Food & Drink in South River

Select Local Merchants

Within La Tavola's butter-hued walls, decorative partitions and flowing red curtains subdivide the dining room. Amid these stately accents, owners Jill and Steve Sullivan present an elegant menu of contemporary Italian fare. Chicken and seafood arrive pan-seared or roasted with basil pesto and lemon-caper butter, whereas gamey meats such as rabbit complement traditional spiral and straight pastas. Diners may also requisition the sconce-laden space for private parties of up to 150 guests or 300 acrobats willing to stand atop one another's shoulders.

700 Old Bridge Tpke
South River,
NJ
US

After a debilitating car accident left Elyissia Wassung’s mother, Barbara, unable to commute to work, she stayed busy in the kitchen, devising her own homemade chocolates. Nine-year-old Elyissia would then load her mother’s sweets into a shopping cart and sell them door-to-door around the neighborhood, learning entrepreneurial skills that would last a lifetime. After leaving a telecom job as an adult, Elyissia returned to selling chocolates by founding 2 Chicks with Chocolate (the other chick being her mom), teaming up with master chocolatier Patrick Coston and lead chocolatier Stephanie Vazquez. The dessert innovators create diverse flavors, such as spiced pear and caramel ganache, s’mores, and hazelnut praline, from scratch with spices and sea salt. Customers can also create their own bars online without venturing into the store, building on a selection of chocolate bases and toppings that range from pistachios to gummy bears. The store also hosts chocolate classes and enlivens parties with chocolate fountains and chocolate tastings.

8 Martin Ave
South River,
NJ
US

Bordoloi’s Asian Fusion's cooks amalgamate their menu from recipes from all over Asia, including India, China, and Thailand. They whet appetites with crispy lotus wheels, a Chinese specialty, in a sweet honey sauce. For the main course, they dish portions of duck curry, garlic-stuffed red snapper, or buttery lobster stir-fries. To satisfy sweet teeth, they make a lightly fried banana with vanilla ice cream for dessert. They also happily lend their culinary expertise to catered events, such as corporate lunches, private parties, or public apologies for your tenure as mayor.

499 Ernston Road
Sayreville,
NJ
US

The owners of Peter Pank Diner opened the business in 1957, when they traded a 68-acre farm in Holmeson—and an additional sum of cash—for the restaurant. In the years since, they've remodeled, expanding the dining room and installing a stainless steel bar that seats 110. But their menu still brims with the American classics that were served in the '50s.

That menu caters to many tastes. Fat Cat hoagies, gravy-and-cheese-smothered Disco fries, and other casual favorites share table space with sumptuous Italian dishes, stuffed lobster tails, and filet mignon. Servers fills glasses with beer and specialty cocktails, fountain drinks, and old-fashioned egg creams.

967 US Highway 9
South Amboy,
NJ
US

The chefs at Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse are artists, and their media are beef, blades, and fire. Behind tabletop grills, the red-hatted specialists slice and sizzle meats at lightning pace, then fill the freshly-dropped jaws of their clientele with the resulting savory cuts of sirloin and filet mignon. The hibachis cook up lobster tails, chicken, and and shrimp as well. Not everything is flaming hot, however. Arirang also boasts an impressive sushi menu, with unique offerings such as the coconut shrimp roll with raspberry puree, and their bar pours out everything from imported Japanese beer to specialty cocktails.

986 US Highway 9
Parlin,
NJ
US

South River Scene