Restaurant News

This week Rosie tells us about Anthony David’s in Hoboken, Jersey Garden Mall in Elizabeth, a Champagne weekend at Crystal Springs in Hamburg and much more news about NJ restaurants.

ANTHONY DAVID’S
Lowell and I first dined at the Dining Room at Anthony David’s (now known as Anthony David’s) on October 13, 2002, a little less than a month after they opened. At that time, I wrote about how much we were enthralled with the food and ambiance, and the only downer was the non-existent parking in Hoboken. Through the years, we have returned to this exceptional restaurant and have never been disappointed. We have also learned that there is a parking lot about five blocks away on Twelfth Street, which helps.

Along with the rebranding of the restaurant, chef/owner Anthony Pino, and his wife, Liz, both graduates of Johnson & Wales, have created a new Italian seasonal menu. The casual décor includes clothless tables and a marble dining counter with stools for ten. At the end of the counter, antipasto and a new Berkel vertical slicer—shipped from Sorrento—holding prosciutto are displayed. For a light starter, try the market vegetables. We had butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, artichoke hearts, mixed mushrooms and roasted fennel with olives. Add on the opulent Trufa Seca black-truffle pork sausage and/or prosciutto de Parma with  bread for a light meal. We also had a luscious autumn panzanella salad, which was multi-textured and flavored with focaccia, butternut squash, thinly shaved Brussels sprouts, Parmesan, crunchy pancetta, and avocado. Also not to be missed was the tender, charred octopus with fennel, cannellinis, tomato, and garlic. A special fish of the evening, red snapper, was a pleasure to eat from the crackle and crunch of its crispy skin to the accompanying mushroom medley, potato fingerlings and sautéed Brussels sprouts, all bursting with flavors. Chef Pino is known for his pasta and the pumpkin tortellini with brown-butter, sage, biscotti and Pecorino had a dreamy richness. Dessert, a chocolate icebox cake, was heaven with each spoonful as it contained a very thick layer of creamy budino, an Italian version of pudding, nestled between the graham crackers.

Chef Pino with a slice of prosciutto de Parma.

Come anytime of day as Anthony David’s is open daily from 7 AM for take-out coffee and pastries; brunch is served daily from 9 AM to 3 PM; La Merenda, an afternoon snack aka antipasto, is offered 3 to 5 PM daily; and dinner from 5 to 10:30 PM. The restaurant will soon expand into a third connecting storefront and will have a communal table for about 20. Also, starting December 2, there will be a five-course weekly tasting at the counter on Mondays, where patrons can interact with chef/owner Anthony Pino and chef de cuisine Justin Antiorio while they cook. 7 PM; $65.

Market vegetable antipasto at Anthony David’s

Chef Pino owns Bin 14, Hoboken’s first and only wine bar, and is one of the caterers for Kolo Klub (a 4,000-square- foot loft event space) and AD Catering, all in Hoboken. Chef Pino has twice cooked at the Beard House in New York City, making him one of the very few chefs in America to cook at this institution more than once.

Autumn panzanella salad.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Anthony David’s
953 Bloomfield St
Hoboken
BYO
201-222-8359
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THE OUTLET COLLECTION/JERSEY GARDENS MALL, ELIZABETH
Shopping and eating are my favorite hobbies, so when I heard that Jersey Gardens, New Jersey’s largest outlet mall, in Elizabeth had a $30-million renovation to create a dramatic and contemporary new look to showcase its upscale brands, I knew that I had to take Lowell on a field trip.

Along with new fashionable stores, Century 21, Coach Factory, Cole Haan, True Religion, Lord & Taylor Outlet, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nike Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, the largest Tommy Hilfiger store in the U.S., and one of the first Victoria’s Secret outlets in the country, foodies can shop at Bed, Bath and Beyond for discounted prices and take care of their must-have kitchen list. Just a FYI, the Bed, Bath and Beyond store looks small from the entrance but goes on and on and on inside. We filled up on much needed items for Thanksgiving, as chez Saferstein will be hosting this year. A few other stores also carry housewares, including Marshalls and Cohoes.

Dining options are the usual chain restaurants, such as Johnny Rockets, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Sbarros Italian Eatery, and we were able to quell our appetites at Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery. Who doesn’t like ice cream and coffee for lunch? Rocky Mountain Chocolate, Chock Full O’ Nuts or La Tapenade, a Mediterranean café offering sandwiches, pizzas, and salads, are a few of the other options. The food court is tremendous, with tables, counters with stools, and partitions allowing for a variety of seating options. If you have an AAA card stop at the concierge desk and get a discount coupon booklet. I was happy to hear that each of the two floors are a mile around, since I have less guilt if I shop at the more than 200 stores, eat and exercise at the same time. Mall wide WiFi is also available.

Psst: Santa will be there through December 24.

Jersey Gardens Food Court

Jersey Gardens concierge desk.

Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

Jersey Gardens Mall
51 Kapkowski Rd Elizabeth,
908-354-5900
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CHAMPAGNE WEEKEND AT CRYSTAL SPRINGS, HAMBURG
Crystal Springs Resort, 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg will host a Champagne Weekend, December 7 and 8. On Saturday, December 7, a Vintage Champagne dinner will be held in Crystal Springs’ award-winning wine cellar with guest sommelier Laura Maniec, master sommelier and co-founder of New York’s Corkbuzz Wine Studio. The following menu will be presented by executive chef Timothy Fischer:

Hors d’oeuvres
(2004 Henri Goutorbe Special Club)

Shooting Point oysters, Champagne Glazed, Trio of Caviar
(2002 Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, Brut)

Beet-cured Arctic Char, Pickled Fennel, Micro Radish Salad, Prosecco Vinaigrette
(2004 Billecart Salmon Reserve, Brut)

Golden Nugget Wrapped Rabbit Loin, Parsnip Purée, Brussels Sprout Leaves, Cranberry Gastrique
(1997 Perrier-Jouёt Fleur de Champagne, Rosé)

Intermezzo of Kir Royal Sorbet, Chardonnay Pearls

Veal Tenderloin, Fall Squash Raviolo, Braised Cheeks, Crones, Red Dragon Carrot Essence
(1996 Moёt & Chandon Dom Perignon)

Trio of Pear: Financier, Terrine, Semifredo
(1995 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill)

6:30 PM: $325, plus tax and gratuity.

On Sunday, December 8, a Champagne seminar and tasting of six champagnes will take place with Crystal Springs sommeliers Susanne Lerescu and Jon Hartlage. 2:30 to 4:30 PM; $40. Reservations for either or both events can be made by calling: 877-292-9045 ext 3.

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UPCOMING CHRISTMAS EVENTS
Have Breakfast with Santa on December 15 at The Bernards Inn, 27 Mine Brook Road, Bernardsville, it will include a buffet breakfast with made-to-order omelettes, pancakes with toppings, bacon, sausage, salads, fresh fruit and more. The a la carte brunch menu will also be available. Guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photographs with Santa and delight in the Gingerbread House. Special holiday treat tables for children will feature gingerbread and a selection of holiday cookies, cupcakes, candy canes and more. 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM; $35; children under 12, $20; children under 5, free. Reservations: 908-766-0002.

On December 8,15, and 22 have Brunch with Santa at Braddock’s Tavern, 39 South Main St, Medford at 10 AM. A five-course dinner and show, Charles Dickens dinner theatre, will be presented on December 12 and 19; 7 PM. For price and reservations, log onto braddocks.com, or call 609-654-1604.

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BOOK FARE
BAKING BY HAND

Make The Best Artisanal Breads and Pastries Better Without a Mixer

Forget your mixer, and learn how to make beautiful artisan breads by hand with a new cookbook Baking By Hand by Andy and Jackie King from A&J King Bakery in Salem, MA. Among the 100 recipes bakers can try are sourdough, olive ciabatta, multigrain loaf, brown ale and barley bread or sweets such as sticky buns, rhubarb-ginger tarts, and almond croissants.

The book tells us why our hands are the most important tools in the kitchen. It is divided into chapters showing readers how to turn their kitchen into an artisan bakeshop. The pictures are delicious, and the instructions are easy to follow.

Be aware that a kitchen scale is essential in order to follow the recipes as ingredients are listed in weight, but this opens a whole new experience for those who have previously baked using volume to measure. Although these breads take time and patience, you may never eat store bought bread again once you try these recipes.

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