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Verjus Restaurant
1790 Springfield Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040

"French food most profound at its simplest," is served at this understated restaurant, one of the top 25 in theMore state, according to New Jersey Monthly magazine. The vibe is low key, greatly enhanced by the quiet authority of the husband and wife owners, and the loyal clientele is eclectic, including business lunch regulars and couples on dates.

The decor is tasteful in this oasis on Springfield Avenue, with piped-in classical jazz and whirring fans, white tablecloths and cloth napkins amidst work from local artists and prints from France.

The superb food is the reason everyone comes back. For the past eight years, Verjus has served modern French food as well as creative American cuisine with a great deal of care. The menu changes daily and with the season; ingredients are often obtained from local markets and direct sources (e.g., scallops from Nantucket). The Sunday brunch (noon to 2 p.m.) is a favorite. Verjus has a full bar and a wide variety of wines at a great range of prices, by the bottle or glass. Reservations are suggested. A private room is available, and the parking lot is huge.

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