Best restaurants with holiday displays in North Jersey –

When we venture out to dine in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we value ambiance and decor almost as much as the food and drinks.
We want to feel the magic of the season with the whole package: special menus, holiday music and lots and lots of twinkling lights.
Some restaurants get it, like Sorellina’s in Hoboken and Cowan’s Public in Nutley, and take their decorations very seriously with festive garland and ornaments covering most of their surfaces and ceilings.
Here are some restaurants that meet our need for lots of decorations. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!
The decorations at Biagio’s are classic and give the restaurant a homey vibe. This is a family-owned restaurant that has been in business since 1988. Each room at Biagio’s has a different theme. This year, the terrace is covered in gold and silver decorations, while the bar is all green and red traditional decor.
During the holiday season, the white bulbs are switched out with green and red ones. “We want everyone to feel at home,” said owner Athena Perides. On Dec. 10 Biagio’s will house a “Santa’s Breakfast” where guests can take photos with the jolly man while enjoying delicious food.
Go: 299 Paramus Road, Paramus; 201-652-0201,
Franco’s Metro has been around for more than 45 years and every holiday season, the goal is to wow its guests.
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The copper and gold theme this year is showcased throughout the dining rooms with large wreaths and pine garland sparking with lights and pops of ribbon. Christmas music is piped throughout the dining area. Owner Gene Bazzarelli said the restaurant strives to be as festive as possible each year. “I want to remind people that Franco’s is a place to enjoy traditional values,” he said.
Aside from their decorations, Franco’s Metro is offering a holiday-themed cocktail menu that offers white snowflake Cosmopolitans and Jingle Juice!
Go: 1475 Bergen Blvd., Fort Lee; 201-461-6651,
From the moment you enter until you walk out, you will be surrounded by the “holiday spirit.” The walls at Grant Street are covered in red and green with lots of Christmas lights. The bar is referred to as a “giant Christmas ballroom” by owner Chris DeLaura. The staff and owner all pitch in to decorate the restaurant, which DeLaura describes as the best time, especially watching children as they see all the decorations. This year, to add further fun for children, there is an elf that moves around to a new spot in the restaurant every day and the children have to look for it.
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Go: 25 Grant Ave., Dumont; 201-385-1705,
The restaurant’s holiday décor is inspired by Scandinavian minimalism, which reflects the overall aesthetic of the restaurant. Arrangements of juniper, holly, twigs and red berries are strung on the stairs and the 7-foot Christmas tree is decorated with white cotton pompoms, red ornaments and straw as well as Scandinavian ornaments in the shapes of angels and snowflakes. “We like to keep it simple,” said manager Lauren Orbe. She said the staff at and their energy make the restaurant more festive.
Go: 252 Schraalenburgh Road, Closter; 201-899-4700,
Walk in and look up. Sorellina’s ceiling is covered with hanging garland embellished with lights, red, and gold ornaments and shimmering snowflakes. Owner Gabi Lombardi also showcases large wreaths with large red bows in the windows as well as other classic decorations throughout the restaurant. This year’s vibe is cozy, festive, and fun. Lombardi decorates the restaurant by herself and said she does it to create a great ambiance for her patrons. “I love knowing that our decorations bring people together to celebrate in good cheer, and hopefully bring a little extra holiday spirit to those who may need it,” said Lombardi.
Go: 1036 Washington St., Hoboken; 201-963-3333,
Sirenetta, across the street from Sorellina and also owned by Gabi Lombardo, is also dressed in its holiday best. Sirenetta, though, has a more glitz and glam vibe. It is covered with ornaments of silver and gold and showcases a different personality than Sorellina. “I wanted to keep the restaurants equally festive with different ambiances that fit the personalities of each location.”
Go: 1039 Washington St., Hoboken; 201-683-9900,
For the holidays, Cowan’s Public is going by a different name: Miracle on Centre Street. That’s because the Nutley bar has been taken over by the Christmas-themed “Miracle” pop-up, which was created five years ago by Greg Boehm, owner of the East Village cocktail bar Mace, and his manager Joann Speigel. Miracle on Centre Street will be in place until Jan. 1. This year’s pop-up features candy canes, a bright Christmas tree, tables covered in wrapping paper and multi-colored lights with oversized ornaments strung from the ceiling.
To go along with the spirit of the season, the cocktail menu will feature holiday options including the Chrismapolitan (vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry juice, lime, rosemary, absinthe mist), Santa’s Little Helper (gin, spiced caraway syrup, eucalyptus, sage, lime, seltzer) and a Snowball Old-fashioned (rye, gingerbread, aromatic bitters, wormwood bitters, orange bitters).
Go: 229 Centre St., Nutley; 973-542-8151,
This 19th-century inn with its many rooms and fireplaces creates a tasteful holiday display every year. There are lavishly decorated Christmas trees and mantelpieces covered in garland and stocked with poinsettias. Outside, the trees get wrapped in string lights and a big wreath hangs near the door. Take in the ambiance while dining on such dishes as lobster pappardelle served with roasted tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms, scallions, corn, and tomato butter ($42) and diver sea scallops ($39) served with chorizo, braised white beans, and broccoli rabe.
Go: 1 East Franklin Trnpk., Ho-Ho-Kus; 201-445-4115,


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