Jersey Food

Jersey Spin - May, 2008

Inside This Edition: New Jersey Food Reviews By The Jersey Shadow: Nero's Grille in Livingston, NJ and Tabor Road Tavern In Morris Plains, NJ 

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


Nero's Grille - I jumped at the chance to check out Nero's Grille in Livingston recently.  The hostess asked if we had reservations and I thought it was going to be a quick exit, but our party was politely welcomed and seated.  The place had an aged but well kept look to it with busy bar and steady stream of diners arriving...  clearly regulars.
With all this activity I was quite excited at the possibility of a good meal.  The menu was fine with a nice price range but it was ala carte, which for me, unless the place is off the charts in quality, is usually not a good value.  With Rack Of Lamb pushing 30 dollars, adding in a potato and veggies would send this meal closer to 50 dollars with drink, tax and tip.





Still I found something called Chicken Nero for under 20 bucks and declined the veggies and potato as they were extra, but did order a Caesar salad and a Coke.  Hey, the Coke came in a bottle... very nice, and the salad was good with fresh cheese shavings on top.  My Chicken Nero was chicken on the bone with vinegar peppers and sausage which unfortunately was mediocre... generously speaking.

Feedback on the pork chops and Veal Parmigiana was similarly disappointing.  Still, the throwback-in-time atmosphere was pleasant and oddly festive on this day with an unusual mix of young and old and children running about.  There was an undeniable loyal following here, and there was something charming about this place, but I went for a good meal.   I didn't see or feel any connection at all to the food except that it gave me indigestion.
I'm always looking forward to new culinary discoveries in New Jersey, but by all means, if I missed something here, I'm sure all of you will let me know about it, and yes I know the bread is good. - Jersey Shadow -
Nero's Grille
618 Livingston Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039
Phone: 973-994-1410















Tabor Road Tavern - I had the occasion to join a group for dinner at the Tabor Road Tavern in Morris Plains.  On this weekday, the place was jammed with nicely dressed business types and we were very lucky to get a table.  Nobody knows who I am and I like it that way.  I bring it up because we were greeted by a professional, eager-to-please staff who wanted to please a regular party of 4 by accommodating us for dinner.  This restaurant  is a  relatively new place with rustic features but modern where it counts... in the kitchen... in fact we could see it unobtrusively from our table.
When I think of tavern, thoughts of affordable pub food come to mind.  Notice how I didn't say pub grub which is a tired and lame expression made famous by tired and lame food critics.  There was nothing tired or lame about this place, and when I opened the menu I received an electrifying jolt of sticker shock.  Really, all our group was after was a good competitively priced meal. 
The choices here were as vast as the prices, so I switched gears from just the basic pub meal to an all-out-feast with all-out-prices.  Okay, I like Caesar Salad and on this night it was the best I had ever had.  It might seem too salty to some, but to me it was just perfect.  The very outstanding and extremely professional waiter offered a special Cowboy Steak which I eagerly selected.  It turned out to be a  piece of rib-eye beef of very high quality, topped with blue cheese butter, perfectly seasoned and cooked.  Every meal on the table which included another Cowboy Steak special,  two fish specials, perfectly dressed Arugula salad, and outstanding side-dishes, was met with similar satisfaction and delight.  The freshness of the fish was immediately apparent to the member of the group who eats fish on a regular basis.  
It was a real team effort to please and the Tabor Road Tavern delivered a first rate memorable meal.  There is a full bar here and calling ahead for reservations might be a good idea.  Sometimes you just have to say to heck with the money and take a shot.  My aforementioned "sticker shock" when opening the menu and seeing the prices was nothing compared to the quality of the food, perfectly prepared, and pleasant professional service.  All in all and electrifying experience! - Jersey Shadow -
Tabor Road Tavern
510 Tabor Road
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Phone: 973-267-7004



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