By Dane Feldman

Photo by Dane Feldman.

Winberie’s has four locations; two of which are in Illinois and the remaining two are in New Jersey. This review is specifically regarding the Winberie’s location on Kent Place Boulevard in Summit, New Jersey.

The food
Winberie’s serves lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner seven days a week, and brunch on Sundays. Three of my friends and I dined here on a Friday night and split the Crispy Calamari to start. I typically don’t go for fried calamari, but Winberie’s preparation drew me in: lightly breaded with garlic, parmesan flour, and lemon gremolata served with sriracha aioli as well as a sweet and spicy tamarind dip. I would absolutely order this again, if for nothing other than the sweet and spicy tamarind dip (though the calamari itself was pretty tasty, too).

Following the Cripsy Calamari, I had the Cajun Macaroni and Cheese: chicken breast, Andouille sausage, applewood smoked bacon, scallions, and cavatappi pasta in a spicy tomato cream sauce with a parmesan panko crumb topping. Much like with fried calamari, I rarely order pasta when I dine out—especially meaty, cheesy pasta—but the description had me hooked. It was rather heavy, but I ordered the larger size so I could take the rest home. Yes, Winberie’s offers its pasta dishes in two different sizes.

Winberie’s also offers steak frites, barbecue ribs, burgers, sandwiches, a variety of fish and seafood entrees, and chicken. I think next time I’m going for the Bistro Burger: half pound char-grilled Angus beef topped with melted brie, applewood smoked bacon, barbecue sauce, and chili fried onions served on a toasted and buttered challah bun with lettuce and tomatoes. Chili fried onions? Challah bun? I’m sold.

The drinks
Winberie’s boasts a full bar with nightly cocktail specials, happy hour, late night happy hour, and a separate wine and beer list. For once, I just went with a glass of wine so I can’t elaborate too much on the glory that is the cocktail menu, but that will soon change.

The service/ambience
The wait staff at Winberie’s is friendly and relatively attentive, but I wouldn’t say anybody stood out to me. Our waiter didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, but he didn’t wow me either.

The restaurant itself boasts a fairly large space inside as well as a spacious patio outside. We dined outside and, although the night turned cool quickly, Winberie’s has a handful of large outdoor space heaters, which kept us rather comfortable.

All in all, Winberie’s is a nice place and I’m sure I’ll be back. I quite enjoyed dining outside in downtown Summit and, while I also enjoyed my meal, I think I’d only really like to go back to Winberie’s during the warmer months; it seemed a bit noisy inside when I popped in to wash up.