Being so close to New York and its vast number of well-respected fine dining establishments, New Jersey often gets overlooked when it comes to gourmet restaurants.
However, despite being known as the Diner Capital of the World, New Jersey has its fair share of upscale dining spots, too.
Here are some of the best fine dining restaurants in New Jersey to try the next time you dine out anywhere in the state.
Highly-Rated New Jersey Restaurants To Try for Fine Dining
Saddle River Inn (Saddle River, NJ)
Saddle River Inn is a North Jersey restaurant that consistently tops lists of the best restaurants in New Jersey.
Saddle River Inn is a contemporary French restaurant that sits along the banks of the Saddle River.
The restaurant’s menu features various steaks made from only dry-aged beef, including bone-in sirloin, wagyu tomahawk ribeye, and porterhouse steaks. All the steaks are served with mashed potatoes, asparagus, and a choice of sauce or butter.
In addition to beef, Saddle River Inn offers pork, duck, lamb, chicken, and a variety of seafood, as well as numerous sides with a focus on vegetables. The menu changes seasonally to focus on the freshest seafood, produce, and other ingredients.
Saddle River Inn promotes an upscale atmosphere, and attire like shorts, flip flops, jerseys, and sweatpants/sweatshirts are not permitted.
If you can’t wait to get a seat in one of Saddle River Inn’s restaurant booths, you can make a reservation by phone or through OpenTable.
Chart House (Weehawken, NJ)
Chart House is a romantic, upscale restaurant that offers a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline just across the Hudson River. In fact, the restaurant is located on a pier that juts out into the Hudson — it’s practically in New York itself.
Chart House is most well known for its seafood dishes, which include classic delicacies like oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, seared pepper ahi tuna, and charred octopus, to name a few.
Though you’ll mainly find seafood on the menu, there are some steaks and other non-seafood entrees to choose from.
After you’ve had your fill of seafood or steak and the Manhattan skyline, you’ll probably want to finish off your dining experience at Chart House with their signature hot chocolate lava cake.
Il Capriccio Ristorante (Whippany, NJ)
Il Capriccio is an upscale Italian restaurant with a business-casual dress code. It’s what you might call an “old world” fine dining establishment.
The chefs at Il Capriccio use organic free-range meats and vegetables grown on one of the chef’s own farms. All the fish served is wild and line-caught in different locations around the world. And, last but not least, the pasta is freshly made using fine flours and locally-sourced organic eggs.
Of course, no old-school Italian restaurant would be complete without an impressive wine list, and Il Capriccio is no exception. The restaurant offers a selection of over 400 wines and stocks approximately 15,000 bottles at any given time.
If you want to head to Il Capriccio for some fine dining, do so Wednesday through Saturday when their live pianist accompanies your meal. The restaurant also hosts special events, including jazz nights.
Chez Catherine (Westfield, NJ)
Chez Catherine is a French restaurant serving up all the French classics, including entrecôte de boeuf au poivre.
The dining room at Chez Catherine is small and elegant, complete with tables covered in the crisp white tablecloths, white dining ware, and sparkling silverware you’d expect to find at such a classic fine dining establishment.
Chez Catherine has a thorough wine list of bottles from the United States and abroad, with a focus on wines from California and France.
Common Lot (Millburn, NJ)
For a fine dining experience with a more modest price tag, head over to Common Lot in Millburn, New Jersey.
The bi-level restaurant offers New American fare with a focus on seasonal dishes and ingredients. You can order a la carte or opt for a pre-fixe menu on Friday and Saturday nights.
Did we mention that Common Lot is BYOB? That’s right, feel free to bring a couple of cold ones or a bottle of wine to enjoy with your date — there’s no pressure to choose from a fancy wine list here.
The Frog and the Peach (New Brunswick, NJ)
The Frog and the Peach was selected by OpenTable as one of “The Best Experiences in the U.S. and Canada” during the pandemic and has received numerous other awards and critical praise for its fine food.
Executive Chef Bruce Lefebvre of The Frog and the Peach is known for his contemporary take on traditional American cuisine. The restaurant offers lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch menus, as well as Spanish tapas and a bar menu.
If you want a lovely view while dining at The Frog and the Peach, try to get a table in their Garden Room, a semi-outdoor space that’s heated and enclosed in the winter and open to the fresh air in the summer. Being full of plants