Robbie Felice Heading to the James Beard House

Plus: Other food and drink events in Washington, Whitehouse Station, Hoboken and beyond.

Robbie Felice. Photos by Laura Baer

“Heritage: Modern Italian” With Robbie Felice
Monday, August 19, 7pm

While you still can, go ahead and purchase any remaining tickets to what’s likely going to be an exceptional night of eating and drinking courtesy of Robbie Felice at the James Beard House in New York. Both of Felice’s restaurants, Viaggio in Wayne and Osteria Crescendo in Westwood, made our Top 30 Best Restaurants list this year. Join the chef for a special dinner on Monday; the night starts with passed hors d’oeuvres that read like finished dishes: Viaggio House-Cured Salumi including a 17-month Ossabaw [pig] Prosciutto, Cured Loch Etive Ocean Trout and New Jersey Oysters with Squid Ink, Sorrel, Lime and Chartreuse. Dinner itself is five courses more or less representing the evolution of Felice’s culinary perspective and voice. Expect local products to shine, e.g. Caputo Brothers Creamery hand-pulled Stracciatella with New Jersey heirloom tomatoes, in-house dry-aged Local Black Angus Beef Ribeye with New Jersey Corn. Italian wines keep the night flowing in all its lush complexity. The James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, New York; 212-675-4984

Farm to Fork Dinner at VonThun Farms
Saturday, August 17, 5:30–8pm

If you haven’t gotten a true taste of summer yet (salt air, sweet stone fruit, fresh corn, maybe some unintended sunblock mixed in), consider this Saturday’s “Farm to Fork” dinner a way to make up for lost time: ten courses from Jersey chef Kelly Carroll, the idyllic setting of Von Thun Farms in Warren County, and fresh Jersey produce throughout the meal (Mexican grilled farm-fresh corn salad; the chef’s “signature fresh peach berry dessert”). Hay rides and tours of Von Thun’s famous, famously stunning Sunflower Trail are included. The meal, however, is BYO. VonThun Farms, 438 Route 57, Washington; 908-689-3761

Advanced Roasting Seminar at Black River RoastersWa
Saturday, August 24, 10:30–11:30am

For coffee lovers (and parents), weekends don’t really begin until at least one cup of halfway decent coffee has been brewed and consumed. Fortunately for anyone looking for a richer experience of every blissful cup, Black River Roasters is heavily into educating their consumers, and next Saturday they’re taking customers into the roasting process itself. You don’t have to have any expertise or foreknowledge, just curiosity and your palate. Black River roaster Cris Vespa will take care of the beans. Tickets are only $20 with 20 percent off your second ticket (just call the café before ordering online). Black River Roasters, 424 Highway 22, Whitehouse Station; 908-823-4715

Wine Pairing Dinner for a Cause at Halifax
Thursday, August 29, 7pm

At their best, and strongest, many restaurants function as a sort of second family—even a first, for some. On Thursday, August 29, Halifax in Hoboken is stepping up to support one of their own with this special event wine pairing dinner from chef Seadon Shouse. Tickets are reasonable—$65 plus tax—and they’re going to a great cause: the dinner’s entire proceeds go to help Head Waiter Ruben Angulo in his fight against cancer. The menu is as-yet TBD, but considering Shouse’s dedication to creative, ingredient-driven food—not to mention the importance of the cause to the restaurant itself—expect some seriously good food. Wine and beverage pairings also TBD, in association with Harvest Drop and Giannone Wine & Liquor. Halifax, 225 River Street, Hoboken; 201-253-2500

Craft Beer Passport Program
August 1–31

The prize for drinking good beer is typically the beer itself, but the Shannon Rose in Clifton and Ramsey is adding another level of (literal) reward with their month-long Craft Beer Passport program. It’s a fairly simple win-win set-up: order one of the participating craft beers, drink it with pleasure, get a stamp in your complimentary Craft Beer Passport. Fill up your passport—ideally not in one sitting—and you’ll be entered for a chance to win some decent prizes, including a trip for you and three of your suds-loving friends to Brooklyn Brewery. Breweries on the list include Firestone Walker, Brix City, Bolero Snort Brewery, Alementary Brewing Co., and, of course, Brooklyn Brewery (and it might just be the perfect time of year to try their Bel Air Sour). The Shannon Rose, 98 Kingsland Road, Clifton; 973-284-0200 and 1200 Route 17, Ramsey; 201-962-7602.

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