Meet Table Hopping’s New Editor

Our new blogger invites you to join in her joyful, lifelong pursuit of great dining experiences.

Since 2001, the Table Hopping blog has steered you and me to so many great meals, from humble to haute. Is there anyone who doesn’t owe Rosie Saferstein a stockpot of thanks for all she has done to raise the bar on eating in the Garden State?

Together, I hope we can continue Rosie’s tradition of talking restaurants and related events every day. The good news is that Rosie herself will continue to post on occasion.

As for me, I wake up every morning thinking about what I’m going to eat, and go to sleep thinking about what I’ve eaten and what could be on tomorrow’s menus. When I travel, there’s always an eating itinerary. When I plan anything social, food is always the No. 1 consideration.

When I graduated college in 1976, set off for Europe and returned even more food-obsessed than I’d been as a college kid, I was considered a little weird. Today I have plenty of company, not just in exploring the world’s cuisines, but in examining their connection to larger issues of culture, sustainability, fair wages, small-and-local versus large-and-industrial, and much more.

Table Hopping is a community—one I am proud and privileged to be joining as its editor and main writer.

Please reach out to me with your tips, touts, queries and comments. When you spot trends, see a new restaurant under construction, wonder what’s happening at a beloved restaurant whose chef has moved on, don’t hesitate to drop me a note at [email protected]

Whether you’re a civilian diner with a hearty appetite for news or a chef planning an event you’d like to promote in Table Hopping, please know I will be hoping to hear from you.

Cheers–and here’s to a happy, healthy and delicious 2017.

Kicking off 2017: Upcoming Events

FIT FOR A KING: Three Kings Day feted at Choc-O-Pain

Roscoe de Reyes Kings Cake

Roscoe de Reyes King’s Cake at Choc-O-Pain

Gallette de Rois Kings Cake at Choc-O-Pain

Gallette de Rois King’s Cake at Choc-O-Pain

Friday, Jan 6 is Three Kings Day, and Choc-O-Pain locations in Hoboken and Jersey City are celebrating with a special edition of Gallette des Rois. The French prepare Gallette des Rois (a.k.a. King’s Cake) using a pate feuillettée dough with a frangipane filling. The special cakes, which come in two shapes, will be offered through Jan. 31. Choc-O-Pain is located at 157 First Street in Hoboken (201-710-5175); 530 Jersey Avenue in Jersey City (201-435-2462); and 942 Summit Avenue in Jersey City (201-420-7111)

VACATION EXPO: Sickles Market hosts fourth annual adventure event

Sickles Market, a food Mecca located at 1 Harrison Avenue in Little Silver, will host the fourth annual getaway planner on Sunday, Jan. 22 from 11 am to 3 pm. Together with partner Excel Travel, Sickles will present travel experts offering a world of ideas for the vacation-minded. For more information, visit

PIES WITH A PURPOSE: A benefit for “Juliana”

James Beard Award-nominated chef Drew Araneo, chef-owner of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro in Keyport, a NJM Top 25 Restaurant, headlines a benefit for a high school student battling Hodgkins lymphoma. At the fundraiser, set for Monday, Jan. 23 from 4 to 9 pm at Coal (100 Route 9, Galleria Shopping Center, Manalapan), Araneo will fire up a pizza created for the occasion in the restaurant’s coal-fired ovens. The event is sponsored and organized by Coal. Pizzas will cost $15 each; $10 from the cost of each pie will go directly to the charity benefiting the student. Reservations recommended: 732-677-3220.

PAUL HOBBS WINE DINNER: Stage Left spotlights legendary vintner

Mark Friday, Jan. 27 on your calendar if you want to rub elbows with–and taste the critically acclaimed wines of–one of the world’s most celebrated winemakers. Paul Hobbs returns to Stage Left, the landmark restaurant in New Brunswick that was the first on the East Coast to serve Hobbs’s award-winning wines. A pre-dinner tasting (5:30 to 6:45 pm) is priced at $100. The tasting and dinner (which starts at 7) is $325. This is not Stage Left’s first Paul Hobbs dinner. They usually sell out, so make reservations post-haste at [email protected] or by calling 732-828-4444.

A TASTE OF ITALY: Park Steakhouse goes Italian

The red, white and green will be on spiritual display the night of Thursday, Feb. 2 starting at 7 pm, when Park Steakhouse, 151 Kinderkermack Road in Park Ridge, salutes Italian cuisine with a four-course dinner. Antipasti, a pasta course sporting two favorites—meatballs and sausage with “Sunday gravy” and ricotta gnocchi—plus a trio of entrées and tiramisu for dessert, are on the menu. For reservations call 201-930-1300.

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