Blue Water Seafood Company’s expansive menu satisfies the deepest desires of seafaring appetites. Appetizers such as oysters on the half shell ($16/dozen) launch the stomach on a seafaring journey, continued by jumbo lump crab cakes ($17 lunch; $23 dinner) and fried clam strips ($15 lunch; $18 dinner). Blue Water's live Maine lobster ($26/lb., dinner only) is steamed and served with roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables upon order, bringing forth celestial flavors from the abyssopelagic depths. The maritime menu is bordered by an assortment of terra firma tasties including lemon chicken with artichoke hearts and crispy garlic ($14 lunch; $18 dinner) and New Zealand lamb chops ($35, dinner only).
Arched doorways and rustic wood carvings envelop diners at Portuguese Manor in Old-World atmosphere. To further the feeling, chefs cook flavorful Portuguese dishes, such as pork chops cooked with garlic, bay leaves, and wine; and shrimp sautéed in a homemade garlic sauce. Soft music provides a soundtrack as guests sample appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms and mussels doused in hot sauce.
When it comes to Italian food, the culinary team at Cafe 34 Bistro draws equally from tradition and its own creativity. From seasoning housemade gnocchi with ground beef to tossing fettuccine with bacon-wrapped scallions and creamy wild-mushroom sauce, the cooks prove they have classic Italian flavors mastered. On the flip side, they lend fried calamari an extra zest by tossing the rings in mandarin-orange sauce. Cafe 34's culinary wizards likewise expand the flavorful potential of the burger by crowning beef patties with Cajun seasoning and mango-crabmeat salsa.
An extensive selection of wine by the glass and bottle, as well as cocktails, such as chocolate martinis, complements Cafe 34's edibles. Meals, in turn, complement the cafe's entertainment lineup, which bounces between flat-screen TVs showing the night's biggest games and live music performed three nights a week.
To understand what makes Nicole's Ten Restaurant special, the numbers give a good starting point:
Stats aside, all one really needs to understand the restaurant's appeal is to enter its space, where soft music plays and candlelight flickers off of flowing drapes. In many ways, Nicole's Ten Restaurant resembles an art gallery, just one where you're allowed to eat everything on display.
That shouldn't come as a surprise, since executive chef Chris Masey boasts a background in art and photography. Working alongside owner and restaurant namesake Nicole Dabal, Chris has dreamed up a menu of artfully presented dishes such as hakka style crab cakes with Asian and Indian flavors—a top-three finalist of the 2012 NJ King Crab Competition. The Drunken 10n Burger, which has a patty made of black wagyu beef and wild boar, was voted one of the top 10 burgers at the 2012 New Jersey Food & Wine Festival. When culling flavors from all over the world, the team only gives themselves one restriction: use organic, all-natural, and sustainable ingredients, when possible.