Our favorite way to get to know an area? Digging into its signature foods.
meet and eat
When you think of the Jersey shore it’s not often that France comes to mind, but Long Branch’s Avenue looks and feels like a fresh French breeze. The restaurant sits right on the boardwalk overlooking the beach and Atlantic Ocean. Inside, the décor is Atlantic-themed (take one look at that 25-foot bar inspired by the hull of a ship and there’s no doubt you’re at the beach). Floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the ocean.
Awards do not come easily in the restaurant business. Michelin, AAA and Forbes tell us who the best is (and Wine Spectator when it comes to vino), and there are only a select few of local establishments that make the esteemed cut. The Bernards Inn is in rare company, as it is the only restaurant in New Jersey that has made the Forbes list of the top restaurants in the United States. AAA counts just 11 restaurants in its Four-Diamond rating in our state. While you may hear that trophies are handed out just for showing up, it’s clearly not the case when it comes to dining.
There’s nothing bare bones about this steakhouse.
Marilyn Monroe may have adored her diamonds, but it turns out that diamonds aren’t just a girl’s best friend. Hotels and restaurants covet them too, but these diamonds are not the dazzlers you wear; the ones they covet come from AAA. The American Automobile Association, along with Forbes and Michelin (who both issue stars), are considered by many to be the gold standard when it comes to awards.
One of the greatest things about living in New Jersey is that you can sample food from around the world without having to leave the state. Just a short drive in any direction will make you feel a world away, with the cuisine to match. Here are some ethnic eateries around the state that off er up meeting places and party venue capabilities, accompanied with exotic menus that will satisfy everyone on your guest list.
ANEMOS GREEK CUISINE
Princeton, New Jersey’s Mistral opened in 2013 with a splash. The shared plates menu made a big impression on New Jerseyans seeking something globally inspired yet close to home. Now, Mistral has added to its growing empire (which also includes the award-winning elements in the Princeton location) and opened a spin-off in the King of Prussia Mall in February 2017.
Lancaster Cupcake was started on the belief that a cupcake could have the power to impact someone’s day. This belief is rooted and evident in the story of Emily and Jeff Mitchell, the husband-and-wife founders. Emily began baking for friends, family and co-workers while she was studying to become a nurse. The couple experienced misfortune when Jeff’s company’s owner became the focus of an FBI investigation and was later charged with embezzlement.
It's always tea time
You don't need the knowledge of a sommelier to enjoy a fine glass of wine, and in New Jersey, you don’t even need to go to a vineyard or upscale restaurant to try different varieties, as there are numerous wine bars throughout the state offering hundreds of selections.
For those looking to add a little elegance to their meetings or events, a wine bar is the perfect venue. Here are six spots pouring terrific wine in inviting spaces.