Some other menu items are: oysters; jambalaya; grilled alligator sausage; fried chicken; shrimp Creole; duck, pheasant, and andouille gumbo; po-boys; red beans and rice; and boudin balls. Vegetarian and child-friendly foods will be available as well, and be sure to leave room for yummy desserts such as beignets and pecan pie. Like what you ate? A French Market booth will be selling coffee, beignet mix, and other New Orleans staples to make at home. And remember that you can dance off the calories, as twenty bands will perform over the weekend. More information and advance tickets including camping tickets are available at www.crawfishfest.com.
GREAT GRILL & PIG OUT
On May 21, the Great Grill & Pig Out to benefit Table to Table will be held at the Estate at Florentine Gardens, 97 Rivervale Road, River Vale, with guest of honor Chef Waldy Malouf. More than twenty restaurants will be in attendance, including Arthur’s Landing, Axia, Crave, Morton’s, Strip House, and Varka. 6:30 PM; $175. For more information and tickets call 201-444-5500.
GRADS GET THE BOARDROOM
From now until June 30, Morton’s the Steakhouse, Shops at Riverside, Hackensack, is offering complimentary hors d’oeuvres to grads and their families who make reservations in the Morton’s private boardroom, which can accommodate 12 to 75 people for an elegant sit-down dinner. For more information and reservations call 201-487-1303.
WINE LOVERS, TAKE NOTE
On May 24 and 25, an International Wine Guild Certification Seminar will be held at Classic Thyme Cooking School, 710 South Avenue West, Westfield, with instructor Claude Robbins. The focus of the two-day class is to teach a basic knowledge of wine, wine evaluation, wine description, and wine and food pairing. Attendees will taste at least 28 wines from three continents and receive 125 pages of handout material prepared specifically for the course. Diploma course work is available through the guild upon completion of the seminar. May 24, 8 AM to 5 PM; May 25, 8 AM to 3 PM; $475 including lunch both days. For more information and to enroll call 908-232-5445.
LUNCH BUFFET AT PIQUANT
Piquant Bread Bar and Grill, 349A George Street, New Brunswick, is offering a healthy lunch buffet Sundays through Fridays from noon to 2:30 PM; $12. For more information and reservations call 732-246-2468; BYO.
SOME LIKE IT HOT
On May 17, bring your appetite to the Annual NJ State Chili & Salsa Cook-Off, which will be held on Washington Street in Toms River. Dozens of contestants from all over the tri-state area will compete for prize money, and the event will feature live entertainment, children’s rides, games, vendors, and crafters. 11 AM to 5 PM. Tasting kits will be available for a small fee. For more information call 732-341-8738.
On May 20, Calçada, 1 Center Street, Newark, will feature a Jersey-fresh Locavore Dinner with spring lettuces, lobster, clams, East Coast oysters, and more along with a dessert buffet featuring coconut mango cake, cinnamon nachos, and the milk shake of the week. 6 PM. For more information and reservations call 973-642-1226.
CALANDRA’S ITALIAN VILLAGE, CALDWELL
Work is continuing on Calandra’s Italian Village, Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, which will include Il Vecchio Cafe & Ristorante, La Tarvina, Calandra’s Italian & French Bakery, an espresso bar and gelateria, Calandra’s Italian Market and Specialty Deli, and a very special wine and cheese department featuring Vino Calandra and new wines carefully selected from family-owned vineyards in Italy.
STAR CHEF ALERT
On May 13, Bobby Flay will be at Williams-Sonoma, Short Hills, from 3 to 5 PM and at Barnes and Noble, 3981 Route 9, Freehold, at 7 PM.
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