Gloria Nilson Real Estate just shared out a great article about the best restaurants in New Jersey as told by local food loving bloggers. Behind the Plates happens to be a contributor to this piece and I wanted to pass it along to all of you! Whether you’re looking to move here, visit, or a local looking to hit some of the best food hotspots, this list is a great place to start! I’ll include the preface that Blue Collar Foodie put together for the write-up to kick it off.
It’s very rare for me not to enjoy an Italian meal. With New Jersey and New York hosting more Italian restaurants than most places across the country, it’s easy to come across a decent dish. While I love to eat Italian food whenever I can, the restaurants I visit also tend to be a dime a dozen. My general feeling is that once you try one, you’ve tried them all. I shouldn’t paint such a broad brush but, as a large majority, most Italian eateries serve the same overplayed Americanized meals that we have come to accept as “true” Italian food. I don’t downplay that I enjoy these dishes, I even cook them myself. But, let’s face it; some of the dishes we chow down on aren’t even popular across the pond. Our ancestors who came over often mixed together American and Italian ingredients to produce these popularized dishes. Or, as time wore on, only the Italian dishes brought over that pleased other Americans’ palates were what stayed in favor.
Locals alert!!! Limited Whole Foods Markets rolled out their new Square Style square pizza at the stores’ ready-made food counters. The Morristown location happens to be a part of this exciting food introduction. I was privileged enough to visit the store on launch day to speak with Rico, the pizza chef, who is helping to lead the inaugurations across the New York and New Jersey stores.
Believe it or not, there are still a small handful of Morristown restaurants I have not dined my way through. It’s not necessarily for lack of wanting to try them. It’s just that I’m always out to try the newest place on the block or settling with my regular favorites.
Spoiled Rotten. That’s the words that best describe me after my recent excursion to Ninety Acres at Natirar. Before I carry myself back and away with the dining experience, I’ll let you know how I ended there. Natirar is a sprawling 500 acre property and estate in Peapack, NJ that houses a cooking school, farm, meetings and event space, and a fine dining restaurant, Ninety Acres. The property is the embodiment of countryside elegance. The restaurant is reserved for luxurious nights out with an expensive menu, extensive wine list, and elaborate farm to table fare. Previous to my most recent visit I had visited the restaurant one other time for a special birthday dinner date with my now husband. However; our friends know us all too well and more than one of our wedding guests thought to give us a gift card to this estate to use to enjoy the finer foods in life. We’ve managed to make it six whole months without finding the time to make a reservation. But, we had an empty weekend and we finally ceased the opportunity.
My husband and I have been trying to meet my grandparents for a double date dinner for months now! We hadn’t seen them since our wedding and we had taken our big honeymoon trip and they had just returned from a long cross country excursion. We had so much to catch up on. We decided that there was no better way to talk about Paris than to eat in a true Parisian style restaurant. My grandparents were the ones who introduced me to the beautiful French city back when I was 12. So it was all very fitting.
Last week I was invited in to try out a new gourmet burger restaurant. The place was Westfield’s newest restaurant scene addition, Butcher Block Burgers. After pre-viewing the menu online before my visit, I had those fun butterfly excitement feelings. It looked like Butcher Block was using a different take on their burgers. We all know that revolutionizing the burger isn’t exactly ground-breaking anymore. It seems that every bar in town now has a creation to call their own. While Butcher Block Burgers certainly has their share of all too common “gourmet burgers” lining the menu, they’re also taking another approach with some of their other menu items. Have you ever eaten a pork burger? What about a shrimp one? There are about nine different patty types on the Butcher Block line up. The diner can choose from the restaurant’s pre-designed and composed burgers or they can build their own from start to finish.
I will try to quickly get to the facts and the experience that you all are eager to read about. When iPic theaters reached out to me to extend the invitation to come in for an advanced tasting and screening at their new (and only) state of the art theater in New Jersey, I was instantly excited. The fact that I work a full time job with a long commute and carry very busy athletic and social calendars makes it extremely difficult to get to media events to represent Behind the Plates. So when I get an invitation for something that is interesting to me, relevant to the blog and my readers AND on an open day, I do a little happy dance. Ok, time to get down and dirty with the facts on this new theater.
I tried not to make you all wait too long for an idea of what to dallop that creamy buttermilk avocado dressing I put up earlier this week. For those of you who have already tried it, you most likely know it can really be used on and with anything. But, I know I sometimes need kitchen inspirations so here is my gift to all of you.