I have been eating at the Sage Diner not every day, but occasionally for the past twenty years. I've reviewed lots of other restaurants, and I can’t believe I skipped the Sage.
First, the Sage is in a wonderful location ... On Route 73 about a mile south of the NJ Turnpike and I-295, and about a mile north of Route 70, and surrounded by hotels and office buildings. So it must do fantastic business, right? Well ... no. I'm always surprised that its not a lot busier. Maybe that’s because of all the national chain restaurants that have opened up nearby in recent years. Maybe its because the Sage is getting to look a little shabby.
OK, but the food is excellent, isn't it? Well, yes and no. I said I've been coming here for twenty years, and a friend and I went to Sage for dinner this Saturday evening. I wanted to order one of my favorites, Sage's Chicken Vesuviano. Its chicken sauteed with onions, peppers, tomatoes and artichoke hearts. I usually have it on a bed of pasta. But tonight it wasn't on the menu.
Instead I chose something else close from the “specials” menu. I asked the waitress if they could add artichoke hearts to it. No, we don't have any artichoke hearts. Can I have is on a bed of penne pasta? No, only with one listed vegetable. Another waitress, overhearing this, told her yes, I could have it on pasta. Both my dining partner and I ordered it, and it was very tasty.
I must say though that, after we ordered, the service by waitress Jamie was excellent. Our food arrived quickly and hot, and Jamie kept our drinks filled and dirty dishes cleared.
OK, but the prices are great, aren't they? Ummm ... no. In fact, the prices seemed higher than the last time I was here. I looked closely at the menu and found where it said “copyright 11/12.” Maybe they did recently raise the prices. In fact, I later checked the menu on their website, and the prices were lower. It was a different menu, copyright 5/11.
After reading some of the other reviews of the Sage Diner I must say that overall the service was fine, the air was fresh and odor-free, I didn't have a run-in with the owner (in fact, I don't think he was there), the coffee was fine, and the butter cookies on the big plate at the cashier were fresh and delicious. In fact, nothing was really wrong except for the menu having changed and the place needing a little face lift. Although the Sage was somewhat avant garde when it was built twenty-some-odd years ago, it hasn’t had any major updating since then.
Yes, I'll be here again.
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