5 Fun Food, Wine & Beer Celebrations This Fall

In Cape May, Trenton, Fort Lee, West Orange and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

23rd Annual Cape May Food & Wine Celebration
Friday, September 13—Sunday, September 22

There’s a lot to do, but there are 10 days to do it at this year’s Cape May Food & Wine Celebration. Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities, the festival is like a calendar constellation of Cape May foodie pride. If you act fast you can get tickets to things like the Chocolate Lovers Feast (chocolate buffet with optional wine pairings) and the Chefs’ Dine-Around (September 15, 16, and 19–five courses in five different restaurants). This year also has a few new events, including the Small Bites & Flights Pairing Dinner with MudHen Brewery on September 18 (which includes a brewery tour, beer flights, and some small plate snacks for $50 total); there’s also the four-course vegan Italian meal at Good Earth Organic Eatery on Tuesday, September 17. Tickets for the various events are available online. Cape May, various locations.

Earthways Vegan Pop-Up Shop
Saturday, September 21, 11am–5pm

The Conservatory Mansion in Trenton is home to the first ever Mercer County Vegan Pop-Up next Saturday. Vegan food vendors include Cinnaholic, Will’s Amazing Vegan Burgers, Lady & the Shallot, and the Global Vegan Café; non-food vendors include Bellissimma Natural Soap, Mystic Faire, Hempworx, and the Skylands Animal Sanctuary. Tickets are $10 online or at the door. There’s a free cocktail hour from 11am to noon as well as music throughout the day. The Conservatory Mansion, 540 East State Street, Trenton; 609-858-2279

Fort Lee Restaurant Week Kick-Off Celebrity Chef Dinner at Ventanas
Tuesday, September 24, 7–9pm

It’s a star-studded night at Ventanas on September 24, with a small army of celebrity chefs joining ranks to kick of Fort Lee’s 4th Annual Restaurant Week (and simultaneously raise funds for the Fort Lee Public Schools Meal Program). It’s bound to be a hot ticket so grab a spot while you can; cooking the night’s meal are chefs Ben Pollinger of The Hill, Dale Talde (currently working on a restaurant project across the river in Tarrytown, New York), prolific NYC chef and restaurateur Josh Capon, Antonio Dinis, and, of course, David Burke. Tickets are $100 while they last and include a Q&A with the chefs. Ventanas, 200 Park Avenue, Fort Lee; 201-583-4777

6th Annual “Uncorked and Uncapped”
Thursday, October 3, 6:30–9:30pm

Billed as “the ultimate tasting experience,” this year’s Uncorked and Uncapped at the Wilshire Grand doesn’t shirk on the tasting options: there will be over 25 beers, 45 wines, and 15 spirits (or cocktails) on hand to taste through over the course of three hours. No specifics yet on exact wines—but they’ve partnered with major importers. Beer and cider vendors include Flying Fish, Romilly Cider, Magnify Brewing, Cape May Brewing, and Hoboken Brewing. There will be plenty of food to mix and match with your drinks, including some local spots like The Fox and the Falcon, Walia Ethiopian, and Frank Anthony’s Gourmet Italian. Other vendors include Glazed and Confused, The Barrow House, and Cedar Bean’s Coffee Joint. Proceeds go to help the Arc of Essex County, an organization dedicated to assisting kids and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Tickets are available online. The Wilshire Grand, 350 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange

Oktoberfest Beer Dinner at Vesta
Friday, October 4, 7:15pm

Ideally temps will have dipped by the time this beer pairing Oktoberfest dinner at Vesta comes around—this is definitely a colder weather menu. And a good one: Vesta chef Todd Villani brings modern polish to typical Oktoberfest cravings, from the Sourdough Pretzel with Cheesy Beer Mustard and Smoked Sea Salt to Hearth-Roasted Sauerbraten with Gingersnap Gravy to Apfelkuken made with local New York State Cortland apples and finished with Butterscotch Caramel, Vesta’s Oktoberfest is a meal to kick off rich flavors and fall portions. The beer pairings range form a 6.4% Hoppy Marzen from VonTrapp to a Benediktin Oktoberfest at 5.8% to Blossom from Carton Brewing, which is part Saison, part “wild” beer fermented with New Jersey yeast. Tickets are $95. Email [email protected] or call the restaurant for more info on scoring a reservation and ask about their lederhosen policy. Vesta Wood Fired Pizza & Par, 64 Hoboken Road, East Rutherford; 201-939-6012

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