

WIne list: okay.

Dinner for 2 with wine was $120 +tip

Would I go back? Maybe.

Etcetera Etcetera
352 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Nov 21, 2008
Laurencat in Manhattan

Rahway restaurants

Went to Cubanu last night with three friends on a recommendation. It was okay. I think I'd only go back for the Thursday night Salsa lessons. The recommendation was: go for the drinks and the tapas. I'd agree about the drinks. Three of us had mojitos, which were excellent. We ordered one of each tapas. They were okay. Not too tasty, and all very heavy except the shrimp dishes.

Staff was young, and neither experienced nor well-trained. Very nice, and friendly, but lacking in the experience to know how to keep us happy.

Aug 16, 2008
Laurencat in Mid-Atlantic

Hands Down- Best BYOB in Central Jersey?

Les Rendez-Vous -Kenilworth (French Bistro)
Edo - New Brunswick (sushi)
Pamir - Morristown (Afghan)
La Focaccia - Summit (Italian)

Jun 04, 2008
Laurencat in New Jersey

IS there any Good Sushi?

Hands down, best sushi in the area is at Edo on Easton Avenue in New Brunswick. Anytime I have something to celebrate, I invite all my peeps there and bring lots of wine and beer or sake to share with Jun, the chef. JUst tell him what you like and how much you want to spend per person, and he'll create a delicious and beautiful masterpiece.

Jun 04, 2008
Laurencat in New Jersey

Dinner in West Orange

Going to Cecil's Jazz Club Friday night. Has anyone eaten there? If anyone could recommend a good restaurant nearby - casual, but otherwise, anything goes - it would be much appreciated.

Somerset, NJ Visit [Moved from Tristate board]

Edo, on Easton Ave in New Brunswick is my absolute favorite sushi place. Just tell Yun the sushi chef how much you want to spend and he'll give you a plate - I usually ask for half sushi and half sashimi. Mmm! Now I want to go there.

Nov 15, 2007
Laurencat in Mid-Atlantic