Bars in New Jersey

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Plumes of fragrant steam swirl above bowls as waiters deliver hefty portions of paella to red-linen-topped tables inside Vivo Tapas Lounge. In the paella, clamshells, shrimp, mussel shells, and pearly scallops pop amid a heap of golden saffron rice. The eatery’s paella complements a list of hot and cold tapas, all of which exemplify the restaurant's Zagat rating of very good to excellent food. On small tapas plates, chefs arrange tiny patties of spanish tuna or mushrooms stuffed with onions, bacon, pine nuts, and mozzarella cheese. After meals, the crowd can get to their feet and dance the night away amid colorful beams of light and exposed-brick walls. Sheer curtains cordon off private seating with tufted, high-backed banquettes for VIP parties and laid-back tax audits.

167 Ferry St
Newark,
NJ
US

"The Hamilton Inn on Jersey Avenue is a recently-opened restaurant near Hamilton Park and the Holland Tunnel in downtown Jersey City that has the feel of a country inn on a cold rainy night – a welcome oasis that as a bonus features a variety of great dishes emphasizing the best in American cuisine." Hudson Reporter

708 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City,
NJ
US

Riverside Manor’s cooks craft a menu of upscale Italian dishes, each served to diners in a renovated nineteenth-century silk mill. Just as a trip to the bookie precedes little-league baseball games, so too must first courses such as chicken wings ($7) or clams oreganata ($8 lunch, $10 dinner) clear the way for a festive entrée. Classic dishes such as rigatoni alla vodka ($10 lunch, $12 dinner) and fettuccini carbonara ($12 lunch, $14 dinner) share space with more exotic fare, including a 10-oz. raw filet mignon served on a 750-degree volcanic stone ($24). A lineup of brick-oven pizzas teaches guests that, unlike pi, pies end, and libations such as red ($5–$13) and white ($5–$12) wines, domestic ($4) and imported ($5) beers, and martinis ($7–$11) accompany the succulent eats.

27 E 33rd St
Paterson,
NJ
US

Ten Brunswick Gold Crown IV pool tables offer up their ample pockets to shooters' careful aim in Joe Broadway's Billiards & Sports Bar's spacious playroom. Every night until 3 a.m., an Internet jukebox augments the triumphant clamor of hefty breaks with players' favorite songs or high-school geometry lectures. In between games of pool, players can belly up to the full bar for a drink of domestic or imported beer, play a game on the Xbox or PS3 console, or raise the stakes with a free round of darts. Seven large-screen plasma TVs let players keep one eye on the game, and an onsite pro shop lets serious shooters replace their repurposed parade batons with real cues.

2178 Forest Ave
Staten Island,
NY
US

• For $45, you get a session of three Spanish-wine classes and a healthy-cooking-and-mixed-drink guide on August 17, 24, and 31, from 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m. • For $45, you get a session of three Spanish-wine classes and a healthy-cooking-and-mixed-drink guide on August 18, 25, and September 1, from 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

1353 Stelton Rd
Piscataway,
NJ
US

Tiffany's founder and head chef Michael Romanelli Jr. begins every day by examining all the ingredients in his kitchen, checking seafood for freshness, squeezing tomatoes to test juiciness, and tasting his barbecue sauce to ensure it is just right. The chefs at all five of his restaurant locations follow Michael's example, folding fresh ingredients and housemade sauces into a sweeping variety of crunchy sandwiches, juicy wings, and American pub classics. They take great pride in their barbecue baby back ribs, which they baste in Michael's signature barbecue sauce and serve with sides of sweet potato and coleslaw. Diners await meals out in the lively bar and dining areas, clinking frosty pints of draft beers while watching sports games on more than 20 TVs.

270 New Jersey 37
Toms River,
NJ
US