There is something so wonderful about waterside dining. Think of your favorite places. Was it on the Cape, in the Caribbean, perhaps the Riviera, or the Florida Keys? Those are some of my favorite places that come to mind. And all the pleasant memories, vacations, holidays, sun and fresh sea air and the delicious fish.
Some in-land restaurants try to capture this magic, Joe's Crab Shack, and the like. But we have a place in Montclair that really gets it right.
I had heard so many good things about Fin that I was quick to suggest it for a dinner last week with friends, Anne and Will.
Jakes Crab Shack and Restaurant in Belmar is a one of the Jersey Shore's most popular destinations for delicious dining and truly the "Best Crab Cakes on the Jersey Shore."
We had our first taste of Jakes Crab Cakes a couple of years ago at the opening event of Jersey Shore Restaurant Week 2010 and we loved them. So we were very excited when we were asked to sample Jakes latest offering, their famous Crab Cakes and Crab Balls delivered to our door from the new Jakes Crab Cakes On-Line Store. We expected good, and they turned out to be incredible.
Cafe Matisse in Rutherford, NJ is a precious jewel box of a restaurant that engages and thrills the senses at many levels. Since it opened in 1992 it has garnered abounding rave reviews and it remains as wonderful today.
Back then there were few choices for really great restaurants in and around Montclair. There was 28, Raymond Badach's fine restaurant that preceded Raymond's at 28 Church Street. One of the first to bring hip and delicious dining to Montclair. Another was Dish in Passaic Park. Both were favorites of ours that we frequented often. But despite all good intentions we never got to Cafe Matisse. Oh what we had been missing.
This past Sunday we dined there on the urging of our wine and foodie friends Lori Ann and Jim. We were delighted.
If you know Chenin Blanc you probably think of French wine from the Lorie Valley or Languedoc-Roussillon. If you don't know Chenin Blanc or only know the French a great place to learn more about this grape is through the wines of South Africa for it is there that it has found great prominence and was the principal grape in the "white wine renaissance" of the South Africa .
After much excited anticipation we finally got to Brick Lane Curry House in Montclair. Sadly, I was not that impressed especially with the high price tag for dinner for two.
I will admit I am in the minority, the reviews on this place are all very good. I will also concede that Brick Lane is probably the best Indian in Montclair, but I have certainly have had much better elsewhere and at half the price. Maybe it was a bad night, I will have to give Brick Lane another try.