Jersey Spin - July, 2011

NJ Food Reviews - Cafe' Fiori in Randolph, NJ And Hunan Taste in Denville, NJ



Cafe' Fiori - Strip Malls in New Jersey offer a chance to discover a great place to eat and among a row of nondescript storefronts, I found Cafe' Fiori.  It doesn't look like much from the parking lot, but as we all know, looks can be, and in this case, are deceiving.

I decided to try this place with a guest one rainy afternoon and was very glad I did.  I was immediately taken by the menu with its unbelievably great luncheon prices.  I'm big into flavor, so it was the Chicken Scarpariello for me for my entree with a very generous mixed field greens salad which was perfectly dressed.

Of very special note was the complimentary bread which was off the charts in taste, quality and freshness, and that  is saying a lot for New Jersey with its plethora of master bakers.  The chicken was flavorful with a bit of a kick from the peppers which I loved.  Also included were some flavorful, perfectly cooked potatoes and fresh veggies.  My whole meal, salad included was an astonishing $9.95 and represents an outstanding value.

My guest had the Veal Marsala for only a couple of dollars more, also with the included, big portioned and perfectly dressed mixed field greens salad.  It was and is a joy to have found this place with its stunning value and warm appreciative service.  - Jersey Shadow -

Cafe' Fiori
477 College Plaza Route 10 East
Randolph, New Jersey 07869
Phone: 973-343-7447

Credit Cards Accepted





Hunan Taste - One would not think of Denville, NJ, as a place to find an exceptional Chinese dining experience, but one look at the outside of this impressive structure had me thinking I was in for something special. I checked out Hunan Taste about a month ago and was disappointed, yet encouraged, with how they handled my experience. The won ton soup I ordered that day was the very best I've ever tasted but then it was straight downhill after that with the Imperial Chicken.

For me the Imperial Chicken was a disappointing dish, and they should consider changing it or taking it off of the menu. The taste and texture was not to my liking, and it had an unpleasant smell to it. On this day I just wanted to leave, and yes, never come back, but because of the professionalism of the waiter I promised them I would return and I did.

The decor is awesome with soothing tones, ornate colorful features and built in aquariums. In the end, as we all know, it's the food that will make or break a place.  Needless to say, I was a little apprehensive going back to a place where I had a bad experience  because I've never done so before. My time and money are way too valuable to give places second chances, but that great waiter got me back in the door. I never complain... I just don't go back and it was no small achievement on the part of my waiter to get me to return.

The evening I returned I went with the Sauteed Shredded Hot Beef and it was delicious. It was so good, I really tried to finish it all and almost made it but was just too full. The fresh noodles to start the meal were exceptionally good and plentiful. A free refill of my soda was a classy move and the water glasses were kept full the entire meal. The hot towels at the end of the meal to freshen up was a great touch.  My dining partner ordered the Sweet and Sour Chicken which looked and tasted extraordinary.  I must admit, I simply had to have a taste -- really good.  

All in all it was quite a pleasant return visit and the restaurant was getting busy when we left. It takes many elements to make a great dining experience ,and we must never forget the vital role the wait staff plays in addition to all else. I look forward to returning to Hunan Taste for a special Chinese dining experience. - Jersey Shadow -

Hunan Taste
67 Bloomfield Avenue
Denville, NJ 07834
Phone: 973-625-2782

Credit Cards Accepted & Full Bar



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