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Eating Out + Eating In: $13.50 for a Greek Salad, brunch in Red Bank and fish stories

DID THEY SHRINK THE SALAD? I met a friend for lunch at the Suburban Diner, 172 Route 17 north in Paramus, and paid $13.50 for a Greek ...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Eating Out: Good value in fine dining, delicious food at Sanzari's New Bridge Inn

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops, Porcini Mushroom Risotto, Drizzled White Truffle Oil and Vegetables ($29) at Sanzari's New Bridge Inn in New Milford.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

A friend treated us to dinner at Sanzari's New Bridge Inn on Saturday night, and I can't wait to return for big, well-prepared portions of Italian-American food, great service and no-cost extras.

Our host said New Bridge Inn reminds him of old world fine-dining restaurants that offered good value, generous portions of delicious food and terrific service.

Our friend, his wife and another couple he invited to dinner were already seated when we arrived just before 7:30 on Saturday night.

This was our first visit, so I was bowled over by a small plate filled with chunks of Italy's great hard cheeses, olives and peppers; and a second plate with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and tomato paste.

That made the bread seem really special, and frankly, I overdid it.

I also had two glasses of red wine, a Malbec from Argentina.


Switched leftovers

The restaurant seats about 200, and it was packed and noisy on Saturday night, but our host had asked for a corner table so we could converse.

The service from the waiter, food runners and others was flawless, and our water glasses were always full.

We had a great waiter: He suggested my wife order her pork chop cooked medium-well, so it wouldn't dry out; and said he would ask the kitchen to hold the butter used to finish my risotto.

Me, my wife and the other couple took home leftovers.

The next day, the man called, said his wife had been given my wife's leftovers (the pork chop with sweet potato hash), and would she be happy with what was left of his spouse's Ahi Tuna Steak. 

No, I said. We decided to meet in the paring lot of a Paramus diner to make the switch, and that's where my friend mentioned he was going back to the restaurant to get the scarf his wife left behind at the table.

No need, I said, walking to my car for the burgundy scarf a staff member rushed out to give me -- I was the last to leave the restaurant.


My wife ordered the Maple-Glazed Prime Organic Pork Chop, Sweet Potato Hash Browns and Vegetables ($29). The pork chop weighed a full pound, and she took home leftovers. I also couldn't finish my wonderful seafood entree, taking home 3 of the 5 wild-caught sea scallops and half of the risotto.
I started with an Arugula Salad, Roasted Peppers, Goat Cheese and Olives in Balsamic Vinaigrette ($11), but asked the kitchen to hold the rich cheese. My wife loved her Crab and Corn Chowder, a special.
The bread service included hard cheeses, olives, peppers, tomato paste, extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
We didn't touch a complimentary dessert.

Sanzari's New Bridge Inn in New Milford.

Details

Sanzari's New Bridge Inn, 105 Old New Bridge Road, New Milford; 1-201-692-7700. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. 

Liquor license, parking lot and the hardest working valet in Bergen County. Reservations recommended on weekends.