Ravi Continental Cuisine’s website encourages guests to “come comfortably, with an open mind.” Although this implies a casual dress code, Executive Chef Miguel DeBride’s food hasn't gotten the memo. His plates dress to the nines with colorful bursts of pink tuna tartare, green fennel, delicately drizzled sauces, and calamari rings each sporting its own bowtie. A Brazil native who grew up in Belize, DeBride’s well-traveled background manifests itself in his creative recipes. His work in New Orleans with Emeril Lagasse shines through in his bayou crab cakes, and his time spent working with Florida’s freshest seafood ensures his seared scallops with wild mushrooms and herb polenta are buttery soft. DeBride’s recipe repertoire also draws on Mediterranean delights, such as cabbage stew; Asian influences, including a thai chicken in coconut-curry sauce; and French techniques, apparent in the brandy-cream sauce that bastes his filet mignon.
The small-plate prodigies at Ole Tapas Bar & Restaurant craft a variety of Spanish-inspired tapas served to eager patrons as they lounge in a dimly lit, comfortable bar atmosphere. Diners can peruse an eclectic menu packed with carne skewers glazed in teriyaki or wasabi ($8) and crab cakes smothered in spicy remoulade sauce ($8). Those with dietary restrictions or those who lost hard-fought spelling bees to wheat can sample a wide range of gluten-free bites, including bacon-wrapped shrimp enhanced by a tomatillo sauce ($8) and the seared thai tuna served rare, topped with thai barbecue sauce, and paired with cucumber salad ($10). Frequent live acts envelop patrons in musical embraces, made even warmer with the addition of a drink from the full bar.
The crisp cracks of baseball bats ring through the air as crowds cheer on young athletes at Continental Soldiers Park, a haven for those nostalgic for midcentury Americana. Just off to the side of the baseball fields, hiking trails, and bocce courts, Field of Creams Café completes the sensory tableau with creamy scoops of hand-dipped ice cream and the meaty aroma of grilled burgers. Though a throwback to a simpler time, the walk-up eatery opened in 2006 to feed the hungry players of the Mahwah Annual Memorial Day softball tournament. Its popularity has grown over the years, thanks to a counter that stays open seven days a week to feed park-goers, players and spectators between football and lacrosse games.
Despite the eatery’s burgeoning renown, little has changed in the years since it opened. Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers and 100%-beef burgers still fly from the sizzling grill into the soft embrace of buns, and crinkle-cut fries and onion rings continue to don crispy coats in the fryer. The eatery also blazes new ballpark traditions; among its most popular items are bubble teas laden with chewy tapioca pearls and dessert crepes that can be folded into gloves for catching errant fly balls.
Gold-leaf writing inscribed across the towering red portico at the entrance to The Shannon Rose Irish Pub announces what one might expect to find inside: “Premium Stouts,” “Irish Whiskies,” and other culinary staples of the Emerald Isles. Behind this imposing entryway lies a series of dining rooms that have a markedly different effect; chandeliers create a sense of intimacy as they illuminate Gaelic artwork and aged hardcovers resting on lofty bookshelves.
At Badlands Tacos, diners are transported to the titular locale upon gazing at the eatery's southwestern decor. Cow skulls adorned with feathers and bright ceramic art festoon the umber-colored walls. From behind a walk-up counter, a chalkboard menu displays an array of Mexican tacos, chimichangas, and 11 kinds of enormous burritos filled with fixings such as flank steak, cilantro, and guacamole. Badlands Tacos offers booths and tables at their BYOB restaurant, outdoor seating, catering for special occasions, or take-out to feed pet llamas hidden under the porch.
Tim Latterner of the Highland Fling considers Jersey Burgers "…the place to go for anyone who craves a juicy, tender and reasonably priced burger," describing the food as “melting in your mouth” and “made with love.” The chefs at Jersey Burgers earn such praise by making each beef, salmon, and veggie burger fresh to order, stacking crisp bacon, jalapeños, and gooey cheese between fresh buns. They also cook up hot dogs, meaty sandwiches, and crispy fries that complete classic American meals or classic American food fights.
It’s a typical Saturday night at Turkois Grille—the dining room is lit up by warm lanterns, lively Mediterranean music fills the air, and a beautiful belly dancer glides across the room, rolling her hips and shaking her glimmering bangles. Diners perch at white-clothed tables, applauding and raising glasses of fine wine. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the strains of chatter and music are drowned out by clattering pots and the hiss of sizzling lamb, veal, and chicken. Chefs bustle about, skewering marinated meats and seasoning dorado, snapper, and salmon in authentic Turkish spices. They pair warm, crusty bread with seasoned olive oil, a dip that the Journal News lauded as “an addictive combination of toasted sesame and nigella seeds plus a sprinkling of lemony, thyme-like zatar.” The versatile chefs even extend their culinary expertise to a menu of kid-friendly dishes, including crispy chicken fingers and small skewers of lamb, veal, and vegetables shaped like gummy bears.