Fine Italian Cuisine | Handmade Pasta | Raw Bar | Colossal Wine List | Award-Winning Restaurateur
The Chef: Wisconsin native Michael White has built his career on crafting authentic and innovative Italian cuisine. The eateries in his Altamarea Group have received heaps of praise, including the title of Best New Restaurant from GQ magazine and the James Beard Foundation.
While You're Waiting: Settle by the circular bar near Due Mari's front entrance for a pour from its 15-page list of wines and spirits.
What's in a Name? In Italian, due mari translates to "two seas." It's an apt moniker for Chef White's eatery, which specializes in Italian seafood such as local swordfish and daily selections of oysters.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Trace earth's geological journey with minerals, fossils, and specimens at Rutgers Geology Museum (85 Somerset Street).
After: Yuk it up with emerging and veteran jokesters at Stress Factory Comedy Club (90 Church Street).
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Sample more of Chef White's Italian cuisine at his other New Jersey eatery, Osteria Morini (107 Morristown Road, Bernardsville).
Cuisine Type: Seafood, Fish and Chips
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 5?10
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Fish and Chips
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
I've been in the restaurant business since 1985, and I'm a culinary graduate. I love to cook and create flavorful dishes, and I feel this shows in my diverse menu.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Even though we are known for our fish and chips, I also create daily specials for the health conscious, including a fresh grilled fish-of-the-day. Other popular items include fish tacos, the Fat Fish Sandwich, and New England seafood chowder.
D?cor can say a lot about the type of food a restaurant serves. How does your d?cor inform or reflect your culinary practice?
Our dining area is cozy and comfortable with a nautical d?cor.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
A wide array of fresh seafood, including sandwiches, fish and chips, soups, grilled daily specials, and salads. Every menu item is made from scratch, and we only use fresh-cut potatoes.
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 saut?ed in a homemade garlic sauce. Soft music provides a soundtrack as guests sample appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms and mussels doused in hot sauce.
To understand what makes Nicole's Ten Restaurant special, the numbers give a good starting point: * More than 100: how many beers (many of which are local) kept on bottle and draft. * 30 plus: how many wines poured by the glass. * 2013: the year its lobster mac and cheese won "Best Mac and Cheese in New Jersey" in the New Jersey Food & Wine Festival.
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.