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Jersey Food

January, 2006

Inside This Edition: Jersey Shadow Review: Raymond's in Montclair, NJ And Cafe Arugula in South Orange, NJ 

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Raymond's - I checked out Raymond's in Montclair recently and the whole experience was marginal.  The food was very good and reasonably priced.  Actually, that was the only good thing about my recent lunch there.  It doesn't make much sense to talk about the food in any great detail except to say that almost anyone would find something they like on the menu.  The problem with Raymond's is not the food but the restaurant itself... loud and overcrowded. 

I've dined at plenty of crowded restaurants and enjoyed many of them immensely but it's way too much to ask a paying customer to have to get up after being seated to let other patrons and wait staff access a table wedged into an otherwise inaccessible corner.  Yes, I was seated at arguably the worst table in the place, except maybe that other table wedged into a corner.  My point here is that where you sit at Raymond's will, in all likelihood, determine your dining experience.  There looked to be some comfortable seats in this establishment, but if you aren't lucky enough to be seated in a booth or a table with some unobstructed room, the high quality of the food really won't matter.

 

Judging by the long line to get in, many do like Raymond's and, like I said, the food was good; but the thought of missing out on a good table after waiting in a long line doesn't appeal to me.  One never knows what kind of dining experience is in store; that unfortunately leaves me a bit less than enthusiastic. -Jersey Shadow -

 

Raymond's
28 Church St
Montclair, NJ 07042
Main Phone: 973-744-9263

 

 

Cafe Arugula - Cafe Arugula in South Orange offers a nice laid-back semi urban atmosphere in a comfortable setting.  Essex County has some great restaurants, so it's always a treat for me to check out a new place in this part of New Jersey.  Lunch isn't exactly the hardest meal to prepare but it's surprising how many places can't get it right.  Cafe Arugula got it right on my recent visit and the food really hit the spot. 

 
There is plenty of room to relax here and dine in comfort and when my Tricolore salad (Arugula, Radicchio, Endive and Italian Vinaigrette) arrived it tasted as good as it looked - delicious.  After my salad I tried the Balsamic Grilled Chicken (Marinated in balsamic & rosemary, sliced onion, lettuce and tomato) sandwich and it was quite tasty and satisfying.  My guest remarked how good the Goat Cheese Ravioli (Pink vodka sauce, arugula, pesto, shrimp) was - especially how fresh.  Actually, all of the ingredients were fresh and high quality.
 
Cafe Arugula is a place I would suggest checking out when in that area.  It's even within walking distance to Seton Hall University and close to the South Orange train station. -Jersey Shadow -
 
Cafe Arugula
59 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
Main Phone:  973-378-9099



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