VegFest Heads to Atlantic City This Weekend

Plus: A barbecue class, Bastille Day celebration and beer-pairing dinner.

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Atlantic City VegFest
Friday, July 12—Sunday, July 14

The 2019 New Jersey VegFest in Atlantic City runs Thursday through Sunday, but if you want to get the most bang out of your limited buck or tight schedule, check out Food Truck Friday, running from 2-10pm. Admission to Friday’s festival is only $8 plus processing fees (about $10 total), and that gets you access to all manner of vegan vittles—the improbably vegan Grilly Cheese, Terri Sacchetti’s revamped Fabulous Fig food truck, Delaware’s only completely vegan food truck Nude Food, and of course the trailblazing vegan-on-wheels Cinnamon Snail. Prices vary per food truck, but the music, AC ambiance, and good vegan vibes are all free. Showboat Hotel Atlantic City, 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; 609-487-4600

Secrets of BBQd Class with a Pitmaster
Saturday, July 13, 11am – 12:30pm

Fortunately for barbecue lovers in the Garden State, Alyson Lupinetti chose to take after her father, the late great pitmaster Butch Lupinetti; a Pitmaster in her own right, Alyson learned the family trade of exquisitely low-and-slow-cooked meats from an early age (her father won 600 trophies in his career; Alyson currently has over 100). Lucky you can learn from the pitmaster herself on Saturday at her “Secrets of BBQ Cooking Class” at the New Jersey State Barbecue Championships. For just $22, you’ll learn how to take ribs from raw material to lip-smacking meat miracle. Pulled pork is also potentially on the class syllabus; just come prepared with an appetite. New Jersey State Barbecue Championships, 201 Jersey Avenue, Wildwood; 609-523-6565

Bastille Day Dinner at Chez Catherine
Sunday, July 14

Whether or not you celebrate the 1789 Storming of the Bastille, fans of grand French gastronomy should head over to Chez Catherine in Westfield this Sunday. The restaurant will be serving up a very special Bastille Day prix fixe menu. Yes, it’s $125 for dinner and a cocktail (plus $55 for wine pairings), but the night promises to be gustatorily grand: starting off with a cocktail and canapes, the night moves from melon and ham to Grilled Tuna with Avocado and Pineapple, Black Angus Filet Mignon, and even old school show-stopper dessert, Baked Alaska. Call to make your reservation ASAP; spend the rest of the week practicing your “Vive la France!” Chez Catherine, 431 North Avenue West, Westfield; 908-654-4011

Beer Pairing Dinner at Tre Pizza in Freehold
Thursday, July 25, 7–9pm

Tre Pizza is already serious about its craft beer, but on the 25th, they’re putting one brewery front and center: Cape May Brewing Co. (one of our Top 16 breweries) is bringing four very different beers for four very different courses from the Tre Pizza kitchen for a beer pairing dinner. The night starts with “Catch the Drift” New England IPA with Crab Dip & Soft Pretzels, moves on to “The Bog” (a light, tart cranberry Shandy) with a Blackened Tuna “Salad” with Cranberries and Orange; next is a “Coastal Evacuation” Double IPA with a Seafood Steampot and Cajun Rice, and finally a Honey-Porter Nitro with Cherries Jubilee on Waffles. Tickets are $60 for the whole deal; call to make a reservation. Tre Pizza, 611 Park Avenue, Freehold; 732-751-4422

Stateside Vodka Cocktail Dinner at Blue Morel
Friday, August 2, 7pm

Wine dinners are (fortunately) fairly commonplace. This four-course pairing of sophisticated cuisine and vodka cocktails? Less so. Not only that, but this isn’t just any vodka—from Federal Distilling in Philadelphia, Stateside Vodka is distilled no fewer than seven times (i.e. hyper-smooth)—and these aren’t just any cocktails. 2018 Iron Shaker competition winner Carlos Ruiz will be mixing up the cocktails, all of which will be designed to match Chef Dennis Matthews’ menu. Call for tickets, which are $59 before tax and tip (considering vodka’s summer-appeal, they’re likely to go fast). Blue Morel, 2 Whippany Road, Morristown; 973-451-2610

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