Tag Archives: restaurants

Playa Bowls

GRAND OPENING!! Cranford is Crazy for Playa Bowls!!


Cranford is crazy for Playa Bowls and our newest Playa Bowl spot just opened at 102B North Union Avenue! The smell of the salty air, the waves crashing, the sound of seagulls, the wind in your hair…anyone who has been to this blissful place knows that you are immediately transported back to the shore! Not only is Playa Bowls known for their fabulous acai bowls and smoothies, but it’s how they have recreated the feel at the beach that keeps everyone coming back for more!


Playa Bowls was founded in 2014 after owners Robert Guiliani and Abby Taylor discovered that the people of the Jersey Shore had yet to savor the nutritious and delicious acai bowls like they had discovered on their many surf trips to the West Coast. They went to work to create their own version of a healthy acai bowl at small stand at the corner of 8th Ave and Ocean Ave in Belmar, New Jersey. Of course, they were an immediate sensation and soon after they opened their first store right behind the original stand!


Playa Bowls is now known throughout New Jersey and they have expanded into Rutgers Campus and up into North Jersey! Abby is so excited that they have been so welcomed throughout the state as more cities are going “bowls deep”! Abby described for me how much conscious selection goes into each and every ingredient in their bowls, smoothies, and other menu items. She said, “We have the best quality around – we don’t blend our acai with anything else to add sugar!” Abby also contributes the success to the “vibe” inside each and every Playa Bowls. She said that it’s truly a “culture” – people want to order and then actually hang out because of the “chill atmosphere”.


Playa Bowls is now a franchise and the Cranford restaurant is owned by Alan Valenti and nephew Stephen Valenti of Morristown’s Olive Lucy’s Kitchen Table. They are excited to bring Playa Bowls to Cranford! Alan initially fell in love with this acai shop as a customer. He wanted to pursue the franchise and his wife, Allison (originally from Cranford), drew him into this close-knit community. Alan and Stephen see Cranford as an “up and coming town” and love the momentum of the small businesses in downtown. (Hat tip to our fabulous Downtown Management Corp!!)  From families to young professionals – it’s truly the best town to introduce a hot new spot!


From our conversation, it was evident that Alan is excited about this venture. He mentioned that their acai bowls only have 10 grams of sugar and the highest quality of acai that no one else is providing. It’s such a thick acai bowl and “once you have your first bite you can taste the difference!” Playa Bowls appeals to those who are health conscious. You can add the best ingredients such as fruit, coconut, Nutella, pitaya, and chia! They will abe providing Fall Bowls all season long! Customers can add autumn flavors to their smoothies and bowls such as pumpkin granola, pumpkin butter, cinnamon, and caramel apple!


Alan feels that Playa Bowls is a big family and loves that Abby and Robert are 100% “hands on” with every store that they open. Abby does all the artwork for each and every Playa Bowls. Alan commented that her pieces are “beautiful and personalized for each store” – you will never see the same thing twice! Each creation of Abby’s is unique for a particular town and their energy! Even the flooring and lighting at the Cranford shop will be different and customized for Cranford!


Alan, Stephen, Rob, and Abby look forward to being a “part of the fabric of the community” of Cranford. I know that the area will be flocking to their gorgeous, beachy shop! Make sure you keep updated with their stunning Instagram feed and posts at playabowlscranford ! We are all ready to “go bowls deep”!

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What Are “Ono Bowls”? They Are DELICIOUS!! And They Are In Westfield!

I don’t know about you, but I’m LOVING all the healthy choices you can find in Cranford and Westfield eateries nowadays. With my busy work schedule, I often grab meals on the run, and it’s a bonus if I can eat healthfully while still enjoying the convenience of quick meals. Ono Bowls recently opened in Downtown Westfield, and it has become a favorite spot for a fast but healthy and yummy meal! 

Tricia Caminos launched Ono Bowls this past November, but she’d been enjoying smoothie bowls for many years beforehand! A Cranford resident who’s been juicing since she was 19, Tricia is married to a native Hawaiian, who introduced her to the juicing trends of Hawaii. Tricia said, “I was eating smoothie bowls for 10 years. They became popular in Hawaii and California, and are only just becoming a thing on the East Coast. ‘Ono’ means ‘delicious’ in Hawaiian!” 

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Ono Bowls is located at 107 Quimby Street, next to the forthcoming Salad House. The menu has raw juices and smoothies typical of a juice bar, but the ono bowls are truly what set it apart. Each ono bowl consists of a thick smoothie base (often made with acai or pitaya for added heath benefits), topped with granola, fresh fruit, honey, and other delightful toppings. I sampled the PB&J ono bowl while I was there, and it was super tasty and filling. Tricia uses organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

Something I loved about Ono Bowls besides the great menu is the atmosphere! There’s a large room in the back with plenty of comfy seats for lounging, a table where you can enjoy your ono bowl while getting some work done, and even cute coloring books and such strewn about for kids (and kids-at-heart)! It has a definite “chill” California vibe that is such a welcome addition to Westfield. 

I was thrilled to hear that Ono Bowls has been super busy since day one of opening! Tricia said, “All the kids come in after school throughout the week. We’ve even hosted parties here for Girl Scouts and other groups. We’re looking into offering catering services in the future.” 

You might spot some of Tricia’s family members working in Ono Bowls–two of her three kids work there part time! I love supporting local businesses that are a family affair. 

Ono Bowls is open Monday through Saturday from 9-6, Sunday from 10-5. Look for expanded hours in the spring. You can follow Ono Bowls on Instagram @ono_bowls and visit their website http://www.onobowls.net/index.html to view their full menu.  

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Valentine’s Day Dinner Spots in the Cranford-Westfield Area

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Love is in the air, folks! Have you planned a Valentine gift for your sweetie? Forget flowers or a cheesy card–the best gift is FOOD, baby. Specifically, a delicious dinner out on the town that you can enjoy together. Here’s a list of restaurants in the Cranford-Westfield Area that are offering Valentine’s prix fixe meals and specials that will make for a DELICIOUS and romantic date night. cNote that prices listed do not include taxes and gratuity (be kind to your servers!).

Bar Americana
24 N. Ave E, Cranford, NJ
(908) 276-3664

Three-course dinner of pear salad, filet mignon or snapper, and berry-topped cheesecake (plus a sorbet palate cleanser) includes champagne toast; $45 per person.

Chez Catherine
431 North Ave., Westfield
(908) 654-4011

Three-course dinner features lobster bisque, filet mignon, and chocolate mousse cheesecake, and coffee; $80 per person. Reservations begin at 5pm and are a must.

14 Elm St, Westfield
Three-course dinner with so many choices, including shrimp cocktail, grilled octopus salad, lobster risotto, chilean sea bass, and chocolate-covered strawberries, plus complimentary champagne toast and soft drinks/coffee; $65.95
per person.
Le Petit Temptation
19 Eastman St., Cranford
Five courses include cauliflower velvet, la homard mousse, monkfish or chicken, grapefruit and champagne, and dessert; $75 per person. BYO
Mulberry House
415 Westfield Ave., Westfield
(908) 233-3562

Five-course dinner includes truffled potato soup, root vegetable salad, roasted salmon, seared filet mignon, and a Valentine’s dessert plate; $75 per person. Seatings are available at 7pm or 7:30pm. BYO

Pairings: Palette + Plate
10 Walnut Ave, Cranford
(908) 276-4026
Four-course dinner with such choices as viking village scallops, duck risotto, beef tenderloin, and navel orange mousse; $98 per person. BYO

Tablespoon Cafe
21 N. Union Ave, Cranford
(908) 276-1900
Four-course dinner featuring such choices as lobster bisque, escargots, and braised lamb shank; $65 per person. Reservations begin at 5pm. BYO

235 Elmer St., Westfield
(908) 232-3962

Four-course dinner plus complimentary nonalcoholic mimosas; $40 per person.
No, I didn’t forget A Toute Huere, but they are completely booked! Their sister restaurant 100 Steps has limited seating left, although no Valentine’s specials. For more information visit: www.localrootscranford.com. Many other restaurants in our area will be offering a la carte specials that night as well, so you almost can’t go wrong wherever you go! If you hear of any great specials, please SHARE!! 

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Fine Dining at Westfield’s Acclaimed Chez Catherine


I recently revisited one of the most highly regarded restaurants in New Jersey and enjoyed an absolutely incredible meal. Chez Catherine in Downtown Westfield is a classic in every sense of the word, and I’m already fantasizing about my next phenomenal meal there. 

For more than 30 years, owners Didier Jouvenet and his wife, Edith, have wowed every critic from the New York Times to the Star Ledger and everyone in between. Prior to opening Chez Catherine, Didier worked at the venerable La Grenouille and the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan. Edith is responsible for the timeless decor of Chez Catherine, right down to the stunning flower arrangements in the restaurant that were plucked from their very own garden. 


When I dined at Chez Catherine for a recent lunch, I was delighted to discover that they offer a prix fixe lunch menu. Authentic, impeccably prepared French cuisine can make a considerable dent in one’s wallet, but Chez Catherine’s prix fixe lunch and dinner menus offer the same delicious food (and several courses of it!) for a very reasonable price. A two-course lunch is just $25, and three courses is $35. 

I was immediately charmed by Maitre d’ Stéphane Bocket, who has been with Chez Catherine for 11 years, and who will soon be taking over the helm as owner of the restaurant. Stéphane’s thick French accent did not prove hindersome, and he had both me and my lunch date cracking up with laughter at his wry sense of humor. 

I asked Stéphane why Chez Catherine continues to be one of the most lauded restaurants in New Jersey–or anywhere!–year after year. Stephane said, “We have always kept the same high standards here. We make sure the customer is happy, and there is a nice balance between delicious food and personalized service.” 

You can see from my photos that the food is plated as beautifully as it tastes. And the portions are anything but small, (some restaurants skimp on the portions of prix fixe menus–not Chez Catherine!). We enjoyed salad appetizers, crispy duck and perfectly cooked steak, fluffy profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce, and one of the most interesting desserts I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating: “Ile Flottante de ‘Catherine'” (a whisper-light, marshmallow-like meringue topped with vanilla sauce, caramel, toasted hazelnuts, and almonds … truly to-die-for. 

We gorged ourselves on the scrumptious food, and at the meal’s end, Stéphane jokingly warned us never to say “Je suis finis” at the end of a French meal. “It does not mean ‘I am finished,” he said. “It translates to ‘I am dead.'” Duly noted, Stéphane!

Chez Catherine is located at 431 North Avenue West, next to the Westfield Inn. FREE PARKING is located behind the Inn. Reservations are recommended: 908-654-4011.


Tuesday – Friday

Noon to 2:30 PM .


Tuesday – Thursday

5 PM to 9 PM

Friday and Saturday

5 PM to 9:30 PM

Closed on Sunday and Monday (except major holidays)

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The Transformation of Cranford’s Rockn’ Joe’s Coffee Shop!

A favorite local coffee shop is getting a makeover from top to bottom, inside and out! The former Rockn’ Joe Cranford is evolving into a coffeehouse with a brand new name, a cool new look, and some awesome new java. 

Rockn' JoeCranford’s Rockn’ Joe was the flagship location of the Rockn’ Joe franchise, founded by Kevin Brennan. Two years ago, Kevin sold the franchise and has slowly phased out of the business in order to become an independent coffee shop. The iconic rock-and-roll music paraphernalia that used to line the walls of Rockn’ Joe is all gone now. Over the next few months, the space will be transformed and won’t look a thing like its predecessor. 

Kevin said, “The renovations hopefully should be complete in July. It’s going to be amazing, very Brooklyn-esque with an industrial vibe. We’re more than tripling the space from 18 seats to 60 seats.” Sounds like a fabulous addition to Downtown Cranford, right?!

Currently the business is operating under the temporary name Coffee Works. But Kevin says that is NOT the final name–stay tuned for the real name once all the legal elements are in place. 

I asked Kevin why he decided to sell Rockn’ Joe and start anew. He replied, “My whole purpose is to be more coffee-focused, to sell an excellent coffee first and foremost.” That’s good news for us coffee lovers! And according to Kevin, the expansion will allow him to offer coffee drinks that Rockn’ Joe was never able to make before in the limited space, like Nitro Cold Brew coffee, an iced coffee that comes out of a beer-like tap, frothy and smooth (yum).  

Rockn' Joe

You’ll still see the same friendly faces from the Rockn’ Joe staff who’ve come to know your name. And “Coffee Works” is open during renovation–they have not missed a beat, no pun intended–so you can keep getting those lovely lattes and sweet treats until Kevin’s dream coffeehouse is complete. 

Stay tuned for photos of the completed interior and the unveiling of their new menu! 

“Coffee Works” is located at 5 Eastman Street in Cranford. Remember to utilize the free 10-minute parking selection at the parking meters when you get your coffee!

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Mountainside’s Echo Tap and Grille is the Area’s HOTTEST New Place!

Echo Tap GrilleToto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore! As soon as you walk into the newly opened Echo Tap & Grille in Mountainside, you’ll forget you were just on Route 22 and feel like you’re in some hip city. With its distinctive urban vibe, vibrant crowd, and trendy eclectic cuisine, it’s no surprise that Echo Tap is already THE place to be in Union County.

The Dedes family is well known in the restaurant business: Nick Dedes and his brother Peter owned Union Plaza Diner (a favorite of many locals!) for 37 years before purchasing the property formerly occupied by Echo Queen Diner. Francisco Mejia was a loyal employee at Union Plaza who worked his way all the way up to head chef in his 20+ years there, and he is now part owner of Echo Tap along with the Dedes brothers and Nick’s son Nico Dedes. Nico says: “We are a family-owned business with a strong love for food but also a love for what goes on behind closed doors, for our employees, for our guests–we want to make everyone feel as content as possible.”

The family involvement doesn’t end with Nico–his sister Stephanie Dedes served as the lead interior designer of the incredible space. Ah yes, the space. You simply have to check this place out–it doesn’t look like any other restaurant in the area, owing to Stephanie’s unique eye. Her firm–Sarkos–came up with a design that is difficult to describe, since it combines styles from industrial to rustic, and the finished product looks like something straight out of a glossy magazine.

The actual building of Echo Tap was a labor of love in its truest form, with the Dedeses putting their own blood, sweat, and tears into much of what you see inside. According to Nico: “That wood you see on the walls? We cut and painted every single piece. The tables in the dining area were once part of a water tower in Brooklyn–we salvaged the wood and hand-built those tables.”

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Other highlights of the interior include the gorgeous copper-topped fire pit in the dining area, the metal gears that line the ceiling of the bar area, and the “Echo Tap” sign made out of gas cans, which was once standing outside the building but now found its proper home inside, just past the hostess desk. And unlike the tucked-away kitchen at Union Plaza Diner, the kitchen at Echo Tap is part of the decor! You can watch Chef Ben and his sous chefs hard at work plating meals at a furious pace behind large glass windows.

Nico has high praises for Chef Ben. “Ben is so talented–he creates his own recipes and makes EVERYTHING from scratch. We’re a bar and grille, but we’re also so much more than that. For the pizzas you see on the menu, we make the mozzarella, the dough, the sauce, absolutely everything in-house from scratch. We juice fresh oranges for mixed drinks at the bar, and then Ben uses the pulp for salad dressings.”

Some of the bestselling items on the menu thus far have been the gourmet burgers, the churrasco (skirt steak), and the molcajete (fajita-like stew). Also on the menu you’ll find tacos, flatbreads, pizzas (cooked in their brick oven), salads, and seafood specialties such as crab legs and scallops. They even have a kids’ menu with tried-and-true mac & cheese, and every kid gets an ice cream.

The menu at Echo Tap will be changing a lot with the seasons in order to utilize the freshest ingredients, and the same goes for cocktails and beer. If you’re a beer lover, you’ll definitely want to belly up to the bar here. They have an impressive 24 beers on tap, including several hard-to-find craft beers. And if you want a great meal but don’t want to miss the big game, fret not–there are many large-screen TVs to ensure that every sport fanatic will know the scores at all times.

Echo Tap & Grille is located at 1079 US-22 in Mountainside. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. every day and is open 7 days a week. They don’t take reservations, and the wait can be long, but with mouth-watering cocktails like the blueberry mojito calling my name at the bar, a little waiting doesn’t bother me a bit. To view their menu, visit www.echotapandgrille.com.

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Local Venues Featuring Live Music!

Date Night. Girls Night Out. Bros Night Out. Call it what you want, but we ALL need to get out and blow off some steam now again! Fortunately, we live in an area that has many venues for LIVE MUSIC, which elevates any good night into a GREAT one. Here’s a list of local watering holes and restaurants that offer live music regularly. Where do YOU like to go to hear some tunes?



Riverside Inn

56 North Ave. E., Cranford

Yes, this bar is not huge, but they often have great bands playing! Get there early so you can snag a seat at the bar or one of the few tables. January 9th will feature the return of BBQ Bob and the Spareribs. I mean, seriously, I’d go see that band for the name alone.


100 Steps

215 Centennial Ave, Cranford

Head over to 100 Steps on Tuesdays for Taco Night, when your palate will be entertained by the chef’s unique take on tacos and at 7 pm your ears will be treated to live music performed by rotating local acts.



78 North Ave., Garwood

Crossroads is one of the best venues for live music in all of Union County. Bigger-name bands play here along with newbies, and even wannabes on open mic nights! There’s a live act almost every night of the week at Crossroads. Creole-style cuisine is what’s on the menu, and the bartenders know how to make a good drink! Note: There is often a cover charge.


16 Prospect Wine Bar & Bistro

16 Prospect St., Westfield

Every time I go to 16 Prospect, there always seems to be a crazy-talented musician tickling the ivories on their elevated stage. Here you’ll find live music 5 nights a week with an emphasis on jazz and piano. 


10th Street Live

104 N. 10th St., Kenilworth

The name of this place is your clue that you’re in for some live music! Fridays and Saturdays offer live bands (and sometimes comedy shows, check their schedule). Saturdays sometimes feature heavy metal, if that’s your thing!


Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub

651 N. Michigan Ave., Kenilworth

This place has one of the largest outdoor patios around, complete with a Tiki bar theme, so it’s perfect for nights out in warm weather (and lately it’s been unseasonably warm!). Inside is spacious with a large bar area and dining rooms. Head to Blackthorn Sunday evenings for live entertainment, and on other nights as listed on their website and facebook page. On December 19th Blackthorn will host its “Chrismix” Spectacular with a live performance by Chris Porter (“The Water Dance”), champagne, giveaways, and much more. For tickets visit www.newjerseyvseverybody.com.


Colorado Cafe

154 Bonnie Burn Road, Watchung

People come from FAR and WIDE to experience the Colorado Cafe. It’s cavernous inside, with multiple rooms and bars, and of course the infamous MECHANICAL BULL. Cover bands play in one room while country line dancing and DJ’s take over the other. Even if you don’t like live music, the Cafe is a worth a trip for the people-watching alone! Note: There is often a cover charge.


Oh’Brian’s on the Green

1300 Raritan Road, Clark

Acoustic music ushers in happy hour every Friday, followed by live bands the rest of the night. Saturdays often feature a DUELING PIANOS show! 

No cover charge for Friday shows; dueling pianos shows require tickets (buy through their website) or pay at the door. 


Molly Maguire’s

1085 Central Ave., Clark

This is the quintessential Irish pub in Union County, with a large, boisterous bar area where the bands play, and a quieter back dining room that’s great for families or date nights. There’s live music most Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Recently a band called Beer Goggles played a gig there. Enough said. Note: sometimes there’s a cover charge.


Stagehouse Tavern

366 Park Ave., Scotch Plains

You know I love old architecture, and there is character galore in the Stagehouse Tavern! That’s because it was built in 1737, and it’s part of the National Register of Historic Places. But enough about the building itself–you should know that a wide variety of great bands play at the Tavern on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 pm. Treat yourself to a post-Christmas drink (or two) and the sweet sounds of The Buzz on December 26. 


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Dinner In A Pinch In Cranford NJ Offers A New Twist On Takeout!

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“We are changing the way folks do takeout.” Can you guess which local eatery abides by that slogan? It’s Cranford’s Dinner in a Pinch, which cooks up hearty, homestyle meals like chicken pot pie and their bestselling meatloaf that are ready in about 30 minutes! And Dinner in a Pinch has now joined with the highly reputable Cake Artist Cafe, so you can get your savories and sweets from the same location!
Ligia DeJesus used to teach cake decorating classes at Sweet ’n Fancy Emporium in Cranford before opening Cake Artist Cafe next door in 2011. She can create a cake in virtually any theme you can dream up! I’ve seen (and tasted) one of her cakes that looked like a paint can pouring out rainbow paint. I can vouch that unlike some other highly decorated cakes out there, Ligia’s cakes always taste GREAT.


In 2014, the owners of Dinner in a Pinch (which is also right next door to Cake Artist Cafe) decided to sell their business. Ligia’s sister Maria jumped at the opportunity to cook traditional cuisine, and she took over Dinner in a Pinch. Lilia says, “This business is Maria’s baby! She has kept a lot of the same recipes that the previous owners used, but we are focused on fresher ingredients now.” Besides the comforting favorites that Dinner in a Pinch always had on the menu, Maria offers healthier choices such as fish and shrimp dishes. Every meal order comes with your choice of 2 sides, and they have a great kids’ menu as well.
And by the way, it ain’t just dinner! They have terrific LUNCH specials as well, such as butternut squash soup and empanadas. If you’re hosting a party during the holidays, don’t forget about the famous appetizer sampler from Dinner in a Pinch: 24 pieces of their most popular finger foods plus dipping sauces, which can be ready with as little as 2 hours’ notice.
Join the Dinner in a Pinch VIP Club and receive a FREE dessert or $5 off your next purchase of $30 or more—text PINCH to #51660 (see their Facebook page for more details: https://www.facebook.com/dinnerinapinch).
cDinner in a Pinch offers convenient curbside pickup on South Union Ave. (please note this is a one-way street), and yes, they also DELIVER! To hear the latest specials or place an order with Dinner in a Pinch, call 908-272-5136.
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Westfield Seafood is an Area Favorite!

Westfield Seafood Honest. Fresh. Seafood. Those three little words are the slogan behind Westfield Seafood, and the truth behind them is what has kept customers returning to the local fish market for decades.

The only way you could get your hands on fresher seafood (aside from chartering a fishing boat) is if you traveled to Fulton Fish Market in New York City at 3 a.m.–which is exactly what Westfield Seafood owner Vince Bruns does. EVERY DAY. Vince has owned Westfield Seafood since 1984, and you’ll find him expertly filleting fish behind the counter at any given point in the day.

Located adjacent to the South Ave Train Station lot in Westfield, there is free parking in front of the shop. Inside, don’t expect a fancy-looking market. Westfield Seafood is simple and no-nonsense, but the beauty is in the seafood itself.

Every day you’ll find about 20 different varieties of fresh fish, such as flounder; lemon sole; snapper; salmon; catfish; swordfish; tuna; tilapia; branzini; as well as a more variable selection of fish that are more seasonal or harder to come by, such as rainbow trout, shad, orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, and more.

We love the house-prepared soups, especially the Manhattan clam chowder and lobster bisque. There is also a great selection of shellfish, including cooked shrimp done a variety of ways; Alaskan king crab legs steamed to order; blue and stone crab claws; and good ol’ lobster. And let’s not forget clams, oysters, and muscles, as the seasons permit.

There are a variety of prepared salads available in-store, from shrimp salad to tuna salad made from FRESH (not canned!) tuna. And if you’re in a pinch for dinner, you can always pick up one of Westsfield Seafood’s prepared entrees, like crab cakes or stuffed flounder, which you can just pop in the oven and then look like a hero.

So the next time you’re craving fresh seafood, or you want an impressive shrimp cocktail for your next party, call or stop by Westfield Seafood. They’re open 7 days a week: Monday through Saturday 10 am to 7 pm; Sunday 12 to 5 pm. 908-233-3042

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Seafare Chippery in Fanwood, NJ

Want to feel like you’re on vacation when you go out for casual eats?  Then you’ve got to check out Seafare Chippery in Fanwood, where you can get the freshest seafood around and savor it in their new nautical outdoor dining area — nicknamed Captain Chip’s Dock — that will transport you to the shore.

Owned by the Walter family, Seafare Chippery reopened in November of 2012 with a distinct image4vision: to recreate the family-friendly fish-and-chips restaurant that the Chippery was known to be back in the 1970s. Chef Brian Walter has brought back the exact fry batter from that decade, the same round “chips,” and even hired some of the original staff members. He says, “I ate here as a kid and even worked here. My goal was to replicate the Chippery of my childhood.”

If you love seafood, you might start salivating at the description of the food at the Chippery. Arctic cod arrives fresh EVERY day, and you can taste the difference, folks, because it all but melts in your mouth. The fish is hand-dipped in their signature batter and fried right in front of you. The delicious bread buns at the Chippery are provided by Cranford’s own Breadsmith.

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Besides the classic fish-and-chips platters, the Chippery offers NJ diver scallops (so fresh that some of Brian’s acquaintances have eaten them raw); soft-shell crabs; lobster rolls (hot or cold!); shrimp; clams; fish tacos and sandwiches; house-made clam chowder; and a daily broiled special such as mahi mahi. You can also order a variety of more adventurous fried items, including fried pizza, fried burgers, fried pickles, fried oreos, and more. Got kids who might not be fish lovers? No worries. The Chippery has a kids menu with plenty of non-fish options (hot dog, mac-and-cheese, chicken tenders), and the kids’ meals can be served with chips or fresh fruit.

Brian listens to his customers and has now begun offering money-saving specials: on any given day you can order from the $10 dinner menu, which includes a choice of entree, a side, and a drink. There’s a $7 lunch menu as well. Brian says they are experimenting with delivery service, so if that’s something you would take advantage of, please write a comment on their Facebook page!

Don’t you love the idea of a fish-themed party this summer? The Chippery can cater your event! In fact, Brian also runs Catering by Bayberry, which provides catering for all types of events with cuisine ranging from casual to gourmet. Brian was trained at the French Culinary Institute in NYC and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry; he has worked with such renowned chefs as Mario Batali and Daniel Or.

The Seafare Chippery is located at 383 South Ave in Fanwood and is open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to 9 pm. It’s BYO. Call ahead for faster pickup: 908-288-7741.

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