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Food energizes, replenishes, and revitalizes the mind, body, and soul.
Here, we provide a list of famous restaurants and diners in the New Jersey metro area. Use this guide to satisfy your taste buds when either visiting or living in New Jersey.

The Frog and The Peach
29 Dennis St. at Hiram Square
New Brunswick, NJ 0890

Description: New Brunswick's -- and perhaps the state's -- best restaurant has irreproachably suitable decor and wonderfully balanced food. The Frog and The Peach is a perfectly executed example of a fine, substantial sort of restaurant: straightforward, unpretentious and classy without hauteur, in a specifically American way.

908 Washington St
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Description: You'd never know it from the exterior, but Amanda's is a vast, two-floor gem packed with gourmet dynamite. The decor and color scheme recalls New Orleans, and the Southern comfort sets up the vibe for a romantic, magical place to bring your belle. The kitchen favors fish dishes drenched in balance and know-how, like the escalope of swordfish with spinach, spicy eggplant salsa and anchovy dressing or seared sea scallops with mustard greens and sea beans in beurre monte.

Joe & Maggie's Bistro
591 Broadway
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Description: Chef/owner Joseph Romanowski and his wife Maggie opened their bistro a decade ago to wide acclaim, and they're still here every night taking personal responsibility for the quality of your experience. They've put together a handsome, intimate setting for the meals they serve - two candlelit floors with exposed brick walls. Maggie is a personable host, and Joe -- Joe knows how to cook.

The Saddle River Inn
2 Barnstable Court
Saddle River, NJ 07458

Description: Outstanding cuisine, impeccable service, and farmhouse-fancy ambience makes The Saddle River Inn one of New Jersey's best restaurants year after year. Trend-resistant chef Hans Egg is naturally innovative, but some of the most celebrated dishes here are from Egg's native Switzerland. You'd do well to try the famous potato roesti, roasted in butter until it reaches a sunset-golden brown. The veal tenderloin with mushrooms in cognac and cream sounds heavy but disappears from your plate alarmingly quickly.

Cafe Matisse
167 Park Ave.
Rutherford, NJ 07070

Description: Is this New Jersey or the south of France? Even the most cynical diner might swoon at first sight of the interior of Cafe Matisse, which outside looks like nothing special but opens up within to reveal a painting come to life. Walls are festooned with imitation Matisses; plush chairs and couches fill the interior of the former firehouse (built in 1898); a slightly domed roof has been painted in gay pastels; and then there's the back garden, a miniature wonderland full of dripping waterfalls, fountains, urns and extremely lush foliage.

Scalini Fedeli
63 Main Street
Chatham, NJ 07928

Description: This romantic restaurant has a weekend reservation list that goes on for months. It's not surprising, since Scalini Fedeli is considered by many to have the best Italian food around and chef Michael Cetrulo has a loyal following in the Garden Sate. The food is well worth the wait, and the vaulted ceilings and dim lighting only add to the rich experience of eating here. Scalini Fedeli has won awards and accolades from all over, so they can afford to offer only a prix-fixe dinner.

160 Highway 35
Middletown, NJ 07701

Description: Nicholas is the kind of place to save your pennies and hoard your appetite in anticipation of a visit. Assign to it the most extravagant and romantic occasion for pagan rejoicing you'll be encountering in the next year. Nicholas Harary was the sommelier of Jean-Georges, a first-rate New York restaurant, before opening his own showcase to rapturous applause. Harary and his wife Melissa, herself a former New York City sommelier, have a direct hand in every part of the meal; they see it to that the highest standards of both preparation and presentation are observed.

Cafe Panache
130 E Main Street
Ramsey, NJ 07446

Description: Unassuming from the outside, this charming restaurant offers some of the area's best seasonal cooking. The dazzle here is all in the food and the frequently changing menu, as the muted interior does not hint at the contemporary cuisine to come. CIA chef and owner Kevin Koller prepares everything on the French-inflected to order, from the seared Atlantic halibut with clams and zucchini to the grilled veal chop with sweet and piquant oven-roasted tomatoes and crispy eggplant.

6 Roosevelt Ave
Chatham, NJ 07928

Description: Serenade chefs/owners Nancy Sheridan Laird and husband James Laird are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, and their classical training shows in every dish they create. And they do get creative, as in an appetizer of yellowtail tuna tartar with mango chutney and coconut vinaigrette. Main courses use only the freshest ingredients, so naturally, the menu changes seasonally, but dishes like organic pork with cantaloupe risotto show off the chefs' daring ideas.

25 Division St
Somerville, NJ 08876

Description: It says something about the emergence of Thai cuisine that a suburban town the size of Somerville has space for two good Thai restaurants. The proliferation of interesting restaurants has been a godsend to this once beleaguered downtown; but now even terrible and overpriced restaurants flourish here, leeching off the goodwill that places like Origin have inspired in diners. Thai food is tricky; it can easily end up too sweet, too hot or both at once, unless very carefully prepared.

Other Great Restaurants

PJ's Pancake House
154 Nassau St. Princeton, NJ 08542

Arthur's Tavern
237 Washington St. Hoboken, NJ 07030

Chengdu 46
1105 US Highway 46 Clifton, NJ 07013

Park & Orchard Restaurant
240 Hackensack Street East Rutherford, NJ 07073

Kaya's Kitchen
817 Belmar Plz Belmar, NJ 07719

Casa Dante
737 Newark Avenue Jersey City, NJ 07306

Casa Comida
336 Branch Port Ave Long Branch, NJ 07740

The Breakers
1507 Ocean Ave Spring Lake, NJ 07762

Doris & Ed's Seafood Restaurant
348 Shore Dr Highlands, NJ 07732

Arthur's Tavern
237 Washington St. Hoboken, NJ 07030

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