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          2019 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival Best Bites

          Another successful New Jersey Wine & Food Festival (https://njwinefoodfest.com) at Crystal Springs Resort is in the books.

          About Saturday Night

          I’ve been vocal about what an outstanding festival this is and beyond what others in the area can produce. One of the reasons I feel that way is the Grand Tasting on Saturday night. Where else can one taste dishes by more than top 40 chefs paired with wines and spirits from leading wineries and distilleries from around the world?

          Photo by Crystal Springs Resort

          Some of my favorite bites of the evening (I liked MANY others plus note that I didn’t access the VIP room, so I’m unable to judge what the bites were in that room):

          • Mike Carrino – Rabbit Rabbit: Bianco of Rabbit with Hazelnut and Porcini. Chef Carrino is launching a new venture called Rabbit Rabbit and if his rabbit dish is an indication, it’ll be THE place to dine in NJ. Fantastic dish and our favorite of the evening.
          • Phil Deffina – Char Steakhouse: Prime Dry-Aged Strip Steak with Soft Scrambled Eggs with Kaluga Caviar and Crème Fraiche. Perfectly-cooked beef, huge beefy flavors…this is why I can’t cut red meat out of my diet. Extremely well-done, especially for an event this size.
          • Leia Gaccione – South + Pine: Duck Taco with Rhubarb Hot Sauce. Duck tacos…come on!
          • Craig Polignano – Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen: Pristine mackeral – way to (re) introduce folks to this flavorful fish.
          • Emanuel Miranda – Smoke Rise Village Inn: Roasted Rohan Duck with Foie Mousse and Juniper Berry Chutney and Croquette. Yes, I’m a sucker for duck on duck…this was super.
          • Francesco Palmieri – Calandra’s Il Vecchio Café: Mortadella Profiteroles. Crisp choux, ultra-flavorful mortadella spread – another top bite by this talented chef.
          • Josip Franc – Lunello: Vittelo Tonnato with Crispy Capers. Would it have been rude to have five of these?
          • Sam Freund – White Birch Restaurant: Moroccan Lamb with Quinoa Tabbouleh and Sheep Yogurt. Very special dish and lovely presentation. Loved it.

          So many other dishes were also very tasty that it was difficult to determine which ones I enjoyed best. Well done and congrats to all the chefs who participated.



          Seoul Brothers Alementary Beer Release

          Robert Austin Cho from Kimchi Smoke (https://www.kimchismoke.com) and Blake Crawford from The Alementary Brewing Company (http://www.alementary.com) collaborated on a new beer aptly called, “Seoul Brothers.” Since 2016, Cho has brought his nationally acclaimed Barbecue (Best BBQ Joints in NJ by Food and Wine ‘18 and a face to face battle with Bobby Flay on Beat […]

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          New Jersey Restaurants Serving Easter Specials

          Eating out for Easter is a tradition and a special treat for many families. The cost, time and skills needed to properly set an Easter meal can be daunting to most people and eating out simplifies things and in many cases, costs can be comparable to cooking a feast at home. Many New Jersey restaurants […]

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          Peanut Butter and Potato Treats (Bonbons Aux Patates)

          Yes, I agree that dessert treats made using mashed potatoes are a bit weird, but it’s an old fashion recipe from Quebec where I grew up that’s really popular, especially around the holidays. It’s a great way to use those leftover mashed potatoes too…as long as they weren’t made using pepper! Ingredients: 2 pounds plus […]

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          2017 Domaine Henry Pelle Menetou Salon Morogues

          About Domaine Pellé Domaine Pellé, the largest producer in the Menetou-Salon appellation, is in Morogues, a small village to the west of Sancerre. Domaine Pellé’s history only dates back to 1959, but records show the Pellé family was making wine in the Loire region long before that. Vines grow over 40 hectares of limestone-clay soils […]

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          Quick Orecchiette in Tomato Sauce with Sausage

          In my expanding list of “there’s nothing to eat in this house’ recipes, this one is a winner. This is a one pot wonder where I cooked the sausage with the pasta to save time and it worked great. Don’t have Orecchiette on hand? Don’t fret – use any dry pasta you have in your […]

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          Free Cone at Dairy Queen on March 20

          On Wednesday, March 20, Dairy Queen fans can enjoy a free small vanilla soft-serve cone with the signature curl on top (limit one per customer, while supplies last) at participating non-mall DQ??and?DQ Grill & Chill??locations throughout the U.S. Following Free Cone Day, DQ is offering a small regular or dipped soft serve cone for 50 cents, available […]

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          Saint Patrick’s Day Leftovers Recipes

          The chefs at The Shannon Rose Irish Pub (http://theshannonrose.com) are sharing some recipes using Saint Patrick’s Day leftovers that are so delicious, you just might pick up some extra soda bread to make them. Irish Soda Bread French Toast Ingredients 2 slices Irish Soda Bread 4 Tbsp. French toast batter (see below) 4 Tbsp. butter […]

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          2017 Martin Codax Albarino

          I used to drink a lot of Rias Baixas Albari?o and loved it…not really sure why I ever stopped – it’s delicious, refreshing, food-friendly and inexpensive! I enjoyed this wine at a sea side seafood restaurant on a recent vacation and promised myself I’d go back to it after returning to the USA. Martin Codax […]

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          Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at The Shannon Rose

          Can’t get enough of Saint Patrick’s Day? The Shannon Rose Irish Pub (http://theshannonrose.com)’s locations in Clifton and Ramsey are offering no shortage of food and fun throughout the month of March. Following is a breakdown of events at the popular restaurants: Foods of Ireland (March 1 – 31) – To kick off the celebration, the […]

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