Restaurant News and Food Events


Executive chef Thomas Ciszak of Copeland, Westin Governor Morris Hotel, 2 Whippany Road, Morristown, is serving a Garden State Tasting Menu in July and August that features New Jersey produce, seafood, poultry, meat, and dairy. Purveyors include Griggstown Quail Farm, Valley Shepherd Creamery, Readington River Buffalo Farm, and Hopewell Valley Vineyards. Pastry chef Michael Zebrowski will showcase local fruit, starting with peaches this month. The five-course menu will be $64; wine pairings $35. For reservations call 973- 451-2619.

The world-famous Spanish jamón ibérico is now available at all three Gary’s Wine and Marketplace locations (Bernardsville, Madison, and Wayne) for $89.99 a pound. This legendary ham comes from black-footed pigs raised on grasses, grains, and acorns that are native to the Iberian Peninsula. For more information log on to

Some items on the newly expanded dinner menu at Restaurant Plan B, 705 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park, are: summer fruit gazpacho; grilled octopus; grilled short ribs with house-made pommes frites; boneless pork chop with broccoli and shrimp spring rolls; herb fettuccine; and Key lime pie. Restaurant Plan B is also open for lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 3 PM and offers free wireless Internet. A Late Nite Bites menu is offered on Friday and Saturday nights from 11 PM to 3 AM. For reservations call 732-807-4710; BYO.

Toasted marshmallow blueberry-bottomed lemon pudding is a new dessert on the Gulf Coast and Low Country menu at Drew’s Bayshore Bistro, 58 Broad Street, Keyport. Soft-shell crabs are being featured on the summer menu, and other items we love are crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, crispy crab cakes, and shrimp with grits. For reservations call 732-739-9219; BYO.

On July 26, meet celebrity chef and cookbook author Lidia Matticchio Bastianich at Stew Leonard’s Wines of Paramus, 396 Route 17 North, Paramus. She’ll be signing copies of Lidia’s Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes From the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most, which is the companion to the new season of her cooking series on public television and will be on sale at a special price of $24.99. Along with a tasting of Bastianich wines, cheese will be served. 1 to 3 PM. Call 201-649-0882 for more information.

Just in time for high summer, Bia, a European-style bistro, has recently opened at the Majestic Hotel, 19 Main Avenue, Ocean Grove. We love that Bia is BYO with menu items at $30 and under, and that you can also stay the night at the newly refurbished fifteen-room hotel. Executive chef Christopher Anthony Tavares offers a seasonal menu that includes: Portobello fries; duck crêpes; Asian-marinated tuna over wasabi whipped potatoes; jumbo sea scallops over lobster ravioli with vanilla coconut cream sauce and mango-pineapple salsa; and grilled chicken over Spanish red beans and rice. This menu will have us driving to the shore very soon! For reservations call 732-775-6100.

Culinary Institute of America graduates are well represented at the Artisan Kitchen, Lebanon Plaza, Route 22 East, Lebanon, where Andrew Lattanzio is the executive chef and mans the stoves with sous chefs Matthew Hiebsch and Jason Ramos. Some menu items: terrine of porcelet with cherry mostarda; confit of leeks with maitake mushrooms and white polenta; suckling pig with farro; Chatham cod with butter lettuce, English peas, and bacon vinaigrette; and dry-aged sirloin and ribs with creamed spinach, garlic confit, and potato purée. Cheese lovers can opt for a tasting of artisanal selections. Entrée prices range from $28 to $38. Artisan Kitchen is open daily for dinner, brunch on weekends, and lunch on weekdays; a take-out menu is available as well. For reservations call 908-236-9919; BYO.

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes, to [email protected].


7/19: A Summer Fest with fireworks, food vendors, children’s activities, and crafts will be held at Alba Vineyard, 269 Rt 627, Milford. Wine will be sold by the glass or bottle, and attendees are welcome to bring a picnic basket. 4 to 10 PM; $15; children ages six to twelve $10; children ages five and under free. For tickets call 908-995-7800.

7/19: The Annual NJ State Ice Cream Festival will be held on Washington St, Toms River. 11:30 AM to 5 PM. Tasting kits will be available for a small fee. For more information call 732-341-8738.

7/21: A Benziger wine dinner will be held at the Atlantic City Palm Restaurant, 2801 Pacific Ave, Atlantic City. 7 to 11 PM; $95 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations call 609-344-0483.

7/21: A walk-around wine tasting with artisanal cheeses, a raw bar, and an assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres will be held at Restaurant Nicholas, 160 Rt 35 S, Middletown. Reservations are taken for 6, 6:30, and 7 PM; $95 plus tax and gratuity; a $50 voucher will be given the night of the tasting to be used toward any twelve-bottle purchase. For reservations call 732-345-9977.

7/22: A luncheon to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation will be held at Brooklake Country Club, 139 Brooklake Rd, Florham Park. Bring your checkbook to participate in a raffle and a silent auction of more than 150 prizes. 12:30 PM; $30 including tax and gratuity; reservation required. For more information and reservations call Sandy Nash at 973-467-6655.

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