While studying at New York University’s College of Dentistry, Dr. Nhat Nguyen found more than a career. He found his future wife—and current partner at East Coast Family Dentistry—Dr. Maria Sese. Together, they tackle a full slate of dental services that range from checkups and x-rays to prevent future mouth-based maladies to implants and crowns that signal which molar is king of the teeth. Once smiles are healthy, the dental duo can spruce them up with cosmetic treatments including Zoom! Whitening treatments, which brighten chompers up to 12 shades in a single session.
Drs. Paul Lustiger, Caroline Hamilton, and Hamlet Garabedian work together to improve the health and appearance of patients' teeth. Digital x-rays and intraoral cameras can provide helpful medical insight into future dental problems, unlike a fortuneteller who just keeps telling you to stay away from hockey pucks. In the office, they also craft Invisalign braces to straighten teeth and customize teeth-whitening trays to brighten smiles.
Though Mantra Head Chef Purvesh Patel is known for his creative takes on Indian cuisine—including chaat, or snack food, garnished with tender lobster meat—his careful, French-inspired cooking also leaves its mark on the menu’s traditional entrees. "Each ingredient seemed to have bathed for just the right number of hours in its yogurt marinade; each was precisely cooked; and each carried a heady overtone of spices," a New York Times food writer recalled of a tandoori dish in 2008. In contrast to these subtle flavors, Mantra’s presentation often has theatrical flair; chefs chop chaat dishes tableside and set a banana flambé dessert ablaze with rum.
Both locations’ sleek dining rooms also go for drama with bold, modern decor. In Jersey City, red accents simmer against warm-toned walls. Next to the Paramus spot's mosaic-tiled bar, live flames dance on the low wall between the dining room and lounge, upping the “amazement factor” for Cody Kendall of the Star-Ledger.
Captain Al's cooks plate a menu of casual American fare as servers decant 16 draft beers. Hands dig into hearty appetizers, kick-starting palates with options such as four La Frieda sliders—miniature hamburger patties topped with american cheese originally concocted for lilliputian barbecues ($10)—or loaded cheese fries coated in cheddar and applewood bacon bits, which are ripe for dipping into buttermilk ranch ($8). Knives carve into entrees, slicing through the stuffed chicken breast to reveal a savory filling of goat cheese and spinach ($13), and fingers run up and down the rack of ribs ($19), which doubles as a spongy xylophone. In between chews, diners wash down meals with sips of eclectic draft brews such as Delirium Tremens, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and Smithwicks, or more common standbys such as Blue Moon, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Coors Light.
Located in Paulus Hook, ProPark's Van Voorst parking lot securely houses cars while their owners take in the sights of historical downtown Jersey City. Situated a mere five blocks from waterfront views of New York City, the lot also allows for close transfers to light rail and path stations.
Founded by a bodybuilding and fitness enthusiast, Muscle Maker Grill supplies nutritious high-protein dishes that serve as a healthy alternative to traditional fast food. Guests can commence with a bowl of steamed edamame ($3.75) or shake hands with the buffalo wing's well-behaved younger brother, the texas chicken nuggets, served with fat-free sour cream and celery ($4.75). Grilled chicken breast and turkey bacon team up in the MMG signature wrap, backed by romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and onions with reduced-fat cheddar cheese and a zero-carbohydrate signature sauce ($8.95). Pastafarians can peruse the selection of whole-wheat penne (regular penne available as well) in dishes such as the sesame-chicken teriyaki pasta ($9.25).