Jersey Food

Jersey Spin - December, 2008

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food Reviews By The Jersey Shadow: Attilio's Tavern in Dover and Paul's Family Diner in Mountain Lakes, NJ 


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Feedback is always welcome on all of my reviews.  Drop me an email if you like! - Jersey Shadow - 


Attilio's Tavern - It sure is refreshing when I find a great place to share with you all, and Attilio's Tavern quickly zoomed to a Top Rating for me.  Moving the restaurant away from Denville to Dover seemed odd to me, but there was nothing odd about the serious upgrade this place undertook and executed.  Everything, and I mean everything, improved from the food to more seating and now live music and a gigantic bar.
As everyone knows, I never run to a place after it moves because doing so is unfair to the establishment and my readers.  I give the place time to get situated in a new home and hopefully hit its stride.  Attilio's is hitting its stride, in fact things couldn't have been any better when I visited.  From complimentary roasted peppers with homemade mozzarella cheese to piping hot fresh bread  -- I was ready for something special.

I have grown accustomed to the Chicken Scarpariello from the original Attilio's which is now renamed and under new ownership.  I was delighted to see it on the menu here at the new location.  The chicken was especially tender and really flavorful with vinegar peppers, sausage and of course potatoes.  The menu is loaded with traditional Italian favorites from Lasagna to a Veal Chop all  receiving rave reviews.
The end of the meal on this day was a table full of empty plates and satisfied appetites.  Diners at the bar looked especially comfortable because the bar is so wide.  Attilio's is festive and fun... kind of a "Chucky Cheese" for adults in the main room, quieter in the adjoining dining room and a choice place to dine or drink in the spacious bar.  The dance floor in the main room received a lot of attention as many danced to the "oldies but goodies."  It had the feeling of everyone having a good time at a house party.   Everything at this restaurant is geared toward the pleasure and satisfaction of the customer.   Attilio's is putting its own unique stamp on the dining experience, and I'm quite sure those partaking in their delicious food will enjoy every bite of it for years to come. - Jersey Shadow -  

NJ Food Guide - Top Rated

Attilio's Tavern
80 East McFarlan Street
Dover, NJ 07801
Phone: 973-328-1100


Paul's Family Diner - It was a cool crisp late fall day in Mountain Lakes and just up ahead I saw Paul's Diner which I pulled into for lunch.  It appeared to be a typical Jersey Diner complete with lengthy history and amidst some type of renovation.  Hmmmm... what to order?  I was in the mood for a good burger with some zip to it.
Something called a Blackjack Burger caught my eye so I went with that.  The burger was billed as something with Cajun flavor with melted jack cheese and sauteed peppers and onions.  It all sounded good and I like a nice twists on a traditional Jersey classics.
What arrived, and suspiciously fast, was nothing short of unsatisfying and not at all Cajun in flavor.  The meat was overcooked... was my burger one already cooked and reheated?  Yuck!  The meat had a funky kind of stale taste to it again overcooked with undercooked peppers and onions on top.  Well, my lunch was a disaster and the only thing I wanted was to get out of there.  Thankfully the meal did not make me sick which was a comfort.
On the plus side the staff was friendly, but when I'm out and about in Mountain Lakes next time, hungry, I will be searching for another place to try.  Food must come before renovations as that is the only thing that will get a customer back.  Many diners have come back from the brink of failure from poor product and perhaps Paul's might like to take a shot at a big upgrade in the kitchen to better suit hungry cost-conscious customers. - Jersey Shadow -
Paul's Family Diner
320 US Highway 46
Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046
Phone: 973-627-4026


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