Verve Restuarant Bistro-Bar-Lounge

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Restaurant Reviews

New Jersey Star-Ledger

N.J.'s best wine, whiskey and martini bars

By Peter Genovese | May 28, 2015

AH, THE COCKTAIL. It's been de rigueur at parties since ... well, forever. Those fellows of "Mad Men" and the gals of "Sex and the City" were always raising a glass at swanky gatherings. One doesn't have attend a soiree to sip something a little sophisticated, however, and we visited several places where mixologists are dazzling their customers with delightful concoctions as we made our way to 60 bars from north to south. There were stops at neighborhood bars, sports bars, hotel bars, craft beer bars, dive bars and more. In the fourth part of our series, we present the top wine, whiskey and martini bars.

THE BEST
Verve | 18 E. Main St., Somerville | (908) 707-8655 | vervestyle.com

If you haven't been to Somerville in recent years, you may not recognize it. The Somerset County seat has undergone a complete Main Street makeover, with new restaurants, shops and residences. Verve is the town's nerve center, the place in which judges, prosecutors and just plain folk gather for cocktails from bartender/showman Bryan Mack, who's easy to spot; just look for the tall guy with the outsized white glasses. The perfect nightcap? His Mack's Irish cream, which is surpassingly smooth. Or ask for a Pedro Genovese, a drink created for our best-bars visit, made with tequila, vanilla syrup, Neshaminy Creek Trauger pilsner, fresh lemon juice and a Malbec. One of the state's coolest hangouts is the upstairs red-lit lounge, open only on weekends, where movies often play on a screen.

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Best Foods New Jersey

The Fantastic Foods of Somerville NJ

March 17, 2017

The following may not be suitable for all readers as it may create an insatiable desire to eat, drink, be merry and explore the streets of Somerville, NJ at all hours of the day and night.  That’s right, be forewarned folks, like the tale of the great Odysseus and his crew who found themselves among the lotus eaters, once you join in on the consumption of this towns culinary awesomeness you will never want to leave!  To be honest it’s not just the amazing food that will hold you happily hostage but the historic architecture, the rich arts community, parades and special events will grip at your soul till you succumb to the seductions of Somerville.  But after all this is a Best Foods NJ article and we are driven by FOOD so lets get to it and uncover a few of the many food based reasons why Somerville should be your next date night or your go to for entertaining out of town guests.

“The Artist and the Senator” /Verve is the crema on top of Somerville’s fine dining experience.  In fact I’m not even sure that it can be called just a bistro as it’s more like a living breathing piece of art.  Impeccable service, tantalizing tastes and one of the leaders in craft cocktails. Much thanks to the late great N. Bryan Mack, artist, chef, bartender and alchemist.  All though “Mack” has recently passed on into the spirit realm, Owner Rick St Pierre and his staff of creatives continue to wow all who come through their doors.

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ZAGAT

The ZAGAT Review

4.2
FOOD

4.1
DECOR

4.2
SERVICE

The “well-executed” French-American menu delivers “a nice variety” at this “lovely little bistro” in Somerville where sidewalk seating supplements the “old-school”, white-tablecloth dining room; fans don't mind tabs “on the expensive side”, especially given the “warm, friendly” service and “great bar scene.”

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New Jersey Monthly

Best Bars: Central Jersey

By John Holl | March 1, 2017

Somerville’s first legal drink after the 1933 repeal of Prohibition is said to have been served at the Court House Cafe, which today is the Landmark Bar of 20-year-old Verve restaurant. The bar’s ornate tiled floor and dark wood bar evoke olden days, but its calling card is contemporary. Bartender Steve Fette won the 2016 Iron Shaker cocktail competition, thanks in part to whimsical twists. Take his prize-clinching Sage-istic Bastard, for which he toasted fresh sage leaves to commingle with doses of Laird’s Applejack, mescal, fresh lime and cranberries. Fette carries on the tradition of creativity and craftsmanship set by N. Bryan Mack, who died in January at 46 after an award-winning 12-year tenure as Verve’s “chef behind the bar.”—JH 18 East Main Street, 908-707-8655.

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