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Bites Nearby: Park East

Hazlet restaurant blends fine dining with a fun, affordable sports bar.

Park East in Hazlet is very much, as they self-describe, "not a restaurant, it's an experience."  They mix the combination of fine dining with "elite" night life. I went here for lunch one day, and saw the potential they have for the weekends. 

As I live far, it's difficult to choose a bar to go out to on a Saturday night that's a half hour away, but the atmosphere and the menu make it great for a nice lunch or dinner, and perhaps happy hour since it is very close to where I work.

They always have stuff going on, including Bingo on Tuesdays,  Ladies Night on Thursdays,  and $4 appetizers on Friday from 4-7. If you live near Hazlet, I would say it would be a nice place to frequent on the weekends to drink while also getting a decent meal.

The menu is extensive and unlike a typical bar, hence they stress the fusion between fine dining and night life. I ordered the Chicken Capri Burger, grilled and served with pesto mayo, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, tomato, and a balsamic glaze. 

Off the sandwich/burger section, I almost ordered the Spicy Tuna Burger, topped with lettuce, tomato, avocado, swiss cheese, tempura crunch, and spicy mayo. They also offered a Chicken Caesar Burger, which you don't often see, and a variety of others.

Aside from the sandwiches, they have interesting topping for their burgers as well.  The Park East Burger is topped with fontina, arugula, carmelized shallots and truffle mayo. The Jimmy Choo Burger is topped with spicy mayo, mozzarella cheese, and a tempura crunch.

Their entrees include Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna served with Park East's sticky rice and vegetables, Papardelle Short Rib Ragu with tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, white wine and herbs, Smokehouse Ribs, and Lobster Ravioli.

They offer your basic bar food menu, but some of the unique $5 sides are worth mentioning, including the parmesan truffle fries, sweet potato frites, PE sticky rice, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

They also have a $5 lunch special menu from 11-3 Monday through Saturday, offering oven baked thin crust pizza, chicken caesar salad/wrap, penne vodka, Corona-battered fish sandwich, chicken cordon bleu wrap, chicken parmesan, and more. 

On the same lunch specials menu from 11-3 Monday through Friday, you can choose any two sushi rolls for $7. Sushi lovers have a choice of a tuna roll, salmon roll, California roll, spicy tuna roll, spicy salmon roll, spicy California roll, salmon tempura roll, white tuna tempura roll, and the eel avocado cucumber roll.

While offering the atmosphere and good quality food for a fine dining restaurant, Park East is great when you want to be fed well and on a budget. To view the full menu, visit www.park-east.com.

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