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December 2016

Mattar's Bistro Allamuchy NJ

This was my original post from July 2014.  I just visited this past Saturday so I'll update this review below.  In general, Mattar's is a great place to spend a Friday or Saturday night and becomes an awesome place when they have live music in the bar.


The overall 5 stars was for the area.  We are huge fans.  The food is great.  The service is great  The atmosphere is great.  And the prices are very very good.  This is now our second third favorite restaurant in the area besides the Tewks Inn. We could eat here once per week.

I always get the crab cake app.  So should you.  It's fantastic.  The best way to describe it is a crab cake tower coated with shrimp.  Order it.  You will love it.

The oysters are always fresh.  Usually someone gets them.

I've had the steak, the fish, and pasta dishes - everything is tasty and reasonably priced.  My son ordered the ribs and he wasn't a fan but other than that we haven't been disappointed.  If you have room for dessert - get the apple crisp.  It's delicious.

Chicken in a madiera and sage sauce - Mattar's Bistro
Chicken in a madiera and sage sauce - Mattar's Bistro

Well that was a quick even for my Yelp reviews. I've switched to a new favorite entree.  I get the organic chicken in a sage and madeira sauce.  It's crazy good and I'm almost always get it.  If I don't it's one of their fish specials or the ribeye found on the menu which is covered in a wine sauce with a sunny side egg and onion straws.

My favorite spot is in the bar.  I always look for a table there.  The high tops are comfortable and if you go on a Friday night you'll get a some live music.  The bar almost always has a "cheers" like group of characters and the "Sam" of the bar is Mattar Mattar, the owner.  He's always around by greeting you and checking in on your meal.

All and all, Mattar's is a great time.  Enjoy it.


James on Main - 12.16.2016 Visit

Stopped by as usual for a 7PM reservation at the James on Main counter.  Here are some pics from the visit which was awesome as usual.  We had the cheese plate, mussels, two different kinds of soup, grilled veal chop, and cheese burger.   


Chef Bill from James on Main
Chef Bill from James on Main
Kaela Frenchman at James on Main
Kaela Frenchman at James on Main


Charcuterie Board Cheese Platter James on Main
Charcuterie Board Cheese Platter James on Main


Cheese burger and Steak fries James on Main
Cheese burger and Steak fries James on Main
Mushroom special James on Main
Mushroom special James on Main
Veal chop with veggies James on Main
Veal chop with veggies James on Main

Publick House Chester NJ

This is my review from the middle of April 2016.

We've always had great service and personal attention from The Publick House and when there is a band there we have an awesome time.

You can usually find me there for lunch during the week.  The wait staff is always friendly as is their manager Freddie.

I usually order one of the items below ....

1) wings - these are your basic tasty buffalo wings which I always love to eat.  Nothing fancy - no 100 types of sauce just mild and hot with blue cheese.  I like mine a little more well done but they are good and solid.

2) wood grilled pizza - it's a total surprise.  It tastes great and they have some real

The Publick House Clams Oreganato
The Publick House Clams Oreganato

good combinations.  I usually get the veggie and unlike other pizza places they are cooked nicely and don't overwhelm the delicious wood grilled flavor.

3) Caesar salad with either grilled chicken or marinated steak.  I like the chicken best and the salad and dressing is well done.  The dressing tastes fresh and homemade.

4) roasted eggplant with rigatoni which is one of my favorite. It's in a light tomato sauce and very flavorful.

I've tried some of their pasta dishes and I've always enjoyed them.

The Publick House has good food, good prices, good drinks and when they have live music it's a great place to be.  

Here's a quick update.  I switched to a different diet and stopped eating the pizza and pasta.  I try to come here once a week for lunch.  I get the same thing which is totally delicious.  A vodka martini with house stuffed blue cheese olives and their chick pea salad with grilled chicken.  The Chickpea salad is loaded with chickpeas, veggies and olive oil and the grilled chicken is always well cooked.  Here is a picture from this past week. Lisa usually orders soup (lentil) and their clams oreganato (pictured above).  If you stick to the items mentioned in my original review above or the pictures below you'll have a great time.


Publick House Chickpea Salad
The Publick House Chickpea Salad

James on Main Hackettstown NJ

This is my original post from June 2016 that you will find on Yelp.  I've made James on Main a weekly stop for us - usually Friday nights at the counter.  It seems Chef Bill cooks better when we are seated at the counter 😊😊😊 Since this is really my first restaurant review post here I thought a little rules of the road would be appropriate.  I'll post my original review here and on Yelp.  Subsequent visits will only be here AND Instagram (@pardonmyfrenchnj), Twitter (@pardonmyfrench), and Facebook.

June 29, 2016 Review

I've eaten here twice in the past 2 weeks and James on Main is awesome.  The only complaint I have is that it can be hard to get a reservation so if you don't plan, you probably have little hope to get in.

Wood Fire Grilled Elk
Delicious Wood Fire Grilled Elk

The food is fresh and the recipes and food combinations are modern.  Last weekend I had their sausage mixed with vegetables in a broth and it was awesome.  As an entree, I had the elk special which was wood grilled and fabulous.  I ordered a side of quinoa and roasted vegetables which I completely enjoyed.  I sat at the counter both times (only spot I could get) and everyone's dish looked awesome.

It's BYOB so that keeps the overall price down.  The staff is super friendly.  Chef Bill is a pleasure to talk with.  He is also meticulous when it comes to making sure every dish  - app or entree, expensive or easy on the wallet, comes out perfectly cooked and perfectly presented on a plate.

Everyone there works hard to put out great food. If you are looking for a place to eat in Western NJ, it should be on your short list but don't think too long because they won't have any tables.


Lisa and Eric enjoying dinner at the counter where you'll find us most Fridays outside of the summer

Eric and Lisa at James on Main
Eric and Lisa at James on Main June 2016


Opening Post


I love eating out and I eat out a lot.  I was an avid user of Yelp and for years that was my primary vehicle for restaurant reviews.  Then along came Instagram and I started making a lot of picture posts and even once in a while I'd live stream from restaurants.  My initial good reviews of restaurants were rewarded by the chefs, better seatings, happy greetings, and trials of food.  So like a good Yelper I'd make followup posts.

However, this got me 🤔 what's the value of my posting and checking in more at Yelp?  To get a "coveted" Duke badge?  The restaurants that I frequented didn't reward or recognize me as a Yelp Duke; they recognized me as a regular 😊 customer.  Why should I continue to Yelp after an initial review?  I kept posting pics and tweeting from those spots which the restaurant management loved - so why Yelp or Open Table after the first review?

Hence,  I might still post a review at Yelp but no more checkins or followup reviews.  I'll definitely post pics on Instagram but I'll also post reviews, follow-ups, and pics here.  I'll include pics of the foods, pics of my family and friends, and a lot of the times pics with my girlfriend Lisa.  You'll get the main review and then quick pics/posts from follow ups.

I hope you enjoy and come back a lot.  If you are a food snob and want to post - happy to provide a platform for you.



James on Main with Lisa and Eric
Lisa and Eric at James on Main in Hackettstown NJ