This past Saturday, my husband and I met up with his cousins for a night out!


We headed out to Woodbury, NJ.  Yes Woodbury.  Have you ever been there?  Well, if you haven't, it's not exactly the first place you would pick for a nice dinner out...  Woodbury, evidently, used to be THE place to be.  Back in the day, that is...  Now it's a quiet, kind of sad main street.  Though it has the potential to be a Collingswoood or even Manayunk; it's just not.

Things may be turning around, however.  I've always said that you just need one hot spot to turn a town around.  A new boutique, a new bookstore or a new restaurant.  A place to draw people to the town, then once you get them there, they realize the potential.  Then they open new fabulous places and the town has been forever changed.  It happened with Collingswood, Manayunk and even Northern Liberties in Philadelphia.

So, when my cousin-in-law suggested Woodbury, I was a little hesitant.  But it couldn't have been a better night!  We went to a new restaurant called Marlene.  It's a BYOB (my favorite!) and the menu ranges from classic Italian dishes to seafood specials.  The moment I walked through the doors I was introduced to one of the owners, Maria.  She was drinking a glass of wine and talking with other patrons.

Any restaurant in which the owners are walking around drinking wine and chatting with the customers is my kind of place!

And the food... it was delicious!  We ordered the mussels diablo, Frank's Italian wings and Marlene's meatball medley as appetizers.  They were all really good, but the wings were the best.  For my entree, I ordered the scallop special, my husband got the filet and crabcake special.  Our cousins ordered the linguine with seafood and braised short ribs.

The service was excellent, the food was fantastic and the atmosphere is unlike anything you will find in that area.  If you find yourself in or near Woodbury, stop by Marlene's.  You will not be disappointed.

I have a feeling the small main street town of Woodbury is in for some big changes.

Get out and frequent the great, local, independently owned places in and around your neighborhood.  Guaranteed there's a gem there you never knew about!

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