New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

The approach to New Year’s Eve is usually one of sparkly hats and shiny noisemakers. But those in the know realize they need more than that if they want their last date night of the decade to be one that results in … getting lucky. And by luck, the abundance of good health and prosperity as we enter The Twenties is what’s on the menu for the discerning New Jersey couple.

Most cultures believe that enjoying certain foods leading into the New Year will promote 365 days of great fortune. Not leaving anything to chance and partaking in more than one makes for a fun, flavorful and very filling date night.

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Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night that’s sure to end with some tasty New Year luck!

Hamming it Up

Pork has been a symbol of luck because pigs move forward when they eat and their girth represents a fat wallet and rich happiness for the New Year.

A dinner of pork for prosperity is what’s on the menu at Hamilton Pork. Located in Jersey City, Hamilton Pork is the home of perfectly roasted meat, from pork to poultry. Choosing their three-meat platter (choices include pulled pork, pork ribs and pork belly) might be perfect, or you can try the tacos al pastor (pork, grilled pineapple and salsa verde). 

Their side dishes will leave you wanting more than one, as they include brussels sprouts with bacon and apple, burnt end beans and mac and cheese.

For more information about Hamilton Pork, visit www.hamiltonpork.com.

The Lucky Wet Noodle

If you and your date are seeking longevity, eating soba noodles are just the ticket. On New Year’s, these noodles are known as toshi-koshi and the longer they are the better!

Sakura in Millburn is the perfect place to check out to enjoy this lucky dish. From nabe yaki soba (soba noodles cooked in broth with shrimp tempura, egg and vegetables) to yaki soba (soba noodles stir fried with your choice of chicken, beef or shrimp), your search for longevity is complete! Adding some of their masterfully prepared sushi is a bonus.

For more information about Sakura, visit www.sakuramillburn.com.

Southern Charmed

What couple doesn’t want to begin the new decade with lots of green and gold? Southern traditions say that eating collard greens and cornbread bring about the riches, and adding in the black eyed peas allows the humility to reel that luck right in.  

Delta’s in New Brunswick is on the ready to give you these flavorful sides with their amazing Southern main dishes. Soul food classics like smothered chicken or smothered pork chops might entice you, and you can’t go wrong with fried chicken and barbecued ribs. 

You might also want to try the pecan- and cornbread-crusted salmon (baked salmon coated with ground mustard, crushed pecans and cornbread crumbs) or the fried catfish over jambalaya grits (spicy grits with and chicken, pork and shellfish flavored with peppers and onions).

For more information about Delta’s, visit www.deltasrestaurant.com.

Sauer Start to a Sweet End

When you sit down to a New Year’s dinner featuring sauerkraut, it’s customary to wish everyone at the table as much goodness and money as the number of shreds of sauerkraut they’re about to eat. Typically paired with pork, this Pennsylvania Dutch good luck generator is part tradition and part superstition — if you don’t eat the sauerkraut you’ll miss the luck. 

Rolf’s in Warren is known for having some of the best German food in the state and the perfect place to enjoy this lucky cabbage dish. Of course you can enjoy it with a main course of schnitzel, but Rolf’s creates a few other dishes where sauerkraut reigns supreme. Check out the wurst sandwich (grilled bratwurst or weisswurst with sauerkraut, demi-glace and potato salad) or the ruben burger (burger topped with corned beef, sauerkraut, Jarlsberg and Russian dressing). You’ll feel even luckier if you save room for an imported German hot pretzel.

For more information on Rolf’s, visit www.rolfsrestaurantnj.com.

Finding Blessings in the Debacle

When it comes to labeling oneself “unlucky,” nobody does it better than singles on the dating scene. One bad date followed by five more can leave a person feeling cursed and defeated. 

It’s tempting to wallow in the negative, but successful singles maintain positive perspective, realizing that they’ve simply dodged a series of bullets. It’s optimum to discover early on that the date isn’t your mate. It’s fortuitous to be able to walk away from disappointment and toward the next potential love connection. 

And when it comes to luck, singles in New Jersey are certain that luck is either just around the corner or just a spoonful of black eyed peas away. 

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit www.CraigRogers.nyc.

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at crogersnyc@gmail.com.

 

More Date Night Ideas:

Holiday Outings to Light Up Your Heart

Our Favorite Pizza Places

Get Lost in the Game at These Sports Bars

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