While local restaurant owners, managers, and chefs are busy working the kitchens and dining rooms, we asked them where they like to go on their downtime to let someone else do the cooking.
“What is your favorite area restaurant other than your own and why?”
BY LIANNA ALBRIZIO
PAUL GERARD – OWNER, ANTIQUE BAR AND BAKERY
I have a lot of go-tos, but usually when I’m off I’m out with my son, and he’s a dim sum aficionado. Of course, he gets it from me, so we love to go to Grand Sichuan on Grove Street in Jersey City. (There’s also one in Chelsea, New York.) We tend to eat something I don’t make at home. We’ve traveled from New York to San Francisco in search of “a little heart,” so we are schooled in superb soup dumplings, rich roast pork buns, and ribs that stop time. Grand Sichuan has it all!
ALEXANDER DURAN – OWNER, SON CUBANO AND VENTANAS AT THE MODERN
My favorite restaurant is Varka in Ramsey. Some of my favorite dishes are the lobster gyros appetizer, the angry lobster entree, the American Snapper (white, moist and lean with a sweet flavor and sautéed with garlic, basil, oven dried tomatoes and red pepper flakes), and their Pot Pie with cucumber tomato relish and mint tzatziki.
GENE BAZZARELLI– GENERAL MANAGER, FRANCO’S METRO RESTAURANT, BAR, PIZZA
Cubby’s in Hackensack is a landmark in Bergen County and my favorite BBQ for sure! Bob, the owner, is a friend of mine. I’ve been in his kitchen many times and know he puts the same care into his food as we do at Franco’s Metro. Cubby’s pulled pork is delicious, tender and tangy. My kids love his burgers and hot dogs.
JILLIAN CARTAGENA – OWNER, KUBA RESTAURANT
Sanzari’s New Bridge Inn in New Milford. It’s absolutely delicious. I love the egg ravioli appetizer. It comes in a truffle oil. Just incredible every time.
ANTHONY TREUS – OWNER, SEGOVIA
River Palm Terrace in Edgewater, because it has that old-school feel with all the signed photos on the wall and great cuts of beef, as well as the seafood and sushi.
DEBBIE NAZARIO-LOPEZ – CO-OWNER, LOLITA’S MEXICAN CANTINA
Houston’s. Consistent and always on point. Very knowledgeable and professional staff.