The Best Things We Ate This Month: November 2023

New Jersey Digest

November was one for the books as far as food is concerned and New Jersey Digest Editors enjoyed a variety of memorable bites this month. From humble egg tarts and porchetta to smash burger bao buns and pretzel focaccia (it’s a thing), these are the best things we ate in November. 

Porchetta – Black Sheep Bar & Provisions

 514 North Ave, Garwood, NJ 07027

Black Sheep

Porchetta | Black Sheep bar & Provisions

Black Sheep is one of New Jersey’s best new restaurants from Vincent Comunale and Nick DeRosa. Chef DeRosa comes from a line of butchers and that skillset is apparent in the menu. This slow-roasted porchetta with vinegar jus and cheesy polenta was everything we are looking for in an entrée. Forget the best of November—it’s one of the year’s best bites. 

2 Rippers, Cup of Chili, MHL Draft – Rutt’s Hut

417 River Rd, Clifton, NJ 07014

 

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Food + Drink Editor Peter Candia can never get enough of Rutt’s Hut. While his go-to order changes every time he’s there, it ALWAYS features a constant: Two rippers and a Miller High Life on draft. This time, he added a cup of chili with beans to the mix. 

Pastel de Natas – Casa de Natas

348 Millburn Ave, Millburn, NJ 07041

Pastel de Natas | Casa de Natas

Casa de Natas in Millburn transports diners to Portugal with their spread of traditional Portuguese bakery items. The Pastel de Natas is your classic egg tart—featuring a flaky crust and a caramelized, custard-y center.

BBQ Chicken and Chicken Katsu Combo – Hawaii Station

691 US-1, Edison, NJ 08817

 

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Hawaii Station is a true hidden gem, located just off Route 1 in Edison. Their menu is straightforward, featuring many Hawaiian BBQ staples. Pictured is a chicken combo, featuring sweet and smoky BBQ chicken, as well as crispy chicken katsu. The gigantic platter includes four pieces of chicken, rice and macaroni salad. At only $13, it’s one of the best values in the area. 

Smash Burger Bao Buns – Kinjo

159 Washington St, Newark, NJ 07102

best things we ate this month

Smash Burger Bao Buns | Kinjo

Jamie Knott’s newest venture—along with Chef Bill Sanders—is a hip neighborhood spot in Downtown Newark. Kinjo specializes in Japanese and Korean-inspired bites. This smash burger bao bun was salty, tangy and addicting, featuring a pillow-like bao bun and Bill’s secret sauce. 

Cappelletti in Brodo – Fiorentini

98 Park Ave, Rutherford, NJ 07070

Cappelletti in Brodo | Fiorentini

Antonio De Ieso of Fiorentini and Chef Robbie Felice of PastaRAMEN teamed up earlier this month for a collaboration dinner at Fiorentini (they have another one coming up). The meal featured five courses, but since we can only pick one, we went with De Ieso’s cappelletti in brodo. Prosciutto and mortadella stuffed pasta sinks to the bottom of a crystal-clear chicken broth. Fresh white truffle was optional—to which we said: “yes please.”

Long Island Duck – Saddle River Inn

2 Barnstable Ct, Saddle River, NJ 07458

 

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This Pan-Asian Long Island duck was truly remarkable. Chef Jamie Knott pairs the sweet and salty duck, cooked mid-rare, with lo-mein and crispy rice cakes. We’d order it again just for the crispy rice!

SCHB on Everything – Rahway Bagels

1090 St Georges Ave, Rahway, NJ 07065

 

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In New Jersey, you can never go wrong with a good bagel. Peter Candia’s close-to-home spot has his current favorite bagel sandwich in the state: Sausage, cheese and a hash brown on a fresh everything bagel. You can add egg if you’d like, but it certainly doesn’t need it. 

Focaccia – The Goods

Location: North Jerz

Focaccia spread | The Goods

The Goods is a local home-delivery business offering fresh focaccia, cookies, galettes and other baked goods. Their spread of focaccia for Thanksgiving was truly next level, featuring the classic rosemary with sea salt, apple and cheddar and even a pretzel focaccia. 

Margherita Pizza – ARTIE’S

15 Newark Way, Maplewood, NJ 07040

 

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Artie’s is one of the best pizzerias in the entire state and it isn’t even close to a stretch to say so. They serve up plenty of creative, wood-fired pies out of their spacious Maplewood pizzeria, but you can never go wrong with the classic. Artie’s Margherita—laced with sweet tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella—can compete with any in NJ.

Chicken Savoy – Belmont Tavern 

12 Bloomfield Ave, Belleville, NJ 07109

 

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If you’ve been to Belmont Tavern before, then you know it’s all about the chicken savoy—a vinegar-laced roast chicken that is addictingly good. The chicken shreds off the bone to marry with the flavorful red wine vinegar-infused jus, which pools at the bottom of the plate. Simple? Sure. Delicious? Absolutely. 

Brownie Sundae – Cuzin’s Seafood & Clam Bar

 78 Albany St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Brownie Sundae | Cuzin’s

Who doesn’t love dessert? This warm brownie sundae with toasted marshmallows and vanilla gelato from Cuzin’s in New Brunswick will have your sweet tooth doing back flips. It’s basically the perfect way to end any meal.

Like what you see? Check out the best things we ate last month here

About the Author/s

Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

Alex Kenney is a third-year Journalism and Media Studies student at Rutgers University - New Brunswick. Having lived in Bergen, Essex, and briefly Hudson County, she calls anything north of Newark home. She is a big fan of NJ Transit and knows most major highways in her area like the back of her hand, even though she doesn’t drive.

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