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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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Nagoya: Japanese; Mahwah; 1007 MacArthur Blvd; 24/20/$32; 201-818-9933; Top notch sushi and extremely welcoming staff; Stone waterfall, paper lanterns highlight the décor; BYO; Gigantic assortment of special rolls and other specials; Excellent service and elegant décor; One of the best Sushi/ Japanese restaurants in Bergen; If you anywhere near to them, give them a try.

River Palm: Steakhouse; Mahwah; 209 Ramapo Valley Rd; 24/19/$63; 201-529-1111; 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.
Roxanne’sItalian; Mahwah; 150 Franklin Tpike; 23/15/$38; 201-529-0007; Attractive bistro setting with outdoor dining available; Brick oven turning out fabulous pizzas; Stylish red oak décor; Both individual and family style portions available; Tons of homemade pasts dishes to choose from and a large menu overall; Massive portions- and a full bar; Have whatever you want! $22-$25 bottles house wine.   

Pho Thai-Lao Kitchen: Thai/ Lao; Maywood; 219 Maywood Av; 23/15/$35; Unusual combo of Thai and Lao cuisine; Exciting dishes not normally found in the area;  Setting is nothing special – super casual; Must try the spare ribs; Pad See Ew – get it spicy; Any of the house soups; Red or Green curry;  Food comes out as spicy as you like: you ask for 1-5, 5 being super spicy; Closed Monday; BYO; Noodle soups similar to Viet cuisine; 

Seafood Gourmet: Seafood; Maywood; 103 W Pleasant Av; 25/12/$45; 201-843-8558; Long time seafood market has added a dining room; Freshest seafood from local fishermen; Menu features all kinds of broiled or grilled or fried fish entrees; Raw Bar; Lobster; About 20 appetizers; King and Snow Crab legs; Some pasta dishes; Try the fish and chips.  Shack-like setting.  BYO;  Lunch or dinner. Take-out. 
Arturo’sItalian; Midland Park; 41 Central Av; 23/20/$51; 201-444-2466; Like eating at home with huge menu of Italian mainstays; Tuxedoed service- classy atmosphere; For a special occasion; Slightly pricy but overall great. Closed Mondays; Massive selection of food.  Menu includes dishes ‘beginners’ will recognize. Lobster tails fra Diablo stands out. Calamari Salad; Smoked salmon; Tons of daily specials. Full bar.    
Fiona’s: Italian; Midland Park; 118 Godwin Av; 20/18/$43; 201-857-5800; Nice family restaurant with doting service; Nothing too fancy – mostly core Italian dishes in the usual array of sauces; Multiple Chicken, Veal and seafood dishes; Calamari salad; Fresh Mozzarella; Pork Chops; BYO; Open for lunch; Place best described as reliable. 

Ah’Pizz: Pizza; Montclair; 7 N Willow St; 21/15/$23; 973-783-9200; Brick oven brilliance; BYO; They serve tons of Italian specialties besides pizza including lots of salads and appetizers; Chicken and pasta main courses as well;  Get the “Ah’Pizz” Pizza;  Most individual pies are around $15.  Pricy for pizza but worth it. Ask about weekly specials. 

AozoraJapanese/ French; Montclair; 407 Bloomfield; 23/19/$43; 973-233-9400; Incredibly sleek and stylish; Like eating in an art gallery; Huge menu of Sushi, Japanese, Asian Fusion and French dishes; Creative presentations; NYC trendy & a perfect date spot; High end dining. Innovative menu. BYO helps with price. Very popular. Service can be spotty and food take long to come out.
Corso 98Italian; Montclair; 98 Walnut St. @ Willow; 23/19/$45; 973-746-0789; Upscale quality in a comfortable setting; Osso Bucco is amazing; Friendly service and outstanding menu; Though a limited number of selections (25 or so) it is original and often changing; Quaint dining room feel – like at home; Pan Seared Tuna; Chilean Sea Bass;  Veal chop; See website to view well presented dishes. Get a pitcher of Sangria; Has own free parking lot;  BYO is welcome; Owners/service top notch.


CostaneraPeruvian; Montclair; 511 Bloomfield Av @ Park; 24/20/$40; 973-337-8289; Gourmet South American food at last; Wonderful menu that even features a raw bar; Mouthwatering dishes – ideal place for someone not used to experimenting; The Osso Bucco would be my pick; Pan roasted Cod in a spicy seafood sauce; Seafood stew; Hanger Steak;  Grilled fish; Appetizers take the cake though. BYO;  Closed Monday;  Has perfect Raw bar; Get the Costanera Cerviche with Crab & shrimp.


FascinoItalian; Montclair; 331 Bloomfield Av @ Grove; 26/22/$54; 973-233-0350; BYO high end Italian; Desserts are fabulous; Unique, mouthwatering menu; Tasting menu available; Top shelf cuisine complete with smallish portions and impeccable presentation.  Perfect blend of traditional and modern. Smallish menu focused on masterpieces.  Romantic- aided by great service. Yellowfin tuna; Pancetta wrapped bronzini; Sea scallops; King salmon. Seasonal menu. Foodie joint.  Closed Sunday.  Spacious & romantic.


Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen: Seafood; Montclair; 183 Glenridge Av; 24/21/$49; 973-744-0068;  Large, wonderful seafood menu; Open feel and kitchen;  BYO; Fun, welcoming setting that’s both rustic and chic;  Tons of grilled fish entrees as well as shellfish;  See website for menu and great photos; Worth the trip. Monkfish osso buco; Lobster & Shrimp; Nice raw bar menu; Awesome oysters; Best seafood in Essex county 2 years running.


Greek Taverna: Greek; Montclair; 292 Bloomfield Av @ Gates; 22/18/$35; 973-746-2280; 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.   


Halcyon Seafood Brasserie: Seafood; Montclair; 114 Walnut St; 22/24/$48; 973-744-4450; Freshest fish; Excellent cocktails at bar or upstairs lounge;  Bar scene worth it alone;  Inviting marble décor; Closed Monday; Only downside - iffy service;  Date friendly; Seafood chowder; Tuna Tartare; Salmon 3 ways App; Moules Frites; Chatham Cod; Sauteed Lobster; Sea Bass; Coconut curried shrimp; Yellowfin Tuna. 


Mesob: Ethiopian; Montclair; 515 Bloomfield Av @ Park; 25/22/$32; 973-655-9000; Outstanding, I mean super good Ethiopian; This is a must-try for any adventurous eater;  Finger foods mixed with delicate Injera bread;  Get a sampler platter;  Informative service; Modern, date-friendly setting;  The dishes are just so flavorful – you will be converted;  Look out Indian & Thai – here comes Ethiopian. BYO.


Nori: Asian; Montclair; 561 Bloomfield Av; 23/19/$37; 973-655-8805; Won Best Susih in Essex County; Super fresh sushi and rolls; Very substantial menu; Creative menu options; Sushi Pizza; Sashimi Tartar; Soft Shell Crab;  You can order a sushi boat for 2 or 3 people; BYO; Special rolls have funny names (like Donkey Kong roll, if that matters). Small, casual place.   


Pig & Prince: American; Montclair; 1 Lackawanna Plaza; 20/23/$48; 973-233-1006; Under the vaulted train station; Farm to table dishes; Seasonal New American menu; Full bar; Gastro-lounge feel; Soft Pretzels; Cheese & Meat plates; Lots of Risottos; Atlantic Cod; Pork Loin Chop; Duck Breast; Pan Roasted Skate; The menu is very eclectic;  Very curious to try them out! 


Raymond’sAmerican; Montclair; 28 Church St @ Park St; 22/18/$28; 973-744-9263; Brunch is flat out amazing here- Mmm French toast; B-L-D American BYO institution; Looks like a soda parlor; Outdoor seating; Wildly popular – long lines for Sunday Brunch; Best for Lunch or Breakfast. Fantastic burgers, sandwiches; Friendly service; Locals rave about it. Eggs Benedict, French Toast stand out.

Salute Bistro: Italian; Montclair;  173 Glenridge Av; 24/17/$38; 973-746-2380; Their website says it all: “Dining at Saluté is a lot like going to a friend’s house for dinner, if your friend was from Tuscany, Umbria or the Marches, & inherited a rustic farmhouse with a menu that reflects honest regional fare” Large selection; Very charming place; Pizzas amazing; Sea Bass; Steaks; Dozens of pasta dishes; Short Ribs; Burrata Mozz; BYO; Open 7 days. Outdoor seating.

Saveur Creole: Haitian; Montclair; 131 Grove St ; 23/20/$40 ; 973-744-3507; Delightful atmosphere; Upscale Caribbean; Closed Monday; Offer cooking classes; BYO;  Menu also features dishes from following cultures – Cajun, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese Creole; Sample as much as possible – start with the Saveur Creole Sampler; Excellent soups; Goat stew; Red Snapper; Tilapia Roule; Conch Creole; Shrimp or Crab Etoufee; Lots to choose from in this large menu. 


Sushi Koshi: Japanese; Montclair; 109 Watchung Av; 23/19/$35; 973-746-7272; Japanese and Korean cuisine featured; Closed Sunday;  Gigantic menu; Casual dining; BYO; Lots of special rolls; Teriyaki, Tempura, Sushi and Sashimi a la carte; Udon soups; Korean BBQ specials; Just has something for everyone; Very inexpensive for area; Reliable fare worth the trip. 

Aldo & GianniItalian; Montvale; 108 Chestnut Ridge Rd; 22/17/$38; 201-487-4220; Large menu – excellent classic selections- something for everyone; Fairly inexpensive; Uninventive décor but clear effort is made; Solid, if not inspiring choice for dinner; Food is excellent, however. BYO. Family feel. Welcoming. Enjoy a classic Jersey Italian restaurant. 
Bellissimo: Italian; Montvale; 12 S Kinderkamack;  22/17/$38; 201-746-6669; Lots of specials are the way to go including Lamb shank, short ribs and lamb chops; Salads are included and bread is fresh and warm; BYOB; All the pastas are homemade; Opened in 2008; Sauteed calamari fra diavolo; You can’t go wrong with a Veal dish. Décor is basic and uninspiring.
Fire & OakAmerican; Montvale; 100 Chestnut Ridge Rd; 21/23/$43; 201-307-1100; Extremely cool, NYC lounge-like scene; Swanky, excellent bar area; Great menu with a combination of New American dishes and comfort food; Solid steaks; Mac N Cheese; Fancy cocktails and even flat screens for the game; Combination of elegance & upscale tavern. Trendy vibe – date friendly. Has sushi; Nice cocktails. Multiple dining rooms;  Happy hour 4-7pm weekdays. 
Momma’s Kitchen: Italian; Montvale; 15 W Grand Av; 22/18/$34; 201-746-9777; Family environment; BYO – wine or cake; No Rez;  Known for incredible pizza; Menu features as well delicious Pork Ribs; Italian Nachos; Bruschetta; Assortment of fresh salads;  Gourmet Meatballs – as an entrée or a Sub; About a dozen or so pasta dishes and chicken done your way – Marsala, piccata, parm, Milano. 
BazzarelliItalian; Moonachie; 117 Moonachie Rd; 21/17/$32; 201-641-4010; Gigantic menu. Shrimp scampi and lobster fra Diablo jump out at you. Fairly standard neighborhood setting. Tight seating but perfect stop for pizza or a red sauce classic. Ideal Meadowlands bound eating option; Family run business since 1971; Recently renovated post Hurricane Sandy; Try their pizza! Great soups. Choose a pasta and a sauce from huge selection.   
Segovia RestaurantPortuguese; Moonachie; 150 Moonachie Rd; 23/16/$38; 201-641-4266; Extremely personable service; Wonderful seafood combinations; Lobster tails to die for; You will be treated like family; Energetic setting where you will leave full & satisfied; One of best of its genre outside of Newark. Try the shrimp in garlic sauce. Chilean Sea Bass;  Even the steak is well prepared. Red & White sangria available. Fairly loud and often a wait. Endless specials. If you can’t get to Newark go here. Tapas menu as well.  

Pancho’s BurritosMexican; New Milford; 214 Main @ Prospect; 23/15/$33; 201-225-2554; Happy Hour noon-6 and 9pm-close every day; Huge menu, endless variety; Great guacamole; Many margaritas to choose from; Friendly service; Large, I mean huge portions; Festive, laid back & fun atmosphere. Outdoor seating. Even serve brunch.  Inexpensive and casual.  Amazing drinks. One entrée enough for 3 people.

Sanzari New Bridge: Italian; New Milford; 105 Old New Bridge Rd @ New Bridge; 25/20/$52; 201-692-7700; Large, interesting menu with daily specials; Soft Shell crab in season is spectacular; Creative entrees and appetizers; Menu has the usual classics; Spacious setting and dining room; Bar area more lively and energetic; Well maintained; Great service. Fairly fancy evening overall; Ahi Tuna salad, Calamari Oreganate, Bufala Mozz, Smoked Salmon appetizer, Egg Ravioli.  Tons of seafood; Huge menu. Quality is top shelf. 
Toros: Turkish; New Milford; 690 River Road; 23/21/$36; 201-265-0004; Beautifully decorated inside- old world Turkish décor and furniture; Website is excellent- featuring pictures of all the dishes for newcomers; Authentic, tasty dishes; Usual kebabs, breads and spreads; $11.95 multi course lunch special. Wine list. You’ll be surprised how much you enjoyed it. Check out website. This location is BYOB.
Adega GrillPortuguese/ Spanish; Newark; 130 Ferry St @ Madison; 21/22/$39; 973-589-8830; One of the fancier of the genre; Gigantic portions of incredible fish and seafood dishes; Large wine list; Epic quality sangria; Friendly staff in lively yet elegant-ish setting. Romantic option in the area. Hip adjacent lounge. Try the grilled seabass or lobster tails; Service is excellent.  Has a large bar. 

Allegro Seafood Grill: Portuguese; Newark; 58 Kossuth St; 23/22/$33; 973-344-4500; Amazing portions that promise a great bang for the buck; Nice outdoor patio for summer; Smallish place and parking tricky at peak hours; Courteous service; Great alternative; Garlic shrimp special; Pitchers of sangria; Menu is endless – features tons of seafood and fish, especially lobster and shrimp. They will grill calamari for you and add it to a salad.


Brasilia RestaurantBrazilian; Newark; 99 Monroe; 21/19/$34; 973-465-1227; All the meat you can eat – servers come around with endless selections; Wonderful ridizio; Huge salad bar as well; Lively atmosphere;  One of the better restaurants in Newark. Ah, did I say all you can eat?  Has a la carte options as well. Try their caipirinha.  Palm trees & colorful décor – if slightly cheesy. $27 for the rodizio/ salad bar.

Campino Mercado: Portuguese; Newark; 70 Jabez; 22/18/$38; 973-589-4004; Large portions at great prices – enough to share; Nice setting with murals of the homeland on the walls; Large space – lots of room and attentive service bordering on excellent; Seafood appetizer for 2 for $28 is worth it (Lobster, Shrimp, Crab); Try the Portuguese Paella. Seafood focused menu. 


Casa VascaSpanish; Newark; 141 Elm St; 23/16/$36; 973-465-1350; Huge menu of amazing seafood selections; Steak selections as well; Massive portions of food all served with soup and rice; Shellfish central; Can dine at the bar. Stands out among the many Newark options. Bit off the beaten track; Full bar; Free parking; Menu is huge. Attentive service and reasonably priced.  


Chateau of Spain: Spanish; Newark; 11 Franklin @ Broad-Mulberry; 22/17/$37; 973-624-3346; Serving classical Spanish and Portuguese cuisine;  Also – great variety of American classics;  Casual bistro bar set up; Try the seafood paella, Shrimp enchiladas, Snow Crab legs, broiled lobster, King Crab, a variety of steaks and lamb and veal. Great location near Prudential Center. King Crab Legs. Lobster tails!  


Don Pepe: Spanish; Newark; 844 McCarter Hwy @ Raymond; 21/17/$41; 973-623-4662; Truly the home for gigantic portions of lobster and steak; Tasty sangria is a must beverage here; The seafood paellas are outstanding as well;  More than enough to share; Lobster stuffed with crabmeat; Shrimp in garlic sauce; Various steaks, veal chops – oh it’s just perfect for a feast. Excellent pricing. Service is iffy.
Fernandes SteakhousePortuguese; Newark; 152-158 Fleming Av; 25/21/$40; 973-589-4099; Rodizio at its best; Servers come by with endless meat offering on skewers; Huge portions if ordering off menu- seafood is outstanding; Large salad bar/ buffet; Festive atmosphere; Great bang for the buck. Perfect for a boys night out; Your stomach will be stuffed. Rave reviews from all sources. Large place. Broiled seafood combo;  King Crab; Lobster Tails; Has a full bar.

Fornos of SpainSpanish; Newark; 47 Ferry St; 24/20/$46; 973-589-4767; Huge portions of delectable steak, seafood

and paella; Great for large groups or sharing; One of the more famous Ironbound Spaniards; Sangria to die for; Fun,

festive atmosphere. Surf and Turf is worth trying. Paella is excellent. Lobsters calling your name. Free parking; 250 seat

restaurant. Pricy for genre. Excellent service – reliable.   


Hobby’s DeliDeli; Newark; 32 Branford Pl; 25/12/$19; 973-623-0410; Load up before a Devils game; Monstrous sized sandwiches; Super-friendly staff, welcoming feel; Soups are incredible; Grilled Cheese; Endless list of sandwich options and platters. Hungry writing this! Lunch and breakfast and dinner before Devils games. Website has mouthwatering images of menu. Closed Sunday. Just rave reviews. Serve beer/wine.


Iberia Peninsula: Portuguese/ Spanish; Newark; 63-69 Ferry & 80-84 Ferry @ Prospect; 22/18/$43; 973-344-5611; Featuring fabulous Rodizio – with 10 selections; Huge place that expanded to 2ndlocation; Try their Parrilhada – seafood platter for 2 ($41.95) with lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari and flounder. Whole lobsters available 1-6lbs; Free parking in 500 car lot; Full bar; King Crab; Giant menu with huge portions. Sangria - $20 pitchers.  Great website. 


MompouSpanish; Newark; 77 Ferry St @ Congress; 23/22/$37; 973-578-8114; Tapas house; Serious Martini menu as

well- all for $9.50; About 20 different Tapas to choose from which can be served in larger portions as well. Sophisticated

with a beautiful courtyard; Entertainment on weekends. Lounge feel; Happy Hour weekdays from 4-7pm; Not your

typical Ironbound restaurant.  Outdoor courtyard. Full bar. Has Grilled Calamari on menu;  Sea Bass. 


Seabra Marisqueira: Portuguese; Newark; 87 Madison St @ Ferry; 24/16/$37; 973-465-1250; Authentic seafooder; Large portions; Free parking; Great service though bland décor; Full bar; Notable selections are Codfish, Grilled Jumbo shrimp, King Crab Legs, and Twin grilled Lobster tails.  Lobster stuffed with crab as well; Lots of steaks as well; Don’t forget a pitcher of sangria.  Rave reviews.  Grilled Calamari.


Sol Mar: Portuguese; Newark; 267 Ferry; 24/20/$37; 973-344-8540; Fresh fish, seafood and steaks; Connected to a bar; More laid back for the area; Fabulous value and spot on service; Get taken back to Lisbon; Smaller menu than most of this genre as they focus on quality. Just a gorgeous interior; Website has a great written description of the culture of the place. Stuffed Lobster with Crab meat! Quality galore.


Spain: Spanish; Newark; 419 Market St @ Raymond; 22/18/$38; 973-344-0994; Beautiful murals on the walls; Well spaced tables, lively atmosphere; Old school Spain feel; Giant menu focusing on splendid seafood entrees including Lobster; Various combinations and sauces to choose from; Noted Spanish wine list. Huge portions of steak and seafood. Close to train. Free parking. Known for the Paella.


Spanish Manor: Spanish; Newark; 246 Heller Pkwy; 23/19/$26; 973-481-2500; Spacious setting; Reasonable prices and monstrous portions; Frog Legs appetizer; The paella is excellent; Clams are garlicky and excellent for bread to dip in; Extremely friendly service; Shrimp in garlic sauce; Huge menu with over 20 meat and seafood entrees; Call for specials or Grilled calamari.  


Spanish TavernSpanish; Newark; 103 McWhorter St; 24/17/$45; 973-589-4959; Gigantic portions; Seafood heaven; The lobster and paella stand out; The usual lively setting ideal for a group or celebration; Bit more expensive than competition but the quality is there. Just a huge menu and you will leave with a full stomach. Well reviewed Sangria as well. Solid wine list. Professional service. Free parking. Get take-out after a day game!  Seafood is super fresh. #1 ranked in Trip Advisor. Paella Valenciana!


Taste of Portugal: Portuguese; Newark; 148 Delancey St; 21/17/$37; 973-274-0600; Authentic regional cuisine; Fun bar and great sangria; Try the clams casino, Grilled Lobster, Crab-stuffed lobster; Paella Valenciana, or Twin lobster tails. Also features a nice selection of fish including sole, swordfish, red snapper, and codfish.  Steaks include grilled prime rib and Pork chops with clams. Can’t go wrong! 


Tony Da CanecaPortuguese; Newark; 72 Elm Rd; 22/18/$39; 973-589-6882; Around since 1965, serving its loyal

cliental; Charming, attentive staff; Comfortable, well spaced tables; Highest quality seafood and grilled steaks;

Wonderful combo paella; Superb Clam and Crab appetizers. Large bar area- fun crowd. Rabbit stew and suckling pig

available on weekends. Lobster & clams galore. Skirt Steak. Soft shell crabs.   




Lassoni: Italian; North Arlington; 602 Ridge Rd.; 24/17/$36; 201-998-0911; Truly authentic cuisine served in this non-descript spot with a nice bar; What makes it a hit is the large variety of appetizers, hot and cold including calamari salad and also the specials; Wonderful pasta dishes; Fresh ingredients and open daily; Extremely reliable for traditional Italian fare.




DiPalma Brothers Restaurant: Italian; North Bergen; 8728 Kennedy Blvd @ 87th; 22/20/$32; 201-868-3005;

You are actually eating in an antique shop; Buy while you eat! Cozy feel with all of ‘grandma’s’ recipes; BYO;

Rustic feel; Hearty Italian menu loaded with classic pasta selections; Unique experience Their meatballs are

delish. Family style portions; Love the affordable prices. Closed Monday.   


La Sorrentina:  Italian; North Bergen; 7831 Bergenline Av @ 79th St; 26/14/$27; 201-869-8100; Near perfection; Top of the line in quality; Brick oven pizza is heralded; Fried Calamari; Try the 4 cheese pizza; Linguini and clam sauce; Basically- nothing fancy- just top preparations. Great wine list. Family run. And, dirt cheap! Insane popularity on Yelp; Huge portions. Real old school Italian from cooks who can do it up right. Tons of specials.  
Rumba Cubana: Cuban; North Bergan; 1807 45th St @ Tonnelle; 23/16/$25; 201-854-4000; As traditional as it gets; Dirt cheap prices and the real deal on food; Full bar; Huge, monstrous portions; Mojito is the signature drink; Island décor inside; Outdoor seating available; Lots of fun on weekends; Oxtail on Wednesday; Try a Cuban sampler platter;  Best for lunch or weekday dining for newcomers.
SaborNew Latin; North Bergen; 8809 River Rd; 24/21/$41; 201-943-6366; Large menu featuring selections from all over the Caribbean; They serve hot and cold tapas style dishes as well as full hot entrees; Pricy for the genre; Gorgeous setting- festive and polished. Ideal for a date and also solid for a drink. They serve Brunch as well. Seasonal outdoor seating; DJ & dancing after 11pm weekends;  Full bar. Guac, Pork Shank, Skirt Steak.  Dancing on weekends later in night. Try Tapas Thursdays. Newly renovated.
Tapas de EspanaSpanish; North Bergen; 7909 Bergenline Av; 23/20/$38; 201-453-1690; Some of the best Tapas in Bergen; 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. Friendly service to boot.  Date-friendly décor and also great for a mid-sized group. Flavorful steaks.

Waterside: American; North Bergen; 21/25/$59;  7800 River Rd; 21/25/$60; Jaw dropping views of Manhattan; Major event space/ catering hall; Full bar; Ideal for a date; Brunch buffet served ($30, includes 1 drink); Wonderful Raw bar;  King Crab legs, charred calamari & octopus salad, Buffalo Mozz & Tomatoes, Seared scallops, tons of salads, pork chops, lamb chops, cowboy steak, lots of fish, osso bucco.  Menu is huge and delish. Boneless oxtail; Homemade Mozz; Lamb rib-lets;   

Greek VillageGreek; Northvale; 211 Livingston St @ Paris; 26/13/$30; 201-750-8570; Local favorite; Small in size with about 10 tables; BYO; Hummus, spanakopita, chicken souvlaki, and gyros stand out; Very inexpensive and delicious; Fabulous for a neighborhood joint. Absolutely rave reviews from locals. Diamond in the rough- go early for a table.  Family owned; Grilled calamari;  Less crowded for lunch. Take out popular here.  
Madeleine's Petit ParisFrench; Northvale; 416 Tappan Rd; 25/21/$54; 201-767-0063; French country inn setting; Red Snapper and Duck L’Orange are specialties;  Prix Fixe is a great value; Family owned and operated- outstanding service; Welcoming feel. Have a Sunday buffet-brunch (11-2 or 3 course Prix-fixe brunch;  Closed Mondays. Somewhat limited dinner menu- $32.50 prix fixe.  Check website for current menu. Expert French cooking.


Dimora Ristorante: Italian; Norwood; 100 Piermont Rd; 23/20/$55; 201-750-5000; Old school family owned restaurant; Chef Gino will take care of you; Classic Italian menu- large selection to choose from; Very friendly feel, full of regulars; Not the cheapest place; Always crowded and busy- can be noisy. Full bar; Certainly overpriced for the area and genre but quality is there. Whole bronzino & Osso Buco.  

Ragazzi: Italian; Norwood; 530 Livingston St; 25/21/$33; 201-660-7950; What a wonderful addition to Northeast Bergen county;  Affordable Italian cuisine in a clean airy setting featuring a well spaced outdoor patio with extremely comfortable furniture; Full bar; Inexpensive wine list includes $15 bottles of red and white; Large portions of food fit for sharing; The Mixed Busschetta, Calamari Fritti, Chilled Seafood Salad, Pappardelle Carbonera, Shrimp & Scallop Risotto, Pork Chop special, and Veal Sorrentino all are favorites. Be sure to say hello to super friendly owners Anthony & Damiano. Whole staff is great.


Cafe L'Amore: Italian; Oakland; 455 Ramapo Valley Rd @ Rt 287; 24/16/$36; 201-337-5558; Often as many specials as items on the menu; Locals flock to this family owned traditional Italian. Incredibly flavorful sauces are the trademark for pasta dishes and meat dishes alike; Though few chances are taken, they are masters at what they prepare; Friendly service to boot. BYO as well. Sea Bass; Large portions.
Cenzino: Italian; Oakland; 589 Ramapo Valley Rd @ Franklin Av; 25/21/$53; 201-337-6693; Very consistent cuisine, expertly prepared by owners; Decent bar scene; Closed Sundays; Extremely good looking menu with mouth-watering selections to please anyone; Certainly a must-try. Ultra friendly service; Seared Ahi Tuna; Mozz Caprese; Lobster tails; Tons of pasta dishes; Has a full bar. Excellent service always.
Portobello’sItalian; Oakland; 175 Ramapo Valley Rd; 21/23/$41; 201-337-8990;  Huge place featuring different rooms & settings; From rustic farmhouse to a cozy library- something for everyone setting wise; Menu is a combination of Italian classics, steaks and even a raw bar. Certainly a different way of doing things- unique experience to be had. Menu is huge and even includes a sushi menu. Sunday brunch buffet $28. Full bar. Suggest lunch which is same menu but cheaper. Thurs-Sat features evening entertainment.