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by Marisa Olsen

Jersey City

Tonight I had the pleasure of dining with my Uncle Alan in his Jersey City (JC) hood. Believe me, it's not scary. Think of it like going to Brooklyn, and in some cases, it's even a shorter trip. We went to the new restaurant, Thirty Acres, the JC hot spot opened by former Momofuku chef. If you're in the neighborhood, it's worth the visit. The decor it's simple with white walls, wooden benches, and unobtrusive decorations. The menu is succinct as well; three or four appetizers and entree options and one dessert. But the food itself is not simple, in fact, it's delicious. We ordered the crispy sweetbreads with jalapenos and homemade ketchup, grilled octopus with a lemon aioli, homemade cavatelli with a emulsified chicken liver sauce and broccoli, pan-grilled skate with sauteed cabbage, and "kevin's mom's lemon bars" (yes, you read that correctly, and yes, it's pretty amazing as it's the only dessert on the menu). I believe the menu changes daily and they will add more vegetarian options shortly. I would definitely recommend this spot, although be warned, the acoustics are not great, so leave the grandparents at home. Another bonus is the prices are digestible. The three entrees on the menu (swordfish, mackerel, skate--interesting, right?) were all under $20 and the lemon bars were $3 and easy to share. Portions aren't huge, but the food is so tasty and flavorful that you don't need to fill up on pizza afterwards.  And did I mention that it's BYO? Hmm...JC, you're certainly looking good, especially after the latest reports stating the average one bedroom Manhattan apartment is $3,400... 

Grand Sichuan

Dinner at Mak & Gregs