Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

El Bulli in Sapporo Japan

August 3, 2011 | By what is cooking now | 0 Comments

El Bulli in Sapporo Japan 1
Everytime my wife and I visit Sapporo, Japan we visit Le Musee — a restaurant that blew my mind the first time I visited. Then I saw Bourdain’s series on El Bulli and, bingo!, I saw the underpinnings of the creativity at Le Musee. Chef Makoto Ishii studied in Spain and France, but bases his cuisine on the incredible sea food of this very northern Island and its equally fresh, local produce. But the whimsy and sheer technical skill has been matched ONLY by what I’ve seen of El Bulli. Did Chef Ishii study at El Bulli? It sure feels like he did. El Bulli’s influence is obvious and he is using it as a springboard to take local ingredients and Japanese sensibilities to craft an entirely interesting, stimulating and amazing cuisine of his own. Very tiny restaurant at the northern end of a park in Sapporo, Japan. El Bulli lives on — albiet in a smaller, local and Japanese manner.

Tasty Treats at Saffron

April 25, 2011 | By plate fodder | 0 Comments

Tasty Treats at Saffron 1
When I used to work in New York City, I loved the area around my company which is located near the United Nations. The company was on a street that was surrounded by some of the best Indian restaurants in town. So every week, I dined at a new place and ate my heart out. That is why it was heart breaking when I had to move back to my hometown in Jersey. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of Indian restaurants in Jersey but it just isn’t the same.
I went to this place called Saffron in East Hanover last year as my friend was craving butter chicken. He’s been talking about it for so long that we decided to try it out at Saffron. Oh, by the way, it was also Friday the 13th. We ran into both good and bad luck. First the bad news…the butter chicken wasn’t that great. The good news was that it didn’t ruin the whole night. The crispy vegetable fritters appetizer was amazing, especially with the oriental sauce.

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There’s No Question that Jose Tejas is the Place to “EAT”!

April 8, 2011 | By jeremy fordham | 0 Comments

So you are driving along New Jersey’s infamous Route 1 in Iselin and are starving. Sure you have gone to the lobster shack, the Irish pub spinoff and the rib joint but you want something different, something fresh. Your taste buds are dying for some flavor and some life. You happen upon this huge sign, standing erect at 40 feet tall and wider than the largest SUV saying “EAT” with an arrow pointing at this seemingly sketchy shack. This “shack” is known as “Jose Tejas”: a Tex-Mex/Cajun restaurant serving up authentic “Good Eats”.
Once you get past the rustic building and actually enter the restaurant, there is a warm and vibrant buzz that never ceases. No cleanly pressed table linens here; the family-friendly atmosphere of hanging Christmas lights, propane-powered lamps and matching wooden tables and chairs are reminiscent of simpler times when the hustle and bustle of life was reduced to a minimum.

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More than Just a Facelift for the Metuchen Inn?

March 17, 2011 | By jeremy fordham | 0 Comments

More than Just a Facelift for the Metuchen Inn? 1
In the bustling, yet quaint Central New Jersey town of Metuchen stands a historic restaurant, which over the past five years has received a melange of poor reviews. Amidst a shrinking number of dinner guests and overall lull in business, a fire broke out about one year ago. Though the fire was contained to the bar area, there was significant smoke damage done to the rest of the 200 year old mansion. In the beginning of February of 2011, The Metuchen Inn reopened for lunch and dinner service. From the outside, one can see that the once historic restaurant underwent an extensive facelift. My dinner guest and I proceeded inside to see quite a sporadic collection of sconces, paintings and conflicting designs. When owner, Constantine Papanicolaou was asked about the decor, he proceeded to explain there is “a combination of Classicist and Contemporary throughout”. It lacked continuity in my opinion.

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Inside the James Beard House

February 27, 2011 | By lemons and loafers | 0 Comments

Inside the James Beard House 1
OK, I’ll admit it: when a friend emailed and asked if I wanted to have dinner at the James Beard House, I had never actually heard of the James Beard House. Now, before you revoke all my credentials, let me add this: of course I had heard of James Beard and the eponymous Foundation, with its heralded awards. And, I would have assumed that when he was alive, James Beard lived in a house. But did I know the Foundation now owns his fabulous mansion in Greenwich Village, and that it holds events most nights a week where rising and already-celebrity chefs cook prix fixe meals for foodies in the know? No! But when given the offer, I brushed up on the facts, and jumped at the chance.

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Restaurant Recommendation

November 8, 2010 | By allison @ i cooked it | 0 Comments

Heading to NY Wednesday, staying in Upper West Side. Any suggestions for a moderately priced restaurant before a show on Wednesday evening? Concierge recommended Le Bernadin. Know it would be great but is a little pricey.

Upscale Healthy at ABC Kitchen

July 27, 2010 | By lagregory | 0 Comments

Upscale Healthy at ABC Kitchen 1
ABC Kitchen is like a secluded haven in the middle of a busy city where sidewalks are littered with soda cans and hot dog wrappers. Jean-Georges’ newest restaurant draws its ingredients from local, organic sources, preparing food that rivals in freshness food that is cooked at home.
The restaurant is nestled in an alley and is hard to spot unless you’re looking for it. The door frame is white and a small banner outside reads “ABC Kitchen” in faint letters. Despite the name, one would think that ABC Kitchen was a furniture store. The dainty white chairs screams for attention, juxtaposed against wooden floors and the wooden beams that seem to prevent the restaurant from collapsing on itself. The lighting casts an ambient glow on the dinner table, and mysterious paintings on the wall captivates the eyes for a time.

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My Mother vs. Ground Beef

July 21, 2010 | By bettyb | 0 Comments

My Mother vs. Ground Beef 1
There’s a “throw down” in the kitchen, and it doesn’t involve Bobby Flay. What it does involve though, is my mother, a grill, and an unlimited source of ground beef. I don’t think there’s a person in this world who loves burgers more than my mother. She’d eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner … everyday.

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Wattleseed Yogurt in Aspen

June 24, 2010 | By emily | 0 Comments

Wattleseed Yogurt in Aspen 1
During a recent trip to Aspen, I was in search of a quality cup of ice coffee and was led to Victoria’s Espresso & Wine Bar. This little café, elevated above the pedestrian walkway of Mill Street, claims to be the “Aspen Culture Café”. Being my first trip to Aspen, I am not aware of what the Aspen culture is, other than mountains and short scary flights over them. Still, I assume this refers to the effort to source their ingredients from the best artisan producers they can find.

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Another day at El Bulli

May 25, 2010 | By jo workman | 0 Comments

I went to El Bulli with a couple of friends. Expectations were high after I had followed Ferrán Adriá for years. He met us at the door and showed us the holy grail of the world’s best restaurant, the kitchen. Almost 50 chefs hovered over the pots and pans to service 48 guests…With more than 60 plates a person that was probably a must. The restaurant is rustic and with a casual feel that was very friendly. The dinner was fantastic, but more from a show-off perspective than of culinary. We laughed a couple of times when the creation was just too out of this world. But everything was truly artistic and there is no doubt that Ferrán is a magician. When the restaurant re-opens – which it will – I truly recommend every food freak to try it out. It something you have in your experience bank.
Dan Sehlberg