Saturday, October 10, 2009

Restaurant Week in North Jersey

I was hoping I wouldn't like the lunch we had Friday at Nisi Estiatorio, the Greek restaurant in Englewood that has the nerve to charge up to $38 a pound for whole fish. But the food tasted great and portions were generous -- a steal at $17 for three courses during (201) Magazine's Restaurant Week.

I started off with house-cured salmon topped with micro greens, which I enjoyed with the complimentary olives and crusty, toasted bread, and my wife had lentil soup. The menu didn't specify the origin of the salmon, but the waiter said it was wild, not farmed. We both had grilled white sea bass fillets with wilted greens for our main course and finished with a fresh fruit cup for her and yogurt and stewed figs for me. Neither of us could finish our food (I ate way too much bread).

For our entree, we received boat-shaped dishes, each with two skin-on fillets that were grilled beautifully on both sides and bathed with olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, capers and a little mustard, which I soaked up with bread. A bowl held a delicious tangle of sauteed escarole. Service was excellent at this white-tablecloth fish house. We got more bread and olives without asking for them, and bread crumbs were cleaned off between courses, though I should mention that only six or seven tables were occupied while we were there.

(201) Restaurant Week continues Oct. 11-15 at about three dozen North Jersey restaurants. Lunch is $16.95 and dinner is $29.95 for three courses, compared with $24.07 and $35, respectively, during Restaurant Week in New York City this year. You don't want to bother with some of the restaurants taking part in the (201) promotion, including Blue Moon Mexican Cafe, with its phony Mexican fare. More information: week. (When I tried the Web site today, it was unresponsive.)

It turns out Nisi Estiatorio offers the $17 lunch all the time, so I can enjoy its food again without being taking advantage of. The restaurant's motto is, "Eat fish, live longer." Mine is, "Eat fish and have the money, if you live longer."

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