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Posts from March 2007

Simon's: Westwood, NJ (closed)


Update:  Simon's has changed hands and will soon be something different, according to Bill Pitcher at Second Helpings.

I read about Simon's of Westwood a couple of weeks ago in a local magazine.  That was the first I'd heard of it.  What caught my eye was the "black angus burger."  It's been on my list since that moment.   I finally got there and had that burger, and I have to say it was very nicely executed.

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Chef Anthony Lo Pinto returns, landing at Earth: Totowa, NJ, US, Earth (CLOSED)


Update (20070509):  Earth has closed.  An update can be found here (CLICK).

Update (20070731):  Chef Lo Pinto can now be found at CRAVE in Fairfield.  More info here (click).

Chef Lo Pinto earned my admiration and got my attention several years ago during my first visit to Fortunato, the Italian restaurant in Lyndhurst where he manned the stoves for a while.  A friend and I sat at the bar for an impromptu dinner.  Chef Lo Pinto was very pleased that we were interested in the restaurant and his menu, and graciously offered to prepare a multi-course tasting menu.  We accepted.

Chef Lo Pinto is no dummy, and has the good sense to focus on customer service.  This business isn't just about putting food in front of people, and he knows it.  Too few owners realize this somewhat basic fact.

After seeing the Lo Pinto news on NJ Monthly magazine's Table Hopping with Rosie, I spoke* with the clearly excited and energetic Chef today at his new restaurant in Totowa, where he gave me a tour of the kitchen, and shared some insight into his new baby.

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Felice: Oradell, NJ [CLOSED]


7/2013: Felice has closed.

It's been open for a few years now, but I've never had much of an interest in going to Felice in Oradell (same owners as Regina's Steakhouse in Teaneck, which serves wet-aged steak, contrary to their website's claim of dry-aged steak, and Le Jardin in Edgewater).  Reports on the internet and my sixth sense for this type of thing suggested to me that this was yet another red sauce Italian-American place, and one with a liquor license ta boot (I'd rather bring my own most of the time, especially at basic mom-and-pop places).

But curiosity got the best of me the other night after spending some time on their website and looking over the menu more carefully.  I figured that there's a chance they're actually serving good pasta, even though they might not be aiming for the stars.  I'm happy to report that this seems to be the case.

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Egg on top: makes anything taste better

My three favorite words to stumble upon when perusing a menu?  "Egg on top."

It's really a simple concept:  an egg on top makes anything taste better.  I've figure that much out.  And if I've figured that out, then you should certainly have figured that out.  But just in case, here's a reminder.

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