Brunch at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

image of City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

If you come to Hoboken, there is one thing that you cannot miss: the number of bars in the mile square city. City Bistro, located uptown, is one the popular ones that has a big advantage over the others: its rooftop. Not that it is very useful in the winter, but in the summer, it is definitely the place to be and they sometimes even ask bands to come perform there. 
It was not our first time there, being there for drinks, but also a dinner few years ago, that I hated, not because of the food, but because of the noise level that very loud, not allowing me to understand a word of the conversation. So, this time, we decided to go for brunch, thinking that it was probably quieter. I am sure that there would be a game, it would have been a madhouse though...
image of Dining room at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ image of Bar at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ
image of table at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ image of table at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ
image of salt at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ image of sugar at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

It is a bar, so the decor is pretty standard: wooden floor, bricks, high and low tables. The first time we went, I noticed all the strollers at the entrance and a large number of families inside.

I had hopes for the brunch, because a lot of time, bars are proposing great comforting dishes. Their menu offers the classic choices you get for brunch, as well as their own dishes. The first time, Jodi went for the salade Niçoise, a French specialty made of tomatoes, hard boiled eggs and tuna.

image of salade nicoise  at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

The tuna, in the original recipe, is canned. At City Bistro, they made the salad using fresh seared tuna that made the dish more elegant. The tuna had this nice grill taste on the outside and the flavor was enhanced with some coarse salt. What I liked also is that they added their own twist by putting on the very top some fried onions.

I ordered the short rib grilled cheese:
image of short rib grilled cheese at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

For the side, I had the choice between fries and a salad. I went with fries of course!
image of short rib grilled cheese at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

The grilled cheese sandwich was made of short ribs, gruyere, baby arugula, caramelized onion on a country white bread. I liked it although the short ribs were a bit dry. Fortunately there was the cheese (a bit more would have even be better and would have balanced the sandwich) and the caramelized onions that gave a nice sweetness to the dish. 

The second time we went, Jodi ordered the crunchy French toast:
image of crunchy French toast at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

What made this French toast different from any other is that it was battered in corn flakes, giving it a nice crunch. The bread was also properly soaked in the batter. If you like French toast, this is definitely one I would not miss.

On my side, I wanted to try the burger. I hesitated between the Bistro burger (10oz. ground sirloin, lettuce, tomato, vidalia onion, choice of cheddar, swiss, bleu cheese) and the Hoboken burger (ground beef, fried egg, seared ham). I decided to go for the Hoboken burger, with cheese (they charged me for it).
image of Hoboken burger at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

The meat had a nice char and was juicy (I asked for medium).
image of Hoboken burger at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

I liked the egg on top, the yolk being runny and making the use of ketchup or mayo useless. With the ham, this was definitely a heart attack on a plate!
image of onion on Hoboken burger at City Bistro in Hoboken, NJ

I really enjoyed the brunch at City Bistro: the menu is classic, but they were able to put some interesting dishes on it that will satisfy all palates.

Enjoy (I did)!

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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!

MBG burger at Madison Bar and Grill in Hoboken, NJ

Image of the Entrance of the Madison Bar and Grill in Hoboken, NJ

Madison Bar & Grill is a very popular Bar / restaurant in Hoboken, New Jersey. We went there couple of times and had mixed experiences about it: their Sunday brunch buffet is fabulous! They serve a wide range of dishes that can satisfy any palate: from seafood, with fresh shrimp and oysters, to meat, to the fantastic creme brulee French Toast! If you have a good appetite or want to try plenty of delicious dishes, this is a good deal.

Then, we went to their first seating menu: for a little over $18, you get an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. When I went, I had the crab cakes, the free range chicken and the cannoli. This was a very average experience: the crab cakes were just ok and a bit greasy, with lots of filler; the chicken was dry and bland and the cannoli not good. 

But this time, I went specifically to try their burger! It is called the MBG signature Blue Label Burger. Such name is an invitation to indulge! 
Image of the Burger at the Madison Bar and Grill in Hoboken, NJ

As you can see on the photo above, they branded the brioche bun! So, the burger comes with skin-on French fries. I asked for the patty to be cooked medium and picked cheddar for the cheese (they also proposed Swiss, provolone or American).
The meat (dry aged beef) was perfect: medium as requested and very juicy, it had a bold taste making me think that they do not use any filler in it. There was a perfect ratio bun to meat and the bun was deliciously toasted. This was definitely a great cheeseburger! They just need to perfect the French fries that were good, but did not have anything extraordinary (you know what I mean if you went to Minetta Tavern).

On a healthier side, Jodi ordered the Warm Herbed Goat Cheese Salad:
Warm herbed goat cheese salad at the Madison Bar and Grill in Hoboken, NJ

It was made of mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and dressed with an oven-roasted tomato vinaigrette. I liked the fact that it was a different take on a classic salad: it was not just goat cheese put on top of the veggies or on top of a piece of toast. It was like a croquette and a good one in fact: not greasy, it added a nice crunch to the dish. Perfect!

We finished the meal with the Chocolate Molten Cake:
Image of the Chocolate molten cake at the Madison Bar and Grill in Hoboken, NJ

The presentation was very appetizing! It had three components that worked perfectly together: the chocolate cake, a tahitian vanilla gelato and a strawberry sauce. It was good, but I was a bit disappointed because I was expecting the chocolate to ooze in the center; the cake was probably a bit overcooked! 

I did not regret giving another chance to the Madison Bar & Grill and was pretty satisfied at the end of the meal! It is definitely a good spot for brunch or for a good burger!

Enjoy (I did)!

Madison Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review - Bin 14 (Hoboken)

Image of Brunch at Bin 14 in Hoboken, NJ

Bin 14 is one of my favorite restaurant for brunch, lunch or dinner. This wine bar opened in 2008 by Chef Anthony Pino who also owns Anthony David's in Hoboken (awesome for Eggs benedict lovers). The decor is really warm with a marble bar, red bricks walls and a brick oven. 

I like this place for different reasons:
- all dishes are small sizes, so it can be shared: not only it is a great way to try a little bit of everything, but it is also fun when dining with a group of people.
- the wine list offers a wide choice (more than 100) and they serve the wine by the glass in different quantities: 2 and 6 ounces. 
- the food is de-li-cious! They have a good variety of cheeses, brushetta, pizza (the truffle and creamy taleggio cheese is terrific) and small plates, such as meatballs in marinara sauce, arancini made with fresh mozzarella and warm tomato salsa (2nd photo), truffle fries with Romano cheese and black pepper (addictive), the sauteed shrimp with lardons and grits (3rd photo) or the mushrooms and truffle oil risotto. Try also the pasta that are made daily. One of their best brunch dish is the Goat cheese and mushrooms omelet (they are generous on the cheese - 1st photo). 

The only negative about Bin 14 is that there are no desserts, except if you go for brunch and try their zeppoles. 

Bin 14 organizes different wine events that teach the basics but also focus on specific topics such as Italian white wine. On Tuesdays, they propose for $19 all you can eat mussels and fries. The record is apparently owned by a woman: 8 servings. I have to say that after a slice of pizza and a brushetta, I could only eat 3...but I do not desperate to try to beat that record!

Last, they have a kid menu for brunch and kids under 8 eat for free!

Enjoy (I do)!
Bin 14 on Urbanspoon