Farm-Focused Fêtes to Come

Chef collaborations, an Outstanding in the Field dinner and a "green drinks" gathering.

It’s all happening on the farm, or coming from the farmers, or being inspired by what farmers are growing and raising. Take a look at what’s coming up, both in the next few weeks and down the road a-pace, that’s all about Garden State agriculture.

First up: Green Drinks

Green Drinks,” an informal gathering of farmers, food producers and artisans, and those working to strengthen our local food system will take place from 7 to 9:30 pm Monday, March 19 at Buck Hill Brewery and Restaurant, 45 Route 94 in Blairstown.

Organized by the Foodshed Alliance, “Green Drinks” offers the opportunity for people who have a “common interest in sustainability, the environment and all things green”…to get together “in an informal setting to relax, enjoy each other’s company and network.”

According to the Alliance’s executive director, Kendrya Close, the drinks aren’t green—“just the conversation!” However, Buck Hill is offering 20 percent off the price of drinks for the group’s event. There is no charge to attend; the regular menu will be available for those interested in dining.

Reservations are required by Saturday, March 17. To RSVP; e-mail Close at [email protected] or call 908-362-7967.

For information about Buck Hill, call 908-854-5300 or visit buckhillbrewery.com.

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Outstanding in the Field Dinner: Reserve on Tuesday, March 20

The national Outstanding in the Field dining program is coming to New Jersey.

If you’d like to attend this edition of the sure-thing, sell-out, mark your calendar for Tuesday, March 20, the first day of spring, because that’s when reservations for the spring/summer/fall dinners go on sale at outstandinginthefield.com.

The Garden State edition is likely to sell out within minutes, since the featured chef is David Viana, chef-partner of Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge and a newly minted James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. This Outstanding in the Field dinner will take place starting at 3 pm Friday, September 21 at Riverrine Ranch in Asbury, a section of Franklin Township in Warren County. The farmer-hosts are Courtney and Brian Foley, who raise water buffalo on 62 acres.

The cost of the dinner, which includes a farm tour, hors d’oeuvres and beverages, and four plated courses, is $235 per person. Payment is by credit card when reservations are made. For more information on the program, including the exact time on March 20 to pounce on the site in order to nab a seat, take a look under FAQ at the website.

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Anthony Bucco and David Viana, together again

Speaking of Heirloom Kitchen, chef Viana’s mentor and happy collaborator Anthony Bucco—formerly of Crystal Springs Resort and its Restaurant Latour—is paying a special visit to the restaurant-cooking studio located at 3853 Route 516 in Old Bridge on Sunday, March 25.

On that evening, starting at 6 pm, Bucco and Viana will prepare and serve a six-course Sicilian Wine Dinner that foreshadows Bucco’s forthcoming project, Felina.

Felina, currently being built out in downtown Ridgewood, is scheduled to open in June. But you’ll get a taste of Bucco’s menu plans as well as sips of select Sicilian wines courtesy of the importer Domaine Select. The price of dinner is $125 per person, not including tax and tip.

To reserve, call 732-727-9444.

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And: Anthony Bucco and Robbie Felice, together

Shortly after Bucco’s collaboration with Viana at Heirloom, the chef will team up with Robbie Felice, chef-owner of Viaggio in Wayne.

Felice will welcome Bucco to Viaggio, 1055 Hamburg Turnpike in Wayne, for a collaborative dinner starting at 7 pm Thursday, April 5.

The inspiration for the multi-course dinner will be a Berkshire pig raised by Steve MacLean on his 170-acre farm in Vernon. Wines for the evening will be curated by Sandra Zotti of Cambridge Wines, Morristown.

According to Felice, the dinner is a chance for Bucco to introduce to area diners his food ideas for Felina, which is one of the most anticipated restaurants slated to open in 2018 in New Jersey.

The cost per person for seating in the main dining space is $125 per person, including tax and tip. The per-person cost for the Chef’s Table will be $250 per person, including tax and tip.

For information and reservations, call 973-706-7277.

Editor’s Note: Information in this post was updated on March 15, 2018.

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