Bergen Health & Life

Tiles that beguile

Taken together, these tiny treasures add up to big-time style for walls and floors

Rock on

Fifteen minutes early for a 7:30 reservation at Rocca, and our table wasn't ready-no problem; we didn't expect it to be. The lovely hostess asked us to take a seat in the drafty foyer right inside the door. Within two minutes, she reappeared. "I moved the tables around so you wouldn't have to wait out here- it's too cold."

Steak around

How about some sizzle with that steak? You'll get it-and more-from the slabs of USDA prime beef coming out of the kitchen at Cliffs Steakhouse.

The power of polenta

This versatile cornmeal treat brings a touch of Italy to many a delicious dish is polenta one of those foods you've heard about but don't really know? Have no fear; it's not mysterious.

Spiced delights

From guacamole to peking duck rolls, dishes prepared at your table somehow seem to elevate the dining experience. Now chaat-Indian snacks usually sold from street-vendor carts-has joined the pantheon of tableside-prep.

This spud's for you

They're the culinary equivalent of great jeans, a "humble" pleasure that offers instant comfort, goes with almost everything and on occasion can be dressed up to dazzlingly chic effect.

For the eco-epicure

If you crave a heaping plate of chemicals, hormones and preservatives, pass right on by the Green Door Café in Tenafly (201-567-8226, www.greendoorcafenj.com).

Dad's pad

When Roy Weber first moved into his Ridgewood Colonial, the recently divorced father of two couldn't have told you what his design preferences were. "I'd never really thought much about decorating," admits Weber, 66, a lecturer at Rutgers Business School.

Before & after

With family in mind, local designers transform too-bland living spaces into chic, inviting havens

5 Food Myths, Busted

Think you're savvy about healthy eating? Well, some of what you "know" about food may be mere folklore. Bergen Health & Life consulted diet experts about a number of widespread beliefs, and these five turned out to be bogus.

The wizard of us

The Wizard of Us; Lisa Oz, wife of TV's famous doctor, steps out of the shadows with a new book on relationships

3 glorious gardens

"Nothing is more the child of art than a garden," said Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. Indeed, with a hefty assist from Mother Nature, every garden possesses a unique, ethereal beauty-and Bergen boasts a wealth of private plots bursting with inspiration. Read on for an inside look at three, plus helpful tips from the Bergenites who tend them.

Take the hint

Give yourself a good once-over-notice any quirks? Doctors say small imperfections could signal an underlying issue. But which oddities call for professional attention? Experts offer guidance on becoming your own diagnostic sleuth.

Summer skin savers

You know all about UVA and UVB rays, but are you doing all you can to protect your skin from summer's dangers? Not if you're like most of us, say local dermatologists. When Bergen Health & Life asked them for tips for summer-proofing your skin, here's what they advised:

The loaf of the Irish

Soda bread is, for most of us, a Saint-Patty's-Day-only treat- so you might as well have the best there is! Here's how our judges ranked the local offerings.

The ride of a lifetime

Maybe that Ferrari F430 or Lamborghini Gallardo is a bit out of reach as a permanent fixture in your garage-but thanks to Gotham Dream Cars (212-957-4400, www.gothamdreamcars.com), getting behind the wheel of a coveted car doesn't have to be a mere fantasy.

Yoga for youngsters

"Child's pose" takes on a whole new meaning at the Happy Elephant Yoga School (201-788-5031, www.happyelephantyoga.com), a Franklin Lakes-based studio that offers private and group yoga to kids and families alike.

Bergen's Cover Girl 2010

We invited, they entered, and here they are: the Bergen beauties who won our Second Annual Cover Girl Contest