#SCBDExclusive: Mother’s Day Dining Destinations!

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Mother’s Day is approaching quickly. Looking to go out and celebrate in New York or New Jersey? We have a couple of recommendations to enjoy this day to honor our Mother’s…

Photo Credit: Eventective.com

Photo Credit: Eventective.com

SouthWest NY, nestled in the heart of Tribeca, serves up Southwestern classics with a refined twist. Infused with the bright and bold flavors of Mexico and Latin America, Oaxaca-born Chef Antelmo Ambrosio has created a Mother’s Day menu that will be sure to please your turquoise earring-wearing, Southwestern loving mom. Or any mom for that matter. SouthWest NY’s special Mother’s Day menu is on offer from 12 pm to 9 pm. Dine outside and enjoy starters like Smoked Salmon Flat Bread ($13.50) with shaved red onion, capers, crème fraiche and chives or Duck Foie Gras ($15.00) with mixed berries compote and fennel crostini. Healthy delicious entrees like Jumbo Grilled Shrimp ($19.00) with grilled asparagus and blood orange vinaigrette will undoubtedly leave room for a Raspberry Lemon Drop ($ 8.00) with lemon mousse, raspberry preserve, lemon glaze and fresh raspberries. 

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Galli in Soho this Mother’s Day and really give mom a treat — the luxury of not having to cook! She can enjoy Italian classics (such as baby rice balls, mozz chips, Pasta Norma, Chicken Parm, & more) passed down from Steven Gallo’s (Chef & Owner) own mother.  So this Mother’s Day come to Galli and really feel like your at home with the family!

Sarabeth’s is the quintessential Mother’s Day restaurant and in addition to their full dinner menu on May 12th, the sprawling Tribeca location will also offer a specialty menu. Executive Chef Lee Scheffler cooks from the heart, which is evident in items like Filet Mignon ($31) with sautéed spinach, Portobello mushroom and mashed potato, Lobster Salad ($17) baby vegetables, frisee and citrus vinaigrette. And for a sweet end to your meal, try the Plum Peach Tart ($8.50) with fresh whipped cream.

RAYMI, NYC

Let mom enjoy dishes inspired by Chef Ramirez’s own family dinners as a child at Raymi in Flatiron. Mouths are sure to water with a variety of dishes rich in flavor and cultural influence. The prix fixe menu is only $38 a person and offers a variety of dishes sure to please anyone.

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The Orange Squirrel – offers Mother’s Day Brunch with 3 seatings at 11 am, 12:30 and 2pm.  Brunch includes choice of a main dish, a dessert and one complimentary cocktail or beverage for $35/adult or $30/child (see menu above).  Make your reservations today!

RARE The Steakhouse: Will be serving their a la carte menu from 1 to 6:30pm reserve at www.rarestk.com.

 The Dining Room at Anthony David’s brunch:  $22.95 includes fruit & donuts, entree, & coffee/tea.  Reserve at 201-222-8359.

Photo Credit: Lisa Curran

Photo Credit: Lisa Curran

 Bin 14 is offering a make your own “Momosa” Bar $8 with fresh fruits/juices. Reserve at 201-963- 9463.

Cheers to a great Mother’s Day!

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Luce {Eclectic Italian in Caldwell}

While this area has no shortage of Italian restaurants, picking out the ones worth your time can be a challenge. Luce definitely rises to the top of this list, distinguishing itself with a creative menu and attentive kitchen and staff. A fixture on the Caldwell restaurant scene since 2001, Luce revamped its image and menu in 2011. They brought in Executive Chef Steve Saragnese (formerly of Babbo in NYC and Vetri in Philadelphia) to shake up their traditional Italian fare. Saragnese now serves an eclectic twist on Italian classics, showcasing a keen appreciation for flavor combinations and fresh, seasonal ingredients.

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When I had dinner at Luce last week, I was impressed with the number of specials tacked on to their regular menu. The favorite that stood out was the butternut squash ravioli. Pillowy and light, filled with silky butternut squash purée and swathed in a nutty brown butter sauce, and topped with parmesan and crispy sage, it’s the perfect cold-weather pasta dish. The flatbread we tried was also a special, and hit all the right notes with creamy fontina cheese, peppery arugula, and crispy bacon. The flatbread was sprinkled judiciously with truffle oil, such that it didn’t overpower but elevated the whole dish. The Toasted bread with provolone cheese and roasted red pepper purée also delivered a serious flavor punch. What it lacked in beauty it made up for in taste; the sharp provolone and the tangy red pepper purée balanced perfectly, and the bread had a nice crunch. The eggplant caponata that comes with warm bread at the start of your meal is also a real standout, setting the tone for a flavor-packed meal.

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Luce offers an ample entrée menu, complete with standouts like Berkshire pork chop, filet mignon, gingered tuna, and wild Scottish salmon.  For our dinner, we tried the grouper, accompanied by whipped potatoes and garlic spinach. The fish was flaky and tender, and  served with just the right amount of creamy, garlicky sauce. We also tried the shrimp, served over a risotto with garlic spinach. Everything was cooked and seasoned beautifully no complaints from out table! For dessert we had Luce’s homemade brownie served with espresso chip ice cream and an espresso chocolate reduction. Rich, dark, and chocolaty- it hit the spot.

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Everyone at Luce, from the owners to the kitchen to the staff are warm, friendly, and helpful. Prices are reasonable considering the quality of the ingredients and the attention to detail. Though they don’t have a liquor license, Luce provides a wine list and will place an order for prompt delivery to your table. If you haven’t tried Luce, or haven’t been in years, give it a try- you’ll be impressed!

#SCBDExclusive: Potbelly to Open in Paramus this Tuesday!

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If you’ve been an avid SCBD reader from the beginning you know one of my favorite places to grab lunch while I interned at The Rachael Ray Show was Potbelly Sandwich Shop. It was an easy walk from the former studio in Midtown East, affordable, and delicious and I’m not normally a big sandwich person. Check out my original post featuring Potbelly, here.

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I loved eating Potbelly so much that I wanted them to open up in New Jersey. Now over a year later, they are opening their second New Jersey location (the first is in Jersey City) at Bergen Town Center in Paramus, NJ. The Potbelly official grand opening is this Tuesday, February 19th at 11am.

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In honor of the opening they are having an Oven Warming Party (which I found out via Twitter) tomorrow from 11am-1:30pm. The first 260 people to sign up (admits you and one guest) can enjoy a Potbelly Originals sandwich, a bag of chips, and a fountain drink, all for a $5 cash donation per person that will be going to Family to Family to raise funds for their projects.  Be sure to RSVP, here, tonight! I’m planning on attending, so maybe I’ll see you there?!

The MenuPhoto Credit: DNAinfo.com

The Menu
Photo Credit: DNAinfo.com

If you can’t make it out tomorrow, make sure you stop by for their official grand opening Tuesday or anytime the rest of the week.  I highly recommend the Roast Beef sandwich which is my personal favorite, I’ve even ordered it “Bigs” (30% more meat) because it’s that delicious!

Here’s to a successful grand opening and giving Potbelly a warm welcome to Bergen County!

Happy Eating! 😀

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#New #SCBD Jersey Bites Post-Enjoy A Date Night at Chakra in Paramus


Enjoy A Date Night at Chakra in Paramus (via Jersey Bites)

Before the holidays, I was invited to go to a media dinner at Chakra, a restaurant and lounge located centrally off Route 4, in Paramus. Since Chakra has such a romantic atmosphere, I felt it was only right to bring along my boyfriend, Jason. Chakra, certainly lives up to its romantic reputation with…

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Authentic Mexican Food & Cocktails at Chapala Grill– #SCBDApproved!

So normally I try to go to a restaurant once or twice if I can before I write about it but I went to Chapala Grill in Bergenfield, NJ this past Saturday night with my roommate Leah for a girls night out and had to tell you all about it!

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When we first decided to go we figured we’d just order drinks and appetizers since the cocktails they had and beer were an unbeatable price. Leah got a beer ($3.50)  and I got a Peach Margarita on the rocks ($5.50) to start and they brought us out some tortilla chips and salsa. The salsa was perfect not too thick and had a little kick in every bite. Next, we decided to order some of their specialties since they were amazing priced. Leah got the Burrito Chapala ($13.95) that is a burrito with crab meat, spinach, and more. I decided to get the Tacos Mexicanos ($11.75) with steak, pico de gallo, and cilantro. We both devoured our meals and enjoyed every bite. I even put some salsa on my tacos it was so good and we took our leftover rice & beans to go.

I’ve learned the secret to a great Mexican restaurant is that it has:

  • Strong, delicious Margaritas
  • Food Portioned perfectly
  • Affordable
  • Authentic

Chapala Grill was all that & more! We both decided to we had to bring our boyfriend, friends, and family here for dinner. They also have an awesome happy hour we were interested in attending sometime.

Chapala Grill is located at 52 South Washington Ave  Bergenfield, NJ 07621

Happy Eating…Cheers! 😀

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A Good Veggie Burger is Hard to Find…

When’s the last time you had a great veggie burger?  Chances are it hasn’t happened in a while!  If you share my mission of finding great meatless meals, you may have noticed there is a slight deficit… especially in restaurants that have more carnivorous themes.  However, I am happy to report that Zinburger recently broke the mold, and delivered a seriously awesome veggie burger!

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If you haven’t heard of Zinburger yet it may be because they are new to the East coast.  Our very pleasant and knowledgeable server informed us that Zinburger is a West coast based company, and the Clifton, NJ location I was dining at was the first one on the east coast.  Don’t fret though, because Paramus and Cherry Hill locations will be opening soon!  Zinburger is a self proclaimed “wine and burger bar”, offering a broad spectrum of both.  The full bar includes 18 wines by the glass and 17 beer selections, 8 of which are on tap.  The menu contains no shortage of burger offerings, including a build your own burger option.  There are also a variety of fry options available, some salads, and shakes to tempt your sweet tooth.

I started my Zinburger experience with a trip to their cocktail menu, and I chose the Skinny Margarita.  Made with Sauza Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, orange juice, agave nectar, and lime juice, it provided a great blend of sweet and sour flavors.  You wouldn’t know it was “skinny” if it didn’t say so on the menu!

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I decided on Clint’s “Almost Famous” Veggie Burger, for a very affordable $9.  The veggie burger was served with smoked mozzarella, avocado, pea shoots, and mayo.  Another win for Zinburger – this item can be ordered vegan!  The burger had a soft texture and didn’t resemble a typical “patty”.  It was loaded with flavor, and the avocado and shoots just made it that much more delicious.

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In my opinion, every good burger needs a side of fries, so I ordered personal favorite – Sweet Potato Fries for $5.  Zinburger serves their sweet potato fries with a yogurt dipping sauce which was a yummy alternative to ketchup!

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Make sure you stop by Zinburger soon and let us know what you think!  And don’t forget to keep your eyes open for locations opening in Paramus and Cherry Hill soon!