Kick Off Hudson County Restaurant Week

Plus: Other dinners in Princeton, Verona, Montclair and Sea Bright.

Hudson County Restaurant Week
Monday, January 27 – Friday, February 7

It’s Restaurant Week again in Hudson County. From Monday, January 27 through Friday, February 7, restaurants throughout the county are offering special prix fixe menus. Restaurants are participating in Harrison, Hoboken, Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, North Bergen, Edgewater, Weehawken and Guttenberg (you can see the full list, as well as their menu prices, here). New additions include Left Bank Burger & Bar in Jersey City, Fork Hill Kitchen in Union City, El Charro in Weehawken, and the recently opened Belo Bar and Chango Kitchen, both in Hoboken. Hudson County, various locations.

Cakebread Cellars Wine Dinner at the Rum Runner
Thursday, February 13, 7pm

Opened by Tim McCloone in 1987 and made (more) famous by none other than erstwhile regular Bruce Springsteen, the Rum Runner is hosting Cakebread Cellars for a pre-Valentine’s wine dinner (which just might be ingenious—enjoy the fine wine and prix fixe, avoid the crowds and tears and proposals). The night is limited seating, with tickets going for $110 for a five-course menu from executive chef Daniel Kane. Pairings include a lump crab fritter with smoked pearl onion and arugula paired with a Cakebread chardonnay, a petite filet mignon with a mushroom red wine demi-glace paired with their spicy, full-berried Bordeaux-style Mullan Road 2016 Red Blend, and a red wine chocolate custard (‘cause why not) paired with their Robert Parker 92-point 2016 merlot, juicy dark berry and forest scored with tannin. Cakebread Cellars is a Napa winery that has almost forty years under its belt. The Rum Runner, 816 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright; 732-842-2894

Benefit Dance and Burgundy Dinner at Faubourg
Tuesday, February 11, 6–8:30pm; and Thursday, February 20 7pm

Here’s a way to get a unique date night (dance night) in if you can’t—or dare not—venture out on Valentine’s Day. Faubourg in Montclair is hosting Carolyn Dorfman, owner of Carolyn Dorfman Dance and DEPTH, “Dance that Empowers People To be more Human.” (The organization uses the universal expression of dance as a means of cultivating expression in local communities, schools, etc.) The night is brisk and affordable: $75 gets you hors d’oeuvres, signature drinks, and a dance performance in Faubourg’s Private Lounge space.

Also at Faubourg on February 20 is a Burgundy wine pairing dinner with Seema Parthasarathy of Terlato Wines International guiding you through a four-course menu, each course paired with a unique Burgundy wine (among some of the most persnickety, expressive, delicate, sought-after wines in the world; the Poetess Tease to Bordeaux’s full-throated Diva). The night’s magic starts at 7pm, and you’ll want to be there promptly—and have transportation arranged ahead of time, as wine will be flowing. Tickets for that dinner are $150 per person and can be reserved by emailing [email protected]. Faubourg, 544 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair; 973-542-7700

TasteMaker Dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Princeton
Thursday, February 27, 6:30–9:30pm

Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Princeton is kicking off its TasteMaker Dinner series for 2020 with Rombauer Vineyards. The dinner is the first of 10 planned for 2020, with Rombauer Vineyards from the eastern side of the Napa Valley doing the first pouring, and pairing, of the year. The menu is five courses, TBD, but tickets are $110. Rombauer, FYI, is a family-run winery with four decades making wine in the Napa Valley and iconic, award-winning expressions of California chardonnay (among other wines). Get your tickets here before February 16. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 2 Village Boulevard, Princeton; 6099-452-0041

Collaborative Dinner at Ariane Kitchen & Bar
Thursday, March 12, 7–10pm

It might seem to early to think about a dinner in March, but when it’s an Ariane Duarte collaboration dinner, you’ll want to book early. This March she’ll be sharing the kitchen at her restaurant space on Walnut Avenue with Michael Carrino, formerly chef at Pig and Prince (which closed unexpectedly last June). Carrino is now at the helm of Mike’s Pasta and Sandwich Shoppe in Nutley and, as of Monday the 27th, will have co-hosted a beautiful-looking dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. But March 12, he’s in Jersey and all yours, cooking a four-course menu, with dessert and amuse bouche, alongside Duarte. Among the dishes promised: Terrine of Duck, Foie Grois, Dried Fruit, and Pistachio on Cranberry Bread; Italian Braised Rabbit with Piccolo Ziti, Sage, and Hazelnut Brittle; and a Seared Lamb Top Sirloin with Parsnip Puree and Apple Pear Chutney. All courses come with wine pairings, which makes $120 per person not insanely unreasonable. Snatch while you can. Ariane Kitchen & Bar, 706 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona; 973-744-0533

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