Dream of Italy With Author Frances Mayes at Piattino in Summit

Plus: Other food and wine events in Hoboken, Florham Park and Brielle.

“Dream of Italy” Premiere, Book Launch, and Italian Culinary Tour
Wednesday, April 3, 6:30–8:30 pm

There’s a lot to pack into these two hours at Piattino: Kathy McCabe of PBS’ “Dream of Italy” and Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun, will co-host this book signing/culinary tour/television premiere (packed) night. The main event will be the sneak-peek debut of their upcoming collaboration for PBS: “Dream of Italy: Tuscan Sun Special.” Mayes will also be signing copies of her latest Italian travel book, See You in the Piazza. Chef Kevin Felice, too, will pack lots of flavor into the night, with dedicated piazza-themed stations serving up Italian regional variety, e.g. Arancini Dolce at the Sicily Piazza, Tuscan Short Ribs with Truffle Polenta and Tuscan Kale at the Tuscan Piazza, Mini Veal “Milanese” at the, you guessed it, Milan Piazza. Wine and soft drinks will also be served. Tickets are scant, and also $89 (read the bottom of the Eventbrite listing, your attendance is tacit agreement to be filmed, photographed, etc.). Piattino, 67 Union Place, Summit; 908-219-4801

Austin Hope Wine Pairing Dinner at Waterman’s Tavern
Thursday, March 14, 6:30–9:30 pm

It’s the first wine dinner for Waterman’s Tavern, but it doesn’t look like that means any growing pains for the Brielle restaurant. The menu is set, paired with wines from Hope Family Wines, including their Treana label (Austin Hope, son of winery founder Chuck, was recently named Paso Robles Wine Industry Person of the Year for 2018). The night includes pairings like Spring Mix Salad with Fig and Crispy Prosciutto with a 2015 Treana Chardonnay, Bison Meatball Stroganoff with the Treana Red Blend, and a 2016 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon with a Flourless Chocolate Torte and Salted Caramel Ice Cream. (There’s more, including a triple-protein main course.) Tickets for the dinner are $85 and the doors open at 5 pm. Waterman’s Tavern, 403 Higgins Avenue, Brielle; 732-722-8978

25th Annual “Taste of Hoboken”
Tuesday, March 19, 6–9 pm

Based on how they’re planning the night, the $150 General Admission to this year’s “Taste of Hoboken” is likely well worth it. The evening takes place in the Bissinger Room at Steven’s Institute of Technology, with flowing wine and beer and Hudson River views. Among the restaurants up for tasting are Anthony David’s, Amanda’s, Antique Bar & Bakery, Tutta Pesca, La Isla, Choc-O-Pain, Madison Bar and Grill, Carlo’s Bakery, Charrito’s, Leo’s Grandevous, and Elysian Café—though likely the most excitement will be stirred up by the presence of both Zafra and Cucharamama, as Maricel Presilla is one of a small group of New Jersey chefs up for a James Beard Award this year. Proceeds go to benefit the Hoboken Community Center’s ambitious renovation project for its recreation center (the HCC has been serving the community’s homeless for over 135 years). If you’re feeling especially generous you can opt for the $500 VIP ticket which gets you into the special “Prosecco Preview” at 6 pm. Bissinger Room, Wesley J. Howe Center, 1 Castle Point Terrace, Hoboken; 201-216-5000

Taste of Madison
Monday, March 18, 7–9:30 pm

Madison is hosting its own 18th annual tasting gala, with chefs from 30 area restaurants signed up to serve in the Brookdale Country Club. Longtime local sponsor Gary’s Wine & Spirits will be providing tipples. Tickets are $65, though for $100 you can get in early (6 pm) and do a little preview tasting, and proceeds go to multiple, Madison-based charities, civic initiatives, etc. No one under 21 can attend, so book your babysitter early. Brooklake Country Club, 139 Brooklake Road, Florham Park.

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