Archive for the ‘Dining Out’ Category

Let’s Meet at the Commons on 3rd St.
August 2, 2012

Before meeting our party , in the city, we made a pit stop at Barcade, in Jersey City, NJ (www.barcadejerseycity.com). The little gem celebrates vintage arcade games and american craft beer under ONE ROOF!  The beer menu changes frequently, so if you find something you like write it down.  There is a kitchen where you can order things to nosh on, while you drink or play games.  It is strictly small appetizers and sandwiches.  The bar & games are the best things there…wink wink.  Barcade is open Mon.-Thurs.(4pm-2am), Fri-Sat(12pm-3am), and Sun.(12pm-2am).  The bar has Happy Hour Mon.-Fri with bar and food specials.  This place is definitely for the “big kid” in every adult.  Sorry no children allowed…21 and over. If you can’t help throwing a quarter into a Mrs. Pac Man or Zelda machine when you see it…This is your place.

After throwing back 2 beers at Barcade, we rolled through the Holland Tunnel to a birthday gathering at West 3rd Common, in New York, NY (www.west3rdcommon.com). This place is perfect for intimate gatherings.  The red couches in the lounge area (in the front by the bar) line the windows of the restaurant.  Our party had enough room to lounge and walk around.  It was a semi-private set up.  There were platters of Chicken, Sliders, Chips, Sweet Potato Tots, and Mozzarella Sticks.  I sipped(and threw back) Lychee Martinis and Blue Moon beer.  Of course there was the birthday shot of Grey Goose Vodka(Whoa). Everyone expressed how pleased they were with the venue. Thanks for the invite Meka and Therm.

West 3rd Commons boasts about having the best happy hour.  For happy hour specials visit the website.  On Sunday nights the entire bar is “half off” from 8pm- close.  During brunch, noon-4pm, diners can savor unlimited Bloody Marys, Mimosas, or Screwdrivers.  West 3rd Commons is open at 12pm everyday (Sun at 11am).  The kitchen closes at 12am every night.  If you choose to venture over to.  West 3rd Commons, ENJOY!

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Sushi Only…No Sake?
August 1, 2012

Our unit at work was treated to lunch. We decided (some were out numbered) on Fujiyama Mama in Westfield, NJ (www.fujiyamamama.net). It was during working hours, so sake was out of the question (Boo).

We started lunch with different appetizers, rolls, gyozas, and more rolls. Everyone ordered their individual entrees afterwards. I ordered the “Knock Your Socks Off”(Shrimp tempura, spicy lump crab, pine nuts, & avocado) I shared mine with another co-worker who ordered the “Bomb”(Lobster tail tempura & crab rolled with thinly sliced cumber). I was full half way through. I can’t say that I had any complaints about my lunch.  Another co-worker ordered the Tiger’s Eye…It really did look like the eye of a tiger. I was not brave enough to try it…But my co-diners enjoyed it.  Another co-worker ordered a dish from the kitchen (…the co-worker that was out numbered…Ha!) She enjoyed her food none the less.

Fujiyama Mama offers a Kitchen, Sushi, and Hibachi menu, along with a full bar. They are open for lunch (Mon.-Sat) and dinner (Mon.-Sun.). The restaurant says “We offer an impressive selection of specialty appetizers, as well as many other unusual and unique specialty rolls”. Enjoy the journey.

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Pack Your Bags! Let’s Go to D.R.! (Part 2)
June 8, 2012

When we didn’t soak up the sand at Lifestyles Holiday Vacation Resort (www.lhvcresorts.com) we ventured into Sosua, a small town in Puerto Plata. We had a driver that knew the town well and set us up on a beautiful part of the local beach. The food was amazing. We had shrimp(huge shrimp) and a whole fried fish. The fish was the size of a car dashboard(Really). I was sort of skeptical about eating a whole fish, but BOY it was definitely something I got over. There were all types of things to do on the beach from water sports to glass bottom boats. There are all types of things being sold; from food, hand-made crafts, and massages. Don’t get pressured into buying everything from everyone that walks up to up to you…you’ll go broke. I truly enjoyed the day off the resort.

After spending our days on the beach, we enjoyed the luxury of having a private pool. We had mini pool parties until we tired ourselves out. A short nap, shower, and cocktail and it was time for dinner. The resort had a number of restaurants, which we were given the privilege to eat in. Every night we had a three course meal. The 1st night the entire traveling party ate together at a restaurant. Unfortunately the name of the restaurant escapes me. It was very good and the wait staff was very accommodating to our party. Even when our dining party did not want to leave, the dining room remained open. The 2nd night there was a big show and bbq, on the beach, to welcome the returning guests. The food would’ve been better if it didn’t get cold before you got back to your table…But the champagne stayed cold! On Monday night, the people in our villa went to Jazz( Cajun fare). Thank God we had the print out of our dinner reservations because, they had us down for an earlier reservation. After their “boo boos” were corrected, we enjoyed our dinner. The lights were low and since the service was sooo spread out, our party started to doze. Was it the flowing cocktails?(IDK)…but dinner was great. Tuesday we had dinner at Azul (Seafood). The clean lines and ceiling to floor windows were beautiful. The highlight of dinner was the LAVA CAKE! (OMG) I could’ve had 4. Be sure to take pictures on the balcony.  The view of the mountains are memorable.  Wednesday night was the private BBQ at the villa. The pork, beef, shrimp, & lobster was on freakin’ point. Even though I was getting sick(yes…sick), I was still stuffing my face…Ha!

The Lifestyles Holiday Vacation Resort had everything from spas& gyms to night clubs& bars and watersports. I indulged in a massage one morning. It wasn’t as good as the many I’ve had. But the masseuse did get a kink out of my neck, that I woke up with. If you are interested in purchasing timeshare, they can help you with the process. But, if you are not interested, DO NOT get on the van when they tell you that you are going on a tour of the resort. They’ll drop you off right at the “big white building” (customer service ).

It is hard to get bored on the resort. I had the pleasure to enjoy this location two years in a row. I really find it hard to believe that this visit will be my last.

…Until our Next Outing…Smooches!

Open Mic Live!
May 9, 2012

My girlfriend celebrated her “something something” birthday at Jacksonville Live(www.jacksonvillelive.net)  in Paterson, NJ. I must say, it’s a jewel. I had too much fun.

Our reservations were for 8pm, but majority of our party (including me) arrived after 9pm. The “upscale meeting place” is rather empty around that time. Even though you have reservations you should get there early because the place gets packed right before your eyes. The band was setting up as we sipped on cocktails. The waitresses didn’t take our food order until right before the entertainment began. We sipped on Moscato as “J King” and “Allie” sang all types of pop & r&b songs. Patrons were able to show their vocal skills also. There were many talented people in the house that night. I believe that Jacksonville Live’s Open Mic Night is the “watering hole” for the local vocally gifted. After various appetizers (all great) my order arrived. I had catfish, mac& cheese, and spinach…YEAH BUDDY. It was freakin’ divine. My only problem was that the portion was small for the price that was paid(even if I have to take the rest home). The entrees were also served on a rather large plate. No matter if it was chicken & waffles, salmon, whatever, I didn’t hear any complaints about the smell or tastes of anyone’s entrée. After everyone was done eating, the birthday girl joined the other individuals celebrating their birthdays on the stage, champagne was served and the singing commenced. I have to say, I didn’t want to leave, when we did. I absolutely love this place.

Jacksonville Live has events on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They are also available for private functions. They also have an outside area for eating & drinking. There may be parking on the street but if not they have a shuttle that runs back and forth from the club to the parking lot up the street. If you’re in the mood the listen to talented voices or want to indulge in their Latin events, check out this spot.  Be sure to tell the owner, Mike Jackson, how much you enjoyed his establishment.   I WILL be back.

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Aries on the Water…
March 27, 2012

On a nice Saturday in March, I went to a birthday party for a family friend on the Jersey City waterfront. I enjoy the parties that are promoted by these groups (www.alazadeent.com & http://www.mrmorganent.com )so on Saturday I went to the Aries Affair at Michael Anthony’s in Jersey City, NJ.

The night started off slow (…at 10pm) because there was an entertainer, still performing b/c his performance started late (blame it on bad equipment, I guess).  But, soon as he was done (…after 11pm) the party STARTED. The music pumped in both areas of the restaurants (packed w/ eye candy for the men & women).  The D.J.s were well prepared for this crowd.  I had no complaints at all.  Ok…maybe I could complain about the line for the bathroom…but I won’t (It didn’t really matter that much). I danced & danced & danced…Got It?  The bartenders were working overtime.  The drinks were FLOWING and the food was fingerlicking good (So I heard…lol).  I did not eat (…next time…Yes, I will be back).  I sipped on Moscato and Knobb Creek Whiskey throughout the night (Yes…no Stoli that night…Ha!). There were V.I.P. areas available.  But, who would wanted to be cooped up when the dance floor was the “hotspot”?  At the end of the night I was a bit salty that we had to walk to the parking deck across the street. BUT I was thankful that I paid for parking before the ticket machine started to malfunction…Ha!


My night was VERY entertaining. My feet were so sore and my body thought we went to the gym…Move over Zumba!  Michael Anthony’s is a beautiful place to go to on a glorious day. You can eat outside on the water and soak up some sun.  The restaurant is available for brunch, lunch, & dinner.  Michael Anthony’s can also be reserved for private functions.  So you can host your own event and customize a gathering YOUR way.  I will not hesitate to attend another event at this location…and you shouldn’t either.

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Jose…BABY
March 22, 2012

My parents celebrated their wedding anniversary on March 2nd (Yaay, to black love…just love in general…ha!)…Anyway, since we couldn’t go out that weekend, we finally had lunch/dinner on a Saturday at Jose Tejas, Fairfield, NJ (www.josetejas.com ).

Jose Tejas specializes in Tex Mex/ Cajun eats.  The food is AWESOME!  From start to finish, all you heard from me was “Mmm…mmm”.  My margarita was refreshing (Muy Bueno).  I had gumbo, empanadas, enchiladas, jambalaya…AND the CORNBREAD! My husband loves it so much that he refuses to share…smdh. My father had the blackened catfish fajitas (…or fageetas, if your my dad…lol). It must have been really good because my husband kept sampling it. Move over Chevy’s, it looks like my parents got a new place…and I will definitely be tagging along on the return trip…& you should too!

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Hangin’ in Harlem…
March 18, 2012

Since our plans were rearranged, when a certain restaurant/bar on 26th in NY(starts with an A) was closed due to a private function(without  notice), we moved our after work gathering to Harlem…My girlfriends and I enjoyed a small bite to eat (and drinks) at the Harlem Tavern, Harlem,NY(www.harlemtavern.com ). 

The restaurant & beer garden is rather new to the Harlem community.  When you walk through the doors you are greeted by a social atmosphere. Seating is in abundance, but everyone (even me on my 1st visit) gravitate to the back of the establishment.  And there in all it’s glory… is the BAR!. People can grab a seat at the bar, one of the long “communal” high tables or at one of the booths that graze the brick finished wall.  During the nicer weather you can enjoy the outdoor patio.  Harlem Tavern is open ’til 4am daily.   There is live music on Tuesdays & Wednesdays and live jazz on Saturdays.

 

I had so much fun with my girlfriends. We kept the bartender, Steve, busy with photography (as if he wasn’t working behind the bar…Ha!).   He was very accommodating & knowledgable about the libations he served.  We snacked on appetizers but we didn’t get the full effect of the chef’s craft…So, another visit is in order.  There is a nice crowd that fills the Harlem Tavern and that is why I would go back .

 

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

She’s 8!…Happy Birthday to the Leap Year Baby
March 1, 2012

February 29th only comes around every four years(Boo Hoo)…So this year my friends and I celebrated the birthday of our friend/co-worker in NJ (not NY…where we initially started). After our many pow wows about our celebration plans, we decided on drinks, appetizers and karaoke.

After work we all went to the Stone House in Warren, NJ(www.stonehouseatstirlingridge.com) .  Stone House is the sister location to the Liberty House (If you haven’t read that blog entry, please do …). They have great food but we decided to relax in the bar/lounge area for happy hour (…or Artisanal Pizza Wednesday). The ambiance was a relaxed candle lit situation with wood and stone worked in there. We were treated with a bottle of champagne for the occasion (Thanks again Mark). During happy hour they offer artisanal pizza (with and without meat). It is awesome. The flavors of the cheese & vegetables just dance over your tounge. We also had a artisanal cheese platter, with fruit, honey, and jam included. I decided to have one of the bartender’s(Ben) creations, a Dessert Rose. The Dessert Rose is made with jalapeno infused vodka, pomegranate and pineapple juices. If you are not the one for spiciness with your drink I don’t advise this drink. It may have a tendency to make the cartoon smoke come out of the ears of some people. The Stone House offers event planning and it is a beautiful setting for pictures.  Drop in for Tapas Thursdays.  It’s great.

After some photo ops, we made our way to Grille Stone Classic American Bar & Grille, Scotch Plains, NJ (www.grillestone.com ). Wednesday night was  “Live Band Karaoke”.  I was skeptical about the band, but they were great.  All they needed was the Billboard top 40 songs (R&B, Pop… whatever). I don’t do karaoke, but my girlfriends do…And they made it work. I had so much fun watching them. I even had a dance break in between verses (Tina Turner flash back…Hair flinging and everything). There are drink specials during their weekly promotional events, like “Thirsty Thursday” and “Skyy Vodka Weekend”. I had a refreshing mojito…So good that I had two. Didn’t think it was wise to have more than two…especially when “someone” kept buying shots(Ha!). I had a beef quesadilla, while I drank. It wasn’t an “OMG” reaction when I ate it, but it was good. I’ll definitely get another one, in the future. My friend had a “Hot Johnny” burger…no bun. She said it was “fantastical”. The meat was flavorful, the Gouda cheese gave it a smoky taste, and the jalapeno gave it some heat. She had such an intimate moment with her burger, I have to try one next time…on a bun (lol). The whole night was very entertaining. Especially when the “Little Devils” performed. I’m definitely going back again. But, I do hope we get a different waiter. He had no personality and he was very short with his conversation. But he is just one non-factor in my experience. I loved the establishment and I advise anyone who enjoys good food & drink to give Grill Stone a visit. They also have an outside area, where you can enjoy the atmosphere during the nice weather months.

 

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

 

 

 

Denzel, Pizza, & Beer…
February 22, 2012

The Saturday before last (yes, two weekends ago), my husband and I went out with some friends. Since we weren’t able to get tickets for the dine-in theater (Oh Poo), we saw Safe House, with Denzel Washington at the Edgewater Multiplex Cinemas in Edgewater, NJ (www.nationalamusements.com ).  Safe House was a thriller right from the beginning.  My friend laughed at me because I flinched so much. I recommend this movie for you “thrill seekers” out there.  Before we left, I had to snap a picture of the coming attraction, Dr. Seuss’  The Lorax.  The movie is about an industrialized society and the danger it poses to the environment.  It comes out on March 2, in 3D.  I enjoyed the Edgewater Multiplex.  The service was good,  food was fresh, and seats were comfortable.

After the movie we went up the road to Brooklyn’s Brick Oven Pizzeria (201. 945.9096).  Brooklyn’s is a restaurant famous for their pizza, but offers a full menu.  Plastic does not work for this spot, because they only accept cash.  The entrees are reasonably priced (about $11-16), which is good for the night of a “traveling party”.  Our party had 2 pies (1 for the meat eaters and 1 for the “wannabe”vegans…lol).  There were no complaints…So off we moved to our next location.

We ended the night in downtown Jersey City at the the Zeppelin Hall Restaurant & Biergarten (www.zeppelinhall.com ). Zeppelin Hall was named out of dedication to count Von Zeppelin, the inventor of the rigid airship (the Hindenburg tragedy always come to mind…sorry). The biergarten or “beer garden” offers 144 different beers on tap and a full menu, which includes specialty sausages, burgers and salads (unh hunh…to bad we ate already). Zeppelin Hall is a large establishment with an out-door space for beautiful days.  There are 30 foot long tables throughout the restaurant , which allows large parties to relax and socialize.  Our party had three pitchers of beer (Magner’s Cider, Sam Adams-Cherry Wheat, & Guinness).  It was rather loud, because of the live band, that’s usually there on Saturdays.  Don’t expect an intimate environment.  We had fun as a group.  We were able to be as boisterous as we wanted.  It was a great relaxed setting.  Stop in for Karaoke, Classic Rock Fridays, or even Sports Sunday…Cheers!

…Until our next outing…Smooches!

Let’s Eat, With the Birthday Girl
February 18, 2012

We ended the birthday weekend on February 12th( my girlfriend’s actual birthday) with dinner at In Napoli, Fort Lee, NJ(www.inapoli.com ). She had a great group of family and friends in her circle for the day.

We arrived fashionably late (lol)., but the establishment was accommodating (it wasn’t very crowed…YET).  In Napoli is a restaurant specializing in “Fine Southern Italian Cuisine”.  They’ve been opened since 1984.  In Napoli offers offsite catering and on-site banquet services for 140 people.   The restaurant has a bar where you can catch numerous televised events.  We sat in the back of the restaurant, but the dining room was very open.  The conversation flowed throughout the table (except when the entrees came…Of Course).

The entrees varied from Shrimp, Fish, Steak, and Pizza (for my son). I had a crab cake that was definitely crab…very little breading.  My steak was sooo good. It was encrusted with parmesan cheese (“Yum O”…lol). My drink (yessir) was an aromatic Italian Espresso Martini. The evening ended with CAKE, CAKE, CAKE…so good(thanks “mommy!).

I would love to return to In Napoli again. There are an array of things, on the menu, to pick from.  They offer lunch and dinner daily.  Definitely stop by for a bite to eat…U won’t regret it…at all.

…Until our next outing…Smooches!