On this Small Business Monday, I thought we'd mention some of the great places to eat around our state. From fancy, special occasions to bar pizza, we have it all.

Over this past weekend, my wife and I hit two great spots with friends.

The first in Asbury Park, we stopped in for dinner at Stella Marina.

Despite the nasty weather on Friday, the restaurant was packed. It was a fun experience with a menu ranging from pizza with broccoli rabe and sausage to a mushroom ravioli special that was just right. The rabe was cooked perfectly and the burrata appetizer exceeded expectations.

On Saturday we met some friends for a late lunch/early dinner at one of my favorite local "dive bars" at the Ivy Inn in Princeton. It is worth the trip for the pizza and the beer specials.

Google Earth
Google Earth

Our friend Rich launched a small business called "Saturn Pizza" with the first location at a gas station in Brick. Recently, he brought the pizza to the Ivy. I can tell you the pizza is, as the company slogan says, "Out of this World."

What's your go-to local restaurant? Here are a few places that my wife and I will be trying with friends over the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted!

Darby Road Pub in Scotch Plains

Taste of Portugal in Newark

The Ark Pub and Eatery in Point Pleasant Beach

Espo's Restaurant in Raritan

Ama Pizza in Hillsborough

Gotta favorite that we should visit? Let me know on the free New Jersey 101.5 app!

Restaurants that closed in New Jersey During 2023

Here are some of the restaurants that closed their doors around New Jersey in 2023 listed alphabetically. Did your favorite restaurant close in 2023? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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