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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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EDGEWATER

 

Brooklyn’s Coal-Burning Pizzeria: Italian; Edgewater; 443 River Rd @ Edgewater Commons Ctr; 25/12/$20; 201-945-9096; No slices served; BYO except Hackensack location which has beer/ wine; Fresher than fresh coal over pizza; Truly melt in your mouth pizza; Crust is beyond outstanding. Plenty of tables and it’s ideal for a heavenly lunch.

 

Fleming's Prime SteakhouseSteakhouse; Edgewater; 90 The Promenade @ River Rd; 23/22/$61; 201-313-9463; Excellent restaurant; Check out the website loaded with specials and graphic detail on the food; Incredibly fresh seafood; Expert cocktails; Mouthwatering steaks- Rib Eye & Filet way to go; Beautiful views of NY. They stick to a formula with less of a typical old boy feel. Nice happy hour. Feature 100+ wines by the glass; Comfortable seating.  Dinner only. Prime Rib featured Sundays.

 

Greek Taverna: Greek; Edgewater; 55 Promenade @ River Rd; 22/18/$35; 201-945-8998; The price is right; The selection is huge- particularly the appetizers; The food is excellent; Having a grilled whole fish may be way to go; It is BYO; Open kitchen adds an air of class to the otherwise laid back mini-chain. Lamb chops stand out as well. Has Grilled Calamari! Large portions.   

 

Haven Riverfront: American; Edgewater; 2 Main St @ River; 20/24/$55; 201-943-1900; Known for near perfect views of Manhattan;  Offer weekend brunch with 2 free Bloody’s for $24;  Great bar and lounge area; Same owners as Hoboken’s 340 Grill; Large and spacious – great contemporary décor; For dinner: raw bar, Sea scallops, Yellowfin Tuna, Chilean Sea Bass, Monkfish, Short Ribs.

 

KinaraIndian; Edgewater; 880 River Rd; 22/17/$31; 201-313-0555; Excellent prepared dishes – better than the buffet; Dumpy outside but somewhat stylish interior; BYO a plus; Very authentic, not overly spicy- ask for hotter if you like that; Huge a la carte menu; Affordable pricing; Pretty much offer anything you can think of. Safe bet for reliable Indian fare. Chicken Makhni; Buffet is $10 and daily. 

 

Pier 115 Bar & Grill: American; Edgewater; 115 River Road; 22/24/$42; 201-313-2155; New hotspot open daily for lunch or dinner; Very cool interior – brick walls, wine bottles all over; Nice oak tables; Gastro Pub with 100 beers on tap; Date friendly; Outdoor seating available; Amazing views; Wood Fired pizzas; Pretzel with Cheese sauce, Tuna Tartare, Hummus, Wings, Incredible Burgers, Chilean Sea Bass, Linguine with Clan sauce. 

 

Rebecca's: Cuban; Edgewater; 236 Old River Rd; 23/20/$47; 201-943-8808; One of the best Cuban restaurants in the county; Addictive food; Incredible quality; BYO helps with the cost; They serve wine only as well; Fun, friendly staff; Secluded backyard for dates;  Smallish- romantic feel. Every Cuban dish you’d expect is on the menu. Try the roast pork; Sort of a Cuban-Caribbean fusion. Charming space. 

 

River Palm: Steakhouse; Edgewater; 1416 River Rd @ Palisade Terrace; 24/19/$63; 201-224-2013; One of the best known steakhouses in NJ; Sides are very inexpensive with many to choose from- as are the salads; Steaks are $27 - $40 on average; Also Lamb chops, Lobster, Shrimp, and chicken dishes. Expensive sushi- tons of rolls – in Edgewater location; Fish selections as well…. Truly a massive menu for a steakhouse. They do it right. Each location has a different personality.

 

That Fondue PlaceFondue; Edgewater; 934 River Rd; 20/16/$36; 201-969-8005; Name says it all; Large variety of fondues and dipping items to choose from; They also do flavored broths and have different styles of cooking; BYO helps with price; Portions are not huge but it is a lot of fun; Great for dates. Specialize in crepes too; 3 course prix fixe for $35; Website is very useful. Multiple fondue apps.   

 

ELMWOOD PARK

 

BhojIndian; Elmwood Park; 430 Market St @ Caruth; 23/15/$32; 201-797-6800; This BYO Indian in a non-descript location has incredible food; Butter chicken, tikka masala, the Somosas, lamb curries- all great; Known for ultra friendly service for the genre; Weekend and weekday lunch buffet $11.95: 12:30-3:30pm; The service is outstanding and they go all out to create a pleasing meal.  Not a fancy place. 

 

Royal WarsawPolish; Elmwood Park; 871 River Dr; 24/20/$33; 201-794-9277; Polish comfort food including great potato pancakes; Hopping bar scene featuring Wednesday ladies night; Imported beers; Unusual dishes, creative cuisine; Huge menu to sample all the classics of the region. Website has pictures and descriptions of most dishes; Food cleverly presented; You will go home with leftovers; Inexpensive drinks; Party/ date atmosphere. Pierogi mania; Even serve Frogs legs.  Happy Hour 3-6pm;  

 

Taverna Mykonos: Greek; Elmwood Park; 238 Broadway; 25/22/$39; 201-703-9200; Menu is a fusion of Greek and Mediterranean; Comfortable, pleasant setting; Full bar with a nice wine list; Try the Saganaki, Greek meatballs, Mediterranean Spreads, Chopped Salad, Lavraki (sea bass), Crabmeat over sole, Seafood platter, Mousaka, Lamb Shank or chops;  Sea bass; Huge menu overall;  Delicious! 

 

EMERSON

 

Pimaan Thai RestaurantThai; Emerson; 79 Kinderkamack Rd; 24/17/$35; 201-967-0440;  Consistent quality and service; Noodles and curries stand out; Excellent lunch specials; Soft Shell crab available; BYO; Will accommodate any plate; Pleasant experience though more of a spot for locals. Serviceable restaurant with well presented dishes.  Shrimp Pad Thai is tops;  201 Mag Best Thai winner 3x. Best Thai restaurant in Bergen county easily. Only issue is speed food comes out when busy.  

 

ENGLEWOOD

 

Akai LoungeJapanese; Englewood; 11 N Dean St; 26/21/$43; 201-541-0086; One of the best sushi restaurants in Bergen; Full non-Sushi Japanese/ Asian Fusion menu; Perfect date spot; Well made cocktails; Hipster cool; Creative rolls; Tuna Guac appetizer- yum. NYC Chelsea feel. Absolute must try. Only possible issue is portion size with some dishes. Try the Rock Shrimp and special rolls & lychee martini! 

 

BenniesLebanese; Englewood; 54 E Palisade Av @ Grand; 24/14/$31;  201-894-5700; Truly authentic Lebanese regional cuisine; Spinach, cheese and meat pie appetizers; Chicken Shawarma sandwich, Falafel and Shish Kebob stands out; Hookah options. Been around 18 years and owned by same family; The food will impress you – even if Mediterranean cuisine isn’t your thing.  Grilled Ahi Tuna;  BYO.  

 

Blue Moon Mexican CaféMexican; Englewood; 21 E Palisade @ Dean; 24/18/$35; 201-541-0600; Hip, Americanized versions of the Mexican classics; High energy and lively; Upscale Mexican serviced in a laid back environment- almost a club feel; Excellent margaritas; Mouthwatering appetizers including Guacamole; Unique main courses; Just better than the rest.  Englewood location expanded to feature a huge bar area with great drink specials. Happy Hour 4-7pm $3 sangria, beer. 

 

Cassie’s PizzaItalian/ Pizza; Englewood; 18 S Dean St; 19/15/$28; 201-541-6760; Brick oven pizza – whole pies – is their specialty; There are a dozen or so pasta and meat dishes on the menu as well; Great salads; Very laid back, casual setting; Decent bar as well. Good for families or kids as it is a bit noisy and never formal; Has a full bar.  Enough food to easily share.  Near the Englewood PAC.  

  

Chat KaewThai; Englewood; 4 E Palisade Av @ Van Brunt; 20/14/$32; 201-894-0343; Large menu and overall great Thai cuisine; Has tasty versions of all the usual curries and Pad Thai; Also, a great selection of juices; Roasted Duck curry is amazing. BYO.  Issue here is the cramp feel and mixed bag quality. Bottom line is it’s a nice neighborhood spot. Wouldn’t drive 10 miles to try it. Cheap lunch specials.

 

DarumaJapanese; Englewood; 45 N Dean St; 22/18/$40; 201-567-9600; Look out Akai, Englewood has new competition in the ‘where to take your date for amazing sushi’ battle; Extremely fresh and creating special rolls; Option to sit Japanese-style; BYO keeps costs down; Service is friendly and attentive; Soft shell crab roll even available; Appetizers are solid as well and Tempura ice cream available. Chilean Sea Bass; Shrimp Dynamite; Incredible lunch specials.

  

Pintxo y Tapas: Spanish; Englewood; 47 Dean @ Palisade; 22/20/$38; 201-569-9999; Some of the best Tapas anywhere; Large selection of mouthwatering, authentic delicacies; All meals come with complimentary soup; Paellas are excellent; Plenty of hot a la carte items to pick; Best of all- the Sangria. Name changed from Tapas de Espana. Facelift has caused slight decline in quality.  Portions huge.  Reliable quality. Paellas so-so.

 

Tani Sushi & Asian Grill: Japanese; Englewood; 44 E Palisade Av; 23/21/$35; 201-567-7888; More of a Pan-Asian scene; Extremely date-friendly; Ultra cool décor, spacious, Manhattan feel; Endless menu of sushi, sashimi and special rolls; Try the crispy duck or Pad Thai; BYO; Large portions; Really a winner in an area in need of a trendy place. 201 Mag Best Japanese runner up. REAL shrimp dumplings.

 

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS

 

Café ItalianoItalian; Englewood Cliffs; 14 Sylvan Av @ Irving; 22/18/$38; 201-461-5041; Great outdoor dining on nice patio in summer; Friendly, neighborhood restaurant; Reasonable prices and reliable fare; Speedy service and large menu. Family feeling and well made specials. They will take care of you with their drinks from their well stocked bar, if you are a local or friendly. Lunch or dinner.

 

Cliffs Steakhouse: Steakhouse;  Englewood Cliffs; 18 Sylvan Av; 22/16/$48; 201-944-0233; From the owners of next door’s Café Italiano, this is a service-focussed restaurant with a great menu featuring lots of daily specials; Seafood shellfish appetizer is incredible but very pricy; Steaks and seafood come out on a very hot plate keeping everything warm; Manager will banter with you & regulars are treated extremely well; Try porterhouse for two. Sizzling bacon; Fresh Mozz;  

 

GrissiniItalian; Englewood Cliffs; 484 Sylvan Av @ Palisade; 20/19/$60; 201-568-3535; Expensive but worth it- IF you get solid service; Huge menu with upscale Italian fare; Unique offerings plus classic standards; Try the Buffalo Mozz with Jersey Tomatoes followed by Linguine with whole lobster fra Diablo. Also a scene at night- people watching and great for a drink. Bring your expense account. Can have off Nights and locals heavily favored.  Recent service reviews are harsh. 

 

FAIR LAWN

 

Davia: Italian; Fair Lawn; 6-09 Fair Lawn Av; 22/18/$35; 201-797-6767; I love their menu; It is typical of a trattoria that serves the usual Italian classics but they have so much more as well; Even Beef Wellington and many seafood entrees; Pastas – you pick the type and the sauce with 12+ preparations to choose from; Everything well described; Maybe an older scene – better for a weekday; Have a full bar. 

 

Empire Hunan: Chinese; Fair Lawn; 38-16 Broadway; 22/15/$28; 201-398-0988; 201 Mag runner up Best Chinese for 2013; One of the rare decent sit-down Chinese spots in Bergen; Serve Japanese food too (sushi as well) but Chinese is better; Lunch specials are all under $10 with tons of food; Salt & Pepper Shrimp; Peking Duck; Seafood Soup; Has Teaneck location @ 444 Cedar Ln. 

 

OceanosSeafood;  Fair Lawn; 2-27 Saddle River Rd; 24/22/$54; 201-796-0546; Just a wonderful, pleasant surprise; Affordable, and perfectly tasty Greek inspired seafood; Soft Shell Crabs in season are enormous; Homemade bread; Romantic courtyard in summer; Welcoming service; Try the Mediterranean spreads; Full Raw Bar; Huge selection of hot seafood entrees. Even a Rib Eye. Excellent, mature evening found here. 201 Mag Best seafood runner up.

 

River Palm: Steakhouse; Fair Lawn; 41-11 Rt 4 W @ Saddle River Rd; 24/19/$58; 201-703-3500; One of the best known steakhouses in NJ; Sides are very inexpensive with many to choose from- as are the salads; Steaks are $27 - $40 on average; Also Lamb chops, Lobster, Shrimp, and chicken dishes. Expensive sushi- tons of rolls – in Edgewater & Mahwah locations; Fish selections as well…. Truly a massive menu for a steakhouse. They do it right. Each location has a different personality. 201 Mag 3-time winner Best Steakhouse. 

 

FORT LEE

 

Batten RamenJapanese; Fort Lee; 2024 Center Av @ Main St; 22/13/$29; 201-461-5465; Incredible curry and ramen dishes; Miso Ramen stands out; Batten Ramen (pork soup) great also; Traditional Japanese Ramen soup house with an assortment of other dishes. For the best Japanese Ramen- try Santouka in the Mitsuwa Market. They have a nice salmon teriyaki here too. BYO.  Cash only.

 

Dong Bang GrillKorean; Fort Lee; 1616 Palisade Av; 23/18/$42; 201-242-4485; Excellent steaks and other Galbi (Korean BBQ); Sushi as well; Amazing short ribs; Miso soup is tasty; Two level location with a large menu of individual items besides BBQ; Great service & it rivals NYC’s Korean town. You will always find locals & Asians there – a great sign. Nicer interior than most. 201 Mag Best Korean. Has bar.  

 

Franco’s Metro: Italian; Fort Lee; 1475 Bergen Blvd; 22/15/$35; 201-461-6651; Been around for 40+ years; Local classic Italian standby; Brick over pizzas; Early bird specials; Nothing fancy and more of a casual neighborhood local spot;  Food prepared with care;  The pizza and Pork braciole over pappardelle are amazing; Has an endless menu;  Full bar with lots of wines to pick from.  

 

Gam Mee OkKorean; Fort Lee; 485 Main St; 22/15/$29; 201-242-1333; Noted for outstanding Kimchi; Large Galbi menu of BBQ meats; Considered to have the best Ox Tail soup in the state (Sul Long Tang); Beef short ribs and soups are super tasty. Service friend and environment welcoming. Open 24/7; Beer & wine served; Nice setting for the genre. Korean comfort food.

 

HiuraJapanese; Fort Lee; 400B Main St @ Anderson; 24/15/$44; 201-346-0110; Highest quality sushi and sashimi; BYO; Super friendly chef; More suited for omakase and sushi in general; Great Udon soup; Sit at a table and order sushi sampler for the best deal; Rolls served as well. Super fresh. Never worse than a good experience here. Chef brings traditional Japanese experience to his Fort Lee cliental. Very small place like Fuki Sushi.

   

Prime and Beyond: Steakhouse; Fort Lee; 501 Main St; 25/12/$55; 201-461-0033;Very small, casual Korean-owned steakhouse; They use the highest quality meats; BYO- very no corking fee;  It is a small menu featuring Porterhouse, T-Bone, Filet Mignon & Ribeye;  Apps include Kimchi and other Korean dishes; Some salads, Bacon strips, Various Vegies. There is one daily pasta dish and no fish dishes. You come here for Meat! 

  

FRANKLIN LAKES

 

Chef’s TableFrench; Franklin Lakes; 754 Franklin Av @ Pulis Av; 27/20/$52; 201-891-6644; Bistro feel run by charming owners; BYO policy; Reserve a week early for this always popular spot; Rack of lamb unreal; Crepes Suzette the top dessert choice; Sizable selection of items- all created with care. Venison, duck. Smallish place in a strip mall; Crispy duck orange; Shrimp and crab cocktail.  Such a cute spot. Closed Sundays; Entrees about $32, apps are $10.  Seafood cocktail. Gravlox.

 

GARFIELD

   

GoodFellas RistoranteItalian; Garfield; 661 Midland Av; 23/19/$40; 973-478-4000; Family style Italian so less needed; Lobster tail fra Diablo and shrimp scampi; Zuppa Di Pesce; Hugely long menu with all the standard Italian classics included; Old world charm; “Sopranos” feel. Great for groups. Authentic as they come. Certainly an older crowd;  Full bar.  Great seafood salads.  Freshest Mozz.  Lobster tails. 

 

La Cambusa: Italian; Garfield; 517 River Dr; 24/18/$35; 973-272-8739; Lots of rave reviews for this spot; Homemade pasts; Freshest ingredients including top notch seafood; Imported stuffed Mozz; Pasta Fagioli is yum; Huge menu; Branzinol Zupa di Pesce; Poached salmon; Shrimp francese; Pork Chops; Homemade Tiramisu; Closed Monday; No Rez and it’s a small place so go early. 

 

GLEN ROCK

 

Greek Taverna: Greek; Glen Rock; 175 Rock Rd @ Main; 22/18/$35; 201-857-4528; The price is right; The selection is huge- particularly the appetizers; The food is excellent; Having a grilled whole fish may be way to go; Full bar; Open kitchen adds an air of class to the otherwise laid back mini-chain. Lamb chops stand out as well. Has Grilled Calamari!  

 

RoCCaItalian; Glen Rock; 203 Rock Rd @ Main St; 23/18/$40; 201-670-4945; Connected to a Market to buy goods; Inventive, well prepared classic Italian dishes; Fair prices and generous portions; Family style available; BYO; Well spaced tables; Top shelf desserts. Market has incredible breakfast & lunch (especially sandwiches) selections to go; Closed Monday. Go on a Sat for dinner before 7pm to catch market open for business.  Chilled Seafood Salad; Homemade pastas;

 

Tani Sushi & Asian Grill: Japanese; Glen Rock; 206 Rock Rd; 22/21/$35; 201-612-1188; More of a Pan-Asian scene; Extremely date-friendly; Ultra cool décor, spacious, Manhattan feel; Endless menu of sushi, sashimi and special rolls; Try the crispy duck or Pad Thai; BYO; Large portions; Really a winner in an area in need of a trendy place. 201 Mag Best Japanese runner up.