The Grain House Celebrates Tomato Season

Plus: Other food events in Red Bank, Budd Lake and Princeton.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: See-ming Lee.

Tomato Week at The Grain House
Tuesday, September 3—Saturday, September 7

The Grain House in Basking Ridge is doing its part to celebrate the graceful denouement of tomato season with a whole week of tomato-centric dishes. No need to make special reservations, just show up anytime between Tuesday, September 3 and September 7 and treat yourself to anything from a Jersey Tomato Bisque with Pesto Croutons and Micro Basil to Grilled Pizza with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, fresh Fulper Farms Ricotta, and Organic Oregano, or (the most “tomato-forward”) a Tomato Tartar with local tomatoes, Asiago Bread, Aged Balsamic, and Fried Green Tomatoes. The Grain House, 225 Morristown Road, Basking Ridge; 908-221-1150

Cheese and Charcuterie 101 at the Cheese Cave
Saturday, August 31, 6:30pm–8pm

Here’s one way to get acquainted with the inventory at the Cheese Cave in Red Bank. For $60 per person, you’ll get a deliciously intensive course in cheese and charcuterie from the certifiably savvy staff. Granted ticket prices are a bit high, but you’ll be tasting a range of high-quality cheeses and dry-aged, cured, and otherwise variously-made-delicious meats. It’s also a BYO event, so feel free to bring a bottle or two of whatever you like to pair with meat and cheese (considering the range of things on offer, you’ll find at least one perfect pairing for white or red wine or—cheese’s best fermented friend—beer). Classes are popular (there were 18 when we published this) so register sooner rather than later. (And save some room—there’s a lot to learn.) The Cheese Cave, 14 Monmouth Street, Red Bank; 732-842-0796

The 35th Annual ScanFest at Vasa Park
Sunday, September 1, 10am–6pm

Believe it or not, this year marks the 35th celebration of “Scanfest” at Vasa Park at Budd Lake, the only festival in the great Garden State where you’ll find a concentration of Nordic and Scandinavian foods (among other, more traditional festival fare). Yes, there will be leather artisans, Norse woodworking, even chainmaille somehow (safely) incorporated to the day’s events and vendors, but don’t miss out on Nordic goodies from places like Big Olaf Ice Cream, The Little Waffle, Viking Bakery, and Amest, Inc. (nationwide importers of all kinds of Nordic goodies, in this case European candies like marzipan and dark rye breads). Tickets are $11 in advance and $14 at the gate ($13 for seniors). Come in authentic gear like this, you get in free. (In case you forgot, the countries in play are Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Estonia, Norway.) Vasa Park at Wolfe Road/Vasa Drive, Hackettstown; 610-417-1483

End of Season Tomato Dinner at Mediterra
September 26, 6:30pm

It’s the kind of simple premise you really can’t (or really shouldn’t) resist: a four-course dinner, with each course highlighting the final tomato flavors of the season, finished with a complementary Mediterranean wine pairing. And at $69 per person, that’s a relative steal (as opposed to ordering four courses and four drinks, e.g.). No word on the exact menu just yet, but you can count of light Mediterranean flavors with a few flirtations with the coming fall weather (think slightly richer flavors, deeper herbs and spices). Keep an eye on the event page for more details, and buy your spot sooner rather than later—tomato passions run deep in this state, places are likely to fill. Mediterra Restaurant and Taverna, 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton; 609-252-9680

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