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LIFESTYLE Restaurant Report


just returned from a few days in Manhattan. New York City has a ton of great restaurants and, while relaxing on the train ride home, I couldn’t help thinking that it will actually be very good to get home. I love New York, but I couldn’t live there. There is too much of everything (including people). I do give the New York folks credit because walking is the best way to get anywhere in the Big City. Walking is actually a challenge because of the amount of people doing the walking. Walking means you can avert a $15 cab ride. In my mind, there is New York, and there is nothing else like it, but there is a price to be paid. Right before I went to New York, I had lunch at one of my favorite spots —


I Chef Joseph DeGennaro


Joseph’s at the Renault Winery. In keeping it simple, I had one of their classic Tuscan Burgers (1/2 pound of Angus Beef with provolone cheese and wild mushrooms on a potato roll, with French fries and a dill pickle). I remember thinking about this particular burger while having a similar meal in a serious New York spot known for their great burgers. One was not better than the other. They were both outstanding. The burger in New York was $17. The burger at the Renault Winery was under $10. That’s the way it is and, make no mistake, dining in South Jersey is a bargain in its own way. In terms of the actual dining experience, you can’t compare the two. To coin a phrase, the difference between New York and the Renault Winery is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. Both are wonderful in their


own way, and I guess what I’m really trying to say is to be thankful that you have access to a quiet place, where the parking is free, the people are friendly, and the food is great. Parking in a Manhattan garage is of the $15 per hour


Joseph’s Restaurant at the Tuscany House Hotel 60 Winter 2013 | LIFESTYLE njlifestyleonline.com


variety and, for the most part, the people are friendly — rushed but friendly. The concept of being “rushed” is never part of the Renault picture. Everything in the entire Renault complex is the exact opposite of “rushed.” Renault is relaxing. NYC is rushed by definition. Every- one is in a constant hurry, and that can weigh on you. There are many people who see Joseph’s as a hotel restaurant and they have grown to believe that hotel restaurants are over-priced and mediocre. My response is that so many of the best restaurants on the planet are in hotels. The “over-priced” part of the quotation is in


with Bob Bickell www.primephiladelphia.com COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS ON THE AREA RESTAURANT SCENE


Manhattan and Renault A Tale of Two Burgers


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