Bella Luna Ristorante's skilled chefs entice salivary glands with an authentic menu of artfully crafted Sicilian cuisine. Diners can prep their mouths for future forkfuls with a half-pound of fried calamari, served with imported banana peppers and a choice of homemade sauces ($10.95). Sample Mother Earth's luscious flora offerings with the eggplant parmesan ($14.95), or her aquatic collection of farm-raised seafood and Billy Ocean cassettes in the shrimp-and-lobster ravioli ($21.95). Entrees arrive accompanied with Giuseppe's Authentic Sicilian Gravy, which is handcrafted in house and widely coveted by grocers across four states. Enhance an evening by bringing a bottle of wine to uncork while filling your ear canals with live acoustic jazz (Friday and Saturday nights starting at 5 p.m.).
RosaLuca’s owners Jill and Carmine Castaldo have shared a love of great food—and each other—since they first met at the Culinary Institute of America in the late '80s. Since then, their relationship and culinary careers have flourished, resulting in a full-service catering operation that led to the opening of RosaLuca’s Italian bistro. The eatery, named in honor of Carmine’s parents, Rosa and Luca, features a menu that changes with the seasons, like what’s on the TV—in the spring it’s a DVD player, but in the fall it’s a DVD player inside a pumpkin. This dynamic culinary slate highlights the freshest available ingredients culled from the market or handpicked from the restaurant’s own 10 acres of gardens and greenhouses. In addition to romantic bistro dining—RosaLuca's was voted one of The Star-Ledger's top ten romantic dining spots in 2007—the couple extends the reach of their core operation with extensive catering options.
The history of Hunter's Tavern spans multiple centuries. The building, constructed in the 1830s, is still preserved through exposed stone walls, hardwood floors, and rustic furnishings. The tavern's polished wood bar, however, is surrounded by sleek flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sporting events, and on some nights the space hosts live rock music with not-live ghosts from the 19th century pretending to be fog effects. The executive chef's menu also bridges the gap between traditional pub fare and gourmet bistro-style cuisine. Black Angus beef burgers feature unorthodox toppings, but it's dishes like bourbon-marinated flat-iron steak, pan-seared salmon and sea scallops, and orange-glazed barbecue ribs that celebrate convention and innovation at the same time. The aromas of these dishes reach even the semi-private sun-room dining area and seasonal outdoor deck.
Wine Italiano's staff members possess a deep knowledge of regional Italian wines. They'll share that knowledge if desired, illuminating the differences between a varietal from Campania and one from Liguria. Their knowledge also extends to food pairings, and many of their recommendations can be bought onsite. The spot's cooks prepare made-to-order Italian sandwiches, soups, and salads using organic ingredients, and shoppers can peruse an inventory of fresh mozzarella, handmade pasta, and other groceries to prepare at home.
The staff at RockinStylist Salon promises to provide haircare to clients of all ages, even if keeping that promise requires them to travel. They will drive up to 20 miles to senior care centers and clients’ homes, though they mostly perform basic haircuts, coloring services, extensions, perms, facial waxing, and manicures out of their salon. Each of the stylists has more than 15 years of experience, which means they’re as skilled with scissors as people who cut new friends out of cardboard every day are.
Tucked inside the Holiday Inn, Oase Grille treats hotel guests and outside patrons alike to breakfast and dinner menus. Enjoy endless cups of coffee and a breakfast buffet, which is an ideal solution for the biggest dilemma of the day: waffles or pancakes? The eclectic dinner menu is highlighted by bowls of low country she-crab soup, which can be enjoyed amongst floor-to-ceiling windows next to a brick patio and waterfall known to attract the occasional mermaid.