|Posted by holmfamilycookbook on October 31, 2011 at 11:50 PM|
This month has been just crazy. I've traveled over 12,500 miles and lucky for me, I do love to travel. During my travels I attended a conference in Jersey City, New Jersey. The conference was held in a hotel in the Newport area of Jersey City, which is just across the Hudson River from New York City. With all of the tasteless reality shows featuring residents of New Jersey these days, I was wondering what I was getting myself into. Fortunately, I never ran into anyone that even resembled Snooki or The Situation, one of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, or even anyone that looked Jerseylicious.
The yacht harbor in the Newport area of Jersey City, New Jersey
The view of New York from one of the walking paths in the Newport area
The Newport area of Jersey City was very nice. The conference was held at the Westin, which was one of the nicest hotels I have stayed at in a few years. The beds and linens in the rooms were awesome. They have gone above and beyond to provide you with a great stay by providing high quality soaps, shampoos, lotions in the sleeping rooms, heated towels and disposable ear buds in the workout room (the workout equipment all have individual TVs), and you can help yourself to apples in lobby. The food was incredible at the restaurants in the hotel and believe it or not, even the food served at the conference was outstanding. It also appears that the hotel staff has gone through extensive training to provide outstanding customer service, which I really appreciated.
Night time view of New York City from my room at the Jersey City Westin
Vegetable Rolls at the Fire & Oak Restaurant in the Westin
There are several restaurants in the area surrounding the Westin. One night during the conference we had an evening event at Michael Anthony's restaurant, which is situated on the Hudson River with a great view of New York. The event included a cocktail reception with passed appetizers and a sit down dinner. While the location of this restuarant is outstanding, I kept expecting chef Gordon Ramsey to appear for a Kitchen Nightmares makeover saying something such as, "What the f**k are you serving here? This food is f**king terrible. They quit serving this s**t in the 80's." He would have also had a field day with the servers serving the dinner as well. Given the great views of New York and the river, I would actually give the restaurant another try. I have found that even some of the best restaurants bomb when catering a large event.
Michael Anthony's restaurant on the Hudson River offers an outstanding view of New York City
The bar at Michael Anthony's
Another restaurant I tried in the area was Azucar Cuban Cuisine, a restaurant right across the street from the Westin. I really enjoyed the food, music and ambience at Azucar. One of the specialties at this restaurant is their Cuban sandwich, which is notorious for beating Bobby Flay in a throwdown. For a few weeks during October I was on a shrimp kick, so instead of the Cuban sandwich I tried a shrimp dish, Camarones a la Plancha, which were grilled shrimp seasoned with lime, fresh herbs and black pepper. The shrimp were great. My coworker, Rena, tried the grilled chicken breast, Bistec de Pollo al Grill, which was a lime juice marinated grilled chicken breast covered with onions and peppers. She said it was very tender and tasted great.
Azucar Cuban Cuisine restaurant
The Camarones a la Plancha, grilled shrimp seasoned with lime, fresh herbs and black pepper
Bistec de Pollo al Grill, lime juice marinated grilled chicken breast smothered in onions and peppers
I really enjoyed my visit to Jersey City. Besides the Westin, there are other hotels in the area, such as a DoubleTree and a Courtyard Marriott. There is a Path train station about a block away from the Westin. For $3 we took a seven minute train ride into Greenwich Village for dinner one night. Rena took the Path train into New York a few times and said she was able to easily walk to some of the attractions she wanted to see or transfer to the subway, which took her to other attractions.
I would definitely stay in this area again. I'll have to catch Snooki on some other trip.