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Guest blogger Melody Kettle dishes about delectable things to do, including a round up of Valentine's Day specials and activities.
Beer + Wine Olympics at Amanti Vino
Sharon Sevrens and the team at Amanti Vino (30 Church St, Montclair, 973-509-WINE) have put together a lighthearted way for customers to show their competitive spirit. The most-purchased wine or beer for each pairing is the winner and will move into the next round. For each bottle purchased the customer's name will be entered into a drawing. Wines and beers are from countries represented in the games and all are crowd-pleasers under $23. The "competition" started February 8 and runs through February 23. To purchase or for more information, visit Amanti Vino's website.
Yummy Love at Chelsea Hotel
The Chelsea Hotel and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro are creating Yummy Love! The Package is available during the weekends of February 7, 14 and 21. Package includes Luxe or Annex accommodations, cake for two, made exclusively by Carlo's Bakery, a bottle of Italian prosecco, $50 dining credit per night (in-room dining or Teplitzky's), one in-room movie per night, valet parking per night for one car, and late checkout at noon. For more information or to book “Yummy Love!” please call 1-800-548-5030 (promo code: yummy).
Wednesday, February 12
Pilsener Haus & Biergarten (1422 Grand St (corner Grand & 15th streets), Hoboken, 201-683-5465) will host a 4-course Weisse Bier Dinner at 7 PM, featuring chef Thomas Ferlesch's Austro-Hungarian cuisine and the Weisse Biers (wheat beers) of Schneider-Weisse Brewery. Guests will enjoy a delicious dinner, paired with a full spectrum of weisse biers from the world's oldest wheat beer brewery, which has been making wheat beer since 1607. The dinner is $60 per person (excluding gratuity). Tickets are available only through this link.
Red Knot at Galloping Hill Culinary Classes
Wednesday, February 19
Red Knot at Galloping Hill (3 Golf Dr, Kenilworth; 908-686-1556) presents Pizza Time! (adults only) 6:30–8:30 PM. Chef Romano and staff will demonstrate how to make pizza in Red Knot's wood-burning oven. Each student will be given their own dough to stretch and array with their choice of toppings. Plus a chef's toque, choice of house wines and a goody bag. Take the pizza home...if it hasn't been eaten by the end of class!
Saturday, February 22, 12–2 PM
Join Red Knot restaurant pastry chef Cassandra Carlstrom for Fun with Cupcakes, for kids and adults. She'll demo how to prepare cupcakes from scratch for easy baking at home. Then everyone gets hands on, learning various ways to decorate cupcakes for all occasions. Each student gets to bring home their creations, if they don't eat them all! (Note: children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.)
Wednesday, February 26, 6:30–8:30 PM
Red Knot restaurant food & beverage director Richard Spaulding will present Cocktail Creation (adults only) a review of basic bartending concepts. Students will try their hand at making three contemporary yet classic cocktails: Margarita, Cosmopolitan, and Whiskey Sour. They will also learn how to use all-natural, fresh ingredients to mix delicious specialty cocktails that can easily be recreated at home.
Classes are $25 (tax included), a 10% discount if registering for all three. Register at RedKnotRestaurant.com.
Thursday, February 20
For the second year in a row, Robert’s Steakhouse of New York, located in Trump Taj Mahal Casino Hotel (1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; 609-449-1000), is pleased to participate in the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City’s 13th annual the Press of Atlantic City’s South Jersey's Men R’ Cookin’ event. Tickets are $60 in advance and $70 at the door; all proceeds benefit The Boys & Girls Club’s youth development programs for children in Atlantic City and surrounding communities; 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 609-347-2697 or visit www.acbgc.org.
VALENTINES: DINE + EXPERIENCE
Valentine’s Weekend at Blue Morel (2 Whippany Rd, Morristown 973-451-2619) will feature a four-course Valentine’s Menu, $89 per person on Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 10 PM. A Lover's Sunday Brunch buffet, $36 per person, includes lobster, oysters, shrimp, a glass of champagne, mimosa or bloody Mary. Seating noon to 2 PM.
Acclaimed Montclair BYOB, CulinAriane (33 Walnut St, Montclair; 973-744-0533) is offering a four-course menu on Valentine’s Day. Course offerings include selections like cornmeal-crusted oysters, and bone-in certified angus beef rib steak for two. $85.00 per person.
Featuring ingredients known to "arouse the senses," The Orange Squirrel (412 Bloomfield Ave, Bloomfield; 973-337-642) will offer three seating times, and three dining options: 6 PM, three courses, $65; 7:30 PM, four courses, $80; 9:30 PM, five courses $85 (includes a champagne cocktail. Does not include tax & gratuity). Full-size bottles of bubbly will be 40% off. Reservations required.
Restaurant Nicholas (160 Route 35 South, Red Bank, 732-345-9977) will be offering a three-course Valentine’s Day menu for $105 per person (plus tax and gratuity) on February 14, 15 and 16.
Salt Creek Grille (Salt Creek Grille, 4 Bingham Ave, Rumson; 732-933-9272) one of New Jersey’s most popular waterfront restaurants, will offer a prix-fixe menu, $125 per couple (plus tax and gratuity). The prix-fixe menu is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5 PM. Salt Creek Grille’s regular menu is available on Saturday and Sunday, as well as Salt Creek Grille’s popular Limitless Sunday Champagne Brunch from 11–2:30 PM. Adults, $32, and children 12 years old and under, $12.
On Friday, February 14, the Atlantic City Bottle Company, (648 N Albany Ave, Atlantic City; 609-348-6400) with host Ice Wines Exclusives, will feature a sampling of beautiful ice wines with a cheese pairing. Guests are invited to stick around for a special Valentine's prix-fixe dinner. $65 per person, plus a wine pairing. Reservations are required.
Valentine’s Day at Red Knot Restaurant (3 Golf Drive, Kenilworth; 908-241-221) at the Galloping Hill Golf Course will feature a three-course, prix-fixe menu designed by chef Ralph Romano, offering main course selections such as of rack of lamb with eggplant puree, artichokes, grapes, cannellini beans with a tomato-cumin sauce, or a surf-and-turf selection with Sterling filet mignon and tempura lobster lollipops. The regular dinner menu will be available. The prix fixe is $55 per person, plus sales tax and 18% gratuity. Reservation times run every half hour starting at 5 PM to 9 PM. Please be prepared to leave a credit card number to hold your reservation.
The White Castle of Love
It’s not White Castle, it’s the Love Castle. Nationwide White Castle locations, including Plainfield, (2314 S Clinton Ave, South Plainfield; 908-753-0822), are accepting reservations for its annual Valentine's Day dinner, but hurry tables are booking fast. White Castle invites couples, families and groups of friends for a special evening with new menu items, tableside service, unique photo opportunities and themed decorations. Returning this year will be the popular cheesecake-on-a-stick for dessert lovers. For those craving something more exotic—shrimp nibblers will be back on the menu. This fun alternative to a traditional dinner has been a popular staple for Cravers across the country for more than 20 years. This year, White Castle has expanded dinner hours because of the demand for reservations. Visit the website for more information about event hours and how to make reservations.
Crystal Springs Resort (3 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg; 973-827-5996) offers an array of Valentine’s options throughout the weekend. Restaurant Latour will serve a four-course menu ($115, $150 with wine pairing) from Thursday, February 13 to Saturday, February 15. The regular menu will also be available on 2/13 and 2/15, although not on 2/14. Couples can opt to have a rare dining experience in the renowned 135,000 bottle Wine Cellar’s Bordeaux Room on February 14 at 7 PM. Guests will enjoy a four-course menu created by executive chef Timothy Fischer ($100, $150 with wine pairing). Crystal Tavern will offer a five-course menu ($80, $115 with wine pairing) and an Italian Valentine’s menu at Springs Bistro ($70) served on February 14 and 15. A la carte menus will also be available at each restaurant. The Grand Cascades Lodge offers a romantic dine and spa package for the weekend (rates start at $892.60), which includes a luxury room, couples Chardonnay Massage, dinner for two at Crystal Tavern, and a romance basket with bubble bath, bottle of champagne, chocolate-covered strawberry candies, and more.
Wine & Chocolate Trail Weekends
Leading wineries throughout New Jersey will provide the setting for a romantic weekend for Valentine’s Day, when the Garden State Wine Growers Association presents its annual Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend on February 15-16 at participating wineries throughout New Jersey. The trails feature wine tastings and chocolate samplings from noon-5 PM at participating wineries, showcasing the award-winning New Jersey wines being produced by the more than 40 wineries now operating throughout the state. From the Skylands in Northern Sussex County to the tip of Cape May, six different wine trails await you. Each winery along the way will offer wine tastings, tours, live music and other entertainment and special food preparation or dinners as part of this special Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend. To access maps to the six trails and to learn about the special events each winery has to offer visit: website.
Chef Anthony Micari of The Ebbitt Room at The Virginia Hotel (25 Jackson St, Cape May, 609-884-5700) has created a four-course tasting menu made for romance, served with a complimentary glass of champagne; $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. A la carte options are also available. For couples, the Savor Romance Slowly package includes accommodations, chocolate-covered strawberries and a split of champagne, dining credit for The Ebbitt Room ($110), which can be used towards the special Valentine’s Day dinner or any other night a la carte (reservations required at time of booking), breakfast for two in bed, 2 PM late checkout, valet parking. Reservations are required.
Sea Oaks Golf Club (99 Golf View Dr, Little Egg Harbor Township) is offering four courses for $69.95 per couple. Guests select two appetizers, two salads, and two entrees from selections like St. Valentine’s shrimp pappardelle (wide noodle pasta) tossed with sautéed jumbo white shrimp, shiitake mushrooms and broccoli rabe, and slow-roasted prime rib. Followed by a dessert sampler for two. Alcohol beverages not Included. Taxes and gratuity not Included.
If you’d like to stay over, Sea Oaks is offering the Valentine’s Day Weekend Ultimate Dinner/Stay Package for $139.95 per couple, including a four-course dinner for two, accommodations, and a complimentary bottle of champagne, or bottle of house wine (plus tax and gratuities).