A local restaurant finds itself on an impressive list: one of the top 40 restaurants in the entire country...and it's the only pick from our state!

Restaurant Nicholas, on Rt. 35 in Red Bank. (Google Maps)

Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank gets the honor again, courtesy of an annual list from Gayot - a high-end food, travel, and lifestyle website.

Gayot focuses on luxury, so it's no surprise that Restaurant Nicholas was named alongside widely-acclaimed restaurants like Chicago's Alinea, Napa's The French Laundry, and NYC's Le Benardin and Eleven Madison Park. (All on my foodie bucket list, by the way.)

Nicholas is often considered a 'special-occasion restaurant,' and it's certainly not easy on the wallet - but it's so worth it.

I last visited Restaurant Nicholas for my birthday, and had what was probably the best meal of my life. It's not just that the food is good (which is an understatement), it's that the service is impeccable from start to finish, and it winds up being more of an experience than just a dinner.

I won't mince words: the place is fancy. However, if you love food, and appreciate good service, this is a can't miss restaurant. (Pro tip: they have a slightly cheaper bar menu that doesn't offer exactly the same experience, but is still amazing.)

Congrats to chef/owner Nicholas Harary and his team for the honor!