August 2021: Where the Chefs Eat

Politicians, sports figures and reality-show housewives may get most of  the headlines, but in New Jersey, the chefs are the true superstars. These are the skilled individuals whom we trust to transform our precious nights of dining out into special experiences.

But what about the chefs themselves? Where do they go to excite their discerning palates? Where do they seek inspiration, fresh ideas and fresh taste combinations? 

Those were the riddles Eric Levin, our deputy editor/dining editor, sought to solve when he dished with 26 top New Jersey chefs about their favorite haunts and culinary cravings. And what did he find? These mavens’ raves ranged from fine dining to funky eats, from exotic international cuisine to pizza—lots of pizza. Their recommended restaurants are worthy of any Garden State foodie’s must-dine list.

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Garden Variety

A Mushroom Farm Built in an Unlikely Vessel

KC Sullivan’s Long Branch–based company, Two River Gourmet Mushrooms, operates an organic fungi farm out of a 40-foot shipping container.

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A Conversation with Chris Gethard

For the actor-slash-comedian, the perfect day begins at a Jersey diner and ends with a few choice words for Manhattan.

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A Homecoming at the Newark Museum of Art

West Orange artist Bisa Butler, who interned at the museum as a college student, hopes her newly acquired work will help viewers see all people as one.

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A Jersey Girl’s Country-Music Career Takes Off

Hunterdon County native Emily Rose, now based in Nashville, released her seven-song EP, Wings, this August.

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John Marshall ‘Sort of Saved the Country,’ Author of New Book Says

Haddonfield’s Robert Strauss examines the lawyer, politician and fourth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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An Elegant Spin on a Beachy-Chic Boutique

Ormolu, the brainchild of Claudia Barr, offers a fanciful mix of old and new decorative finds.

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These Innovative Hiking Backpacks Began in a Southampton Kitchen

Husband-and-wife team Chris and Lorraine Millard founded LiteAF after recognizing a demand for custom, ultralight outdoor gear.

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Longtime LBI Nonprofit Looks to a Cleaner Future

Though it started more than 30 years ago, Alliance for a Living Ocean continues to make waves in the world of environmental awareness.

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How NJ Museums Displayed Covid-Era Creativity

As the pandemic raged, arts institutions found new ways to reach audiences.

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Raising the Curtain at McCarter Theatre

Artistic director Sarah Rasmussen aims for healing as she leads the Princeton institution into its next chapter.

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Architect Finds Poetry—and Practicality—in Discarded Cargo Containers

Adam Kalkin’s Bernardsville home, affectionately known as Bunny Lane, is just one of several structures he’s built out of the large, corrugated-steel boxes.

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Where New Jersey’s Chefs Eat

26 culinary stars reveal their favorite local restaurants.

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Attention, Shoppers: Get Ready for NJ’s Plastic-Bag Ban

New Jersey’s statewide ban on single-use plastics kicks in next spring. Here’s how we’re preparing to change our throwaway habits.

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Home & Garden

In Sea Girt, the Ultimate Home for Poolside Parties

Krista and Frank Speno are often found entertaining family, friends and much of the neighborhood in their picture-perfect backyard.

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Eat & Drink

Jardin at the Hugh Reviewed: A Captivating Dinner Destination

Elevated ingredients, refined technique and Shore hospitality make this B&B Cape May’s most interesting new restaurant in years.

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At Belgin’s Deli, a Turkish Immigrant Shares Her Robust Culinary Roots

Belgin Hüdür brings new life to old-country classics at her year-old eatery in Bloomfield.

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An Eclectic Café in Downtown Montclair

Trend Coffee & Tea House boasts European influences, inexpensive desserts, specialty lattes and music-centric events.

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In Bradley Beach, a Staple for Japanese Cuisine

The family-owned Osaka has been serving up sushi, teriyaki plates, yaki udon and more for two decades.

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The Cozy Tavern Said to Be Cape May’s Oldest

At the C-View Inn, wings take center stage amid hearty pub staples.

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Sip a New Breed of Spicy Cocktails

Foil the dog days of summer by fighting fire with fire.

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Exit Ramp

When the New Brunswick Homes Came Tumbling Down

Former residents reflect on the demolition of the public-housing towers on Route 18, twenty years later.

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