Couples on dates and families sharing special meals gather at Luciano's Italian Ristorante & Lounge, a 200-seat eatery that serves classic pastas, meaty entrees, and zesty seafood dishes. To accommodate the dietary needs of their many diners, chefs are able to prepare any pasta dish without gluten by swapping in wheatless ravioli, gemelli, spaghetti, or penne. Regulars and New York Times critics alike rave about the sicilian braised short ribs and pan-seared scallops, which are both featured on the chef's tasting menu as well as the a la carte. The spacious restaurant fosters an upscale supper club ambience, with a large fireplace at one end of the dining room and impressive wine racks displaying an ample stock of bottles. Located walking distance from Rahway Station and Union County Performing Arts Center, Luciano's boasts a convenient spot for a pre-theater dinner or post-train heist cocktails.
A fuzzy brown teddy bear, a pink Chanel handbag, and a football helmet sit on a table, all just waiting to be bitten into. But teeth and taste buds needn't worry—these items have all been sculpted in cake form by the dessert artists at Cake Therapy. The pastry experts excel at transforming cakes into edible sculptures for birthday parties and weddings. Their creative eye also extends to cupcakes, which they craft to resemble tiny castles, cartoon characters, and flowers you can actually eat.
Sconces cast a soft glow on modern, wooden tabletops. Green glass tiles glint in the light of fluted hanging lamps. Tea candles flicker next to plush, low lounge seating. The lighting inside Cubanu creates a romantic atmosphere before dates even dig into its menu of American-influenced Cuban dishes, such as empanadas stuffed with goat cheese and spinach. Patrons can also drink glasses of signature house-made sangria, or cap off long nights of filing joint tax returns by munching on late-night tapas dishes served on Friday and Saturday.
The culinary artists at The Rail House 1449 draw customers into their restaurant, housed in a renovated 18th-century home, with a menu of fresh fish and seafood, homemade pastas, steaks, and poultry. Elegant eaters can nibble on the sweet-corn arepa, a yellow corn cake topped with gruyere, queso blanco, goat cheese, roasted-pepper-tomato relish, and baby greens newly weaned off broccoli pacifiers ($9).