A COLLABORATIVE FEST AT ELEMENTS, PRINCETON
Some of the top area chefs were at Elements in Princeton recently creating Collaborative Fest with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. The evening started with hors d’oeuvres followed by a seven-course dinner. In attendance were:
Scott Anderson, Elements and the soon to be opened Mistral, both in Princeton.
House-cured lomo (pork tenderloin) with kakai squash frites, trumpet royales, espelette.
(Kiralyudvar 2009 Tokaji Furmint Sec, Tokaj, Hungary)
David Felton, Ninety Acres, Peapack
Crispy blowfish with Korean BBQ, cucumber, Chile, and radish.
(CH Berres, 1999 Riesling, Wehlener Klosterberg, Spatlese, Mosel Germany)
The locally caught, non-toxic blowfish tails were mild and had the texture of white fish and/or crab.
Will Mooney, The Brothers Moon, Hopewell
Pastrami pork belly with scallop, kabocha puree, and black bean sprouts
(Cret de Ruyere 2006 Gamay Tradition Morgon, France)
Mike Ryan, Elements
Buri (also known as hamachi), monkfish liver, gray shallot, samphire (a crispy sea vegetable), whey and dulse (seaweed). This course had me running to the food dictionary. It was also accompanied by a cup of soup with an herb-filled teabag, whose broth reminded us of the ocean.
(Kuenhof 2009 Sylvaner, Eisacktaler, Sudtirol, Italy)
Chris Albrecht, Eno Terra
Red-beet tortellini with three cheeses, leeks and Tuscan kale
(La Mondianese 2011 Grignolino, Asti, Italy)
Josh Thomsen, soon-to-be opened Agricola Eatery, Princeton
Braised 48-hour short rib with Great Road Farm celery-root puree, roasted golden beets and maiitake mushrooms. We were told that the vegetables had been picked that morning from Great Road Farm, Skillman.
(Sant’Elena 1998 Merlot Ros di Rol, Venezia Giulia, Italy)
Gabby Carbone, The Bent Spoon, Princeton
Storm in Three Acts consisting of Mast Brothers chocolate, fallen Norwegian-spruce ice cream sandwich; hot chocolate with marshrooms (marshmallow with an earthy taste); and a small glass with a pill that we were told to melt in our mouth, which was paired with cranberries and a slice of lemon. I felt like Alice from Alice in Wonderland as the cranberries and lemon were transformed into sweet foods. I expected the Norwegian-spruce ice cream sandwich to taste minty but it actually reminded us of a pine tree.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
We get excited about dinners where we are exposed to new foods and flavors. This was definitely one of them. Kudos to all the chefs for creating a memorable evening.
CAFÉ LA TERRASSA, NEW BRUNSWICK
If you’re looking for a late night haunt in the New Brunswick area, Café La Terrassa is open till midnight Thursday through Saturday nights. We were there much earlier on a Saturday night and can report that if you want tapas, this is a good restaurant, but if you also want an entrée, in our opinion, it isn’t. Let’s start with the good. Scrumptious empanadas that tasted as if they were baked—though they were fried—are available in chicken, vegetable, meat, or mushroom. We had two orders, one chicken and one meat and could have ordered more and called it a night. The spicy avocado bruschetta and the crispy wings with spicy guava glaze are also items I’d mark: “try this.” We loved the sauce with the chipotle meatballs, but not the meatballs. All of the above were impressive and the consensus was one should make a meal from the tapas. As for the entrees, our hanger steak was overcooked, as was the pork tenderloin with a cloyingly sweet port demi glaze. The fresh striped bass with Veracruzana sauce, which traditionally has jalapenos and capers, was a large serving, but under seasoned and bland. The chicken in the pollo con salsa verde was juicy but also needed some spicing to give it oomph. Dessert rocked. A house-made pecan praline cheesecake was creamy and loved by all.
Chicken wings with spicy guava glaze
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
Café La Terrassa
137 Louis St
Dennis Foy’s D’Floret, 18 S Main St, Lambertville is now open for lunch Wednesday through Friday from Noon to 3 PM and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 3 PM. Owner/ chef Dennis Foy has reported that his brunch burger with an organic egg and sriracha sauce has become a huge hit. Some other brunch options include: warm goat-cheese tart, tomato, thyme, salad vert; wild Alaskan salmon, truffled spaghetti squash, apple-rosemary puree; slow-roasted Cajun chicken, French fries, local greens; and eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce and home fries. Reservations: 609-397-7400; BYO.
BLUE MOREL, MORRISTOWN
To help out and make this holiday season a little easier, Blue Morel, Westin Governor Morris Hotel, 2 Whippany Road, Morristown is donating $2 from the sales of their Red Kuri squash soup to the Community Soup Kitchen in Morristown. This promotion will be in effect through the end of the year and will be extended into next year, as needed. Information or dinner reservations: 973-451-2619.
Daryl, 302 George St, New Brunswick offers a two-course express lunch with a glass of wine or beer for $15. Appetizer choices on a recent menu included: seafood dumplings in a spicy, coconut broth; butternut-squash soup with apple, almonds and cranberry; and baby arugula, apple, walnut and Gorgonzola salad. Mains were: Daryl burger with caramelized onions and cheddar; short-rib sliders with caramelized onions and horseradish mayo; duck-meatball sandwich with tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese; pumpkin ravioli, with almonds, cranberries and brown butter; and risotto with butternut squash, liquid gorgonzola and truffle oil. Reservations: 732-253-7780.
Mark Papera, previous chef/owner of Epernay in Montclair will be opening Fricassee—A French Bistro in the Epernay space a 6 Park St, Montclair. He has the keys, he has the lease, and expects to be open sometime in February; BYO.
NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS
Here are some restaurants to celebrate New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day:
3Forty Grill, 340 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, will have a five-hour premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres, buffet, carving station, party favors and champagne toast. 9 PM to 2 AM; $130. Tickets must be purchased in advance and minimum age is 23. Information: 201-217-3406.
The Bernards Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville, will offer a special three-course, prix-fixe dinner. 5:30 to 11 PM; $118. Guests can also enjoy live piano music in the Library Bar. Turn New Year’s into a getaway with an overnight package, which includes dinner, deluxe guest room accommodations, a bottle of champagne, long-stemmed roses, chocolate-covered strawberries and truffles, and continental in-room breakfast served on New Year’s Day. Reservations start at $606. An à la carte lunch will also be served on New Year’s Eve from 11:30 AM to 2 PM. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 908-766-0002.
Blu, 554 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, will be open New Year’s Eve offering a four-course menu with choices for $75. The restaurant will be closed on Tuesday, New Years Day. Reservations: 973-509-2202; BYO.
Cafe Matisse, 167 Park Ave, Rutherford, will be offering a four-course grazer from its regular menu on New Year’s Eve. $88, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 201-935-2995; BYO.
Casa Dante Restaurant, 737 Newark Ave, Jersey City, will have a gala New Year’s Eve celebration from 7:30 to 11 PM; $150. Reservations: 201-795-2750.
Catherine Lombardi, 3 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, will be offering its regular menu on New Year’s Eve. Fireworks can be watched at midnight. Reservations: 732-296-9463.
New Year’s Eve is being celebrated at the Crystal Springs Resorts (Grand Cascades Lodge, Minerals Resort & Spa, and Mountain Creek). For information and overnight packages log onto: http://www.crystalgolfresort.com/
Daryl, 302 George St, New Brunswick, will offer a four-course, prix-fixe menu on New Year’s Eve; $125 with champagne and matching wines for each course; $75 without alcohol. Reservations: 732-253-7780.
David Burke Fromagerie, 26 Ridge Road, Rumson, will be celebrating New Year’s Eve from 5 to 11 PM with a prix-fixe menu for $105 with a wine paring option for an additional $60 per person. A four-piece jazz band will ring in 2013. On New Year’s Day the restaurant will also serve from 11 AM to 5 PM. Reservations: (732-842-8088)
Elements, 163 Bayard Lane, Princeton will offer two seating options: 5 to 6:30 PM, $95 tasting menu; 8:30 to 10 PM, $135 tasting menu. Reservations: 609-924-0078.
The Gladstone Tavern, 273 Main St, Gladstone will offer a seven course prix fixe dinner on New Year’s Eve. 9 PM; $100. Reservations 908-234-9055.
The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern, One East Franklin Turnpike, Ho-Ho-Kus, is offering a 6 PM early seating and 9 PM late seating. The 6 PM seating features a multi-course dinner for $70, exclusive of tax and gratuity. The 9 PM seating is $90, exclusive of tax and gratuity, and will have a multi-course local farm-fresh seasonal menu and complimentary champagne toast. After dinner, guests can dance to their favorite music with DJ/entertainer, Willie Wilson. The evening includes party hats and noisemakers at midnight. An optional wine pairing can be added to both seatings for $40. Reservations: 201-445-4115.
And if you are looking for a special New Year’s event, a celebration with chef Geoff Johnson from Copper Fish on Broadway, West Cape May, will be held at the James Beard House, 167 W 12th St, New York City 9 PM; $250; members $200. Reservations: 212-627-2308.
Knife & Fork Inn, 3600 Atlantic Ave, Atlantic City, is offering their full regular menu with special holiday additions and premium wine and champagne by the glass. Reservations: 609-344-1133.
Kuzina by Sofia, Sawmill Shopping Center, 404 Rt 70 W, Cherry Hill, will have a New Year’s Eve special dinner celebration with a four-course dinner menu, champagne toast, live music and party favors for $30 per person with seating starting at 5 PM. The regular dinner menu is also available. Reservations: 856-429-1061; BYO.
Lambertville Station Restaurant and the Inn at Lambertville Station, 11 Bridge St, Lambertville, will both be open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Reservations: 609-397-8300.
Next Door, 556 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, will be open on New Year’s Eve serving from their regular menu. Reservations: 973-744-3600; BYO.
Ring in the new year at the Pig & Prince, 1 Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair, with its Seven Deadly Sins tasting menu; $185, plus tax and gratuities. Open bar from 10:30 PM to 1:30 AM. Reservations for early seating, 5 to 9 PM, will feature the winter menu. Reservations: 973-233-1006.
On New Year’s Eve, the Pluckemin Inn, 359 Route 206 South, Bedminster, will offer a three-course, prix-fixe dinner between 5 and 7 PM for $90 and a five-course, prix-fixe dinner between 8 and 10 PM for $150, which includes a champagne toast. Reservations: 908-658-9292.
Rat’s Restaurant, Grounds for Sculpture, 16 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton, will offer a brunch buffet on New Year’s Day. 11 AM to 3 PM; $49; children 5 to 12, $18. Reservations: 609-584-7800.
Restaurant Serenade, 6 Roosevelt Ave, Chatham, will offer a four-course dinner on New Year’s Eve from 6 to 10 PM; $125, plus tax and gratuities. Reservations: 973-701-0303.
Rod’s Steak and Seafood Grille & The Madison Hotel, One Convent Road, Morristown, is open on New Year’s Eve. For information or reservations call 973-539-6666.
The Ryland Inn, 115 Old Highway 28, Whitehouse Station, will feature a five-course tasting menu on New Year’s Eve. The first seating, 5 to 6:30 PM, is $115. The second seating, 8:30 and 9:30 PM, is $145. Guests at the second seating will enjoy live entertainment and a champagne toast. Reservations: 908-534-4011.
Salt Creek Grille, 1 Rockingham Row, Princeton, will have a New Year’s Eve gala from 8 PM to midnight. For $99 guests will enjoy a special prix-fixe menu, four-hour open bar, and live music. A select à la carte menu will also be available in the dining room from 4 to 10 PM. For information or reservations call, 609-419-4200.
Tavro 13, 1301 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, will offer an à la carte menu between 5 and 11 PM. A DJ will be in Tavro’s Lounge starting at 10 PM and the $45 admission includes all you can drink. Reservations: 856-467-8413.
On New Year’s Eve, Ursino, Liberty Hall Campus of Kean University, 1075 Morris Ave, Union, will offer two seatings. The first seating, 5:30 to 7 PM, will consist of the regular à la carte menu. A five-course tasting menu prepared especially for New Year’s Eve by Chef Peter Turso, will be served at the second seating, 8 to 9:30 PM. Guests dining at the second seating will be offered wine pairings to further enhance the tasting experience. Tasting menu is $95, wine pairings an additional $45. All of their guests are invited to meet in the Lounge for a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Reservations: 908-249-4099.
Stage Left, 5 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, will offer its regular menu as well as a New Year’s Eve wine dinner. Fireworks will be released at midnight. Reservations: 732-828-4444. For the wine dinner, please note "Wine Dinner" when making your reservation.
Stone House at Stirling Ridge, 50 Stirling Ave, Warren, will be open on New Year’s Eve with a limited à la carte menu from 5 to 8 PM and a prix-fixe menu from 8 to 1 PM for $85, plus tax and gratuity. A separate New Year’s Eve party, the Gallery Bash, with five stations, hors d’oeuvres, open bar, DJ, party favors, desserts and champagne toast is another option for $135 pus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 908-754-1222.
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