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OpenTable: 2 NJ eateries among 100 best nationwide

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Steve and Cookie’s By the Bay in Margate and Tutta Pesca in Hoboken were among the 100 best restaurants nationwide, as voted by OpenTable diners in 2018 and announced Wednesday.

OpenTable is an online reservation service with more than 12 million reviews for 28,000 restaurants across the country.

The top 100 list was generated by diner reviews collected between Nov. 1, 2017 and Oct. 31, 2018. Restaurants with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were considered, then sorted according to the restaurant’s average rating in the “overall” category.

Steve and Cookie’s in Margate is known for its blueberry pie and makes a great date spot, according to diners.

“We actually made the list last year as well. That was amazing, and to make it again, really, was like ‘wow,’” said owner Cookie Till.

When asked what she thinks keeps diners coming back to her restaurant, she said, “I think we just do our thing. We’re not trying to be anything other than what we are. I have a great staff and we try to get the freshest and best quality stuff and not screw it up.”

Steve & Cookie’s opened 21 years ago in an old, renovated supper club. They offer surf ‘n turf options and a raw bar along with a sizeable amount of vegetarian options and desserts.

“I have people that come for special occasions and people that come almost every night. And sometimes it’s those same people!” she said. “They’ll sit at the bar for dinner, and on a special occasion they’ll get a table. We’re both a destination restaurant and a great neighborhood restaurant.”

Hoboken’s Tutta Pesca, which opened in 2016, is recommended by 99 percent of OpenTable app diners. According to the app, many know it for its grilled octopus.

“My Husband took me to Tutta Pesca for the first time to celebrate my birthday, it was by far one of the best meals I have ever had, and definitely the best restaurant in Hoboken!” wrote one reviewer. “I can't wait to have a special occasion to go back for, we wanted to try every dish that came out of the kitchen! Great spot for special occasions.”

OpenTable’s chief dining officer Caroline Potter said in a statement that this year’s list, which features American food and ethnic cuisine served all over the country, showcases how OpenTable helps diners decide what restaurant is right for every appetite and occasion.

The OpenTable reviews program launched in 2008 and the website has been compiling a 100 Best list since 2013.

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Gabrielle Saulsbery

Gabrielle Saulsbery

Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.

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