Restaurants Worth A Trip

Restaurants  / 

In the age of order-off-the-web-page, table top games via iPad, and pay by app and skip the whole interact with your server thing, savoring a night out with your sweetie may seem like a thing of the past. But it doesn’t have to be. Spring is here, the roads are finally clear, and it’s time to pave the way towards drawn-out conversations and good ol’ fashioned candlelit romance. Here are several mouth-watering options within an hour’s drive to whet your palate.

Battello: (502 Washington Boulevard, Jersey City, 201.798.1798) Jersey City has hit the foodie-radar hard in the last few years with big name chefs looking for affordable space and a metro crowd to serve their upscale eats to. One resto that hits the mark on ambiance and food is Battello. With sweeping NYC skyline views and a space large enough to host your next dinner party of 6 (or 20), you won’t regret the trip south.  Linger in the loungey bar area pre-meal, then head over to the main dining room for a pleasing take on seafood specials, Italian favorites, steaks and sides created by chef Ryan DePersio of Montclair’s Fascino. Insider tips: request a table by the window, try one of the local NJ brews on tap, and finish off with the Blueberry Parfait.

Bluehill at Stone Barns(630 Bedford Rd, Tarrytown, NY, 914 366 9600) Rustic farmhouse dining with award winning chef Dan Barber takes the “culinary experience” to a new level. Just a hop across the Tappan Zee Bridge will land you at Stone Barnes Center for Agriculture, a working farm in Westchester where crops are tended and livestock is raised. Harvested seasonal ingredients make their way onto beautiful tables for a five star dining experience. Make sure you book this “special occasion” eatery well in advance and adhere to the dress code (jackets and ties are recommended for men) before you settle in for a memorable meal.  Insider tips: Leave the kids at home for this one, the restaurant accepts reservations up to two months out, there is no menu, the only offering is now the chef selected tasting called “Grazing, Pecking, Rooting” for $198/pp

Outstanding in the Field After stumbling upon their unbelievable table set ups via Instagram, we have been dining with this account in spirit ever since. Taking the farm-to-table concept one step further by setting up actual dinners in some of the most beautiful farms, beaches and wineries across the country, founder Jim Denevan has created unique and gorgeously served events from west coast to east coast and back again. Checkout their Summer/Fall 2015 schedule for an event that’s worthy of a drive- Princeton in September is already sold out, but you can still book Ridgefield, CT or Hudson Valley, NY if you act quickly.  Insider tips:  Bring along bug spray and comfortable shoes because the terrain can be unpredictable.

Ninety Acres Culinary Center: (2 Main Street, Peapack-Gladstone, (908) 901-9500) The concept: develop a 500 acre estate in Somerset County previously owned by Moroccan royalty with Richard Branson’s backing and turn it into a culinary mecca. The result: A gorgeously re-designed property carriage house and garage which pulls livestock and produce from the surrounding farmlands, plus an extensive (read: over 1,200 selections) wine list. Insider tips: Intrepid diners should try the “Bring Me Food” experience which is the center’s interpretation of their seasonal tasting menu.


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