Though it's only recently flung open its doors, Riva Blue is already creating a buzz in Northern New Jersey. That's thanks to a number of things, including its luxurious interior, nightly schedule of events, and mouthwatering menu items. Here, diners can savor Italian-inspired entrees including eggplant rollatini, pasta bolognese, and pan-fried veal milanese. They can also sink their taste buds into local versions of culinary classics such as the Jersey-style philly cheesesteak and Newark's Famous Italian dog, the latter of which signs autographs in mustard. And Riva Blue isn't just for dining. Thanks to its spacious confines, it's an ideal spot for weddings, parties, dancing, and karaoke.
Vivo Ristorante serves up delectable, authentic Italian culled from fresh ingredients in an elegant dining environment. The dinner menu changes daily but is typically stocked with mouthwatering pasta permutations, such as the shrimp and brandy cream sauce covering each Cappellini San Marco ($16.95) and the prosciutto and plum tomatoes enhancing each fusilli filetti di pomodoro ($12.95). Savor parmesan's versatility in the vitello alla parmigiana ($16.95), a tasty lightly breaded veal, or celebrate the tongue's graduation from dehydrated astronaut chicken with the petto di pollo di Verona ($13.95), succulent poultry adorned with artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes. Be sure to take advantage of Vivo's Early Bird special, which provides diners courses of salad, chicken or pasta, coffee, and dessert ($15.95) at any of the restaurant's neat table displays.
The eye-catching crepes at The 3rd Wave Cafe & Crepe are veritable works of food art. The chefs stuff the flaky crepe dough with such savory fillings as grilled Atlantic salmon, steak, and lemon-pepper grilled chicken and then top the creations with dots of cheese and fresh herbs. All the beef and poultry that go into the crepes are antibiotic-free, and none of their gustatory delights contain preservatives, additives, or black magic.
The shop also hits dulcet notes with dessert crepes, pastries, and confections. They pack those crepes full of sweet fillings, such as fresh fruit, before crowning them with more fresh fruit and drizzling Nutella on top. The menu's other international flavors take shape in the form of buttery croissants, gelato, and tartlets, which pair well with organic coffee and tea.
Muscle Maker Grill grew out of a small smoothie shop, where owner Rod Silva prepared health-conscious alternatives to fast food. The restaurant has since expanded with a menu tailored to accommodate diners with vegetarian, carb-free, and gluten-free diets. The new "lighter side" menu features healthy treats that are 400 calories or less under $5.99. The crew prides themselves in creating healthy versions of popular foods, and continues to serve the shop's original protein shakes with favorites such as chocolate peanut butter and strawberry banana. Additionally, Muscle Maker Grill displays the calorie count for each dish on the menu.
Ivy-wrapped pillars alternating with striped awnings surround diners inside Bella Roma Ristorante, creating a cozy version of a sprawling Italian village, sans all the feral Ferraris. The ambiance is apt for the eatery, whose cooks have specialized in hearty Italian classics since 2011. On the pasta front, the culinary team tosses eggplant ravioli in vodka sauce, coat housemade meat lasagna in rich tomato sauce, and unite angel-hair noodles with prosciutto and onions. And other Italian mainstays, from chicken marsala to veal cutlet and jumbo shrimp saut?ed in demi-glaze sauce, round out the restaurant's extensive menu.
Like the mess hall at the UN building, Anitalia Restaurant unites distant regions of the world through food. The chefs prepare cuisine from across North America and the Mediterranean, with egg-topped burgers served alongside pepperoni pizzas and tender morsels of lamb doner. Diners can pair their meals with glasses of exotic Turkish ayran yogurt or k?nefe cheese pastries.