The Best Local Thing I Ever AteIn Baristanet’s The Best Local Thing I Ever Ate column, we ask local chefs, restaurant owners, and food lovers to share their favorite dish in the area. These are the kind of meals that you crave, dream about, salivate over. The meals that you order over and over again.


This month we have four delicious picks:


Teresa Akersten raves about MishMish’s Roasted Eggplant Dip. “This mezze plates selection at MishMish is the best eggplant anything I have ever tasted. It’s great to scoop up with some pita, but really I’d rather just eat it with a spoon.”



Liz George went there on Baristanet’s Instagram, calling this lamb dish at Common Lot in Millburn “the best lamb ever” (and as a Greek girl, George has eaten her fair share of lamb). “This lamb shoulder (meant to be shared) is so huge, it looks like something you’d see on a plate in front of Fred Flintstone,” says George. “It’s satisfying to pull the fork-tender meat of this 12 hour braised lamb shoulder, prepared ‘san choy bow’ style, off the bone, place the meat in lettuce cups, top with cashews, brown rice and soy caramel, and eat with your hands, caveman style.”



Christina Gillham is a big fan of Raymond’s Vegetarian Chili. “I’m not a huge chili fan, but for some reason i just think this dish is amazing. It has really great flavors, is filling without being heavy and, as a bonus, is vegetarian. The cornbread that comes with it is like the icing on the cake.”



I (Georgette Gilmore) recently tried Samba Montclair‘s new spring menu.  There are so many great additions to the already delicious Brazilian fare — I highly recommend you try the Camarão na Moranga, aka acorn squash filled with butternut squash, shrimp, fresh herbs and creamy cheese. But the dish that has left me dreaming to go back was my dessert.  Ilson Gonçalves, owner and culinary director, has created a Brazilian version of Churros.  They are crisp on the outside, light and airy on the inside and covered in sugar. And if that wasn’t enough, when you dip them in the chocolate, guava and Dulce de Leche sauces, they are transformed into dessert heaven!


Do you have a “Best Local Thing I Ever Ate” to share? Want to show some love to your favorite chef or restaurant? Send it to us here and it may be featured in upcoming editions.