It’s Truffle Season at Spuntino Wine Bar

Plus: Other food and wine events in Cranford, Manahawkin and Wayne.

Wild Mushroom and Black Truffle Ravioli. Photo courtesy Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas

Seasonal Spring Truffle Festival
May 1-31

Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas is hosting a month-long truffle festival at its Clifton location, where they’ll be showcasing truffles—black “summer truffles” (the season begins in May)—with a five-course tasting menu and optional wine pairings, available every night in May (including Mother’s Day). Dishes include Truffled Cheddar Bruschetta with Applewood Smoked Bacon, Crescent Farms Duck Breast with Sage Gremolata and Shaved Truffles, even a Graham Cracker Ricotta Tart with Roasted Figs and Truffle Honey. The dinner is $65 per person, $90 with wine pairings. Spuntino Wine Bar, 70 Kingsland Road, Clifton; 973-661-2435

New Jersey Wines Culinary Series: A Toute Heure
Thursday, May 23, 6–9 pm

This is the second in a just-launched series of wine tasting and wine pairing events from the Garden State Wine Growers Association, the idea being to match top culinary and vintner talent (and enjoy as ensuing magic happens). The first event was an April pairing dinner with Drew’s Bayshore Bistro and Working Dog Winery. This month, chef AJ Capella of A Tout Heure in Cranford will host Unionville Vineyard’s Conor Quilty for a six-course pairing dinner. The menu ranges from various Canapes served with a 2018 Riesling pét-nat (Pétillant Naturel, the “methode ancestrale” of sparkling wine ) to Scallops with Pepperonata, Sunflower, and Ocean Wash paired with a 2017 Hunterdon Mistral Blanc and Lamb with Carrot-Bone Marrow Puree with Unionville’s 2015 Big O Bordeaux-style blend. Tickets are $120. A Toute Heure, 232 Centennial Avenue, Cranford; 908-276-6600

Dogfish Head Tap Takeover at Element in Manahawkin
Thursday, May 9, 6 pm

Dogfish Head Brewery is taking a quick ferry ride and zipping up the Garden State Parkway on Thursday night for a tap takeover of Element Restaurant & Bar in Manahawkin. Even non-beer drinkers will have something to sample: not only is the maverick brewery bringing some of its favorite suds (SuperEIGHT, Dragons & YumYums, the Grateful Dead-inspired American Beauty, 60 Minute IPA), they’ll serve up a few funky cocktails using vodka, gin, and rum from their distillery (their spirits are newly available in Jersey). Element, meanwhile, will keep the steakhouse menu churning so you can fortify your stomach or pair with some of the flavors at play (e.g. the fleshy fruit and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt of the SuperEIGHT or the tropical, dragon- and passionfruit-infused, bracingly bitter Dragon & YumYums). Element Restaurant & Bar, 635 Route 72 West, Manahawkin; 609-488-2172

Wine, Dine, & Denim at The Preakness Hills Country Club
Friday, May 10, 6–10 pm

Less of a food event and more (much more) of a wine event, “Wine, Dine & Denim” features no fewer than 300 wines from all over the globe. A high-cost night (General Admission is $175), but worth the ticket price if you factor in all the wines on hand and the fact that the night’s proceeds go to the Chilton Medical Center in Pompton Plains. There are special VIP hours from 6-7 pm with expert-guided wine and food pairing for just 76 guests and expert-guided vodka and food pairing for only 50 (those tickets, if you can snag one, are $250). Don’t worry if you can only make General Admission—the Wine, Dine, & Denim night will actually include beverages like single malt scotch, Cognac, whiskies, and craft beers for sampling, as well as passed hors d’oeuvres and international food stations for between-sip-refueling. Register for tickets here and, yes, wear denim. Preakness Hills Country Club, 1050 Ratzer Road, Wayne; 973-831-5165

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