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).
Sconces cast a soft glow on dinner tables draped in white linen. 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 clink 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.
Mr Subs has come a long way since it was thought up by a group of college friends at Rutgers University. Since then, the sandwich shop has expanded to four separate locations throughout the area. Each follows the same formula—heap savory meats and farm-raised, seasonal veggies between slices of freshly baked bread. Cold subs are the shop's specialty; they come in varieties that include honey-roasted turkey, roast beef, and prosciuttini with capicola and cheese. Diners can also sink their teeth into grilled cheesesteak and BLT sandwiches as well as breakfast options.
Under the warm glow of crystal chandeliers in Ill Amici Ristorante’s elegant dining room, the Lavorato family adorns tabletops with expertly prepared fare from the northern and southern regions of Italy and ambrosial vino from an extensive wine list. Owner and executive chef Giovanni Lavorato began his culinary training in Italy at the age of 14, has cooked all over Europe and North America, and has racked up numerous awards, including Man of the Year in 1995 by Il Ponte Italo-Americano international cultural magazine. The recently renovated dining room charms patrons with classy Old-World decor and a deficiency of singing moose heads, and the Venetian-style lounge and spacious banquet hall provide accommodations for sophisticated revelry.
A staple in college towns, Cluck-U Chicken feeds poultry fans across the land with zesty chicken dishes, including the signature Wingers, more than one billion of which have been sold since the restaurant opened in 1985. Chefs also serve up tasty fare such as chicken sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and chicken-breast bites. Cluck-U fare is available for dine-in, takeout, or delivery, making it an ideal choice for game days or a blind date with a chicken farmer.
Napoli Pizza & Pasta, a recent addition to Linden’s restaurant roster, houses a team of cooks who craft traditional Italian eats, including pizzas, pastas, and specialty sandwiches. The quaint Italian bistro cultivates a relaxed ambience with linen-clad tables and dim lighting, making it an ideal place for an intimate family gathering or a romantic spaghetti-slurping contest.
The aroma of Harp-battered fish and fresh-cut potatoes frying in the kitchen mingles with tender filet mignon browning on the grill at Molly Maguire's Irish Pub & Restaurant. Chefs also prepare traditional Irish dishes such as shepherd's pie and corned beef and cabbage. They help diners wash down their bites with sips of Guinness or Smithwick's Irish Ale poured from the full bar into pint glasses or lengthy top hats. The dining area's dark wood panels bedecked with Guinness signs add an Irish ambiance to a traditional pub atmosphere. Twelve high-definition flat-screen TVs broadcast NFL games, and music from karaoke, acoustic sets, and DJs fills the pub on weeknights. Live rock bands take the stage each Friday and Saturday night.