Restaurant News and Food Events


Have you been to Next Door for lunch or dinner? This little restaurant, owned by Chef Zod Arifai from Blu, Montclair, is at 556 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, and serves scrumptious, reasonably priced comfort food (check out the menu at

Try the spicy tuna tartare, the mesclun salad, or our favorite app, seldom-seen sautéed chicken livers with caramelized onions. We’re also partial to the burger and to the salad made with napa cabbage, peanuts, crisp wontons, snow peas, carrots, and spicy peanut dressing. Also available at this BYO, kid-friendly restaurant are pastas, seafood entrées, crisp roasted chicken, and the best meatloaf we’ve tasted in a long time. Reservations are not taken, but certainly call 973-744-3600 before you go to let them know you’re coming.

Executive chef Anthony LoPinto is serving delicious food at Crave Restaurant & Lounge, 168 Passaic Avenue, Fairfield. Some items we’ve been raving about: jumbo lump crab cake; oysters with passion fruit mignonette; vegetarian sampler with hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, marinated olives, and feta; grilled Asian-marinated hanger steak (it’s on my “best” list this year); oven-roasted duck breast; pan-seared diver sea scallops with wild mushroom barley; and linguine with roasted garlic, tomato, spinach, eggplant, capers, olives, white wine, and basil. Leave room for dessert, especially anything made with chocolate. Fridays rock at Crave, with half-price drinks from 4 to 6:30 PM and a DJ and dancing starting at 10 PM. Can’t make it on Friday? On Wednesdays, ladies can opt for half-price martinis. For more information and dinner reservations call 973-882-8700.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World is a new book by the owner of the Wine Library, Springfield, which lists his recommendations for 2008 and covers price ranges, regions, grapes, and styles of wine. Gary also has a daily video blog, the Thunder Show (, where he rates wines for his fans, who are called “Vayniacs.” For more information log on to


5/18: A Passage to India wine luncheon sponsored by Women for WineSense will be held at Moksha, 1655-200 Oak Tree Rd, Edison. 12:30 to 3 PM; $42; nonmembers $52. For reservations call 732-208-0300.

5/18: A Spring Lilac Party with a wine tasting and a light supper will be held at the Willowwood Arboretum, 300 Longview Rd, Far Hills, to benefit the arboretum. 4:30 PM; tickets range from $125 to $275 (a $275 ticket includes a special concert and champagne reception starting at 3 PM). For more information and tickets call 908-234-1815.

5/18: A Wines for Summer Sipping tasting sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts will be held at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington St, Cape May. 1 to 3 PM; $25. For more information and reservations call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278.

5/19: The Jersey Battered Women’s Shelter Grand Tastings event will be held at Pleasantdale Chateau, 757 Eagle Rock Ave, West Orange. 6 to 9:30 PM; $350. For tickets call 908-781-8418.

5/19: A four-course demonstration cooking class will be held at Prickly Pear Restaurant, 80-30 Main Street Plaza, Hackettstown. For more information call 908-979-0003; BYO.

5/19: A six-course, five-wine Quintessa wine dinner will be held at Smoke Chophouse, 36 Engle St, Englewood. 7 PM; $125. For reservations call 201-541-8530.
5/20: A Jersey Fresh Locavore Dinner will be held at Calçada, NJPAC, 1 Center St, Newark. 6 PM; $85 including tax, tip, and parking. Call 973-642-1226 for reservations.

5/20: A German wine tasting will be held at Pierre’s, 995 Mount Kemble Ave (Rt 202), Morristown. 7:30 PM; $30. For reservations call 973-425-1212.

5/20: A Summer Whites tasting will be held at City Vino, 35 Hudson St, Jersey City. 7 PM; $39. For more information and reservations call 201-333-5520.

5/21: A three-course cooking class will be held at Bacio, 2806 Rt 130 N, Cinnaminson. 6:30 PM; $35. For reservations call 856-303-9100.

5/21: The Great Grill & Pig Out to benefit Table to Table will be held at the Estate at Florentine Gardens, 97 Rivervale Rd, River Vale, with guest of honor Chef Waldy Malouf. 6:30 PM; $175. For more information and tickets call 201-444-5500.

5/23: A class on how to make and use rubs, herbs, and spices, as well as how to create a sampler set of your own, will be held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Haggerty Center, 53 East Hanover Ave, Morris Township. 7 to 9 PM; $25; members $18. For more information and to register call 973-326-7603.

5/24 and 5/25: A Blues & Wine Festival will be held at Natirar Park, Main St, Peapack. Noon to 5 PM. For ticket information call the Garden State Wine Growers Association at 609-588-0085.

5/24 and 5/25: The International Wine Guild’s two-day Guild Certification Seminar will be held at Classic Thyme Cooking School, 710 South Ave W, Westfield. May 24, 8 AM to 5 PM; May 25, 8 AM to 3 PM; $475 ($325 course fee plus $150 for meals and materials, including lunch both days). For more information and to enroll call 908-232-5445.

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