428 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair; 973-746-1100
This hopping spot is a local favorite for good reason: its outdoor dining area in the center of the restaurant makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of the suburbs and into a tropical paradise. It’s BYOB, but you’ll want to pair the restaurant’s amazing Sangria mixes with your favorite wine. There’s usually a wait on a nice night so plan to get there early.
517 Lake Ave., Asbury Park; 732-988-0123
The name of this downtown Asbury Park staple says it all. With beautiful views, outdoor porch dining, a menu filled with fresh, local seafood, juicy steaks and an incredible pasta selection, this spot is a must. Sip a killer cocktail from the huge drink menu before you head upstairs for dinner. FYI: They don’t take reservations for two, but there’s waitress service and the option to order appetizers, so you won’t even remember you’re waiting for a table.
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