Watch our Atlantic City dining binge

Meet New Jersey's 50 Best Restaurants: a mix of tried-and-true classics, affordable eats and trendy hot spots spanning the beach towns of the Jersey Shore up to the northern suburbs. Read on below for reviews and photos of all our Top Food winners. May 12, 2015

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Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Zagat calculates ratings on a 30-point scale based on periodic consumer surveys

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Numerical cost estimates are for the price of dinner with one drink and tip.

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  • Restaurant NicholasRestaurant Nicholas#1

    Restaurant Nicholas

     American • Middletown

    • 4.8
    • 4.6
    • 4.8
    • $103
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    “Attention to detail” is the hallmark of this “sublime” Red Bank New American from Nicholas and Melissa Harary, where “inventive” haute cuisine paired with an “extensive” wine list makes for a “brilliant” dining experience; “exceptional” staffers, “quiet” acoustics and an “elegant contemporary ambiance” help justify the “very expensive” price point, leading regulars to dub this “one-of-a-kind” place a natural for a “special night out.”

    Learn more about Restaurant Nicholas.

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    www.restaurantnicholas.com

  • IndeBlueIndeBlue#2

    IndeBlue

     Indian • Collingswood

    • 4.7
    • 4.2
    • 4.4
    • $35
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    “Reservations are essential” at this “intimate”, “fun” BYO Indian in Collingswood, where “original”, “flavorful” dishes, including gluten-free options, are served by a “friendly” staff; there’s “nice” alfresco seating, plus weekly live sitar music that some describe as a “truly spiritual experience.”

    Learn more about IndeBlue.

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    www.indebluerestaurant.com

  • Black Eyed SusansBlack Eyed Susans#3

    Black Eyed Susans

     American • Harvey Cedars

    • 4.7
    • 4.1
    • 4.6
    • $75
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    “More than a typical Shore place”, this “upscale” Harvey Cedars BYO is a “memorable experience”, thanks to “outstanding”, “innovative” and locally sourced American fare served by a “professional”, “knowledgeable” staff in a “comfortable”, “beachy” setting; open seasonally, it can be “hard to get in”, so be sure to “plan ahead.”

    Learn more about Black Eyed Susans.

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    blackeyedsusanslbi.com

  • 410 Bank Street Restaurant410 Bank Street Restaurant#4

    410 Bank Street Restaurant

     Caribbean • Cape May

    • 4.7
    • 4.2
    • 4.5
    • $57
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    The “grande dame” of Cape May, this “cozy” BYO has a “long history of meeting expectations” with “authentic” Caribbean-Cajun fare and “divine desserts”, served by a “polished” staff in an “unstuffy” atmosphere; some “sweet talk” may be needed to score a reservation, and it’s “not inexpensive”, but most agree “you can’t go wrong” here.

    Learn more about 410 Bank Street Restaurant.

     Map of 410 Bank Street Restaurant

    www.410bankstreet.com

  • Old Homestead Steak HouseOld Homestead Steak House#5

    Old Homestead Steak House

     Steakhouse • Atlantic City

    • 4.7
    • 4.5
    • 4.6
    • $76
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    “Carnivores’ paradise” is what fans call this outpost of the iconic NYC steakhouse in the AC Borgata, where “awesome” steaks, “enticing” seafood and a “great wine selection” are served by a “professional” staff in a “comfortable”, upscale setting; many find it “expensive”, but most consider the “bucket-list” experience “worth the money.”

    Learn more about Old Homestead Steak House.

     Map of Old Homestead Steak House

    www.theoldhomesteadsteakhouse.com

  • CucharamamaCucharamama#6

    Cucharamama

     South American • Hoboken

    • 4.7
    • 4.0
    • 4.1
    • $44
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    At chef/author Maricel Presilla’s Hoboken Pan-Latin, “fantastic”, “authentic” dishes, including small plates with “huge flavors”, give fans a “whole new appreciation” of the region’s cuisine; “superb” cocktails and “warm” service help fuel the “cheery” vibe, and while some report “loud” conditions and “tight” seating, most deem it an “exquisite dining experience.”

    Learn more about Cucharamama.

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  • Steve & Cookie's By the BaySteve & Cookie's By the Bay#7

    Steve & Cookie's By the Bay

     Seafood • Margate City

    • 4.7
    • 4.3
    • 4.4
    • $66
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    “Maestro” Cookie Till “walks the floor like a celebrity chef” at this “bayfront charmer” that’s “the place to be seen” in Margate thanks to “outstanding” New American cuisine, sourced from local producers and served by a “pitch-perfect” crew; it’s a “don’t-miss” experience, and worth a trip solely for a slice of its “to-die-for” blueberry pie.

    Learn more about Steve & Cookie's By the Bay.

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    www.steveandcookies.com

  • Scalini FedeliScalini Fedeli#8

    Scalini Fedeli

     Italian • Chatham

    • 4.7
    • 4.5
    • 4.6
    • $73
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    Chef Michael Cetrulo is the mind behind this “white-tablecloth” Chatham Italian where the “come-hungry” prix fixe–only menu is abetted by a bounty of complimentary amuse-bouches, breads and sorbets; the renovated farmhouse setting “can’t be matched”, service is “attentive” and the pricing relatively “reasonable”, though the “generous” servings are “too much food” for delicate palates.

    Learn more about Scalini Fedeli.

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    www.scalinifedeli.com

  • Milford Oyster HouseMilford Oyster House#9

    Milford Oyster House

     Seafood • Milford

    • 4.7
    • 4.4
    • 4.7
    • $50
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    Even “food snobs” are impressed by the “uniformly excellent”, “inventively prepared” catch served at this “quality” Milford seafooder set in an “understated” reclaimed stone mill; “personal” service from an “anxious-to-please” staff adds to the overall “comfortable” feel, and regulars note there’s “always something interesting on tap" in the tavern of this “definite destination” place.

    Learn more about Milford Oyster House.

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    www.milfordoysterhouse.com

  • Cafe MatisseCafe Matisse#10

    Cafe Matisse

     New American • Rutherford

    • 4.7
    • 4.5
    • 4.6
    • $83
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    A “great place to pop the question” or “celebrate something”, this Rutherford BYO Eclectic offers a “decadent night out” featuring chef Peter Loria’s “superb”, “imaginative” prix fixe menu, served by a “caring”, “professional” staff; the “lovely” “jewel box” of a space with an outdoor garden is “like walking into a painting”, and while “pricey”, most agree it’s “unbelievable every time.”

    Learn more about Cafe Matisse.

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    www.cafematisse.com

  • Restaurant Lorena'sRestaurant Lorena's#11

    Restaurant Lorena's

     French • Maplewood

    • 4.7
    • 4.3
    • 4.7
    • $67
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    “So special on so many levels”, this BYO “jewel box” in Maplewood from chef Humberto Campos Jr. and his wife, Lorena, offers a “top-notch” experience – i.e. “divine” French cuisine and “wonderful” service in a “cozy, romantic” setting; while some find it “expensive”, others insist the “attention to detail” “justifies the tab.”

    Learn more about Restaurant Lorena's.

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    www.restaurantlorena.com

  • FascinoFascino#12

    Fascino

     Italian • Montclair

    • 4.7
    • 4.2
    • 4.6
    • $55
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    “Perfection with an Italian accent” is how fans describe “master” chef Ryan DePersio’s upscale Montclair BYO, where he and an “attentive” staff take “great pride” in “honestly pleasing the customer” with “divine” homemade pastas and other “flavorful” dishes; opinions are mixed on the decor after a recent renovation, but many find the “quiet”, “subdued” setting “nice for a special occasion.”

    Learn more about Fascino.

     Map of Fascino

    www.fascinorestaurant.com

  • Oliver A BistroOliver A Bistro#13

    Oliver A Bistro

     Eclectic • Bordentown

    • 4.6
    • 3.9
    • 4.3
    • $34
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    “Enjoyable” is the word on this “charming” BYO, a Bordentown local “favorite” due to an “expertly prepared” American menu dispatched by an “affable” crew; “reasonable prices” help keep business brisk, but insiders advise “checking ahead” because the weekend menu differs from the weekday one, which showcases “comfort food and burgers.”

    Learn more about Oliver A Bistro.

     Map of Oliver A Bistro

    www.oliverabistro.com

  • GirasoleGirasole#14

    Girasole

     Italian • Bound Brook

    • 4.6
    • 4.1
    • 4.4
    • $47
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    “Traditional” Italian food cooked with “mouthwatering” “panache” is the draw at this longtime family-run BYO in Bound Brook set in an “unlikely” location along a “busy main street”; “reservations are essential” here since this “warm”, “friendly” spot is a local “favorite” and “busy every night.”

    Learn more about Girasole.

     Map of Girasole

    www.girasoleboundbrook.com

  • Washington InnWashington Inn#15

    Washington Inn

     American • Cape May

    • 4.6
    • 4.5
    • 4.6
    • $67
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    “Always a pleasure”, this “classy” longtime favorite is “still the gold standard” for fine dining in Cape May, serving “terrific” American food in a “romantic” restored plantation home with a variety of dining rooms; sure, it’s a “splurge” and can be “crowded during high season”, but “impeccable service” and a “great wine cellar” make it a natural for a “first date or an anniversary dinner.”

    Learn more about Washington Inn.

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    www.washingtoninn.com

  • Anthony David'sAnthony David's#16

    Anthony David's

     Italian • Hoboken

    • 4.6
    • 4.1
    • 4.3
    • $50
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    “Sweetheart” chef Anthony Pino is behind the burners at this newly renovated Hoboken Italian where the “delectable” dishes are assembled with “quality” ingredients and dispatched by a “warm” team; the “casual” room (set behind his gourmet market) “feels like home” to regulars, while the BYO policy “helps keep the bill down.”

    Learn more about Anthony David's.

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    Restaurant photo by Danny Chin

    www.anthonydavids.com

  • Chef Vola'sChef Vola's#17

    Chef Vola's

     Italian • Atlantic City

    • 4.6
    • 2.8
    • 4.4
    • $57
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    Fans lament the “word is out” about this “tough-to-find” basement “hideaway” in AC, where “prodigious portions” of “amazing”, “old-school” Italian-American fare are served by “friendly” folks in a “speakeasy” setting; “BYO makes it a deal”, and while some grouse about the cash-only policy, “sardine”-like seating and “tough” reservations, many consider it an “experience not to be missed.”

    Learn more about Chef Vola's.

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    www.chefvolas.com

  • LatourLatour#18

    Latour

     New American • Ridgewood

    • 4.6
    • 4.1
    • 4.5
    • $56
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    A “Paris vacation” in Ridgewood, this “classy”, “romantic” BYO bistro features a “limited” menu of “superb”, “quality” French cuisine by chef Michael Latour, who has “trained several of the best chefs in town” and “makes the rounds” to all his guests; regulars say you “can’t beat” the mid-week prix fixe menu.

    Learn more about Latour.

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    latourridgewood.com

  • Varka RestaurantVarka Restaurant#19

    Varka Restaurant

     Greek • Ramsey

    • 4.6
    • 4.2
    • 4.3
    • $68
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    “They have a way with fish” at this “top-quality” Greek “crowd-pleaser” in Ramsey, where the “fresh-off-the-boat” catch is prepared “simply and perfectly”, and served in a “pretty” setting (just be aware the “by-the-pound” pricing makes for “expensive” tabs); when the “energetic” scene gets too “loud”, regulars retreat to the “fantastic” outdoor patio.

    Learn more about Varka Restaurant.

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    www.varkarestaurant.com

  • Chez CatherineChez Catherine#20

    Chez Catherine

     French • Westfield

    • 4.6
    • 4.4
    • 4.6
    • $72
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    Didier Jouvenet’s “classic” French “destination” in Westfield has “been around for years” “for good reason” – namely, “consistently terrific” cuisine and “impeccable” service provided in a “quiet”, “elegant” setting; while some find the prices “trop cher”, many consider it their “go-to place” for a “romantic” dinner or “special occasion.”

    Learn more about Chez Catherine.

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    www.chezcatherine.com

  • Chef's TableChef's Table#21

    Chef's Table

     French • Franklin Lakes

    • 4.6
    • 4.0
    • 4.5
    • $56
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    An “unexpected find” in a Franklin Lakes strip mall, this BYO from chef Claude Baills and wife Dolores makes you “feel like you’re in Paris”, with “classic” French cuisine “at its best” and “exceptional” service; a few find the “small” space merely “ordinary”, but the vibe is “welcoming”, and many “hope it stays around a long time.”

    Learn more about Chef's Table.

     Map of Chef's Table

    www.tctnj.com

  • Blue Point GrillBlue Point Grill#22

    Blue Point Grill

     Seafood • Princeton

    • 4.6
    • 3.7
    • 4.3
    • $45
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    “Upscale older” types applaud this “terrific” Princeton seafooder for one of the “best oyster selections” around plus fish so “fresh” that some wonder if there are “boats docked out back”; BYO helps keep the tabs “moderate”, so despite “minimal” decor, “crowded” conditions and “noisy” decibels, it’s still “hard to get in on weekends.”

    Learn more about Blue Point Grill.

     Map of Blue Point Grill

    www.bluepointgrill.com

  • La Esperanza Mexican Restaurant & BarLa Esperanza Mexican Restaurant & Bar#23

    La Esperanza Mexican Restaurant & Bar

     Mexican • Lindenwold

    • 4.6
    • 3.9
    • 4.5
    • $31
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    “Bring your appetite” to this “family-owned” Mexican in Lindenwold where the “delicious” food is both “authentic” and “affordable”; staffers that “treat you like family” and “convenient parking” are further reasons why it’s so “popular.”

    Learn more about La Esperanza Mexican Restaurant & Bar.

     Map of La Esperanza Mexican Restaurant & Bar

    www.mexicanhope.com/Mexicanhope/Reservations.html

  • Drew's Bayshore BistroDrew's Bayshore Bistro#24

    Drew's Bayshore Bistro

     American • Keyport

    • 4.6
    • 3.6
    • 4.3
    • $51
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    A “piece of the bayou on the Jersey Shore”, chef Andrew Araneo’s “fun”, “casual” Keyport BYO turns out “large” portions of “phenomenal” Cajun fare with a “little kick”, served by “pleasant” folks; some “miss the old house”, which he vacated after Sandy, but the current space is “larger” and offers “more flexibility”, while most agree the food is “just as good” as it ever was.

    Learn more about Drew's Bayshore Bistro.

     Map of Drew's Bayshore Bistro

    www.bayshorebistro.com

  • Arturo's Osteria & PizzeriaArturo's Osteria & Pizzeria#25

    Arturo's Osteria & Pizzeria

     Pizza • Maplewood

    • 4.6
    • 3.6
    • 4.1
    • $23
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    “Outstanding” pizzas featuring “local produce” on “beautifully blistered crusts” come out of wood-fired ovens at Dan Richer’s “wonderful storefront” BYO in Maplewood; service is “friendly” and “efficient”, but some advise “get there early”, because tables can be “hard to get”, though many insist the “lines are worth it.”

    Learn more about Arturo's Osteria & Pizzeria.

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    www.arturosnj.com

  • FinFin#26

    Fin

     Seafood • Atlantic City

    • 4.6
    • 4.3
    • 4.5
    • $78
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    A “beautiful view” of the Atlantic complements the “delicious” steaks and seafood “done to perfection” at this “wonderful find” in AC’s Tropicana Hotel; sure, it’s “pricey”, but a “great wine selection” and “polite” service make it a natural for celebrating “special occasions” or “big wins.”

    Learn more about Fin.

     Map of Fin

    www.tropicana.net/dining/fine-dining/fin

  • Matt's Red Rooster GrillMatt's Red Rooster Grill#27

    Matt's Red Rooster Grill

     American • Flemington

    • 4.6
    • 4.2
    • 4.5
    • $50
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    “Locals love” this “novel” Flemington BYO where “warm” servers dispatch an “exciting” seasonal American menu via chef Matt McPherson; set in a “charming” restored Victorian house, the double-decker space includes quiet upstairs seating and a porch for nature lovers, though the “noisy” open kitchen–equipped ground floor is the “place to be” for those who want to “watch all the action."

    Learn more about Matt's Red Rooster Grill.

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    www.mattsredroostergrill.com

  • Belford BistroBelford Bistro#28

    Belford Bistro

     American • Middletown

    • 4.6
    • 3.5
    • 4.4
    • $55
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    This “tiny”, “unassuming” American BYO “hidden away” in a Belford strip mall surprises diners with “exceptional” food “expertly prepared” by chef Kurt Bomberger; despite a “plain” setting, “noisy” acoustics and somewhat “pricey” tabs, it still can be “hard to get a reservation” here at prime times.

    Learn more about Belford Bistro.

     Map of Belford Bistro

    www.belfordbistro.com

  • Dock's Oyster HouseDock's Oyster House#29

    Dock's Oyster House

     Seafood • Atlantic City

    • 4.6
    • 4.1
    • 4.5
    • $60
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    “Worth the trip even if you don’t gamble”, this very “old-school” (circa 1897) seafooder is a “timeless” Atlantic City “institution” serving fish “so fresh you can feel the ocean spray”; true, the tabs are “pricey" and the “small” setting “crowded” and “noisy”, but most agree this “top-notch” option is “always a pleasure.”

    Learn more about Dock's Oyster House.

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    www.docksoysterhouse.com

  • Knife And Fork InnKnife And Fork Inn#30

    Knife And Fork Inn

     American • Atlantic City

    • 4.6
    • 4.4
    • 4.5
    • $65
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    “Everything old is new again” at this “cherished” historic inn that was built in 1912 and has “survived the ebb and flow” of the fortunes of Atlantic City; “impressive” surf ’n’ turf paired with a “massive” wine list makes for “classy” dining, and though on the “expensive” side, its “Boardwalk Empire” vibe is priceless.

    Learn more about Knife And Fork Inn.

     Map of Knife And Fork Inn

    www.knifeandforkinn.com

  • Sakura Bana RestaurantSakura Bana Restaurant#31

    Sakura Bana Restaurant

     Japanese • Ridgewood

    • 4.6
    • 3.3
    • 4.0
    • $44
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    “Always crowded with people who know good Japanese food”, this “small” Ridgewood BYO supplies “fresh”, “reliable” sushi of “exceptional quality”; though there’s “sometimes a wait” and the “decor could be better”, the mood is “friendly” and service is “attentive enough.”

    Learn more about Sakura Bana Restaurant.

     Map of Sakura Bana Restaurant
  • Via45Via45#32

    Via45

     Italian • Red Bank

    • 4.6
    • 4.1
    • 4.2
    • $49
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    The “menu changes daily” at this “farm-to-table” Red Bank BYO serving “delightful” Italian dishes “cooked from scratch” including a variety of gluten-free and vegan offerings; the “small” setting, “slow-paced” dining and hordes of “repeat” visitors are reasons why this “enjoyable” spot can be “hard to get into.”

    Learn more about Via45.

     Map of Via45

    www.via45.com

  • Local Seasonal KitchenLocal Seasonal Kitchen#33

    Local Seasonal Kitchen

     American • Ramsey

    • 4.6
    • 4.1
    • 4.3
    • $67
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    Another Jersey “gem in a strip mall,” this “thoughtful” Ramsey New American from chef Steven Santoro offers “inventive”, “well-prepared” seasonal cuisine made from the bounty of local farmers; it’s “pricey”, so it “helps that it’s BYO”, and “wonderful” service makes it “great for a date night”; P.S. reservations are a “must” on weekends.

    Learn more about Local Seasonal Kitchen.

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    localseasonalkitchen.com

  • IzakayaIzakaya#34

    Izakaya

     Japanese • Atlantic City

    • 4.6
    • 4.5
    • 4.3
    • $58
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    “Not your average Japanese”, Michael Schulson’s “hip” spot in the AC Borgata Hotel offers “fresh” sushi, “interesting” robatayaki and “creative” small plates, plus “beats that can’t be beat”, in a “sexy environment”; “be prepared to spend a little dough”, although the Monday night menu has some "winning” deals.

    Learn more about Izakaya.

  • The Blue Bottle CafeThe Blue Bottle Cafe#35

    The Blue Bottle Cafe

     New American • Hopewell

    • 4.6
    • 3.7
    • 4.4
    • $49
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    The “superb”, “seasonal” New American fare “never fails to delight” at this “homey”, upscale BYO in a “little house” in Hopewell, where an “accommodating” staff goes the “extra mile to make your meal special”; it can be “hard to get in” (“book in advance”), and some report “noisy” conditions, but most find it “always a pleasure.”

    Learn more about The Blue Bottle Cafe.

     Map of The Blue Bottle Cafe

    www.thebluebottlecafe.com

  • Saddle River InnSaddle River Inn#36

    Saddle River Inn

     French • Saddle River

    • 4.6
    • 4.5
    • 4.5
    • $73
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    Chef Jamie Knott (ex NYC’s Artisanal) and co-owner David Madison are “doing it right” with their “reincarnation” of this longtime Saddle River destination, offering “excellent”, French-inspired New American cuisine and “attentive” service in a “beautiful”, “romantic” barn; BYO helps keep “pricey” tabs in check, and many tout it as a “perfect place for a special occasion.”

    Learn more about Saddle River Inn.

     Map of Saddle River Inn

    www.saddleriverinn.com

  • The Pluckemin InnThe Pluckemin Inn#37

    The Pluckemin Inn

     American • Bedminster Township

    • 4.6
    • 4.6
    • 4.6
    • $68
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    An “exceptional” wine list showcased in a three-story tower complements “refined” New American cuisine that “changes with the seasons” at this “cozy” Bedminster “gem” boasting a “quiet” dining room and a “clubby” tavern in a colonial, rustic setting; it’s “not cheap”, but “knowledgeable” service is one more reason it’s “highly recommended for a special night out.”

    Learn more about The Pluckemin Inn.

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    www.pluckemininn.com

  • YumiYumi#38

    Yumi

     Asian • Sea Bright

    • 4.6
    • 4.0
    • 4.3
    • $48
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    The “chef’s mind works in wonderful ways” at this Sea Bright BYO, resulting in “amazing sushi” and “creative”, “artfully presented” Asian-fusion dishes; a “friendly” crew creates a “welcoming” vibe in the “nicely decorated” setting, and while some find it a “little pricey”, others insist “you get what you pay for.”

    Learn more about Yumi.

     Map of Yumi

    yumirestaurant.com

  • The Peacock InnThe Peacock Inn#39

    The Peacock Inn

     American • Princeton

    • 4.6
    • 4.7
    • 4.7
    • $79
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    The service is “exemplary” at this “elegant” and “romantic” fine-dining “local treasure” in Princeton offering “dazzling”, “seasonal” American cuisine in a “charming” setting with a “jovial” bar; some say it’s “expensive”, but most agree it’s “well worth it” for a “special evening” or if you just “want to impress.”

    Learn more about The Peacock Inn.

     Map of The Peacock Inn

    www.thepeacockinn.com

  • Cafe PanacheCafe Panache#40

    Cafe Panache

     Eclectic • Ramsey

    • 4.6
    • 4.4
    • 4.5
    • $69
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    “Appropriately named”, chef-owner Kevin Kohler’s upscale, “fashionable oasis” in Ramsey “never disappoints” with “consistent”, “creative” American cuisine and “polished”, “attentive” service in an “elegant” setting; BYO is another plus, and though “pricey”, most say it’s “worth it” for a “special occasion” or when you want to “see and be seen.”

    Learn more about Cafe Panache.

     Map of Cafe Panache

    cafepanachenj.com

  • Shipwreck PointShipwreck Point#41

    Shipwreck Point

     Steakhouse • Point Pleasant Beach

    • 4.6
    • 4.3
    • 4.4
    • $65
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    “Wonderful” steaks draw locals to this “outstanding” Point Pleasant Beach chophouse, a “definite go-to” for “reliably prepared” meats and a “great wine list” delivered by “warm” servers; though “noisy” and a bit “pricey for the area”, the overall dining experience here is an “enjoyable” one.

    Learn more about Shipwreck Point.

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    www.shipwreckpointsteakhouse.com

  • Restaurant LatourRestaurant Latour#42

    Restaurant Latour

     New American • Hardyston Township

    • 4.6
    • 4.4
    • 4.6
    • $150
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    A “special place for a special occasion”, this Hamburg New American in the Crystal Springs Resort rolls out “original” prix fixe–only menus assembled from daily sourced ingredients, backed up with selections from one of New Jersey’s most extensive wine cellars; “courteous” service, a “romantic” atmosphere and a “beautiful setting” overlooking the hill country make this “outstanding” dining experience “worth every penny.”

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    www.crystalgolfresort.com/dine/latour

  • Da SoliDa Soli#43

    Da Soli

     Italian • Haddonfield

    • 4.6
    • 4.0
    • 4.4
    • $45
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    A “warm and welcoming” “family restaurant” that’s also “nice for date night”, this “casual” Italian BYO in a small Haddonfield mall offers a “wonderful selection” of classic dishes plus some “to-die-for” risotto; maybe the “decor could use some help”, but ultimately the “reasonable” prices carry the day here.

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    www.dasolirestaurant.com

  • A Toute HeureA Toute Heure#44

    A Toute Heure

     American • Cranford

    • 4.6
    • 4.0
    • 4.4
    • $52
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    A “NYC experience without the NYC price tag”, Andrea and Jim Carbine’s BYO bistro in Cranford offers an ever-changing French-inspired American menu of “excellent”, “farm-to-table” fare “without the pretentiousness”; some warn it can be “tough to get a reservation” in the “intimate” space, but the “personable” owners and their staff “make you feel at home”, another reason many deem it a “go-to for any occasion.”

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    www.atouteheure.com

  • Stage LeftStage Left#45

    Stage Left

     American • New Brunswick

    • 4.6
    • 4.4
    • 4.5
    • $70
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    An “elegant” “standard-bearer” in New Brunswick, this “uniformly excellent” New American offers an “inspired” menu (featuring a burger that’s a “rightful legend”) paired with a “well-conceived” wine list; it’s a particularly “good” option for pre-show dining at the nearby State Theatre thanks to a “hard-working” staff so “sincere” that “you always feel like a regular.”

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    www.stageleft.com

  • Il Mulino New YorkIl Mulino New York#46

    Il Mulino New York

     Italian • Atlantic City

    • 4.6
    • 4.5
    • 4.5
    • $89
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    Setting a “high standard for AC restaurants”, this swanky Italian in the Trump Taj Mahal serves a “delicious” menu that’s “almost as good as the NY original”; “top-notch” service, “pricey” tabs and a luxe setting come with the territory, though there is “concern” about the fate of the casino that houses it.

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    www.ilmulino.com

  • Satis BistroSatis Bistro#47

    Satis Bistro

     Mediterranean • Jersey City

    • 4.6
    • 4.3
    • 4.4
    • $55
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    For “not-ordinary” Jersey City dining, check out this “surprising find” in Paulus Hook featuring a “to-die-for” European menu paired with a “terrific wine list”; fans say the “rustic-chic” interior feels like the “West Village” and praise its “fantastic” patio, while an on-site salumeria selling “high-quality” cured meats and specialty cheeses seals the deal.

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    www.satisbistro.com

  • The Ryland InnThe Ryland Inn#48

    The Ryland Inn

     American • Readington Township

    • 4.6
    • 4.7
    • 4.6
    • $88
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    A “legend reborn” in Whitehouse Station, this “destination” restaurant offers a fine-dining American menu that’s “approachable” yet full of “culinary adventure”, plus “unforgettable” wine pairings and “one-of-a-kind” cocktails; a “wonderful country setting” and “gracious” service “without the stuffiness” complete the picture.

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    www.rylandinnnj.com

  • Il Capriccio RestaurantIl Capriccio Restaurant#49

    Il Capriccio Restaurant

     Italian • Hanover

    • 4.6
    • 4.4
    • 4.5
    • $65
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    “Great for a special night out”, this “ornate” Whippany Italian offers a variety of “excellent” dishes delivered by an “accommodating” team; granted, it’s “costly” and the menu rather “limited”, but “over-the-top” decor and “nice” piano music are compensations at this longtime “treasure.”

    Learn more about Il Capriccio Restaurant.

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    www.ilcapriccio.com

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Zagat calculates ratings on a 30-point scale based on periodic consumer surveys

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Numerical cost estimates are for the price of dinner with one drink and tip.

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