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The Manor: A dining experience like no other To many, The Manor of West Orange

guests can bring their own bottle of wine without

epitomizes memory making for special events. It

a corkage fee or choose from a special selection

has been a destination for celebrating weddings,

of quality wines with very attractive pricing.

proms, and all of life’s milestones for generations

Specialties such as Chateaubriand, Beef

of area families. But still, there are many locals

Wellington, and Surf & Turf share the menu with

who have yet to experience its other half — its

many creative contemporary dishes that feature

fine dining restaurant.

lighter fair with complex flavors and exquisite tastes, as well as inspired vegan and vegetarian dishes. Even simple starters such The Manor’s must-try Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup and Lobster Bisque are worth the visit alone. Dining in the Terrace Lounge is virtually like getting a show

morning. The Manor’s long-standing dedication to providing a classic fine-dining experience has earned it countless awards and recognitions,

salad with flair tableside, or seeing flames jump

including a current and unmatched record of

from the pan while a dessert of bananas flambé

28 consecutive AAA Four Diamond Awards; a

is created right in front of you.

feat not achieved by any other restaurant in New Jersey, and surpassed by only two other

operates an after-hours rooftop bar & lounge

restaurants in the entire country. The Manor also

open to the public every Friday and Saturday

is a recipient of the Distinguished Restaurants of

evening starting at 6 p.m. Whether or not

North America (DiRoNa) Award, placing it among

you choose to dine at The Manor, guests

the top 1 percent of restaurants in North America.

are welcome to head upstairs to “The Dome” to extend their evening dancing beneath its all-glass enclosed room that features DJ performances from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. With its own upscale comfort menu and its unique environment, The Dome offers an elevated to The Manor is much more than just sitting

well as a complimentary hot breakfast the next

included, watching your server prepare Caesar

If all of that is not enough, The Manor also

Unlike dining at a typical restaurant, a visit

access to its whirlpool and swimming pool as

alternative to late-night entertainment. Couples looking for a brief respite from the

down to dinner. The experience begins as you

every-day also can take advantage of The

enter the winding driveway, leaving behind the

Manor’s “Romantic Getaway for Two” that

The restaurant’s on-site bakery produces everything from rolls and baguettes to pastries and specialty desserts. The Manor also has been incorporating farm-to-table elements even before the term was popular, sourcing fresh ingredients from its own farm and greenhouse just up the road on the estate of its sister property, Pleasantdale Château. Even today as it approaches its 60th

outside world, passing one of several Italianate

includes a full five-course dinner with several

anniversary, The Manor continues to improve,

fountains and the surrounding grounds. If you

menu options, each paired with wines. Included

with an array of recent stunning renovations,

choose, in fair weather, you can start with a

in the package is an overnight stay for two at

with more changes planned, all to keep this

stroll through the beautiful formal gardens.

the Residence Inn by Marriott that is only as

one-of-a-kind landmark a relevant, contemporary

Once inside, you are greeted with exquisite

far away as a walk across The Manor’s parking

dining and special event destination for years to

chandeliers, lush wood walls and a collection

lot. The hotel provides full amenities including

come.

of finery amassed over a lifetime spent refining the restaurant’s atmosphere. But The Manor’s classic elegance does not end with its décor. The complete commitment to impeccable service and hospitality is befitting its design. Combined with award-winning cuisine from its talented chef, The Manor is a dining destination like no other. Guests can choose from à la carte dining or enjoy its many fine buffet options including a Sunday brunch, Wednesday lunch, and its famous lobster buffet dinner, presented Wednesday through Saturday. The Terrace Lounge à la carte restaurant at The Manor also offers ongoing promotions including “Wednesday Wine Night” where

THE MANOR · 111 Prospect Ave., West Orange · (973) 731-2360 · themanorrestaurant.com Advertising Feature [ 2 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


111 Prospect Avenue | West Orange, NJ | 973-731-2360 | www.TheManorRestaurant.com

Advertising Feature [ 3 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


In Newark’s entertainment district, the menu is the main draw at Maize

Restaurant

|

Catering

Maize Restaurant is a tantalizing delight for the senses. Exquisite gourmet fare combined with warm sophisticated décor provides a dining experience unlike any other. Conveniently located in the lobby of the Robert Treat Hotel, and opposite the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, it is the perfect location for all memorable occasions. Reservations recommended. FIFTY PARK PLACE | NEWARK, NJ 07102 | 973-733-2202 WWW.MAIZERESTAURANT.COM

HHH — The Star-Ledger “The most fashionable restaurant the city has seen in years.” — The

New York Times

Location, location, location is only one of the attractions of Maize, located in the lobby of The Robert Treat Hotel in Newark. The restaurant is situated in the heart of Brick City’s entertainment district at the intersection of Park Place and Center Street, across from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. “It’s a great location before or after NJPAC performances, either theater night or concerts at the Prudential Center,” said Wilson DeSousa, who along with his father, Fernando, have co-owned the restaurant for the past nine years. The second attraction is big-city dining without big-city hassles, such as tunnels, tolls and limited parking. Food is sumptuous and artfully prepared and served. Maize’s style is New American and modern Portugese cuisine. The selection of lunch and dinner items is extensive and includes fresh seafood, meat, steak, poultry and a bar menu. The kitchen adeptly accommodates food allergies and restrictions. The Maize steak is one of the signature entrées. The 20-ounce boneless ribeye is grilled and served with saffron potatoes and broccoli. “I’m a meat lover so I like it medium, medium rare,” recommends DeSousa. Long Island duck breast and leg is another popular dish; it comes with sweet potato purée and sautéed kale. All of the desserts are made in-house. Maize’s chocolate molten cake with vanilla gelato is a best-seller followed closely by bread pudding topped with banana gelato. “We also have a very nice ginger crème brûlée,” DeSousa said. Piece of Cake Frozen Specialties in Rahway supplies the decadent gelato. DeSousa also purchases from local purveyors in the Newark and Elizabeth areas. The interior design, which DeSousa described as “cosmopolitan and cozy elegant,” invites diners to savor their meals. Wood accents abound in the dining area and candles glow on every table. A former cigar bar located downstairs has been converted into a comfortable lounge with upholstered furniture where patrons can sit back and relax. The waitstaff is knowledgeable and attentive. For theater patrons, Maize offers a fixed, three-course pre-show dinner for $45 per person. The restaurant also hosts a popular New Year’s Eve celebration. “We have a great New Year’s party every year, always sells out very quickly,” DeSousa said. The event, starting at $145 per person, includes a sumptuous buffet, dinner, open bar, and live music. The buffet features a variety of hot and cold stations including seafood, carving, pasta, roasted suckling pig, and salad followed by a chateaubriand dinner. The meal concludes with a Venetian dessert buffet and open bar all night long. The champagne flows well past midnight. Maize caters private events and can seat up to 120 people in the restaurant; the hotel ballroom accommodates 1,000 guests. Popular catering items such as seafood paella, shrimp in garlic, roasted flank steak and hot pasta can be delivered off-site. Maize is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11 a.m. until midnight. Reservations are recommended for the weekend. How does a busy restaurant manage such a full schedule? “It’s family owned and operated,” said DeSousa. That’s how. — Shira Vickar-Fox

MAIZE 50 Park Place Lobby, Newark · (973) 733-2202 · maizerestaurant.com Advertising Feature [ 4 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


Good food and family atmosphere found at Taste of Portugal If your family is looking for a warm, friendly place to have dinner with a twist, Taste of Portugal might be exactly what you seek. Located at the corner of Delancy and Van Buren streets in Newark, Taste of Portugal offers just that — Portuguese cuisine in a relaxed family atmosphere. “We want to be known as a warm, friendly family restaurant,” said Peter Nogueira, owner of Taste of Portugal. “I think it’s working. We still have some of the same customers we’ve had since Day One.” The menu features a wide variety of items, but all of them have a sense of the Portuguese philosophy, Nogueira said. “We like to keep things the way they’ve been here. Very little has changed and that’s by design.” Included are entrées encompassing seafood and fish dishes as well as steak, pork, veal,

chicken and lamb. One house specialty is the filet mignon served on a heated stone, which is cooked slice by slice to the guest’s specific taste. “A lot of people ask about the filet mignon on a stone,” Nogueira said. “I think they like the experience and it always tastes exactly the way they want it.” A Taste of Portugal opened in 1998 when Nogueira, his father and two other partners bought the property. He had worked in restaurants for 13 years and was ready to take the reins of the whole operation, he said. “We have a chef, Agostinho Gomes, and he’s been here about two years now,” Nogueira said. “The first chef who worked here retired about 10 or 11 years ago, and now we know exactly how we want the menu to work and what people expect from the restaurant. We never want to disappoint them.” A small fire above the dining room in 2005 forced the restaurant to close temporarily while renovations were being made. It enabled the owners to double the size of the restaurant, allowing for a larger capacity and a more comfortable dining space, Nogueira said. “We can serve more people of course now, and we have a bigger kitchen than we did before the fire,” he said.

A Taste of Portugal can serve about 90 people in its main dining room, Nogueira said. The bar serves another 50 to 55 patrons, and the upstairs now is available as a space for private parties and can accommodate another 95 people. “The idea has always been to be a family restaurant with Portuguese food,” Nogueira said. “I hope people who come to the restaurant have exactly the kind of experience they were hoping to have.” Taste of Portugal is open Sunday through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. — Jeffrey Cohen

A TASTE OF PORTUGAL · 148 Delancy St., Newark · (973) 274-0600 · tasteofportugalnj.com

ForThe Holidays Start your FamilyTraditions With our Family. Enjoy our Beautiful Dining Room Or Reserve Our Private Party Room forYour Larger Events.

Taste of

Portugal Fine Portuguese

Cuisine

148 Delancy Street • Newark 973-274-0600 Corner of Van Buren & Delancy Streets

www.tasteofportugalnj.com Free Secured Parking • Major Credit Cards Welcome

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Panevino Ristorante recreates the flavors and feel of Italy Looking for the delicious taste of Italy without leaving town? Located in Livingston, Panevino

consistently garners glowing reviews from patrons and critics alike.

and Panna Cotta, made from scratch in-house. Throughout the year, the casually refined restaurant plays host to anniversary parties, bridal showers, graduation parties, rehearsal dinners, and many other special occasions. With the December holidays fast approaching, Forand

With its fragrant herb garden and wood-

said Panevino provides the perfect backdrop

transports patrons to the charming and relaxing

burning pizza oven, Panevino has received

for family parties and corporate events, while

ambiance of the “old country.”

the Ospitalità Italiana certification, a coveted

individual guests can relax, unwind, and enjoy a

benchmark, in recognition of its authentic

respite from the business of the season.

Ristorante, with its rustic Italian farmhouse feel,

techniques, ingredients, presentation, and training. Whether stopping in for lunch or dinner, guests adore the classic Margherita pizza, topped with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Popular white pies include the Prosciutto and Quatro Formaggi, while the build-your-own option allows diners to get creative with their favorite combinations. All are handcrafted and baked in the authentic wood-burning oven to create a one-of-a-kind crispy crust. Other lunch favorites include hearty salads, The warm and welcoming atmosphere,

tempting sandwiches, and, of course, savory

coupled with fresh and flavorful Italian cuisine,

pastas. Daily ravioli and risotto specials are

has made the family-friendly eatery a beloved

available at lunch as well as dinner as is the

destination for decades.

Roasted Organic Chicken, which is prepared

“We have a lot of regulars,” said marketing

with lemon, garlic, peperoncino, and served with

manager Luke Forand. “The wait staff knows

green beans. Other specialties include the Grilled

them by name and our managers greet them

Branzino, garnished with lemon, parsley, extra

with a hug or a kiss. Panevino is very special in that way. We’ve been here for so long, it has the feel of a real neighborhood restaurant.” In August 2017, Panevino will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Forand, together with the Panevino

virgin olive oil, and presented with wilted spinach. Mindful of patrons’ dietary restrictions,

“We spruce up the restaurant with holiday decorating to add something special from Thanksgiving through New Year’s,” he said,

Panevino offers gluten-free pastas and entrees

adding that the eatery will offer celebratory

on its menu as well.

menus for both events and in-restaurant

Guests who save room for dessert may face a

dining during the holidays. “We excel at making

“family,” looks forward to marking this milestone

challenge in choosing from the vast selection of

sure your event or party is enjoyed by all and

with an array of events held at the eatery, which

Italian delicacies, which include Tiramisu, Cannoli,

memorable for your guests.” The restaurant will be open Christmas Eve and will feature delicious traditional Italian dinner specials. Guests looking for a festive place to ring in the New Year can enjoy a celebratory feast on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Reservations are strongly recommended. Spring and summer are equally enticing as Panevino boasts a stunning outdoor patio and two recently renovated bocce courts where guests can engage in a little friendly competition along with a sumptuous meal. The restaurant is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit panevinonj.com. — Elizabeth Alterman

PANEVINO RISTORANTE · 637 West Mt. Pleasant Ave., Livingston · (973) 535-6160 · panevinonj.com Advertising Feature [ 6 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


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“One of top diners in New Jersey”

Quality • Passion • Pride Since 1942

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner • Cocktails • Catering

A Classic Jersey Diner 500 Passaic Avenue • Harrison 973-481-0490 TheTopsDiner.com

Tops Diner: A destination where food is celebrated

With around 15,000 customers visiting Tops Diner each week, the iconic East Newark establishment understands that good food is what keeps customers coming back for more. Tops began its long and successful run in the mid-20th century when “Papa” George Golemis traveled to the United States from his native Greece. Once in New York City, Papa Golemis started his food industry career by selling hot dogs. The transition from hot dogs to upscale restaurants led to the next step: opening what is now a landmark in Harrison. “We’re very proud of our history,” said Van, the oldest of Papa George’s three sons, who are now partners in Tops Diner. “I started in 1993, and I’m still here,” said Van, who spoke for the family. Tops is not just a bustling, busy place. It also boasts a regional reputation for every imaginable kind of food — and for deep and continuous concern about that food’s quality. For those who mistakenly hold the notion that diner food is not quality food, this establishment will dispel that thought. According to Van, the diner’s purveyors of fish and meat and all of the other products and ingredients are carefully and painstakingly chosen for quality, freshness and flavor. The diner emphasizes, for example, that all of its fish is fresh, never frozen, and comes in 25 varieties. But if you’re impressed with the fish varieties, consider that burgers, that all-American beloved staple, come in 32 styles, so if you want, you can order a burger every day for a month, and still have a few choices left. From Country Steak to Eggs Benedict (breakfast is available all day at Tops), the range is so vast that newbies who may be a tad bewildered get the kind of TLC from the staff that would usually be found coming from a doting grandmother. As large as this diner is, it’s still not quite large enough to meet the incredible demand, which Van attributes to these simple gifts: great food, great service, great atmosphere and lots of hospitality that makes one feel totally at home. The news is that in the summer of 2017, the diner will be expanding its space by 2,000 square feet. If you can manage to handle the epic size of the diner’s main dishes — they are gargantuan — then rest assured that desserts here are always worth it. Ask the owners — and some customers — what’s the single best choice, and you may get the same answer. Cheesecake in different varieties is probably at the top of the dessert hit parade. Throw in Mama’s classic apple pie, or that ever-loving banana cream pie or creamy rice pudding. And there are grown men who almost break down in grateful tears for the diner’s coconut custard pie. Tops does what it does proudly and well: it makes you celebrate food. It reminds you that the bustle and friendliness of a New Jersey diner never grows old and for that, we should all give thanks. Hours are Sundays through Thursdays, 6 to 1 a.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 2 a.m. — By Sally Friedman

TOPS DINER 500 Passaic Ave., Harrison · (973) 481-0490 · thetopsdiner.com

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Chateau of Spain serves the classics Serving classic Spanish and Portuguese cuisine in a warm and casual setting, Chateau of Spain transports patrons from its bustling surroundings to the relaxing Iberian Peninsula. A Newark mainstay since 1979, Chateau of Spain — located at 11 Franklin St. — is situated in the heart of the city’s downtown district, adjacent to Newark City Hall and the U.S. Courthouse. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Chateau of Spain’s elegant second-floor dining room serves traditional Spanish and Portuguese fare in an upscale atmosphere. Those looking for lighter options may choose from a variety of American classics in the restaurant’s casual first-floor bistro bar. Chateau of Spain’s location two blocks from Prudential Center makes it the perfect destination to enjoy a meal or appetizer before or after a New Jersey Devils hockey game, concert or other special event. Distinguishing Chateau of Spain is the amazing variety of its menu, said Bill Oliveira, who along with his wife, Isabel, owns the establishment. “The restaurant has two dining rooms: the first floor is a more casual atmosphere, and the second floor is fine dining. Our menus correspond

to those two dining environments,” he said. “For example, downstairs you will find a number of American food items, such as sandwiches, wings, mozzarella sticks and burgers. But we pride ourselves on incorporating a Spanish twist even on cuisine that is not considered ‘traditional’ Spanish food. Our boiled spicy hot Buffalo wing appetizer is one example.” Chateau of Spain also has a successful takeout and catering business. “Our loyal customers love our menu, and we will bring their favorite dishes to them at their off-site corporate and special events,” Oliveira said. The restaurant’s catering menu includes a range of entrées, generously proportioned side dishes and desserts. On-site, the restaurant can accommodate private parties of up to 125 people. The restaurant’s expansive lunch menu includes lighter options ranging from fresh salads, shareable appetizers, sandwiches and wraps to steaks, traditional paellas, and chicken and seafood dishes. The sizeable dinner menu includes appetizers, salads, wraps/sandwiches and a large selection of seafood, chicken, beef, pork and vegetarian options. Oliveira said among Chateau of Spain’s most popular dishes are its traditional seafood paella, a combination of clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and lobster in saffron rice; shrimp sautéed in spicy garlic sauce; and stuffed filet of sole, broiled and

served with the restaurant’s delicious crabmeat stuffing. Chateau of Spain’s steak entrees also are a favorite with diners, and include such choices as sirloin, T-bone and filet mignon. The restaurant is open Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fridays from 11:30 to 12 a.m.; Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. Takeout and delivery are available, and orders can be placed directly from the restaurant’s website. Patrons also are encouraged to “Like” the restaurant on Facebook to learn about drink and menu specials. —Lori Crowell

CHATEAU OF SPAIN · 11 Franklin St., Newark · (973) 624-3346 · chateauofspain.com

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Diners drawn to food and ambiance at Adega Grill

Business Parties • Meetings Family Gatherings • Holiday Parties Happy Hour in the Lounge Mon.-Thurs. 3-6PM Two for One Restaurant & Bar Open Daily for Lunch and Dinenr

130-132 Ferry Street, Newark (973) 589-8830 Take a Virtual Tour www.adegagrill.com

Beauty, the saying goes, is in the eye of the beholder. And one of the most common beholder reactions to stepping inside Adega Grill is the “wow” factor. Simply defined, that means jaws drop at the unique appearance of this place that instantly transforms guests into another world. A mix of wine cellar and Old World charm and beauty, this unique space’s remarkable ambiance is an integral part of the pleasure of dining here. The beautiful, lush restaurant was formerly an old supermarket and liquor store that brothers Carlos and Luiz Lopes had the vision and imagination to transform into a bar and then restaurant back in 2002 in Newark’s popular Ironbound section. What a leap of faith — and imagination — it took to create a space that might be transplanted from Portugal intact. The name “Adega” literally translates to “wine cellar” in Portuguese. “People love to come here not just for the food, which we’re very proud of, but also because of the look and feel we’ve created within these walls,” said general manager, Marco Oliveira, who helped to open the restaurant more than a decade ago. “People just love to be here.” Natural materials such as brick and stone, imaginative lighting, vines and iron gates all add to the mood that is at once romantic, exotic and beautiful. The entire package comes wrapped in food with a Portuguese and Spanish flair. Choices seem almost endless, starting with appetizers that capture the best of Portugal and Spain. Among them is a shrimp dish sautéed with garlic and olive oil, along with a baked clam appetizer stuffed with crab meat and bacon. Then there’s boiled octopus for the more adventurous. House specialties include pan-fried salt cod in a fresh tomato sauce, monkfish shrimp and clam stew, and a grilled red snapper filet, among many fish offerings. Also on the extensive menu is grilled prime rib steak with sautéed veggies, New Zealand lamb chop with house marinade, and sautéed chicken breast with shrimp in a pink sauce with Portuguese ham. Several appealing salads are perfect accompaniments to the heavier dishes at Adega Grill. Speaking of accompaniments, pairings of food and wine are demystified by an informed and gracious staff. The wine list is extensive and varied. Portuguese reds are very much in evidence, along with Spanish and French wines. No need to be timid — even if you’re a total novice — because Adega’s “wine guides” can make expert recommendations. Classic Spanish and Portuguese desserts round out an adventurous dining experience, along with the more familiar chocolate mousse and tiramisu. Portuguese sorbet is a good choice for those who have reached their limit. And Serradura, a Portuguese confection also known as sawdust pudding, is a wonderful choice for large and small appetites. The restaurant is open 364 days a year, but closed on Christmas Day, with a slightly earlier closing on Christmas Eve. Hours are Sundays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. — Sally Friedman

ADEGA GRILL 130 Ferry St., Newark · (973) 589-8830 · adegagrill.com

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Portuguese-style family dining at Pic Nic Restaurant

RESTAURANT & BAR Zagat Rated 2015-2016

Portuguese & Spanish Cuisine Specializing In Specializing in authentic Portuguese barbecue dishes, Pic Nic Restaurant in East Newark is celebrating 30 years of serving fine food and offering attentive service to hungry patrons looking for a quieter alternative to the bustling Ironbound dining district. “Our entire staff takes pride in making the freshest and tastiest dishes, while at the same time providing top-notch service in a calm and relaxing setting that’s perfect for the entire family,” said Manuel Galhofo, who owns the restaurant with business partner Rui Ramos. “We bought Pic Nic 19 years ago, realizing a long-time dream to operate our own restaurant,” Galhofo said. “We started off with a small barbecue menu and we have expanded a lot over the years, offering a variety of steaks and seafood. We have had a Zagat rating for the past seven years.” The dining experience starts with the friendly wait staff arriving at your table with fresh rolls and butter, along with traditional and complimentary soup. Patrons can then choose from an array of appetizers, with the Shrimp in Garlic Sauce a particular favorite. Other choices include Fried Calamari, Portuguese-style Sausage, Stuffed Scallops, Clams Casino and Barbecue Chicken Wings. From there, diners can move on to their entrée — with choices ranging from seafood, meat and poultry. As you would expect, the authentic Paella dishes are a popular choice. Other items include Stuffed Lobster Tails, Broiled Cod Fish, Filet of Flounder with Shrimp and Grilled Salmon. The meat selection includes Filet Mignon, Argentina-style Skirt Steak, Barbecue Chicken, Pork Chops in Garlic Sauce, Baby Back Ribs, Veal Marsala and Febras com Cebola (small pork steaks with onions). There also is the classic Beef With Egg and Prosciutto dish, prepared Portuguese style, along with Marinated Pork Cubes with Clams and Potatoes prepared Alentejana style. This is a quintessential Portuguese recipe featuring clams piled on top of a spicy mix of marinated pork, with potatoes as a finishing touch. Many diners enjoy using the fresh bread to soak up the delicious broth. If you have room, consider dessert choices such as Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Flan, Pudding and Chocolate Mousse. “We offer dine-in, takeout, and catering services,” Galhofo said. “Our full-bar serves delicious specialty cocktails, select Portuguese and Spanish wines, and bottled beers from some of the world’s finest breweries.” Galhofo said the warm and inviting atmosphere provides intimate seating as well as private group accommodations. “Whether it is a dinner for 10 or a large holiday or birthday party for 80, we provide a wonderful dining experience,” he said. Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, Pic Nic is a few miles from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Prudential Center and other major attractions. The restaurant is open for lunch Mondays to Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 3 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 10 p.m. on Sundays. Private lot and street parking are both available. Reservations are accepted. — Robert Wahlers

PIC NIC RESTAURANT 226 Grant Ave., East Newark · (973) 481-3646 · picnicrestaurant.com

Steaks, Seafood & BBQ (Spareribs & Whole Chicken)

Enjoy Your Holiday Party in our Beautiful Private Party Room Party Packages Available Reservations Being Accepted OPEN 7 DAYS • PARKING ON PREMISES

Take-Out Available

Catering On & Off Premises Minutes From The NJ Performing Arts Center and Houston Train station www.picnicrestaurant.com 226 Grant Avenue, East Newark, NJ 973.481.3646

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Heart of the Calabria experience is the food For almost four decades, diners have

The brothers opened the restaurant when

come to the Calabria Restaurant & Pizzeria

Giuseppe was 21 and his brother was 19, and

in Livingston. They find traditional “old

the staff now includes both Giuseppe’s son and

country” cuisine prepared with the freshest of

his niece.

ingredients, family-friendly hospitality, and an

The heart of the Calabria experience is the

extensive wine list recognized as No. 1 in the

food. The brothers said the restaurant is known

state by NJ Monthly magazine.

for its homemade pasta and meatballs, as well as its veal and chicken dishes. Specialties include homemade Jumbo Rigatoni Over Meatballs and Ricotta. Another signature dish is Pan-Seared Chicken with Roast Potatoes, Peppers and Onions. Homemade Ravioli is an

include choices such as the red wines Brunello

often requested specialty, as is Risotto with

and Barolo, sometimes referred to as the king

Truffle Cream Sauce and Asparagus. Calabria offers a wide range of gluten-free choices, including Fresh Halibut with Broccoli Rabe and Cannellini Beans and Rack of Lamb Marinated in Pesto Sauce Over Baby Arugula and Fennel. The restaurant’s signature pizzas are prepared in a brick oven and include Grandma Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil,

Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. The restaurant uses a cuvee, a wine dispensing system that reseals the bottles once they are opened, so that air only touches the wine briefly, the wine is always fresh, and each variety is kept at the appropriate temperature. To finish off a meal, Calabria’s dessert tray

as well as a range of more unusual offerings,

features homemade and traditional specialties,

such as Buffalo and Barbecue Chicken Pizza,

including Ricotta Cheesecake, Chocolate

Ziti or Veggie Pizza, and White Pizza with Garlic and Fresh Ricotta. Giuseppe Ottaiano and his brother Dino have

of Italian wines, as well as whites such as

If the food is the heart of the dining

Mousse, Tiramisu, and Cannoli, as well as gluten-free versions of the traditional recipes. Calabria’s is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

owned the restaurant housed in a villa-style

experience at Calabria, the wine may be the

building at 588 South Livingston Ave. since

soul. Calabria’s wine list was voted No. 1 by NJ

1979. Since then, the restaurant has evolved

Monthly magazine in 2015. The brothers said the

10 p.m. on Sundays. The dining room opens at

into a community landmark that supports local

restaurant serves 40 different carefully selected

4 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays.

organizations such as The Valerie Fund, which

Italian and California wines by the glass. These

Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to

helps in the fight against children’s cancer. The restaurant currently is offering a special discount for Saint Barnabas Medical Center employees and local teachers. Guiseppe said everyone feels welcome, including children, who are entertained by magicians on Monday and Tuesday evenings. In 2002, the brothers expanded the restaurant so that it can now accommodate parties of up to 130 individuals for events such as bar mitzvahs, showers, graduation parties, and work functions hosted by area employers. Some of the restaurant’s customers have been returning for all its 37 years, Giuseppe said. “Being in business all these years, we’ve learned that to stay on top we have to work hard to provide top-quality food and service.”

CALABRIA · 588 South Livingston Ave., Livingston · (973) 992-8496 · calabrianj.com Advertising Feature [ 12 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6

­—Loriann Fell


LET US CATER YOUR SPECIAL OCCASION OR HOLIDAY PARTY 973-992-8496 588 S. Livingston Ave. Livingston NJ

Visit us at

WWW.CALABRIANJ.COM CALABRIAS1@AOL.COM FOLLOW US FOR OUR WEEKLY SPECIALS

SAMPLE OF SOME OF OUR SPECIALS Meatball & Ricotta Polo Calabrese Rack of Lamb Risotto Halibut

DAILY FRESH SEAFOOD & SPECIALS

ENTERTAINMENT EVERY FRIDAY & SATURDAY EVENING

LET US HOST YOUR NEXT SPECIAL OCCASION/ HOLIDAY PARTY At Your Place or Ours No Party too Big or Small LARGEST GLUTEN FREE MENU IN NJ

Advertising Feature [ 13 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


At Bragman’s Deli, it’s all about the basics A time-honored institution in Newark, Bragman’s Delicatessen and Restaurant is thriving by doing what it has always done, but differently. There have been subtle changes over the years, always tailored to the shifting tastes of the local clientele and the tourists who come to Bragman’s based on word of mouth from other travelers, said Larry Reisner, the deli’s owner. A classic Jewish deli (but not classified as Kosher), Bragman’s is all about the basics: Pastrami, corned beef, salami and beef brisket are always to be found within its space. Customers requesting special orders can always get them, but Bragman’s does not serve pork products, Reisner said. “We never have. There has always been a Jewish clientele but now there is a large Muslim clientele, too, and they are just as clear that they don’t want us to serve pork, so we don’t,” he said. Reisner took over the total operation of Bragman’s when his father Charles passed

away in 1995, but he had already been working in the deli full-time since 1986, he said. Charles bought the business from the original owners, the Bragman family, in 1951. “It was sort of a default at the time, but I am very happy to be here,” Reisner said. “We are definitely a traditional deli and that’s what people seem to like about it.” Customers vary from the local residents and people who work nearby to military personnel about to be stationed overseas and travelers who have been told about Bragman’s by friends or relatives. “We have a pretty widespread reputation,” Reisner said. While he remembers a time when the bulk of Bragman’s business was selling cold cuts by the pound, most of what is bought at the deli now is in the form of sandwiches, Reisner said. “When my father was here most of the stuff that went out was by the pound and we didn’t sell many sandwiches,” Reisner noted. “That’s totally turned around now. We do our best to give the people what they want.” Reisner has seen a great deal of change in the deli business as even such renowned businesses as New York’s Carnegie Deli are closing their doors. But Bragman’s remains a Newark institution and there is no end in sight, he said. Bragman’s does catering, and Reisner

recommends calling five days in advance to place the order and receive a discount. “We do sloppy Joes, triple deckers and other types of things, but these days catering is only about 20 percent of my business,” he explained. “We take good care of the people who come in and we give them good quality corned beef or pastrami. There aren’t a lot of people who still do what I do.” Bragman’s is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. For a few weeks in December, the deli also is open on Mondays. Bragman’s is closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but open on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

BRAGMAN’S DELICATESSEN & RESTAURANT · 393 Hawthorne Ave., Newark · (973) 375-9868 · bragmansdeli.com — Jeffrey Cohen

BRAGMAN’S DELICATESSEN & RESTAURANT Serving the Community Since 1951

Sloppy Joes • Tea Sandwiches Party Platters • Roast Chickens & More

SANDWICHES:

Hot Corned Beef • Hot Pastrami Hot Brisket of Beef • Roast Beef Turkey Breast • Chopped Liver • Tuna

Specializing in oversized and mouth-watering sandwiches, and offers catering services.

CATERING:

50 TEA SANDWICHES:

mostly meats & some salads Corned Beef • Pastrami • Turkey • Salami Corned Beef Salad • Chicken Salad & Egg Salad

OUR FAMOUS SLOPPY JOE’S A Triple Decker Corned Beef, Pastrami, Turkey, Cole Slaw & Russian Dressing

CELEBRATING 65 SUCCESSFUL YEARS IN BUSINESS! 393 Hawthorne Ave., Newark • (973) 375-9868 • bragmansdeli.com Advertising Feature [ 14 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


For Sol-Mar owners, business is a labor of love Sol-Mar Restaurant has been a staple of Ironbound restaurants in Newark for 27 years. The establishment began in Lisbon as a bakery and food supplier to restaurants. “That’s what I do all my life is the food business,” said Sol-Mar owner Antonio “Tony” Nobre who started working in the food business when he was 16 years old. Jump ahead several decades and he, his wife and son now manage the Ferry Street restaurant known to customers as Vila Nova do Sol Mar. The name is a tribute to his native country and birthplace, Vila Nova, and the interior of the restaurant feels like a village in Portugal. The floor is made of cobblestones and each wall reflects a different region of the Mediterranean country. Nobre and his restaurant remain deeply tied to his birthplace. His specialty is fresh fish, and every Thursday he receives a shipment direct from Portugal. Those fish can include sardines, octopus, carapau (mackerel), tile fish, and striped bass. “Any place with deep waters, cold waters, the fish tastes better,” Nobre said. The fish is simply prepared to enhance the natural flavors — a little salt, squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and the fish is grilled or broiled. Three times a year he imports 600 cases of olive oil from a producer in the northern region of Portugal. The olive trees grow in rocky soil and that enhances the taste, according to Nobre. The oil is used for cooking and is served with fresh

Celebrating 47 Years in the Ironbound

Rated

by The Star-Ledger

Owner Tony Nobre is ready to serve his guests in his restaurant which mimics a Portuguese Village.

bread (from America’s Bakery) on every table. Fresh garlic and tomatoes are other staples of the Portuguese kitchen and Sol-Mar has an ample supply of both year-round. Garlic is an essential ingredient in Carne de Porco Alentejana — pork cooked in clams, as prepared in the Alentejana region. The clams are braised in olive oil and lots of fresh garlic and oregano, then the pork and potatoes are added to the pan for a flavorful one-pot meal. Another popular dish is the Portuguese steak. It’s a 16 oz. to 18 oz. grilled steak (the portion is smaller for lunch) plated with a piece of ham, fried egg, and covered in gravy. The meat is served with fried onions and potatoes. Feeling hungry and indecisive? Try a seafood combination for two people at $80 per plate. The generous portion includes a 2-pound lobster; six clams, mussels and scallops; two stuffed crabs and jumbo shrimp; 10 oz. of shrimp; and two filets of tilapia or flounder served with fried potatoes, yellow rice and vegetables. Maria, Tony’s wife, is in charge of the desserts. Sol-Mar makes Flan, Chocolate Mousse, and Tiramisu, for example, but no meal is complete without Maria’s Orange Cake. The ingredients are simple — fresh oranges, eggs, sugar, and a tiny bit of flour — but the taste is other-worldly. Whole cakes are available for purchase with a two-day advance notice. Son Luis is the catering manager and Sol-Mar is one of the caterers of the Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott. The family business is a labor of love. “I love my business, I love to talk to people, I love making friendships,” Tony said. “I’m enjoying myself.” — Shira Vickar-Fox

VILA NOVA DO SOL MAR 267 Ferry St., Newark · (973) 344-3041 · solmar-restaurant.com

Specializing In Grilled Seafood Parrilháda Homemade Sangria Lunch • Dinner • Cocktails Reservations Being Accepted for The Holidays & Holiday Parties Reservations Welcome • Open 7 Days Major Credit Cards Accepted 263 Ferry Street • Newark, NJ (973) 344-8540

Parking Across the street from the Restaurant

Advertising Feature [ 15 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6

www.vilanova.com


Marco Polo: Local gem in the heart of Summit Relaxed elegance meets exceptional cuisine

each month from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Upcoming wine

at Marco Polo Restaurant, a local gem in the

academy themes include “Wines to Serve with

heart of Summit that has delighted patrons with

Holiday Meals” on Nov. 17 and “The Seven Fish

Italian and continental fare for more than 80

of Christmas and Wines that Pair with Them”

years.

on Dec. 15. Reservations are required as classes

Owner Agapios Kyritsis invites guests to consider the destination restaurant their “home

tend to fill up quickly. The bar upstairs at Marco Polo promises “a

away from home” — a place to enjoy “food like

libation to please any palate” and is stocked

Grandma used to make — only better.”

with the highest quality spirits, fine wines and

Since its doors first opened in 1934, Marco

imported beers. A specialty cocktail list offers

Polo has embraced its enduring philosophy:

classic martinis, signature “potions” such as the

“great food, service and décor are the consistent

Hawaiian Colada and more than 20 wines by

hallmarks of a restaurant that celebrates the

the glass. A refreshing alternative to the typical

very best dining experience.”

happy hour locale, the bar’s elegant, smart atmosphere makes it a favorite after-work spot to unwind, sip a cocktail and nibble an appetizer or two. In addition, a first-floor bar offers guests a great place to enjoy a meal, catch up on the score of the big game, connect with friends and relax with a cocktail. Marco Polo’s private dining rooms are available for special occasions with parties of 10 to 175 — corporate meetings, anniversaries, engagements, intimate weddings, showers, graduations and birthdays.

Influenced by the seasons and fresh produce and ingredients, Marco Polo’s chefs innovate and create beyond the conventional, according to the restaurant’s website. “The classics that you crave deftly share the menu with delicious contemporary selections. From our pasta and

The entire second floor of the restaurant

to their specifications. Off-premise catering brings the flavors of Marco Polo to corporate functions, dinner parties, cocktail affairs, social gatherings, holiday parties, wedding receptions and more. The restaurant staff can create a customized menu to suit individual taste, style and budget. “At Marco Polo, there’s always something special happening to make your dining experience that much more exceptional,” Kyritsis said. “We hope you will make dining at Marco Polo a tradition. Come join us soon.” The kitchen is open Mondays through

can be reserved for a large affair or divided to

Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays

accommodate smaller events. Options include

from noon to 10:30 p.m. The bar is open Mondays

a sit-down dinner, buffet or stand-up cocktail

through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to midnight and

reception; party hosts may select from set menu

Sundays from noon to 11:30 p.m.

options or work with staff to customize a menu

— Kerry Serzan

specialties to our delicious chicken, beef and veal dishes, there is something certain to please all of our guests. “We make the food served in our restaurant the way we like to cook at home: fresh ingredients, spices and herbs. We believe that’s why, seven days a week, locals and visitors alike continue to come back time and again.” Marco Polo offers popular theme night menus: enjoy a rich and authentic experience with Italian night on Tuesdays; fresh seafood abounds at fisherman’s night on Wednesdays; and Thursday’s prime rib night brings succulent, generous portions. Those interested in food and wine can sign up for the Wine Academy at Marco Polo and pair a variety of tempting wines with delicious tastes from the Marco Polo kitchen. These popular events are held on the third Thursday of

MARCO POLO RESTAURANT & TAVERN · 527 Morris Ave. Summit · (908) 277-4492 · marcopolonj.com Advertising Feature [ 16 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


Marco Polo 527 MORRIS AVENUE | SUMMIT, NJ | 908.277.4492 WWW.MARCOPOLONJ.COM | MARCOPOLO1934@AOL.COM

Welcome! You are cordially invited to join us for an afternoon or evening of relaxed elegance and exceptional cuisine. Marco Polo, a fabulous gem located in the heart of Summit, NJ, has been providing temptingly delicious Italian and Continental cuisine for more than 75 years. Since our doors were first opened in 1934, our enduring philosophy has been that great food, service and décor are the consistent hallmarks of a restaurant that celebrates the very best dining experience. We invite your family to meet ours. We hope you will make dining at Marco Polo a tradition. Our weekly theme night menus have customers coming back time and time again. Join us on Tuesdays for Italian night and enjoy a rich and authentic Italian dining experience. Wednesday is Fisherman’s Night - spectacularly fresh seafood abounds, and Thursday is Prime Rib Night offering succulent, generous portions. But that’s not all. We offer delicious, affordable off-site catering. Hosting friends for the big game? Having a family gathering at home? Planning a large office meeting? Let Marco Polo handle the food! We are the perfect solution for corporate events, social gatherings, holiday parties and more. We can create a complete menu for any type of event. Don’t let a growing “to do” list get the better of you. Cross off food with just one call to Marco Polo!

Advertising Feature [ 17 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


Voted #1 Brazilian Rodizio in New Jersey - The Star-Ledger

Join us for your

Special Holiday Parties and The Holidays.

Delight in Portuguese and Brazilian fare at Solar Do Minho in Belleville Solar Do Minho brings authentic Portuguese and Brazilian delights to Belleville. Tucked away on a quiet street, the design of Solar Do Minho is evocative of its Portuguese name, which means “a manor house located in the town of Minho,” where co-owner Antonio Goncalves grew up. The interior features a wood-burning fireplace, terracotta roof tiles, a freestanding streetlamp and painted ceramic plates. Guests dining in this Iberian setting will be treated to plenty of delicious and affordable food. “There are a lot of choices from meats to seafood to fish,” said Bethania Goncalves, who has co-owned the restaurant for 14 years with her husband, Antonio. “It’s a restaurant that has a lot of choices on the menu. Patrons can find something they’ll enjoy.” Most of the food is classic Portuguese except for the paella and another popular exception: Brazilian rodizio. Rodizio is allyou-can-eat skewers of 14 types of meat, including chicken, pork, beef and lamb. “People love it,” said Bethania, a native of Brazil. “It’s No. 1 in the restaurant.” Other popular meat entrées include grilled filet mignon and several varieties of steak, such as skirt and sirloin, plated on a clay roof tile with a flame underneath. “If you want it medium rare, they bring it rare, and it finishes cooking (at the table,)” Bethania said. The telha, tile dishes, are served with melted garlic butter on the side. Vegetarians and vegans won’t go hungry. Solar Do Minho offers meat-free dishes such as vegetables with yellow rice or pasta, and a selection of pasta sauces. There’s also a kids menu with smaller portions of some meat dishes, including pint-sized rodizio.

Open 7 Days Lunch • Dinner • Lounge Full Service Bar

The house drink is sangria and it comes in several varieties: blue, passionfruit, red and white. “When it comes to sangria, I like the white sangria,” Bethania said. “It’s very refreshing.” The restaurant also hosts an extensive wine menu, with drinks purchased by the glass or by the bottle. The large selection includes Portuguese vintners such as Cortes de Cima and Eugenio de Almeida, as well as a selection of wines from Argentina, California and Italy. There’s always room for dessert, especially Serradura, which is Portuguese cookies and cream and also known as sawdust pudding. Round, sweet biscuits are crushed and mixed with rich whipped cream. The restaurant also makes tiramisu and flan, and serves cheesecake from Montebello Bakery in Newark. On the lighter side, grilled pineapple with cinnamon is included with orders of rodizio. Solar Do Minho offers catering on-site and off-site, which can include full-

Let Us Cater Your Next Social or Business Event

Solar Do Minho Steak House

service and waitstaff. The restaurant’s private room, with seating for 60, hosts small functions such as holiday parties and weddings. In the warmer months, a tent can be set up in the back for parties of up to 150 guests. Turn weeknights into a party by ordering take-out with the new Solar Do Minho app. Customers can order food and pick it up at the restaurant. Solar Do Minho is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Reservations are recommended for the weekend. Valet parking is available. — Shira Vickar-Fox

Portuguese Cuisine ~ Brazilian Rodizio

15 Cleveland Street • Belleville, NJ 07109 www.solardominhobelleville.com • (973) 844-0500

SOLAR DO MINHO 15 Cleveland St., Belleville · (973) 844-0500 · solardominhobelleville.com

an advertising feature [ 18 ] N O V E M B E R

2016


Notable items keep patrons coming back to La Couronne

For a memorable dining experience ... for over 20 years

La Couronne For the past 20 years, La Couronne Restaurant — located at 23 Watchung Plaza in Montclair — has attracted a steady clientele with its warm atmosphere, and authentic Northern Italian cuisine. The family-run restaurant, considered one of the finest Italian restaurants in Essex County, prides itself on making every patron feel like family. Chef/owner Luis Dominguez took ownership of La Couronne Restaurant in 2006, after serving as the establishment’s chef for 11 years. His daughter, Erica Dominguez, is marketing manager and Marco Guaman, his brother-in-law, greets guests as the friendly host. The restaurant is the perfect destination for a family dinner, gathering with friends or date night. “Exceptional, attentive customer service is our No. 1 goal,” said Luis, who proudly notes that New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra was among the restaurant’s regular clientele. La Couronne’s specials change weekly and seasonally, and high-quality fish and meat are delivered to the restaurant on a daily basis. Every dish is fresh and made to order, allowing Luis to accommodate the special dietary requests of customers. Gluten-free pasta is available, which he said is virtually undistinguishable from wheat-based varieties. “We never say ‘no’ to customers’ requests,” Luis added. The restaurant’s menu features a wide selection of soups, hot and cold appetizers, and salads. Entrees include a number of both traditional and innovative pasta, chicken, seafood, beef and veal options. For those seeking lighter fare, gourmet thin-crust pizza is available with a choice of traditional or more innovative toppings, such as broccoli rabe or rock shrimp. Pumpkin Ravioli returns to La Couronne’s menu this fall. The sauce, made from butter, parmesan cheese and fresh sage, enhances but doesn’t overwhelm the pumpkin’s flavor. Another popular pasta entrée with patrons is Lobster Ravioli, pockets of pasta filled with tender chunks of fresh lobster. The dish is available with a choice of different sauces. Other notable menu items include appetizers such as Rock Shrimp Arrabbiata, sautéed rock shrimp with garlic, red pepper seeds and oregano in a white wine lemon sauce; and Butterfly Shrimp, egg-dipped Francese-style, served in rich mustard cream sauce. Entrees include Grilled Branzino (the Italian name for Mediterranean sea bass) with sautéed baby spinach. The restaurant’s eggplant lasagna is another customer favorite. Don’t forget to save room for homemade dessert, which includes a signature Biscotti; Limoncello Tartufo, a creamy lemon ice cream ball with a lemon custard center rolled in meringue sprinkles; and Zabaglione, a traditional light, whipped Italian custard, served with topping of fresh strawberries. La Couronne is open for dinner seven days a week. Hours of operation are Mondays through Saturdays from 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m. Reservations are suggested on Friday and Saturday nights at this BYOB restaurant. La Couronne also is available to host private parties, and repast and special occasion luncheons. Takeout and off-premise catering also is available. — Lori Crowell

LA COURONNE RESTAURANT 23 Watchung Plaza, Montclair · (973) 226-0733 · lacouronnerestaurant.com

Restaurant MONTCLAIR, NJ

Voted #1 in Montclair by Peoples Choice

Serving the finest in provincial cuisine OPEN 7 DAYS

Monday to Saturday 5-11 pm Sunday 3-8 pm

Take-out orders always available Call ahead & your order will be ready

23 WATCHUNG PLAZA, MONTCLAIR, NJ (973) 744-2090 LACOURONNERESTAURANT.COM G I F T C E R T I F I C A T E S AVA I L A B L E

Advertising Feature [ 19 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


Expand your palate with local fare Supporting new restaurants can be a great way to expand your appreciation of food, while also helping sustain local jobs The phrase “Shop Local” typically evokes images of strolling down Main Street with boxes and bags in hand. But shopping local doesn’t just mean hitting the local boutiques and antique shops; it also means eating local. Some of the Best Restaurants, Right Under Your Nose Sure, most people like the comfort and stability of major restaurant chains. You know the menu, you know what to expect, and they’re typically easily accessible right off the highway. Look a bit closer and you could have a whole lot more variety in your own backyard than you’d ever dreamed. The easiest way to eat local is to be adventurous and pop into new and different restaurants around your hometown. From the mom-and-pop cafe to the downtown bistro, you will rarely go wrong by taking a few chances. Supporting new restaurants can be a great way to expand your palate, while also helping sustain local jobs. Hit Up the Farmers Market This is arguably one of the biggest and often most forgotten ways to eat local. Definitely try out the cuisine at local restaurants, but, when it comes to fruits and veggies (and even honey and canned goods), it’s hard to beat the freshness of the products from your county and state. Local farmers fill up farmers markets every week, selling goods grown right in your area. Sure, it might cost a bit more, but it’s almost guaranteed to be fresher than what you might pick up at the grocery store — and that purchase will help ensure there are local veggies available in the years to come. Local Food Is Better for You According to a Michigan state report, local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from faraway states and countries is often older from having traveled a great distance and sits in a

The easiest way to eat local is to be adventurous and pop into new and different restaurants around town.

distribution center before it gets to the store. — Green Shoot Media Advertising Feature [20 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


Food Parings: Creating a flavor profile There’s a science to mixing wine with food, but should we put as much effort into making sure our shandy has a unique food partner? The great thing about mixing fancy drinks with favorite dishes is the adaptability one has. If you think a grilled romaine salad could use a little extra bite, mix it with a sweet apple spritzer to achieve a match made in mixology heaven. Restaurants have started coupling their drinks with main courses. These food-cocktail pairings will leave you satisfied. Make sure the drink doesn’t overpower the dish but works alongside it to create an enjoyable flavor profile. The only thing that matters is the flavors working well together. Following are some interesting pairing ideas: Contrasting Flavors What’s more American than a few helpings of ribs, steaks or chops? You may think a smoked whiskey is the perfect pairing to a smoky dish, but why not think outside of the box? Choose a spicy bloody Mary or mojito to cut the taste of the smoke, instead. This refreshing combination will unlock the flavors in both your plate and your glass, opening the palate to an incredible combination. Dessert Combinations If you choose to set off your meats with a spicy cocktail, you can save your whiskey for dessert. Your favorite rich-flavored brown will go well with a dark chocolate dessert — another unconventional drink option usually reserved for sweet cocktails. Ice cream also is the perfect partner to a whiskey drink. Watch as the two work together perfectly to create a sweet symphony that will make your taste buds buzz. — Green Shoot Media

Advertising Feature [ 21 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


Visit Don Pepe Steak House for authentic dining experience Don Pepe Steak House on Route 46 West

dishes such as Paella and Pollo al Ajillo (garlic

in Pine Brook soothes your senses with its

chicken on the bone) are available only at Don

reflection of romantic España, offering authentic

Pepe II. USDA choice beef is on the menu at Don

Spanish cuisine in a setting that combines Old

Pepe II, while Don Pepe Steak House takes it a

World charm with modern elegance.

notch higher by serving both choice and USDA

Owners Benito and Carmen Lopez, who opened the steakhouse in 1995, take pleasure in providing their many visitors with a memorable

prime beef. Carmen said Don Pepe Steak House has a 65-seat dining room, a 125-seat party room and

Owners Benito and Carmen Lopez, who opened the steakhouse in 1995, provide their many visitors with a memorable dining experience.

a third space that can accommodate up to 100 guests. Catering options include buffet menus

diners with its 2- to 6-pound live lobster specials,

and full-service sit-down affairs.

offered daily.

“We can handle almost 300 people at one

la Gallega (octopus flavored with olive oil and

to our well-trained and hard-working staff,” she

paprika), Calamares a La Madrileña (fried calmari)

said. As you might expect at a steakhouse dedicated to quality, the Prime Aged Beef Porterhouse is one of the most popular entrees. Other steak choices include New York Boneless,

friendly and professional service. We have many loyal customers who have been visiting us for

famous homemade red or white sangria, which everybody loves,” said Carmen, adding

lovers, there is a Shell Steak on the children’s

experience further by choosing from a collection

menu.

of the world’s finest wines from Pesquera and

Other choices for meat entrees include

“We pride ourselves on our fine food and our

“We also have full-service bar and our

that many diners also like to enhance their

Grilled Chilean Sea Bass are big favorites as well.

dining experience.

and Almejas Casino (clams casino).

sirloin, T-bone and Filet Mignon. For junior steak

Broiled Smoked Sausage, Red Snapper and

Photo by Robert Alonso

Other choices in aperitivos include Pulpo a

time, all out of the same kitchen. That’s a tribute

Ternera Marsala (veal cutlets in marsala wine and mushrooms), Pechuga de Pollo a la Mancha (chicken cutlets in garlic sauce), and Chuletas de Cerdo Balsamica (pork chops with balsamic vinegar and sweet peppers). The steakhouse also offers an impressive

Vega Sicilia — vintages renowned for their rich flavor and intense aromas. As a final touch, diners can top their experience off by ordering such classic desserts as tiramisu, flan or chocolate mousse. Lunch hours are Mondays to Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner hours are Mondays to Thursdays from 3 to 10 p.m.; Fridays from 3 to 11 p.m.;

years,” said Carmen, who notes that she and her

array of seafood selections, starting with

Saturdays from 1 to 11 p.m.; and Sundays from 1

husband also own a sister restaurant nearby.

Camarones Ajillo — the much-praised shrimp in

to 9 p.m.

Don Pepe II, located on Old Bloomfield Avenue

garlic appetizer. The steakhouse also draws in

— Robert Wahlers

in Pine Brook opened in 1986. Five years before that, the first Don Pepe opened its doors in Newark. The original Don Pepe, which is operated by other members of the Lopez family, is renowned for its authentic dining experience, featuring fresh and flavorful culinary specialties such as Paella, Shrimp in Garlic Sauce, Chicken and Garlic, Prime Rib Eye, Nova Scotia Halibut (any style), Seafood Platter, and Nova Scotia Lobsters. While both Don Pepe II and Don Pepe Steak House in Pine Brook also serve plenty of Spanish-inspired fare as well, there are a few Photo by Robert Alonso

differences between the two. Traditional Spanish

DON PEPE STEAK HOUSE · 58 Route 46, Pine Brook · (973) 808-5533 · donpepesteakhouse.com Advertising Feature [ 22 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


At Xunta, the ‘small plate’ is king

“Everything about Enjoy a modern twist on traditional tapas-style dining at Xunta – Tapas España. This unique dining experience brings together the multifaceted flavors of authentic Spanish cuisine in a comfortable environment. Since opening in 2013, this awardwinning BYOB restaurant, located in Caldwell, quickly has become a standout within Essex County’s diverse dining scene. Xunta – Tapas España provides the perfect setting to come together with friends and family, and share the joys of food and drink, according to Carmen Mendez, who owns the restaurant along with her business partner, Alfonso Meneses. The latter also is the chef. Professional-quality photos of Spain — taken by Mendez, who hails from Galicia — line the restaurant’s walls and enhance the establishment’s cozy yet elegant ambiance. “Dining tapas-style is all about small plates,” Mendez said. “For patrons who may not be familiar with this type of dining, I always say to think of it as a ‘mix and match.’ We usually recommend two tapas per person, and every dish that gets put on the table is shareable. So, for example, for a table of four people, we would recommend choosing eight different menu items. We have created a unique dining experience in which our guests have the opportunity to sample many different traditional Spanish tapas.” All menu items incorporate the authentic flavors of Spain such as sweet Spanish paprika, chorizo and Spanish onion, to name a few. Two sizes are available on most menu items, so they can be ordered either for an individual or a larger party. A popular house sangria mix —­made from juices and fresh fruit — also is available for purchase; diners can add their own red or white wine, or champagne. The restaurant’s menu includes soups and salads, meat and chicken dishes, cold meats and cheeses, vegetables, and seafood options. Mendez said among the most popular menu items is Patatas Bravas (Spanish spicy potatoes) and Empanada Gallega de Pollo (a puff pastry Galician chicken empanada with piquillo peppers, Spanish onion and sweet paprika). Due to the nature of its menu items, most of the dishes at Xunta – Tapas España also are gluten free, making it a popular choice for diners who are avoiding gluten either for medical or lifestyle reasons. Several of the restaurant’s dessert items, including traditional Flan and Arroz con Leche (a creamy rice pudding) also are gluten free. Xunta – Tapas España has garnered numerous awards from various publications including The Star-Ledger and Suburban Essex magazine. In 2016, for the third consecutive year, the restaurant was named a winner in New Jersey Monthly’s Reader’s Choice awards. Xunta – Tapas España is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 5 to 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 5 to 10 p.m.; and Sundays from 1 to 9 p.m. Reservations are recommended, especially for Friday and Saturday evenings. Parking is available on both sides of Bloomfield Avenue as well as in the municipal lot directly behind the restaurant. — Lori Crowell

XUNTA 392 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell · (973) 226-0733 · xuntatapas.net

tapas

from the preparations to eating and enjoying, is a uniquely Spanish experience.”

The Star Ledger 392 Bloomfield Avenue • Caldwell 973.226.0733 www.xuntatapas.net

Advertising Feature [ 23 ] N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 6


Home of the Best Prime Porterhouse Certified Angus Steaks • Domestic Lamb • Kobe Pork

ZAGAT RATED

Don Pepe

58 Route 46West. Pine Brook, NJ

973•882•6757

wwwdonpepesteakhouse.com

STEAKHOUSE

Restaurant•Continental&SpanishSpecialties

Fresh Wild Fish & Seafood Daily GIFTCERTIFICATESAVAILABLE PRIVATEROOMSAVAILABLE

Don Pepe II RESTAURANT

s l a i c e Sp

UR SOME OF O

Sala Verde • Mariscada • Paella Garlic • Chicken inore! and much m

18 Old Bloomfield Ave. Pine Brook, NJ

973•882•6757 wwwdonpepeII.com OPEN For

Lunch & Dinner

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ZAGAT RATED

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