Daniel Humm's NJ Restaurant Hot List - Part I

A few weeks ago, I was blown away by a black truffle beignet that Daniel Humm (an F&W Best New Chef 2005) made at his outstanding Manhattan restaurant Eleven Madison Park. Then I found out it was inspired by a falafel he had in New Jersey (where he now lives). Wow. And, Humm said, he'd found a bunch of New Jersey places he would recommend. And then he was cool enough to do just that. Here's part 1 of his list, and his mini reviews. Check back tomorrow for the rest of Humm’s list, and more on that falafel.

White Manna, Hackensack
The place is tiny! It has only about 12 seats, and there's usually a line (but it's worth the wait). The burgers are slider-size, served on mini potato rolls. Expect good fries and milk shakes, too. 358 River St.; 201-342-0914.

Wondee’s Fine Thai Food and Noodles, Hackensack
The best Thai food I've had on the East Coast. Try the green papaya salad or the red curry with coconut. The pad thai is really good as well. 296 Main St.; 201-883-1700 or

Dino & Harry’s Steakhouse, Hoboken
This is a historic restaurant [it's in a late-1800s building that was once a longshoremen's bar] that's also fun. They've got excellent porterhouse steaks and sides. 163 14th St.; 201-659-6202 or

La Isla Restaurant, Hoboken
Their Cuban sandwich is one of the best I've ever had! The place is pretty small, but there's a cozy seating area outside. 104 Washington St.; 201-659-8197 or