$20.11. That is what it will cost for a 3-course meal at some of the fine dining establishments in Summit, NJ this week. Tonight I ate at Winberie’s, in the former Summit Opera House at 2 Kent Place Blvd, and I thoroughly enjoyed my bottle of Merlot (at half price) and a delicious chopped salad. My party of four dined on tasty shrimp & lobster ravioli, Coq au vin and a grilled chicken sandwich, along with soup, salad and dessert, and we all had a great meal with a tab totalling $90.00, including the tip.
From February 18- 27th, you can try out some prix fixed meals at the 3rd annual Restaurant Week in Summit NJ and you are in for a treat. Here is a complete list of participating restaurants and each has a different special to offer. (Take note that all phone numbers begin with a 908 area code.) This is the last weekend and if you want to get a table, it is best to call ahead for a reservation.
Looking for someplace good to eat this last weekend of February? Look no further as you will find almost every kind of food right in Summit. Whether you like Italian, Thai, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Sushi, Persian, Continental, bagels, or a great steak, you will find it all here. The Summit Diner is also quite famous, affordable (an authentic experience), if you don’t mind the crowded feeling of sitting in an old train car and grungy bathrooms.
If you don’t know the city of Summit, just between The Mall in Short Hills, New Providence and Chatham, this is a great time to explore. It’s easy to learn since there is plenty of free parking in various lots behind the main street of Springfield Avenue and in a parking deck across the street. Most locals will agree that Summit boasts one of the best downtown shopping districts in Union County.
There is a unique blend of stores that are the envy of many nearby communities and this is a pedestrian friendly town, where cars stop at brick paved crosswalks between the traffic lights, for people to cross. Wide sidewalks make it easy for people with dogs and strollers and on any given day, there are plenty of both, heading to the park just across from the Train Station, known as the Green.
Not only does Summit have recognizable chain stores like Staples & CVS, but Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are just steps from the train platform. One has many choices for pizza, smoothies, coffee, pasta, burritos, breakfast, lunch and dinner in all price ranges with either a great bar or a BYOB option. Steps from the Midtown Direct Train station, right in the middle of town on Union Place (which has the most express trains to Manhattan in the area) you will find as many as 10 fun places to dine. The Cheese Shop has delicious sandwiches on fresh baguettes and you can take the kids to the recently opened Honey Browns for casual comfort food. During the summer months, many diners will enjoy the sidewalk cafes that are packed away over the winter.
Just two blocks from town you can even buy or rent a one bedroom condo for ($1,800 a month or $400,000) and with convenient underground parking, dining is a breeze without ever looking for a parking space. Towne Realty Group has a listing at One Euclid Avenue in a six story condo building with security, and an elevator. We also have three luxury furnished rentals near town, offered by Executive Quarters, that are ideal for the business traveler, with flexible rental periods of one week, one month or a year.
My three personal favorites are: Roots Steakhouse
(read my blog), Fiorino Ristorante (fabulous Northern Italian) and Beacon Hill Tavern (a cozy family restaurant with excellent daily specials and a separate tv bar in the back). Don’t forget that there are also a couple of restaurants a bit farther from town that are worth the drive. Just opened is The Hat Tavern (a great selection of burgers) in The Grand Summit Hotel a few blocks west of town on Springfield Avenue as well as La Focaccia and Marco Polo, down on Morris Avenue towards River Road.
The best news is that when the weather gets warm, Summit’s famous ice cream stand on Morris Avenue, will be back in business and we can all get on the long line at The Magic Fountain. The prices are affordable here during the entire season, and the line is worth the wait!