March 2020 by Vicki Gaily
Also featured on Haute Residence

Photo Credit: Jay Wennington

Northwest Bergen County offers a wide array of phenomenal restaurants. Here are some notable places to wine and dine in the area:

One of our favorites for many years is the Saddle River Inn in Saddle River. A charming historic barn houses the restaurant and the setting along the Saddle River is perfect. The food is outstanding, so prepare to book your ressie in advance. It’s not unusual to have a 30 day wait for a reservation! Chef Jamie Knott is in a class by himself.

Chef Knott recently opened a casual storefront restaurant, also in Saddle River, called the Saddle River Cafe. It’s open 7 days a week! The menu is small but diverse and the quality of the food is everything one expects from Jaime. Both The Saddle River Inn and The Saddle River Market are BYOB. We pick up our wine from Chuck Russo at Ho-Ho-Kus Wine & Spirits in Ho-Ho-Kus and off we go!

Photo Credit: Sara Dubler

Another restaurant that is very special to us is Esty Street, located in Park Ridge, New Jersey. They have been around since the early ’90s and have always offered inventive and award-winning cuisine and wine. Esty Street was renovated and decorated by Philip La Bossiere, one of the tri-state area’s finest designers. We’ve enjoyed many a cocktail at their fabulous bar!

For Italian cuisine, we love Andrea’s in Waldwick, which has also been around for several decades. They will prepare anything you want, the way you want it. The portions are large (always plenty to take home for the next day) and sauces are great! They have a liquor license and will also allow you to bring your own bottle. When it comes to dessert time, we crave their Napolean and their chocolate covered bananas!

Our favorites for fish are Varka in Ramsey, which is wonderful. Pick your favorite fresh fish and they cook it to order. Their “Varka chips” are SO yummy. This area favorite gets packed, so plan ahead and make a ressie! They have a liquor license.

Photo Credit: Eaters Collective

A more casual choice and just as delicious is Greek City in Ramsey, which is a storefront and BYOB. Their fish is fresh, their entrees are satisfying and we love one of their big booths.

For burgers and salads, Fire and Oak in Montvale is great. They also have a liquor license. It’s a larger space, so if you call a bit in advance, you should be able to get in.

Cafe Panache in Ramsey is another longtime favorite for upscale French American cuisine. Very creative and very fresh food. The service is always impeccable, parking is easy and its BYOB. Make that reservation in advance!

There are over 80 eateries in Ridgewood. mostly BYOB, many are excellent. The parking can be a challenge, so try to get there early. There are so many I don’t even know where to start!

Photo Credit: Nadia Valko

We are also approximately 30 minutes from Manhattan and have enjoyed many dinners all over NYC.  If you are looking for a night out in New York, here are a few of our favorites from casual to upscale:

Red Rooster

Upper East Side
Fig & Olive
Sant Ambroeus
Flora Bar

Upper West Side
Boulud Sud
The Leopard at des Artistes

Midtown West/Hell’s Kitchen
Legacy Records
Estiatorio Milos


Gramercy Area
Gramercy Tavern

Flatiron/Union Square
ABC Kitchen
ABC Cocina

East Village
The Kindred
Jewel Bako

Greenwich Village
Charlie Bird

West Village
The Riddler
En Japanese Brasserie
Casa Apicii

Pasquale Jones
Bond Street
Chef’s Club

Lower East Side
Russ & Daughters Cafe
Una Pizza Napoletana
Wild Air


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