These 10 Restaurants in NJ are Holiday Dining Perfection

Restaurants  / 

You paid your dues during Thanksgiving. Now, ’tis the season…to opt out of preparing more holiday meals! As late December draws near and relatives start to descend, cut yourself some slack and book a rezzie at one (or more!) of  these 10 restaurants in NJ that serve up holiday dining perfection.


Ivy Inn

If you like your holiday dining with a side of history, check out the Ivy Inn in Hasbrouck Heights. The circa 1870s stagecoach inn served as a way station for weary travelers who would eat at the tavern below and then stay in one of the six guest rooms above. It was also a speakeasy during the Prohibition. Now a local favorite fine dining destination, the Ivy Inn is bringing the holiday cheer with festive decorations, intimate dining nooks and a crackling fireplace. They've got a special menu for Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and their catered events. (26 Terrace Avenue, Hasbrouck Heights, 201.393.7699)


The Hill

If your goal is to get you and yours into the holiday spirit, look no further than this gorgeous (and very buzzy!) new restaurant with a farmhouse feel that’s been done up with elegant and understated decor, candles, Christmas greens, poinsettias, and of course, a roaring fireplace this season. And did we mention the kitchen is helmed by Michelin-star chef Ben Pollinger? The seasonal menu is full of dreamy dishes that are as attractive as they are appetizing. Think tricolore beet salad with pistachios, blistered shishito peppers with yuzu mayo, and a squid ink fettuccini. All we want from Santa is for chef Ben to move in ... (252 Schraalenburgh Road, Closter, 201.899.4700)



Saddle River Inn

Snag a table at this Bergen County favorite – which made OpenTable’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America list this year -- and expect the perfect setting with cozy upscale barn decor along the banks of the Saddle River. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but our absolute faves include the tuna carpaccio, local black sea bass in lobster broth, and Asian-style duck breast with crispy rice. If you want to take it up a notch, go for one of the decadent chef’s seasonal tasting menus and leave all your decisions in the hands of talented chef/owner Jamie Knott.  (2 Barnstable Court, Saddle River, 201.825.4016)



Glam is the word at this Italian farm-to-table steakhouse with valet parking set on Englewood’s Engle Street. Whether you reserve a table to devour pastas and steaks or linger at the bar over one of their signature cocktails, put this spot on your hit list. Bonus: If you decide to do a nightcap here after a holiday party or movie night, expect a solid late-night menu served until 1am most nights plus half-price Champagne bottles after 10pm. (That deal alone can be what you celebrate.)  Keep an eye out for their New Year’s Eve offerings, too. (36 Engle Street, Englewood 201.541.8530)


De Novo

Looking for a slam-dunk when it comes to impressing out-of-town guests (or any guest really!) without looking like you’re trying too hard? Look no further than this family-friendly spot styled after the casual pubs of Europe. Restauranteur Demitri Malki, owner of the original De Novo, an Upper Montclair favorite, has brought chef Adolfo Marisi and his menu of Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean favorites to Edgewater with ravishing results. Not only are the mix of house-made breads, small plates, charcuterie, flatbreads, salads, burgers, house-made pastas, entrées, and late-night bar bites to die for, so are the spectacular views of the George Washington Bridge and the twinkling lights of the skyscrapers of New York City. (1257 River Road, Edgewater, 201.496.6161)


Restaurant X

This Rockland County restaurant is worth the drive to sit by the fire and enjoy a cocktail and Peter Kelly’s award winning American classics -- everything from braised short ribs to prime aged sirloin to a massive ribeye for two. For lighter fare, there’s plenty of seafood options including a glazed King salmon and grilled center-cut swordfish. Top the whole thing off with one (or two!) picks from their killer dessert selection and the evening will warm your heart no matter how chilly the evening. (117 N Route 303, Congers, NY, 845.268-6555


Mangia Italian Trattoria

If you’re in the mood to keep it casual and kick it old-school, you’ll want to head to this homey storefront spot with its red checker tablecloths, and classic dishes of spaghetti and meatballs, penne ala vodka, chicken parm, and stuffed artichokes. And don’t miss the homemade desserts (it’s not January yet!) with goodies like tiramisu, cannoli, and a Nutella-and-banana crepe. (276 Old River Road, Edgewater, 201.945.3334)


Osteria Crescendo

Winter white isn’t just a home run when it comes to hip holiday attire. It’s also a good look when it comes to fine dining, and you’ll find it at this Westwood eatery located on Jefferson Avenue in the old Baci space. Featuring a chic dining room drenched in cool ivory and grey tones and soft, retro-style lighting, OC is the OG when it comes to serving up traditional Italian fare with a modern touch. Celebrated Chef Robbie Felice’s menu showcases per la tavola (for the table)” dishes, including in house dry-aged steaks, and whole fish, which are intended to be shared by up to four people, but there’s also plenty of single-sized options—all made using locally sourced, Non-GMO ingredients from family farms—as well. (36 Jefferson Avenue, Westwood, 201.722.1900)



Sidewalk Bistro

Can’t make it to Paris for Christmas dinner at a little French bistro? Experience the next best thing here at home. This lovely little neighborhood eatery is the perfect place for a festive romantic date night- with the whole spot lit up with red Christmas lights and the quaint town of Piermont decorated with your holiday dreams in mind, it's a must-stop for holiday dining. The menu is classic brasserie with escargot, an endive salad, goat cheese tart, haricots verts, mussels, orange duck, and a strip steak served with perfectly done fries. The restaurant rolls out a tapas menu on Monday and Tuesday nights and you can BYO every Wednesday. (482 Piermont Avenue, Piermont, NY, 845.680.6490)




With its welcoming red doors and decidedly glam interior, nothing could feel more festive than a delicious night out at this stylish eatery helmed by legendary restauranteur David Burke (yes, that David Burke!). The menu blends Latin and Asian influences and the result is a mix of creative plates that are as design-centric as they are delectable. Think lobster dumplings with a drizzle of miso oil, skirt steak and frites accompanied by a bold truffle and chimichurri sauce, salt-and-coffee-roasted whole snapper, wow-worthy skewers of Korean-style wings and calamari, and a smattering of sushi and sashimi offerings. Save room for dessert, too—DB has resurrected that epic cheesecake lollipop tree from his dearly departed eatery davidburke & donatella. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. (200 Park Avenue, Fort Lee, 201.583.4777)

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