It's Friday So We Visited James on Main

So another Friday came and went and we visited James on Main in Hackettstown NJ (surprise).  This time Lisa and

Lisa and Marcy at James on Main
Lisa and Marcy at James on Main

 I had company - our friend Marcy.  As usual we scored the coveted counter seats and had a front row view of Chef Bill and the rest of the team's culinary skills.  That night we enjoyed (plus the usual bottles of red wine):

1) Cheese platter

2) Mussels in a curry lime sauce (or it could have been coconut)

3) Bison ribeye with veggies

4) Sea bass

5) Cheese cake with an apple sauce (it gets hard to remember the later on in the evening we go.

As usual, everything was friggin' outstanding.  Pics below.


Mussels in coconut and curry sauce
Mussels in coconut and curry sauce
















Ribeye Bison from James on Main
Ribeye Bison
Sea Bass from James on Main
Sea Bass
Cheese cake from James on Main
Cheese cake



Tewksbury Inn Oldwick NJ

This is my original post from Yelp.  I'm usually there on Mondays for lunch and try to go there two times per month for dinner.  It's also going to be my site for my 50th birthday dinner. 


This is an update to my 2011 review.  I eat here at least 1 per week.  It's my favorite all time restaurant.  The bar is fun and can be a little loud but if you want quiet there is the dining room  The staff is really professional and friendly.  The food is high quality and everyone I've ever met here for dinner or lunch always brags about how awesome the Tewks is.  Their menu changes between lunch and dinner so I'll give you my highlights for each...

Lunch: Lunch is spectacular.  I usually get oysters that are fresh and shucked nicely,

Fresh Shucked Oysters from Tewksbury Inn
Fresh Shucked Oysters from Tewksbury Inn

but if you are looking for something else: the french onion soup which is traditionally prepared and flavorful, the mussels (get extra croutons because you will want to drink the broth), steak carpaccio, and the sesame wings which are magical (get them at lunch because they aren't available at dinner).   Lunch entrees include the burger which is one of the best in the area (get in rare with blue cheese, fried onions, and mushrooms and thank me later), any of their salads (tuna nicoise and buffalo chicken are my favorites), or the bistro chicken which should be named the best friggin' pan fried chicken.  I also love their caesar salad - yeah i get it it's romaine but their homemade dressing is plate licking good and I also love the pan seared trout.  Heck, even their cole slaw tastes great and I hate cole slaw.

Dinner: Dinner is even better than lunch if that's possible. There are a few overlaps with lunch appetizers but must orders for dinner are the butter poached lobster and boston bibb salad.  I NEVER eat dinner at the Tewksbury Inn without ordering the butter poached lobster.  If I want to try something else, I ask my girlfriend to order something else and then we split the apps.    For entrees, I love the pineapple marinated hangar steak (get it rare), pan roasted sole which is a new item (I had this a week ago and LOVED IT), the sesame crusted tuna, and the lamb shank.  At dinner, I do try to get one of the specials but if not, I go with  one of my go to items mentioned above.  Finally, the burger IS available but it's off menu so you need to ask for it.

This is my favorite restaurant around.  I'd eat here every day if I could.  If you have any worries just follow my recommended items and thank me.  Maybe they will even let you order the sesame wings in the bar at dinner time; probably not, but tell them you read my awesome review and maybe you'll be surprised.

Go and Love The Tewksbury Inn.


Caesar Salad from Tewksbury Inn
Caesar Salad from Tewksbury Inn

Like I wrote above, Lisa and I are usually here on Monday's for lunch.  In fact, during a business work week you'll find me at my corner table with my laptop working.  As usual, I had the oysters and the caesar salad which is the entree portion with anchovies and extra dressing.  I eat every drop of the caesar salad dressing.

Not shown in any pics, I also had the bistro chicken but without their delicious mashed potatoes and opted to double the sautéed spinach.  Still awesome.  

It's all great.


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.


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