Mahwah Pizza Master has dished out delectable edibles constructed from fresh ingredients for more than two decades, delighting diners with a menu of circular savories, hearty pasta dishes, and other casual cuisine in a family-friendly setting. Silence the unseemly echoes of an empty belly with starters such as jalapeño poppers ($6.99), buffalo chicken fingers ($8.10), or chicken wings (hot or mild, 10 for $7.75). Famished pizzavores can sate their desire for a delicious discus with one of Mahwah Pizza Master's specialty pies, such as buffalo chicken ($19.50) or chicken teriyaki ($19.50), or they can simply stick to a conventional 16” cheese ($13.50). The comprehensive menu features familiar and reliable favorites that greet taste buds with back slaps and secret handshakes, including a veal parmigiana hero ($8.95 for large), penne ala vodka sauce ($9), and veal marsala ($14.75).
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.
Inside the kitchen of Marcello’s, teardrop chandeliers cast their warm gaze over copper cookware and a dining table that wraps around the stove. Here, Chef Marcello sheds light on the techniques of preparing Italian cuisine during cooking classes and private parties. In such events, up to 12 guests can sip wine while he picks recipes secretly stored in his chef’s hat and demonstrates how to assemble artful dishes, which may include risotto with chicken and spinach or pasta with fresh tomato mozzarella and basil. Although the private dining experience is the easiest way to witness Chef Marcello’s passion for sharing the cuisine of his native Italy, guests can also enjoy his dynamic entrees without front-row seats at the chef’s table. In the restaurant’s dining room, floor-to-ceiling murals depict the Tuscan countryside and ferns adorn honey-colored walls as diners anticipate hearty meals. Atop crisp white tablecloths, servers present platters of housemade pastas and veal prepared seven ways. The knowledgeable staff is also happy to recommend pairings from the vast Italian wine list.
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 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.
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.