First, I'd like to thank EVERYONE who gave me suggestions in creating this article, and suggesting these unique places to dine.
The following restaurants are located in Central New Jersey, YES, is a real place. However, I did receive recommendations of restaurants located down the shore. Therefore, I decided to expand this article to include several Jersey Shore restaurants. Many of the restaurants listed I have dined at myself and also highly recommend.
Delorenzos, Robbinsville 4.6 stars
"Stop by or take-out to enjoy our true one-of-a-kind Tomato Pie. The "Hudson Street" Tomato Pie tradition lives on for future generations to enjoy in Robbinsville, NJ and Yardley, PA." — http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/index2.html
Dolce and Clemente’s, Robbinsville 4.7 stars (Featured on Diner’s, Drive In’s and Dives!)
"At our gourmet Italian market, you'll experience the highest quality homemade prepared foods, Brooklyn-inspired Italian specialties, and personal and exceptional customer service." — http://www.dolceandclementes.com
Ravello by Toscano, Robbinsville 4.5 stars
Ravello's meatball appetizer is to die for! Juicy, tender and flavorful! Nice atmosphere and good service.
Lola, Robbinsville 4.5 stars
My family and I have eaten at Lola's many times. In fact, we had my graduation dinner at Lola's after the event. The food is very good and plentiful, with nice atmosphere and excellent service.
Osteria Radici, Allentown 4.5 starsANDOsteria Procaccini, Crosswicks 4.6 stars
"A collaboration between Chef Randy Forrester and Ally Forrester, Osteria Radici is where tradition and cultural roots meet the modern Italian kitchen. Approached with great thought and executed with precision by a one person kitchen, our quaint Osteria offers a dining experience unparalleled in the area." — https://www.osteriaradici.com
The servings certainly don't let you down! The Caesar salad is delicious and their pizza oven cooks the pizza to perfection.
JoJos Tavern, Hamilton 4.5 stars
Malagas, Hamilton 4.5 stars
"Malaga captures the taste of Spain with its authentic traditional cuisine. We feature exciting flamenco dancing every second Sunday of each month. Malaga is more than a typical Spanish restaurant — It is a Spanish cultural experience. Come visit Malaga and experience adventurous cuisine in our charming setting." — http://www.malagarestaurant.com
The Simple Greek, Hamilton 4.7 stars
"The Simple Greek is redefining the traditional Greek restaurant with an interactive concept that combines high-quality ingredients, open kitchens and Greek atmosphere in a fast casual setting." — https://thesimplegreek.com/aboutus/
Turning Point, West Windsor 4.1 stars
"Our philosophy is "fresh is always best...The atmosphere at our restaurants is comfortable and relaxing. We apply the same principles of a nighttime restaurant to our daytime breakfast and lunch establishments. Our restaurant's interiors are decorated tastefully with natural wood floors, bright traditional colors and real plants, creating a pleasant dining room. The staff is committed to providing a 100% satisfied dining experience. We hire friendly people first and then train them to be servers and baristas." — https://theturningpoint.biz/our-process/
Witherspoon Grill, Princeton 4.4 stars
"Combining exceptional food, drinks and service with a refined, casual setting, Witherspoon Grill is one of New Jersey's premier steakhouse destinations. Located in the heart of downtown Princeton, Witherspoon Grill is the perfect place to meet for an extraordinary dining experience." — https://www.witherspoongrill.com/home#info-section
Despana, Princeton 3.9 stars
"Modern, multilevel BYOB place for tapas & Spanish dishes, plus a food market & a rooftop terrace." "We remain true to our mission of sourcing the best Spain has to offer for export." — https://despanaprinceton.com/about-us.html
Blue Point Grill, Princeton 4.5 stars
"Blue Point Grill opened its doors in 1999 on Nassau Street in historic Princeton, NJ. Adjacent to our top-rated Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company, the highly Zagat-rated Blue Point Grill features an extensive selection of impeccably fresh seafood in a fun, lively setting." — https://www.bluepointgrill.com/home#about-section
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Princeton 4.2 stars
The food is delicious, steaks cooked perfectly, a little pricey but worth it!
Cranbury Pizza, Cranbury 4.6 stars
"Our pizza is made with the finest and freshest ingredients available — fresh mozzarella cheese, imported Italian plum tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and premium flour baked to perfection." — http://cranburypizza.com/menu.html
Under The Moon, Bordentown 4.5 stars
"Under the Moon Cafe was born in 2006 from the desire of Estela Buontempo Orosco and Santiago Orosco to create a restaurant with a warm, welcoming atmosphere that offers home cooked style meals and the best desserts in Bordentown." — http://underthemooncafe.com/about-us/
Mastoris, Bordentown 4.1 stars
"Known for its generous portions, extensive menu, and fresh bread served with every meal, Mastoris can satisfy all of your family's cravings. Sit at the counter and enjoy all-day breakfast and diner classics. Or cozy up with a specialty cocktail in our formal dining room while enjoying deliciously prepared steak, chops, seafood and pasta. Our professional bakery offers everything from cookies to wedding cakes and of course our world-famous cheese bread. We also offer a full bar/lounge with weekly specials. Whether it's your first visit or your one-hundredth, you will receive an unrivaled dining experience, because at Mastoris, everyone is family." — http://www.mastoris.com
I've never left Mastoris disappointed. From the warm cheese and cinnamon buns that greet you at your table, to the main course. The portions are huge. You are certain to leave with leftovers.
Oliver a Bistro, Bordentown 4.7 stars
Tastee Sub Shop, Lawrenceville 4.6 stars
Candela’s Pizza, Lawrenceville 4.4 stars
The Candela family prides itself on serving the areas best authentic Italian cuisine... in one of the most comfortable Italian restaurants Mercer County has to offer. Candela Pizzeria & Ristorante is the perfect place to dine in and or take out some of the best food among Mercer County NJ Italian restaurants. Whether you're in the mood for classic Italian preparations, a delicious pizza, a hearty sandwich, or a lighter salad, Candela serves something you'll love.
Erini, Ewing 4.5 stars
"Join us for lunch or dinner and let us know if there is anything we can do to make your visit more enjoyable at Erini, more than just one of the best Greek restaurants in Mercer County New Jersey." — https://www.erinirestaurant.com/aboutus.html
Cafe SeventyTwo, Ewing 4.5 stars
Pennington Pizza & Grill, Pennington 4.4 stars
My brother RAVES about Pennington Pizza. It's definitely on my radar to visit very soon!
Faros, Monroe 4.5 stars
"What makes Greek cuisine great? Is it the 4,000-year-old tradition that continues until today, the simple Greek ingredients used to produce the foods, the balance of the flavors or just the olive oil? I would say all of them together. Here at Faros Greek Cuisine, we honor the Greek traditional food and offer delicious and nutritious dishes. Following the footsteps of our ancestors and using the knowledge and the same recipes used by our grandparents, we offer authentic Greek taste." — http://farosgreekcuisine.com
The ShoreMolly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank 4.5 stars
My family and I have been to the Molly Pitcher Inn many times for various events, from Communion and Confirmation parties to graduation dinners and showers. The food is wonderful and their Sunday brunch is delightful with an array of choices. Located in Red Bank, the Molly Pitcher Inn is a beautiful 19th Century Hotel with a spectacular waterfront view.
Buona Sera, Red Bank 4.1 stars
"Savor real Italian food in a formal setting, grab a slice of our Neapolitan-style brick oven pizza for a quick bite to eat, or let us host your private meeting or special event." — http://buona-sera.com
Patrizia’s, Red Bank 4.4 stars
Ironically, my mom's cousin is the owner, however, this is not a biased opinion. Patrizia's authentic Italian food is excellent. The atmosphere is warm and reservations are a must on a Saturday evening.
Anjelica’s Sea Bright 4.6 stars
"In a setting of casual elegance, Anjelica's takes inspiration from the rich culture of Italian cuisine. Owner Ray Lena's passion for cooking has its roots in his Italian family." — http://anjelicas.com/about-us/
I recently visited Anjelica's for a family event and the food was excellent! The cold antipasto platter was delicious and beautifully presented. I highly recommend the Pasta Pomodoro, as well as the Risotto stuffed chicken with spinach! A quaint restaurant, definitely a must to visit.
Spiaggetta, Stone Harbor 4.3 stars
My family and I found this restaurant over the summer during our now annual trip to Stone Harbor, New Jersey. The pasta is homemade and delicious. They have a great menu and you can't go wrong with whatever you select. Everything is very fresh and the presentation is beautiful. The restaurant has plenty of seating with its two floors. However, during the summer months, I highly recommend making reservations.