"Keep it simple." At Pure Parsippany, that isn't just sage advice?it's a philosophy. As the restaurant's name might suggest, the approach to food here isn't a complicated, muddled process; instead, it's built upon fresh ingredients and unaltered flavors.
Executive chef Michael Schmitt captains the kitchen, where he and his team craft a menu of upscale American- and Asian-inspired cuisine. Their spread includes familiar favorites such as filet mignon, pan-roasted pork chops, and miso-glased Chilean sea bass in addition to an ample selection of sushi rolls. Visitors dig into these hearty entrees in Pure's elegant, spacious dining room, where gold chandeliers shine light across cream-colored booths and chairs, dark hardwood floors, and exposed brick facades. At one end of the restaurant, bartenders mix more than a dozen signature cocktails at a large, square-shaped bar for guests to enjoy as a nightcap or a resting place for the loose olive skewers in their pockets.
They say you can't be all things to all people, but that apparently hasn't stopped Red Stone Tavern from trying. For starters, there's the decor: an aesthetic compromise that incorporates rustic building materials with a sleekness that feels decidedly modern. A walk through the restaurant reveals an expansive dining room with high ceilings and plenty of space, but it's partitioned in such a way as to make every meal an intimate experience.
Above all, however, people from all corners of Jersey flock to Red Stone Tavern for the food. Equal parts upscale and casual, the menu features hearty dishes of pasta and seafood alongside handmade pizzas topped with arugula, pesto, and balsamic glaze. Despite all this diversity, many guests stick to the grilled offerings. It's hard to blame them, as the choices include a 12-ounce sirloin steak, a zesty lime chicken breast, and a rack of St. Louis ribs signed by the chef in tangy barbecue sauce.
Despite its Bavarian lodge?style fa?ade, Prospect Tavern doesn't tie itself down to any one cultural cuisine. The kitchen team draws from all around the world to design its eclectic upscale pub menu. Signature dishes such as a slow-roasted prime rib and lobster macaroni and cheese share the spotlight with herbed steaks, fresh salads, and vegetarian sandwiches. Many of these come with their own suggested drink pairings, which can be chosen from more than 10 craft beers and a robust list international wines. Food and drink aren't the modern pub's only attractions: throughout the year, special events range from live acoustic music and social karaoke to model UN meetings.
Winner of the JerseyArts.com 2009 People's Choice Award for favorite Professional Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse has been opening the curtain on top-quality musical theater and plays since its debut in 1938. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony Award-winning musical comedy, follows the travails of a group of young students participating in their countywide spell off. With hilarious tunes and frequent fourth wall demolition, the musical expertly tickles audience funny femurs while filling their ears with the harmonious euphony of the Tony-nominated score. Groupon buyers will leave the theater with a Paper Mill Playhouse cup (a $5 value), allowing patrons of the arts to signal their theater affiliation to rival gangs of symphony and museum cup holders.
At fully stocked facilities, Mix 'em Up Bartending School's TIPS-certified instructors ready students for a career mixing drinks in a nightclub setting. Real taps, sinks, and machinery offer each pupil hands-on training, all overseen by potable professionals boasting the experience and chiseled biceps acquired during a minimum of seven years manning the taps. Music and disco lights foster a true-to-life atmosphere aimed at granting graduates the confidence needed to work in real bar conditions. Showing a commitment to helping all types of students succeed, Mix 'em Up pours out its curriculum in both full- and part-time classes and encourages graduates to take advantage of lifetime access to job-placement databases.
Since its post-Prohibition opening in 1933, the Cloverleaf Tavern has been owned and operated by the same family, serving a hearty menu of casual American and international eats. Begin a meal with the counter-intuitively best-selling hot, bubbling crab dip, a mouth-watering concoction of fresh crab meat baked in a gooey white-wine-cheese blend and served with toasted baguettes ($9.99). Pub classics abound, such as the charbroiled burgers ($7.49+) and irish cottage beef pie, with brown gravy and hearty vegetables bubbling under the mashed-potato crust ($12.99). Cloverleaf Tavern, which was the first saloon in Caldwell to secure a liquor license after Prohibition, also proffers a full bar and vast beer selection of 25 beers on tap, plus more than 50 bottled brews, which makes it an ideal place to stop for a post- or prework celebration.