Choose from wines (with organic, biodynamic, and kosher selections), spirits, foods (including fresh organic milk, butter, and eggs) and prepared foods (we love the vegetable quiche made by Ome Caterers, which also prepares entire meals to go that can be preordered), 150 fresh-cut cheeses, fresh-cut flowers, gourmet kitchenware, and gifts including a gift-basket department. We’re partial to the eye-catching wine-barrel serving pieces and the cork-handle spreaders. There’s also a wine tasting bar with daily tastings, a wine information desk, temperature-controlled wine storage, and a space for lectures by guest speakers. Check out the gas-lamp-style lighting, tall trees, and mosaic tile work, which were created to resemble an outdoor European marketplace. Open daily.
Taste of the Nation
On May 5, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation will be held at Birchwood Manor, 111 North Jefferson Road, Whippany, to raise money for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Eva’s Village. Sample food from more than 40 chefs, taste wines from around the world, and bid on culinary packages and gourmet items. 6 to 9 PM; $85 in advance; $95 at the door. For tickets call 973-772-4474.
Spring Lilac Party
On May 18, a Spring Lilac Party with a wine tasting and a light supper will be held at the Willowwood Arboretum, 300 Longview Road, 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.
Restaurant Serenade Wine Dinner
On May 14, a five-course Wine Journey of Southern France dinner will be held at Restaurant Serenade, 6 Roosevelt Avenue, Chatham, with speakers Alain and John Junguenet from Wines of France. 7 PM; $150 all inclusive. For reservations call 973-701-0303.
NEW MENUS TO EXPLORE
Stop by for a drink and a small bite and stay for dinner at Fromagerie, 26 Ridge Road, Rumson. A new Burke at the Bar menu features sliders; grilled Brie with sun-dried tomato; crispy lobster sticks served with mango relish; oysters Fromagerie with jumbo lump crab; calamari tempura; and BBQ chicken dumplings. Some of the new cocktails created by general manager Yasir Chaudhry are Orange Ginger Mojito, Rosemary Scented Apple Martini, Huckleberry Bourbon, Orange-Fennel Martini, and Wet Pear Tonic. These drinks use fresh, seasonal ingredients, with exotic fruits and herbs infused into superpremium spirits. For dinner reservations call 732-842-8088.
Catherine Lombardi, 3 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, has a new dinner menu with a larger section of pastas and sauces in a mix-and-match format, all for $17.95. Some choices are cavatelli, ricotta-stuffed rigatoni, and linguine and pappardelle that can be topped with shrimp, spicy sopressata, and mint; sausage, garlic, and broccoli rabe meat gravy; or clam sauce. A tapas-style selection of appetizers (three for $10, six for $16, and nine for $20) also allows guests to enjoy a variety of dishes at reasonable prices. House specialties are still available, including eggplant parmigiana, pork chop with sausage stuffing, and stuffed calamari with red sauce. Call 732-296-9463 for reservations.
Spring has arrived at the Park Steakhouse, 151 Kinderkamack Road, Park Ridge, where executive chef John Halligan is serving new lunch and dinner menus. Highlights include crab bisque; ahi tuna niçoise; American Kobe beef sliders; hot and sour duck breast; veal short ribs with foie gras butter; herb-crusted jumbo lump crab cake; pan-roasted chicken; and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. The restaurant also has an extensive selection of USDA-certified Black Angus beef, dry aged for 21 days. For reservations call 201-930-1300.
Za Restaurant, 147 West Delaware Avenue, Pennington (BYO), has a new menu featuring local seafood from the Atlantic Ocean, including deep-water scallops, monkfish, soft-shell blue crabs, and, when the harvest is ready, Jersey lobster. Entrée choices include Cape May champagne scallops; Point Pleasant citrus-marinated monkfish and shrimp over avocado salsa; and, for meat lovers, smoked apricot pork chop and grilled filet mignon. Za will celebrate Cinco de Mayo from May 6 through 10. For reservations call 609-737-4400.
Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, 58 Broad Street, Keyport, is offering a four-course Twilight Dinner menu with choices, Tuesday through Thursday 5 to 6:30 PM; $25. For reservations call 732-739-9219; BYO.
High Street Grill, 64 High Street, Mount Holly, is serving a three-course prix-fixe menu on Monday evenings; $25. For reservations call 609-265-9199.
Sundays through Thursdays through May 15, Mediterra, 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton, will be pouring six varietals of wine for $6 a glass from 4 PM at the bar. For more information and dinner reservations call 609-252-9680.
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