French Restaurants in New Jersey

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Like other Mediterranean cuisines, Portuguese food is deliciously heavy on olive oil, garlic, onions, and wine. But unique to this cuisine is its intercontinental flair; in many dishes, you'll find Asian rice, African peppers, and cinnamon, cloves, and ginger from India. Portugal's globe-spanning history has brought all of these influences together, and PortuCale Restaurant & Bar does all of them justice with a seafood-heavy menu that features six varieties of shrimp alongside specialty meat dishes such as braised portuguese steak.

The space itself is festive and distinctly Mediterranean—think dark wood furnishings set against exposed brick. Bartenders make pitchers of sangria and keep 20-year-old port wines on hand to ensure that the atmosphere matches the liveliness of the decor. They also sell fine cigars that guests can smoke on an outdoor patio that's reminiscent of a medieval courtyard.

129 Elm Street
Newark,
NJ
US

The cooks at Grille Two 74 maintain a delicate balance between speed and quality. Working quickly, they make all food to order, including half-pound burgers, hearty chili, and grilled chicken sandwiches with homemade chipotle mayo. These eats are served in a sleek, industrial space with exposed brick walls, metal chairs, and track lighting sending out beams in red, blue, and magenta.

274 Central Ave
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

With its sloped roof and grand clock tower, Orale Mexican Bistro's facade doesn't fit the bill for a typical Mexican restaurant. But beyond its front doors, chefs cook open-faced chipotle shrimp quesadillas by the heat of a wood-fired brick oven, and they stuff tacos with slow-cooked carnitas. Servers shuttle these south of the border entrees to candlelit tables in the dining room or to an outdoor patio perched beneath the clock tower, which transforms back into a lowly wristwatch at the stroke of midnight. On select evenings, DJs spin house and latinbeat tunes while patrons enjoy specials on margaritas and mixed drinks.

14-26 Julian Pl.
Elizabeth,
NJ
US

Delicate, crispy crepe edges give way to a tender pastry center. Each paper-thin bite reveals a hidden filling such as lemon and sugar, nutella, or italian sausage. Le Cafe Creperie’s chefs have perfected their art with a five-step process: patrons can watch as cooks pour, spin, and flip their crepe, fill it with sweet or savory ingredients, then fold it to trap in the luscious flavors. Beyond crepes, Le Cafe also serves their own flatbread creations, "nanzzas." These unique pizzas are made with a foundation of Tandoori-naan flatbread and come baked in nine varieties such as pesto basil, spinach and chicken, chicken asiago, Mediterrranean, and tomato basil.

1892 Marlton Pike E
Cherry Hill,
NJ
US

Cuisine Type: American café style
Established: 2009
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11–25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Panini breakfast and lunch sandwiches
Kid-friendly: Yes
Alcohol: None
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout only
Outdoor Seating: Yes

Q&A with the Owner

What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
After a friend of ours opened a Greenberry's, we were inspired to open one of our own.

What’s the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
We are routinely told that the store is beautiful and the food is great.

In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We have an extensive coffee, espresso, and latte menu, as well as loose leaf teas. We also make a distinctive array of sandwiches and salads topped with homemade croutons. Our baked goods and oatmeal are made fresh daily. If you're In a hurry, our grab-and-go case provides ready-made options.

239 Berdan Ave
Wayne,
NJ
US