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Best Of The Best 2011

by Samantha Melamed, Michelle Spevak and Samantha Haggerty; photo by Jeff Fusco

There’s one thing we can say about South Jersey—whenever we think we’ve found the best anything (wine bar, pasta maker, dress shop or day spa), something even better turns up around the corner. That’s what drives us to keep hunting for each year’s best of the best list—and if it means we have to endure some pizzas, a few bottles of wine, and a massage or two along the way, well, so be it. On the following pages are this year’s winners. We hope you’ll be as impressed as we were!


+New Restaurant
Arugula OK, so maybe it’s a cheat, given the fact that brothers Nicholas Tomasetto and Stefano Gervasi practically grew up in their parents’ Paulsboro restaurant before embarking on their own inventive Italian eatery. But whatever gave them the edge, the proof is in the persistence of regulars, who pack the year-old BYOB on weekends for house-made pastas and modern dishes with plenty of flair. 373 Egg Harbor Road, Sewell, (856) 589-0475,
Readers’ Choice: Al Dente Italiana, 1690 Nixon Drive, Moorestown, (856) 437-6593,

West Side Gravy Alternative takes on the classics include a club sandwich that’s kicked way up, with roasted turkey, smoked bacon, lettuce, marinated tomato and herb mayo, served on cranberry pecan bread with house-made waffle chips. Chef Alex Capasso even brings his A-game when it comes to the PB&J: think house-made peanut and cashew butter and mixed berry jam, served on warm brioche. 714 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 854-3444,
Readers’ Choice: Primo Hoagies, multiple locations,

Nunzio Ristorante Rustico Here’s a reason to become a regular: you can store your wine in Nunzio’s own wine locker at this favorite Italian BYOB—minus the corkage fee. Expect Chef Nunzio Patruno to stop by your table and chat as you sample dishes like homemade gnocchi or center-cut grilled pork chop topped with sautéed peppers and mushrooms in rosemary garlic sauce. 706 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-9840, »
Readers’ Choice: Tre Famiglia, 403 N. Haddon Ave., Haddonfield, (856) 429-1447,

Swedes Inn Thai lollipop lamb chops, browned butter-sautéd scallops, smoked salmon nachos and baked brie with figs and walnuts add up to surprisingly avant-garde fare in a quaint historic house. 1301 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, (856) 467-2052,
Readers’ Choice: P.J. Whelihan’s, Cherry Hill, Haddon Township, Maple Shade, Medford Lakes, Washington Township,

Blue2O Seafood Grill A full raw bar and dishes like sriracha shrimp are accompanied by affordable seafood options like the $15 salad-and-entrée deal (try the stuffed jumbo shrimp with lump crab, smashed potatoes and citrus thyme butter) plus daily seafood specialties. 1906 Route 70 W., Cherry Hill, (856) 662-0297,
Readers’ Choice: Max’s Seafood Café, 34 N. Burlington St., Gloucester City, (856) 456-9774,

RiverWinds Restaurant The picture-perfect view of the Philly skyline at this waterfront dining destination is best enjoyed over one of the signature cocktails crafted by general manager Frank Ciko. Options include the Water Craft—a grown-up Arnold Palmer made with Firefly Sweet Tea vodka and lemon—and the River Boat Splash Martini with Tomasello cranberry wine, sparkling sake and lime. 1075 Riverwinds Drive, West Deptford, (856) 579-7900,
Readers’ Choice: Café Madison, 33 Lafayette St., Riverside, (856) 764-4444,

Sapori Palermo-bred chef Franco Lombardo’s Italian cuisine was named the best in the state by Zagat this year—and that’s saying something in our region, with its rich Italian-American culinary heritage. Highlights include house-made gnocchi with duck breast ragu, and creative secondi like lamb sirloin with Barolo wine reduction, broccoli rabe and roasted potatoes. 601 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-2288,
Readers’ Choice: Illiano Cucina Mediterranea, 200 Tuckerton Road, Medford, (888) 748-4765,

+Comfort Food
Tarantella Ristorante Enormous portions, recipes passed down from nonna and all the classics from spaghetti and meatballs to pasta e fagioli and chicken saltimbocca make this the ultimate dining home away from home. Medford Plaza Center, Hartford Road and Route 70, Medford, (609) 714-9050,

Dream Cuisine Café This tiny eatery is a decreasingly well-kept secret thanks to Nice-born chef Vincent Fanari. He personally oversees everything from escargot in lemon-garlic sauce to the preparation of whole fish he purchases at the market daily, to house-made desserts like apple tarte tatin. 1990 Route 70 E., Cherry Hill, (856) 751-2800,

Carriage Trade Cheese Shoppe Rare, local and artisan-made cheeses fill the case here. Shop for cheeses and other accompanying ingredients, and stick around for tastings and lunchtime fare of sandwiches and salads. 32 S. Main St., Medford, (609) 654-0400,

Monsoon Indian Cuisine Indian classics like chicken tikka masala and fresh-baked naan are on the menu, but there are also a few surprises. Plus, the modern, upscale setting is sleek enough to make this a viable alternative for a date night or power lunch. 4180 Dearborn Circle, Mount Laurel, (856) 234-0080,

La Esperanza Forget your fast-food burrito bowl: La Esperanza offers authentic specialties like enchiladas mole poblano or chicken in a green pumpkin seed sauce. Even standards, like tacos al pastor, are made with a tasty twist. Plus, they import their own line of tequila from Mexico. 40 E. Gibbsboro Road, Lindenwold, (856) 782-7114,
Readers’ Choice: Los Amigos, 461 Route 73 N., West Berlin, (856) 767-5216,

+Al Fresco Dining
Toscana You may not expect fine dining in the courtyard of a strip mall, but to step into Toscana’s faux Tuscan ruins is to be transported away from the rush of Route 70 traffic nearby. Come for the sun-baked landscape, stay for wood-fired pizzas, white bean soup studded with rich Italian sausage and outstanding crab-crusted tilapia. 1990 Route 70 E., Cherry Hill, (856) 489-7373,

Fuji The creative sushi offerings go well beyond your standard California roll. Think impeccable cuts of toro and yellowtail sashimi and elegant maki. Cooked dishes like shabu shabu beef or seared diver scallops with teriyaki sauce and duck draw fans of authentic Japanese from across the region. 116 E. Kings Highway, Haddonfield, (856) 354-8200,
Readers’ Choice: Mikado, 793 Route 70 E., Marlton, (856) 797-8581; 468 S. Lenola Road, Maple Shade, (856) 638-1801; 2320 Route 70, Cherry Hill, (856) 665-4411,

Kevin Sbraga, Top Chef Winner
Lunch: Tokyo Bleu, Cinnaminson; "It is the perfect lunch spot for sushi and a salad. Their rolls are pretty creative, always delicious, and I feel like I get great value for my money."

The ChopHouse Chef Markese Beverly has long been known for serving up mouthwatering dry-aged steaks and topnotch, fresh-off-the-line seafood, but more and more of his dinner guests are noticing another one of his strengths: the gourmet burger. His angus beef burger is constructed on a brioche bun and topped with applewood-smoked bacon and Vermont cheddar, while the black and bleu burger gets a kick of Cajun spice along with the creaminess of crumbled blue cheese. Our favorite is the bison burger, a leaner cut of meat that is low in cholesterol but still packs tremendous flavor. 4 S. Lakeview Drive, Gibbsboro, (856) 566-7300,
Readers’ Choice: Iron Hill Brewery, 124 E. Kings Highway, Maple Shade, (856) 273-0300,

+Bar Menu
Braddock’s At some restaurants, there’s a precipitous drop-off in quality between the regular menu and the bar offerings. Not at Braddock’s, where the select choices range from a pineapple-and-andouille sausage quesadilla to a create-your-own macaroni and cheese, where you can plug in ingredients like grilled chicken or lobster. 39 S. Main St., Medford, (609) 654-1604,

Yokohama You’re likely to see everyone from old married couples to first daters huddled around the hibachi stations at Yokohama, where the expert teppanyaki chefs sizzle steak, chicken, seafood and vegetables with great precision and skill. It’s as fun to eat as it is to watch. 300 S. Lenola Road, Maple Shade, (856) 608-8812,
Readers’ Choice: Megu Sushi, 1990 Route 70 E., Cherry Hill, (856) 489-6228, (856) 780-6327,

Pretty Sweet Bakery Not only can their novelty and tiered cakes stand up to anything seen on Cake Boss, but their artistic pastries offer that rare combination of decorative flair—think perfectly monogrammed cookies in the shape of onesies, ideal for baby showers—and actual flavor, because they’re made with shortbread, real butter and royal icing. 427 Haddon Ave., Haddonfield, (856) 429-0063,
Readers’ Choice: Classic Cake, 480 Evesham Rd., Cherry Hill, (856) 751-5448; 100 Hurfville-Cross Keys Rd., Sewell, (856) 262-7400,

+Frozen Treat
Animo Juice A healthy alternative to standard ice cream, Animo offers organic, fair trade bananas that are frozen, then whipped into custardy goodness and served with an array of organic, all-natural toppings like granola, honey, chocolate sauce, peanut butter or fresh chopped fruit. 113 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 427-9070,
Readers’ Choice: Sundaes, 118 Route 73 N., Berlin, (856) 768-5332

Miel Patisserie If you said the wrong thing once, send flowers. If you did it again, the only solution is to head to Miel Patisserie for irresistible artisan chocolates in creative styles, along with classic French macarons and elaborate pastries. 1990 Marlton Pike W., Cherry Hill, (856) 424-6435
Readers’ Choice: David Bradley Chocolatier, 168 Barclay Farms Shopping Center, Cherry Hill, (856) 857-1400,

Lillian’s Café The set-price brunch is an outstanding deal, allowing diners to choose from the extensive buffet or sample à la carte entrees. Those include crêpes of the day and eggs Benedict, plus knockout sandwiches like the filet mignon with caramelized onions, sauteed arugula and creamy blue cheese butter. 34 W. Merchant St., Audubon, (856) 547-1902,
Readers’ Choice: Stone Grille, 1300 Blackwood-Clementon Rd., Clementon, (856) 782-7111,

Skewers Around noontime on any given weekday, this unassuming storefront is bustling with regulars grabbing some of the best shawarma, falafel and other Middle Eastern delicacies to be found anywhere in South Jersey. 515 Route 73 S., Marlton, (856) 810-0300,
Reader’s Choice: The Apron, 47 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 795-4333

+Happy Hour
Marlton Tavern With 26 specialty cocktails, there is no shortage of choices to be had here. Check out the banana split (vodka, Baileys, crême de banane, amaretto and Godiva Dark). You’ll also find discounts on burgers and chicken parmesan sandwiches as well as nightly beer specials from 4 to 6:30 p.m. 65 E. Main St., Marlton, (856) 985-2424,
Readers’ Choice: Scaturro’s, 841 Route 73, Marlton, (856) 985-4560,

Crescent Moon Coffee and Tea For years, some of the best restaurants in our region advertised serving Philly’s La Colombe coffee—but lately, chefs have been switching over to Gloucester County’s own Crescent Moon. And why not? The owners travel the world seeking out special blends to bring home. Then, the coffee is roasted and tested for the ideal flavor profile, and served to thirsty clients by champion baristas. 508 Hurffville Cross Keys Road, Sewell, (856) 582-0617; 141 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill, (856) 223-1237,
Readers’ Choice: Coffee Works Roastery and Café, 910 Haddonfield Berlin Road, Voorhees, (856) 784-5282,

Five pie-in-the-sky creations

Gourmets Gone Wild
Legends Crazy concoctions like the Frank, (roast lamb, prosciutto, kalamata olives and feta), or the Don Ho, (pineapple, applewood-smoked bacon, mandarin orange and fontina) earn celebrity status. 318 High St., Burlington, (609) 386-3001,

Cult Classic
Tacconelli’s Pizzeria Despite its sister location’s historic status in the city, even loyal Philadelphians dash across the bridge to the Maple Shade restaurant, where Vince Tacconelli and wife Doris have continued the family tradition of cranking out perfectly crafted thin-crust specialties like the signature white pie with sliced mozzarella, spinach and vine-ripened chopped tomatoes. 450 S. Lenola Road, Maple Shade, (856) 638-0338,

Sublime Slices
Luigi’s Pizza Fresca Slices range from the classic Godfather with prosciutto, ricotta, pesto, tomatoes and cheese to the out-there baked ziti pie, to stuffed slices with fillings like broccoli rabe and sausage. 529 Old Marlton Pike, Marlton, (856) 810-8888,

Wood-Fired Wonders
Treno Pizza Bar The crisp gourmet pizza comes in varieties like a white pie with roasted tomatoes, pistachio pesto and smoked mozzarella, all infused with the smoky essence of a wood-fired oven. 233 Haddon Ave., Westmont, (856) 833-9233,

Terrific Tomato Pie
Alfred’s Tomato Pie This offbeat little pizzeria specializes in the classic local pizza variety, with hand-crushed tomatoes and a sprinkling of cheese. 9 S. Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, (856) 228-1234

From No. 1 best cellars to the top taps, here are all the brews that are fit to drink.

The “It” List
Caffe Aldo Lamberti With 800 bottles to choose from, it would take more than two years of lavish dinners out to even attempt to sip your way through Lamberti’s list. 2011 Route 70 W., Cherry Hill, (856) 663-1747,

Fancy Flights
Annata Wine Bar An extensive array of by-the-glass options offers plenty of choices to accompany the full range of tapas bites on the menu. Get a wine education by sampling curated flights from Italy or even New Jersey. 216 Bellevue Ave., Hammonton, (609) 704-9797,

By the Glass
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar The steakhouse made its name with its list of 100 wines by the glass, and that’s still a major draw for its clientele. Sample any three wines as a flight, or stick to a favorite from the international offerings. 500 Route 73 N., (856) 988-1351,

Rare Finds
The Capital Grille In addition to 350 enviable options, the Captain’s List includes some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Plus, you can augment the selection with favorites from home, stored in your personal wine locker. 2000 Route 38, Cherry Hill, (856) 665-5252,

More on Tap
Blue Monkey Tavern Take a tour of the country’s best craft breweries—without leaving your bar stool. Some 38 beers on tap, including some hard-to-find selections, offer reason enough for return visits. 2 S. Centre St., Merchantville, (856) 661-8008,

Serious Selection
The Pour House If nothing from the 20 taps catches your eye, the list of 141 bottles should have you covered. Plus, the pursuit of hoppiness pervades dishes like smoked porter wings, hopped mussels, a black-and-tan sundae with Guinness ice cream and Victory Hop Devil chocolate sauce—making this an all-around beer-lover’s fantasy. 124 Haddon Ave, Westmont, (856) 869-4600,

Better Brews
High Street Grill This local gastropub pretty much is Mount Holly’s beer scene, with more than a dozen taps stocked with a good mix of national and international brews, plus specials like Tuesday on Tap: $10 all-you-can-eat mussels in beer broth. 64 High St., Mount Holly, (609) 265-9199,


+ Florist
Petals and Blooms Remember when picking wildflowers by the roadside was enough to win her heart? Well, those days are gone. Today, the ultimate floral fireworks come from Petals and Blooms, where all the florists are trained at Longwood Gardens’ floral design program. Wedding options include picture-perfect bridal bou?quets, outsize centerpieces and dramatic touches like a flower-covered ring bearer’s pillow. 795 E. Route 70, Marlton, (856) 334-8215, »
Readers’ Choice: Flowers by Sweetens, 342 Egg Harbor Road, Sewell, (856) 589-7003,

+ Wedding Venue
Aloft Hotel The grand ballroom, eliXir, is a stylish alternative to the standard hotel ballroom, with lighting panels that can change color to suit your chosen palette. At 5,279 square feet (although it can be subdivided) it can accommodate more than 400 people for dinner. Plus, the outdoor courtyard offers a romantic spot for a ceremony or cocktail hour. 558 Fellowship Road, Mount Laurel, (856) 234-1880,
Readers’ Choice: The Mansion, 3000 Main St., Voorhees, (856) 751-1717,

+ Pick Your Own Fruit
Johnson’s Corner Farm If your kids require a gimmick to even think about eating fresh fruit, Johnson’s has you covered with a pick-your-own schedule that doesn’t stop from spring to fall. Grab the last strawberries, dive into blueberry and cherry season and brace yourself for the bounty of fall apples, with more than seven varieties to choose from. 133 Church Road, Medford, (609) 654-8643,
Readers’ Choice: Duffield’s Farm Market, 280 Chapel Heights Rd., Sewell, (856) 589-7990,

+ Festival
Dickens Festival Each December, Medford’s Main Street throws a party that beats all its rivals: the annual Dickens Festival. Victorian carolers, strolling Dickens characters, musicians and horse-drawn carriage rides turn historic Main Street into a vintage wonderland. The live nativity scene, food and drink vendors and other attractions invite families, while teens flock to activities just for them, including inflatables, live bands and door prizes. So go ahead, party like it’s 1899. Main Street, Medford, (609) 654-2608

+ Nightlife
Dublin Square This fast-expanding string of Irish pubs draws thick bar crowds for Celtic fare and Guinness on tap. Throughout the week, entertainment includes live music, DJ nights, Irish session jams, open mics, karaoke and pub quizzes—meaning there’s never a dull moment. 482 Evesham Road, Cherry Hill, (856) 520-8312,
Readers’ Choice: Pinsetter Bar & Bowl, 7111 Maple Ave., Pennsauken, (856) 665-3377,

+ Theater Company
Moorestown Theater Company Picking out the local notables like newscasters (6ABC’s Rick Williams), politicians and business types is half the fun. The other half is rousing productions of favorite musicals like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and South Pacific, along with impressive student productions created by summer camp participants. 704 Kings Highway, Moorestown, (856) 778-8357
Readers’ Choice: Ritz Theatre Company, 915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Twp., (856) 858-5230,

It’s all fun and games at these crowd-pleasing kids’ destinations.

Hit a Homerun
Big League Dreams Think one-stop shopping for Wiffle ball parties that include a game—complete with broadcast announcing over the field—plus a pizza party and time in the arcade to play games or test kids’ pitching speeds. 15 Fostertown Road, Medford, (609) 654-4555,

Jump Around
Bounce U Kids will bounce until their heads are spinning at this can’t miss crowd-pleaser, perfect for the high-energy crowd. Arcade games and private party rooms round out the deal. 1205 Warren Ave., Cherry Hill, (856) 429-6400,

Plant the Seeds
Springdale Farms For a wholesome alternative to fast-paced kids’ affairs, this party option includes a hayride, pick-your-own crops and a picnic area for a do-it-yourself birthday lunch. 1638 S. Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, (856) 424-8674,

Fun and Games
The Funplex If your kid invited his or her whole class, the key is variety. Funplex has it with arcade games, go-karts, bumper cars, theme park rides, stuffed animal-making and more. 3320-24 Route 38, Mount Laurel, (856) 273-9666,

On Ice
Virtua Flyers SkateZone Skating on the Flyers’ home turf is thrilling enough for young hockey fans, but throw in a party room, arcade games and snacks and you can’t go wrong. 601 Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees, (856) 309-4400,

A guide to rocking out in south jersey.

Scottish Rite Auditorium This 1930s-style theater is the reason why some of the nation’s biggest names make Collingswood, of all places, a stop on their national tours. Bill Cosby, Dickey Betts, The Shondells and other show biz legends are among those who have performed here in the recent past. 315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood, (856) 858-1000,

More in Store
The Record Collector In-store concerts are almost extinct—but The Record Collector is reviving the tradition, with an impressive lineup of established and emerging artists stopping in for intimate shows. Plus, the variety of new, used, rare and collectible music in all formats offers plenty of pre-show shopping opportunities. 358 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown, (609) 324-0880,

Jazz It Up
The Firehouse Café Live jazz and gospel at this refurbished fire station make for a fun evening out. 20 Washington St., Mount Holly, (609) 261-4502,

Gloucester County Concert Series Cover bands, singer-songwriters, party bands and more add up to right-priced date nights, perfect for picnicking. James G. Atkinson Memorial Park, Delsea Drive and Bethel Mill Road, Hurffville, (856) 589-0047,

House Music
Dave & Jen’s House Concerts If you like to get up close and personal with your favorite bands, it doesn’t get much more intimate than the house concerts hosted by Dave Khanlian and Jen Hilinski. 415 Dawson St., Moorestown, (856) 642-1110,

Charlie Manuel, Phillies Manager
Power Lunch: The Capital Grille, Cherry Hill
Dinner Out: Al Dente Italiana, Moorestown
Diner: Ponzio’s, Cherry Hill
Guilty Pleasure: Kiwi Yogurt, Cherry Hill
Martini: Giumarello’s, Westmont
Barbershop: Caravelli Brothers, Haddonfield


+ Women’s Clothing
Joeys Unique Boutique Yoga apparel, party dresses and business attire all in one place? No, we’re not talking about the mall. For more convenient one-stop shopping, check out Joeys Unique Boutique, which has been ringing in summer with flowing Ella Moss maxi dresses, Sky tie-dye tanks and Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow jewelry collection. 6001 Lincoln Drive, Marlton, (856) 810-3496

+ Stylish Shoes
Best Foot Forward Whether you yearn for towering Stuart Weitzman heels or you prefer to swaddle your ankles in UGGs, Best Foot Forward is the go-to shoe boutique. Evening bridal collections include Dyeable—which offers satins and metallic hues, as well as dye-to-match offerings—Versani, Nina and Bella Vita. And day-to-day options include Donald Pliner, Prevata, FitFlop, Cole Haan and Taryn Rose. 2083 Route 70 E., Cherry Hill, (856) 424-5722
Readers’ Choice: Z’s Treasures, 145 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 685-7790,

+ Comfortable Shoes
Carl’s Shoes If you’d as soon bind your feet as strap on a pair of four-inch heels, may we be so bold as to recommend a trip to Carl’s Shoes. Here, they sell shoes designed to—if you can believe it—be comfortable. Think New Balance and Nike sneakers, Bostonian walking shoes and, for those with more complicated needs, prescription and custom footwear and orthotics. Carl’s has a board-certified pedorthist on site, along with orthopedic shoe technicians and a shoemaker. They also offer shoe repair and shining, meaning your favorite footwear lasts longer than ever before. 27 W. Main St., Moorestown, (856) 235-6223,

+ Prom Boutique
Ideal Fashions Think classic prom night attire, and certain images come to mind: namely, hot pink taffeta, puff sleeves and over-the-top ruffles. To avoid all of the above, dance on over to Ideal Fashions, where designer prom apparel is more sophisticated than it was in the old days—and decidedly more fabulous. From sweeping skirts fit for a fairy tale ball to sleek cocktail dresses, plus jewelry, clutches, shoes and more, this is any prom queen’s one-stop shop. There’s also a seamstress on hand throughout prom season to ensure a perfect fit for the big night. 483 N. White Horse Pike, Hammonton, (609) 561-2712; 3180 Glassboro Crosskeys Road, Glassboro, (856) 243-5172,
Readers’ Choice: Dare Boutique, 2110 Route 70 W., Cherry Hill, (856) 424-8306,

+ Evening Wear
Marlene’s Dress Shop When you dress for a wedding, you never want to look as beautiful as the bride—you want to look way, way better. First stop: Marlene’s, for cocktail dresses, mother of the bride attire, evening gowns and everything in between. With tons of designer offerings on tap and alterations by appointment, you can’t go wrong. 710 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-4777,
Readers’ Choice: Bridal and Groom Suite, 908 Route 73 N., Marlton, (856) 596-4011,

+ Denim
Fashion Rocks Seven, Hudson, Miss Me, Free People. To true denim devotees, this is the pantheon of great fit and fabulous detail. Fashion Rocks carries them all—in a broad array of styles, cuts and colors for women and teens—making it a mandatory stop for any blue jean-wearing fashionista. 1906 Route 70, Cherry Hill, (856) 751-7533,
Readers’ Choice: Denim Habit, 500 Route 73, Marlton, (856) 596-2121,

+ Sportswear
Cruise Control Charlie Sheen isn’t the only one who makes “Winning!” a personal mantra. Moorestown’s Carlin sisters, the founders of Cruise Control, don’t often settle for second either. Candice Carlin’s Live For It line, along with the rest of the company’s performance attire, has drawn fans for its style, comfort and durability. Shirts, bags and more for men and women can also be customized with your team’s own logo. (877) 770-2442,

+ Accessories
Georgie Girl Boutique Coco Chanel’s theory of accessorizing may have been “always take off the last thing you put on.” But we come from the “more is more” school—and when it comes to accessories ranging from dainty to extravagant, Georgie Girl is the first stop on the list. Handmade and costume jewelry from designers such as Cocobelle and Mie by Bauxo sit alongside Lenny and Eva charm bracelets and Latico’s bold-hued handbags and clutches. They also offer leather wrap bracelets from Good Work(s), which donates 25 percent of proceeds to a different charity every month. 105 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 354-4700,
Readers’ Choice: Charming Charlie, 1750 Deptford Center Road, Deptford, (856) 384-5942,

+ Watches
Jay Roberts Jewelers “It’s complicated,” can mean many things: she’s breaking up with you, you didn’t get the promotion or they’re writing you out of their will. But when it comes to timepieces, complications are a good thing, signaling intricacy and precision engineering. At Jay Roberts, complicated offerings from Panerai—originally designed for use in the Italian navy—are just the beginning. Strap on a high-end watch from Omega, Cartier, David Yurman, Breitling or IWC, or check out some of the limited-edition timepieces on offer. 515 Route 73 S., Marlton, (888) 828-8463
Readers’ Choice: Bernie Robbins Fine Jewelers, 500 Route 73 S., Marlton, (856) 985-4500,

+ Diamonds
JG Kronenberger If diamonds are a girl’s best friend—well, you can never have too many friends. That’s what inspired The Fantasy Diamond collection. The settings, which encase diamonds in circles of, you guessed it, smaller diamonds, make any rock look even larger than it already is. JG Kronenberger Fine Jewelry is using the exclusive collection on rings, pendants and earrings. This go-to ring-shopping destination specializes not only in snappy settings, but also in diamond solitaires. And, they allow trade-ins: upgrade your diamond and they’ll apply the value of your original rock to the cost of your new piece. 417 Stokes Road, Medford, (609) 654-2234,

+ Children’s Jewelry
Morton and Rudolph When it comes to shopping for kids’ gifts, it’s tough to find the happy medium between grown-up wares and the stuff that comes in a plastic bubble from supermarket vending machines. Morton & Rudolph finds that balance with offerings like the FuFoo line of age-appropriate charm bracelets adorned with pastel flowers, ladybugs and ballet slippers, or gold dangly earrings finished with pink enamel heart charms. 1900 Marlton Pike E., Cherry Hill, (856) 424-1101,

+ Fashion Jewelry
David Arlen Jewelers From the Pandora beads favored by South Jersey moms to the same Simon G jewelry designs seen on fashion runways and red carpets, David Arlen Jewelers is a go-to destination for stylish jewelry of all types. More than two dozen designers show their wares at this shop, which also does custom work and expert repairs right on the premises. 1299 Route 38 E., Hainesport, (609) 914-0404,

+ Fine Jewelry
Billig Jewelers Billig Jewelers keeps Gemological Institute of America-certified specialists on hand to assist clients in selecting the ultimate bling. One-of-a-kind, custom work, including rings, necklaces and earrings, are specialties of the house, thanks to the jewelry designers on staff. Or, check out options by international designers like Scott Kay, while wandering the polished showroom in Marlton. 330 Route 73 S., Marlton, (856) 983-2300,

+ Unique Gifts
La Di Da In addition to a name that’s fun to say with a French accent, La Di Da has just about everything a fashionable woman could want. Think candles by Votivo and The Archipelago; jewelry by Viv & Ingrid, Alexis Bittar and Brighton; Jonathan Adler and Michael Aram gifts; and clothing from more than a dozen designers. 17 E. Main St., Moorestown, (856) 222-1778,

+ Kids’ Clothing
Your Royal Highness It’s not spoiling if they deserve it, right? That’s the theory at Your Royal Highness, which offers little princesses and princes name-brand children’s wear from the likes of One Posh Kid, Sophie Deff, Attitude Pie and Isabella & Chloe. Sizes run from infant to 6x in both everyday play clothes and special-occasion attire. 200 Tuckerton Road, Medford, (856) 983-3500,

+ Hobby Shop
Bob’s Hobbies and Crafts Just because you spend hours in your basement building model planes, that doesn’t mean you can’t be sociable. Bob’s Hobbies and Crafts not only sells every art, craft and model-making supply you could imagine, but they also offer classes and workshops that will get you out of the cellar and into the company of other—what do they call them again?—oh yeah, people. An authorized distributor for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts uniforms and supplies, they carry many brands for model trains, planes and automobiles as well. 67 S. Broadway, Pitman, (856) 589-1777,

+ Pet Supply and Grooming
Doggie and Kitty Style If Paris Hilton taught us anything, it’s that a well-groomed pet is an essential accessory for any fashionable young socialite. Now, South Jersey has its own go-to pet destination, in the form of the chic Doggie and Kitty Style. The shop carries all manner of over-the-top accessories, pet carriers and bakery-fresh gourmet treats. And, they also offer grooming by appointment—ranging from a bath-and-brush to a full grooming, to the deluxe Paw-dicure. 207 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 216-7387,

+ Cigar Shop
Greentree Tobacco Co. We don’t condone smoking, kids. But when it comes to smoke shops, no one does it better than Greentree Tobacco Co. Not only does the Washington Township mecca for all things cigar-related stock incredibly rare offerings in their walk-in humidor—legal Cubans included—but the airy sitting area allows you to sample the latest stogie in comfort. 137 Egg Harbor Road, Sewell, (856) 374-4010,

+ Bath and Body
Duross & Langel If ingredients like sodium laurel sulfate and parabens don’t exactly make you yearn to lather up with most store-bought soaps, the local, handmade Duross & Langel offerings are an enticing alternative, including cleansers, deodorants, moisturizers, massage bars and candles. The shop moved into town just this year, and South Jersey smells better already. 111 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 429-7627,

+ Gift Shop
Creative Genius Just because your intended recipient already has everything, doesn’t mean you have to resort to wrapping up a meat-of-the-month membership. Instead, pick up a one-of-a-kind, artist-made present at Creative Genius. Works by local and international artisans include everything from paintings and prints to ceramics, glasswares and more. 32 N. Main St., Medford, (609) 714-1131,
Readers’ Choice: A Taste of Olive, 106 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 795-0043,

Just Sports Collectibles Hammonton’s Just Sports Collectibles opened its second location in Voorhees Town Center this spring, and already Phillies Roy Oswalt and Antonio Bastardo have stopped in. The shop sells all manner of memorabilia, along with collectibles and game tickets, and regularly hosts players for signings. And, they run bus trips to games in New York, D.C. and elsewhere, for diehard fans. 1445 Voorhees Town Center, Voorhees, (856) 772-2200,

+ One-Stop Shop
Mixellaneous Not that you would leave all your gift shopping to the last minute, (except for every single holiday season). But for those pinches, there’s no place like the brand new Mixellaneous. Baby gifts, housewares and women’s attire are all on tap, making this the ultimate solution for gifting emergencies. 931 Route 73 S., Marlton, (856) 630-0489
Readers’ Choice: Jilly B’s Boutique and Treats, 100 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, (856) 795-2337,

Main Street Shopping

Haddonfield Idyllic Kings Highway has everything a shopper could want—and then some more. Shop for jewelry at McNelis and Sherry, look for the perfect wedding dress at Jay West (no actual wedding plans required) and then pick up invitations at the colorful stationery shop, The Paper Trail. Lunch on comfort food at The Apron before gawking at the exhibits at Evearts gallery, and then wrap up the day by dining al fresco at Little Tuna.

Mount Holly It doesn’t get much more adorable than downtown Mount Holly, where historic buildings house the likes of Horse Feathers Flowers and Gifts, Silver Lining jewelry and the handmade, local creations at Jersey Made. Peruse the art galleries in Mill Race Village, grab a seat outside by the canal at Robin’s Nest Restaurant or sip coffee at the Daily Grind. And don’t forget to scope out the murals around town.

Medford Start your day with breakfast at the Iris Inn; the menu changes each morning. Shop for discounted designer apparel at Thursday’s, and choose trinkets at Antiques at 9 South Main. Another antique shop, Medford Company Store, also offers classes in mosaics, basket weaving and other crafts. Pamper yourself with fragrances at For the Senses. And wrap up the day with a cooking class at Scotch Bonnets Restaurant, where you can learn all about Jamaican cuisine.

Moorestown Charming Main Street holds plenty to appeal for the hungry—think baked goods from The Pie Lady, gourmet takeaway from Bacio Catering and Marketplace, and standout slices from La Vita’s Pizzeria. For gifts, Signature Designs offers spectacular artist-made housewares and jewelry. A more affordable option is Peter Pan Gift Shop and its neighboring TR Bell, where Vera Bradley florals are always in season.

Collingswood It’s hard to know where to go first in this sprawling downtown. Aenigma sells handmade jewelry affordable prices, while Charm offers dresses for tweens and young adults, plus monthly etiquette classes. Get in touch with your creative side at All Fired Up, a paint-your-own pottery studio, stop by the Grooveground for a cup of joe, or visit Verde Salon for hair treatments with an eco-friendly twist. Don’t leave town without stopping by Brad’s Toy Room to see a monumental collection of new and vintage toys, and dining on burgers and old-fashioned fountain soda at The Pop Shop.

Dan Baker, Phillies and Eagles Public Address Announcer
Restaurant: Gia Nina’s, Woodbury Heights; “Gia Nina’s is a terrific little Italian restaurant... they have live music and the owner is just terrific, she greets everyone.”


+ Personal Training
Smart Bodies Personal Fitness Center The crew at Smart Bodies doesn’t just get you into shape; they give you the tools you need to stay fit and healthy for the future. Owner Anthony Capozzoli sets an individualized plan and goal for each client’s needs. Offering personal training, cardio, spinning classes, nutrition guidance, yoga and boxing, Smart Bodies trainers are certified to help you meet your goals. Get in shape with the Smartest Loser program, a 12-week competition for prizes and glory. 117A Route 73 S., Marlton, (856) 983-2625,
Readers’ Choice: Zayne Mitchell’s South Jersey Fitness, 162 Old Marlton Parkway, Medford, (609) 654-1068,

+ Bridal Package
Padma’s Beauty Salon Want an unforgettable bridal look? Go all out with a Swarovski-jeweled up-do, bridal make-up and even henna tattoos—an Indian tradition that looks striking and comes in 300 different designs. You can check that “something new” right off your to-do list. 215 S. Burnt Mill Road, Voorhees, (856) 216-1133, Allison Bernstein at Moxie Blue Salon, 501 Route 73 S., Marlton, (856) 985-6255,

+ Mani-Pedi
Rizzieri Salon & Spa With 11 nail technicians—including the fabulous Melissa Collins and Lily Miller—on hand, perfect digits are just a half-hour away. A wide array of Essie and OPI colors, including gel polishes, are available. Or, go for a 60-minute specialty pedicure package like the ice cream pedicure: a vanilla, chocolate or strawberry bath ball foot soak, followed by a chocolate, caramel or marshmallow foot mask, and a sherbet scrub. 6001 Lincoln Drive W., Marlton, (856) 985-1225,

+ Gym
Future Fitness, Powered by AFC Remember that collection of dusty as-seen-on-TV exercise equipment your dad used to store in the basement? That’s what all other gyms will remind you of once you’ve set foot in this fitness mecca. Think 11 different lines of equipment; more than 100 group fitness classes per week; a Pilates studio with eight reformers, three chairs and a Cadillac; an indoor lap pool; a free one-hour personal training session each month; free fitness tracking and nutrition counseling. 1432 Route 70 E., Cherry Hill, (856) 857-0333,

+ Barbershop
Michael Alan’s Fine Barbers The good old days of the straight razor shave are alive and well in Cherry Hill, thanks to co-owners Michael Harbora and Alan Rabinowitz, who opened this shop in 2008. Playboy called it one of the top 10 barbershops in the country, and you can see why in treatments like the Premier: a classic haircut with hot aromatic towels, facial massage and straight razor shave. In addition to every grooming treatment a guy can think of—and a few he hasn’t—there are cigars and beverages, and sports playing on the big-screen TV. 1400 Kings Highway N., Cherry Hill, (856) 354-1212,

+ Yoga
Bikram Yoga Voorhees It may sound intimidating to launch into yoga at a Bikram studio, where classes are offered at temperatures of 105 degrees, with 30 to 40 percent humidity. But the focus here is on healing, and all classes are beginner-friendly, with an emphasis on breathing exercises and 26 key poses. Instructors walk you through each posture, explaining each and every benefit of the practice. And unlike many yoga studios, they offer locker rooms and showers, making it convenient to incorporate regular practice into your daily routine. 250 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Gibbsboro, (856) 309-9642,
Readers’ Choice: Indigo Moon, 230 N. Maple Ave., Marlton, (856) 267-5506,

+ Day Spa
Suede Salon and Spa Sure, you could get away by taking the kids to Disney World—but you’ll need a vacation from that vacation. As an alternative getaway for you, party of one, try Suede. Take hedonism to an unprecedented level with the new four-handed, full-body massage, offered in Swedish, aromatherapy or deep tissue styles. 500 Route 73 S., Marlton, (856) 985-0700,
Readers’ Choice: Nadine Janet, 510-A Stokes Road, Medford, (609) 953-7881,

+ Make Up
The Make-Up Bar Sometimes a little concealer just won’t cut it. That’s when it’s time to head to The Make-Up Bar for a heavy-duty airbrush application that will make your skin glow. Owner Lisa Severino knocks bridal and prom looks out of the park, and carries a wide variety of designer cosmetics, including Era, Smashbox and Glo Minerals. 480 E. Evesham Road, Cherry Hill, (856) 795-0025,
Readers’ Choice

+ Eyebrows
Dharma Karma Salon, Spa and Boutique Some say you look like Frida Kahlo. Others say it’s more Burt than anything else. Either way, Dharma Karma is the go-to place for eyebrow threading, a technique that originated in India and the Middle East. Using a special cotton thread to remove unwanted hair in less than seven minutes, Dharma Karma’s eyebrow specialists, including owner Saab Gill, will give you precise, defined eyebrows—with no pain! 1900 Greentree Road, Cherry Hill, (856) 751-0801,

Brian Baldinger, NFL Analyst
Yoga Studio: Bikram Yoga Voorhees; "From the heat to the cleanliness, to the instructors ... this studio will hook you for life. I have traveled the world and this is the best studio, and [it’s] right in our backyard.”

When it comes to splitting (and coloring and styling) hairs, no one does it better!

Curly Girls
Personal Expressions Hair Studio Fight back against frizz! Owner Mary Anne Gosik uses the Deva Curl system, cutting curly hair dry for maximum shape and style. 23 Kings Highway E., Haddonfield, (856) 857-0090, PersonalExpress-

Local Color
Martino Cartier Salon Cartier regularly does celeb styles at events like the Golden Globes, but he still makes time for regulars. He just added a state-of-the-art Cherry Hill location. The color lounge has a wine bar and high-tech processors that cut wait time in half. 304 Hurffville Cross Keys Road, Sewell, (856) 582-6600; 1902 Route 70 E., Cherry Hill, (856) 520-8777,

Price Is Right
39 BeLow Hair Designs Women’s haircuts start at $15, but owners Brent and Kelly Wallace emphasize that this is not a budget salon. Instead, they offer affordable luxury. 2 W. Main St., Maple Shade, (856) 414-0909,

Total Blowout
Salon Rouge For a special occasion or just a Friday night date, Salon Rouge has nine of the best stylists in South Jersey to make your hair sleek and camera-ready. 2110 Marlton Pike E., Cherry Hill, (856) 424-3611,

New in Town
True Salon, Spa & Boutique This brand new salon offers everything from cuts and styling to massages and manicures. The Zen-like, 3,200-square-foot space is the ideal beauty retreat. 19 Cross Keys Road, Berlin Township, (856) 797-TRUE,

And, Cut
Thriv Salon For modern cuts, Cindy Rone at Thriv is our go-to scissor sister. The stylists here also specialize in Cinderella extensions and other high-tech offerings. 2076 E. Route 70, (856) 751-0014,

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4 (July, 2011).
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