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The Breitling Cinema Squad Charlize Theron Brad Pitt Adam Driver


Artistic Hardware for Style and Function Lighting n Shower Doors n Plumbing Fixtures n Decorative Hardware n

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LifeStyle View

And Then It’s Spring


s I write this column, it’s unseasonably warm for February; and we have been spared a lot of snow we normally see. I was lucky to get out west and ski the surplus they seem to always have in Colorado and Utah. But back home, the mild winter has been a nice change and a great reason to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise. In this issue, health writer Robin Stoloff reminds us of the great playground we have here in our backyard for staying fit, and art enthusiast Michael Cagno introduces us to local artist Kelley Prevard and her amazing work. If your backyard is your favorite spot in your home, feature writer Danielle Gomes shows us how we can transform outdoor space into a dream vacation destination here at the shore. Check out our automotive feature by Elaine Rose on the versatility of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Then, our own globe-trotting Molly Golubcow shows us the excitement of Dubai and its diversity of sites to see there. And what’s life without great wine? Michael Bray helps us with some simple tips on pairing wine with food. Speaking of food, you would be crazy not to get out and sample some of our great restaurants in Atlantic City during upcoming Restaurant Week. Check out our tips on navigating the plethora of offerings. One of my new favorite spots, with some of Atlantic City’s best Pilau rice, is also featured in this issue. We visit Setaara Restaurant, run by a family with a passion for excellence. And one of my treasured events this time of year is Atlantic Cape Community College’s Annual Restaurant Gala. We take you inside one of the most important fundraising efforts supporting students at the Academy of Culinary Arts. Also in this issue, we catch up with local talent and good friend Brandon Tomasello. He is featured in our entertainment section and keeps the classics alive with his witty performances of crooner classics like Sinatra.

Nick Valinote, Publisher

how to reach us

SUBSCRIPTIONS & ADVERTISING For subscriptions and advertising, call 609.513.0813 or email info@njlifestyleonline.com. NJLIFESTYLEONLINE.COM Visiting our website is your connection to South Jersey’s Good Life. WHERE TO FIND US NJ Lifestyle Magazine is mailed to select households in Atlantic and Cape May Counties, and parts of South Jersey. We can be found at select retail locations, golf clubs, restaurants, doctor offices, and more.

Wishing you all a great spring! I look forward to seeing you all soon. On the cover: Uzbeki Palau at Setaara Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Spring 2020 |



CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS Firepit designed and created from EP Henry products by Stoneworld Hardscape Center in EHT.

A sample of the offerings at the Knife & Fork Inn

12 A local business owner reveals the creation

Approximately 80 establishments will participate in the 12th Annual 18 Atlantic City Restaurant Week. See page 18 for all the details.

of an outdoor Califorinia room in New Jersey.

Lifestyle Fashion......................................... 6


A tangerine dream.

Annual Feeding Frenzy........................ 18

Home & Design.......................................... 12 The outdoor living explosion.

Prepare for one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Lifestyle Wellness....................................... 17

Opulent Dubai................................... 26

A garden of possibility.

A pot of gold in the sand.

Health Watch............................................. 22

South Beach Culinary Connections...... 32

Get out and get fit.

South Jersey taks a tasty trip to South Beach.

Lifestyle On Wheels.................................... 38 An off-road icon.

All Roads Lead To Setaara................... 64

Lifestyle Art............................................... 42

A true guiding star along the Silk Road of Atlantic City.

A local artist makes her imprint on the art world.

26 Travel with us to Dubai and discover its natural beauty.

Lifestyle Entertainment.............................. 46 Doing it his way.

Lifestyle Chatter......................................... 48 What’s happening around south Jersey.

The Social Scene........................................ 50 Get the picture on the latest events and happenings.

Lifestyle Eats............................................. 58 A party with a purpose.

Lifestyle Wine............................................ 62 Five tips on how to pair your food and wine.

An admirable view of the Dubai marina

Dining Gallery............................................ 68 All the details on the area’s great dining venues.

Money Watch............................................. 72 An in-depth look at a top performing year. njlifestyleonline.com

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020




Creative Director

DARLA SCARDUZZIO Darla has been an integral part of NJ Lifestyle Magazine since 2004. From sales to publishing to graphic design, she has experienced all aspects of the industry. She currently resides in Sarasota, Florida with her family and continues the glorious design of NJ Lifestyle Magazine remotely.


MOLLY GOLUBCOW By day, Molly has been a technical writer for over 20 years. By night, she escapes the world of “Press Enter” to write just about anything other than technical subjects. Her works (short stories, articles, interviews, press releases) have been published in several anthologies as well as in newspaper and magazines.

Wine Writer

MICHAEL BRAY Michael is the founder of and director of operations at Passion Vines Wine & Spirit Company, an award-winning liquor store specializing in the world’s greatest wines, spirits, and beer, located in Somers Point and Egg Harbor Township. He serves on numerous business, government, non-profit, and community boards.


FELICIA LOWENSTEIN With a passion for words and a natural curiosity about the world, Felicia has been writing professionally on a wide range of topics for nearly 3 decades. While feature articles are a particular favorite, she also has authored nearly 2 dozen nonfiction children’s books. She resides in South Jersey with her husband and two dogs.


ERIC WEEKS They say owners start to look like their dog … Eric loved photography from the start and has won awards for many images throughout the years, along with a cover image for the Professional Photographers of America’s Loan Collection book. Teaching a photography class at ACCC keeps the initial thrill of creating images fresh for this talented photographer.

Spring 2020 |



Copy Editor, Writer

ALYSON BOXMAN LEVINE Former Manhattan writer and editor, Alyson currently resides in Linwood, N.J. with her husband and teenage son. When not researching facts for her latest manuscript, she can be found enjoying the countless amenities offered at the shore or in the kitchen trying out one of her latest recipes on her family and friends.

Health Writer

ROBIN STOLOFF Robin has been a health reporter in South Jersey since 1986. She hosts and produces Living Well with Robin Stoloff on Lite Rock 96.9 WFPG in Atlantic City. A sports enthusiast, fitness instructor, and former fitness competitor, Robin’s personal and professional mission is “empowering people to live a healthier life.”

Artist, Writer

MICHAEL CAGNO Michael is the Executive Director of the Noyes Museum of Art and the Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums. He serves as an adjunct professor at The Richard Stockton University and Cumberland County Community College. Michael has become an accomplished artist early in his career.


ELAINE ROSE Elaine was a staff writer for the Press of Atlantic City for nearly twenty-two years, and during that tenure covered every subject except sports. Her work has won awards from the New Jersey Press Association and the Philadelphia Society of Professional Journalists. She lives in Galloway Township with her cat, Francis.


LISA JOHNSON & DENNIS HAYES A construction manager and energy consultant by profession, Dennis’ passion is learning the secrets of preparing good food, traveling the world, and living life to the fullest. An award-winning TV journalist from Las Vegas, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City, Lisa is N.J. Lifestyle’s contributing editor and president of Lisa Johnson Communications.

WHITNEY ULLMAN Born in Atlantic City, Whitney is known as a "go to" resource for all things celebrity, entertainment and VIP at the Jersey Shore. She created the @gotowhitney & @thecitypulse brands to showcase all the area happenings and would love for you to follow her journey, so she can help Entertainment Reporter you with yours!

Entertainment Writer

DAVID SPATZ David is the Emmy Award-winning host of Middays with David Spatz on NewsTalk 1400 WOND, and a multi-media journalist with 45 years experience reporting in print, television and radio. His TV entertainment series, Curtain Call, remains the only television program produced in South Jersey to win an Emmy Award.


KRISTIAN GONYEA Kristian has been a working photographer for over 15 years. His work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines. He also shoots weddings, portraits, sporting events, concerts, and various other projects and his love of South Jersey has blossomed into his most recent works; photographing our beautiful region’s sunrises and sunsets.


PAUL DEMPSEY From expressway billboards to European fashion magazines — Paul’s photography is fresh and unique. The difference is intentional. The impact is universal. His photos tell the stories that need no words. This internationallypublished Nikon pro calls Atlantic City home.


DON KRAVITZ Don is an entertainment photojournalist and special events photographer for national publications, as well as Getty Images, Miss America, and the city of Ocean City, NJ. In addition, he provides volunteer photography services to Special Olympics of New Jersey, Sunshine Foundation, and other non-profit organizations.




Nick Valinote Creative Director

Darla Scarduzzio Copy Editor

Alyson Boxman Levine Contributing Editor

Lisa Johnson Contributing Writers

Michael Bray Michael Cagno Michele Giampaolo Molly Golubcow Danielle Gomes Lisa Johnson Alyson Boxman Levine Felicia L. Niven Matt and Tom Reynolds Elaine Rose Robin Stoloff Whitney Ullman Photographers

Paul Dempsey Kristian Gonyea Justin Tinel Nick Valinote Eric Weeks Online Media Information


Archer & Greiner is one of New Jersey’s largest full-service law firms, with nearly 200 attorneys in eight offices, serving Fortune 100 clients, small to medium-sized businesses, and individuals. With a reputation for providing the highest-quality, results-driven legal services, Archer attorneys have been proactive in meeting the many and varied needs of our clients throughout the region for over 90 years. • Banking & Finance • Bankruptcy • Business Counseling • Construction • Employment • Energy & Utilities • Environmental • Family Law

• Health Care • Intellectual Property • Litigation • Media & Technology • Nonprofit • Product Liability • Real Estate & Land Use • Tax, Trusts & Estates

To learn more about our firm, contact Robert W. Bucknam, Jr., Esq. at 856.354.3025 or visit www.archerlaw.com.

New Jersey Lifestyle is published by Nicholas & Partners. The entire contents of New Jersey Lifestyle are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Nicholas & Partners assumes no liability for products or services advertised herein. Nicholas & Partners reserves the right to edit, rewrite or refuse editorial material and assumes no responsibility for accuracy, errors or omissions. NJ Lifestyle Magazine and Nicholas & Partners assume no responsibility for writers opinions and contents. All correspondence should be sent to:

Nicholas & Partners P.O. Box 1183, Absecon, NJ 08201 Telephone: 609-513-0813 info@njlifestyleonline.com • njlifestyleonline.com


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Fashion


DREAM Choose daring color as your guide to a season filled with fun By Alyson Boxman Levine

Silk Dress, Equipment


pring will soon be upon us, and when it comes to fashion trends, there is one word that will embody this season: bold. For those fashionistas who love color, get ready for brilliant hues that are as bright and bold as you. The breakout color is an effervescent tangerine, both on the runway and on the street. Reminiscent of travel, tangerine is a joyful shade and ideal for the spring season. And wearing it can also make you happy. According to research from Yale University, wearing colors that exude liveliness and positivity can promote happiness. There are countless ways to style this vibrant color, so it’s surprisingly simple to infuse this shade into your spring closet. Feeling daring? Try an all-over look. Or, are you just in the mood to add a pop of color? There is no wrong way to wear tangerine, and even adding it in through your accessories will instantly update any outfit. nnn Travel the Silk Road You will certainly be vacation ready — whether it’s in the Far East or along the picturesque coast of a N.J. seaside town — in this Harmon dress from the coveted Equipment label. With its point collar, crossover V-neck, and long dolman sleeves, this dress enjoys the textbook shade of tangerine. Featuring slitbanded cuffs with button closures and a flattering wrap front with a seamed waist, the silk fabric conjures up feelings of Japanese art; bright and modern, with an airy sense of effortless elegance. In 1976, Christian Restoin set out to revolutionize women’s ready-to-wear with the launch of Equipment clothing. Characterized by classic, menswear-inspired shirts with refined tailoring and timeless appeal, the Parisian label currently stays true to its well-established heritage. Equipment’s button-down blouses, cashmere sweaters, and silk dresses exude discreet sexiness in the form of luxe fabrics and unexpected details found in modern, androgynous silhouettes. Timeless and innovative, the Equipment woman is strong, chic, adventurous, sexy, and above all, classic.

Spring Jacket, Cole Haan

nnn All About the Outerwear This season, there’s no shortage of vibrant-colored, light-weight jackets — from bold tones to on-trend bright hues — and in a vast variety of silhouettes as well. Adding a vivid tangerine outerwear option to your spring closet is the ideal decision, and this ruffle trench coat from the Cole Haan label will certainly brighten up the dreariest of days. Featuring a fun ruffle front and skirt, this single-breasted trench embodies a perfectly-feminine silhouette and will look flawless on all body types. Cole Haan was born in Chicago in 1928 and was the brainchild of Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan, who built the company on a reputation of quality, craftsmanship, style, and service. Cole Haan — which began as a men's footwear brand but expanded into women's and children's products as well — has sought to maintain this spirit throughout its more than 70-year history. Cole Haan is on a mission to power the ambitions of working women everywhere, bridging technology and innovation with classic timeless style. nnn A Sustainable Hue If you don’t already have a tangerine sweater in your closet, now is the time to purchase one. Serving as a recurrent wardrobe staple, this bright piece will last season after season and will quickly become a go-to favorite. And, since


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020



Sweater, Maggie Marilyn

Athleisure Line, Tory Burch

High Waist Pants, AQ/AQ

Silk Tie in Tangerine

you have so many delightful, colorful options this season, why not acquire a sustainable one. This belted beauty from the Maggie Marilyn label is not only chic, it will satisfy your socially-conscious beliefs as well. Featuring a soft knit wool feel and cleverly belted at your natural waistline, this musthave piece embodies a feeling of modern effervescence. New Zealand-based fashion label Maggie Marilyn launched in 2016, capturing an instant following with its attention to fine tailoring and youthful charm. The growing brand is also conscious of environmental impact and the social responsibility of providing a living wage to those who make its garments, helping to create a more sustainable fashion ecosystem. The Maggie Marilyn aesthetic is feminine and unconventional, presenting new options for women with a strong, developed perspective. “At Maggie Marilyn, we are acutely aware of the massive social, economic, and environmental challenges facing humanity and we are equally aware of the huge impact the fashion industry is having on our planet and its people,” revealed the company. “Since our inception, we have been committed to making a difference in an industry that is ready for change. We believe in transparency, caring for and respecting all people in our supply chain, and ensuring that the health of our beautiful planet is at the forefront of every decision we make.” nnn The Perfect Pants Have you been thinking about adding some excitement to your work wardrobe? Nothing


Spring 2020 |



embodies the essence of modern, chic, and powerful like donning a pair of highwaisted pants. Now is the ideal time to try these trendy tangerine pants by the AQ/AQ label. These well-received pants effortlessly go from the office to after-work drinks with retro, statement-making style. And anyone who has ever put on a pair of high-waisted pants knows their magical qualities. They have the delightful ability to flaunt your figure while not being constricting, and they pair well with almost anything and everything in your wardrobe. Created in 2007 by Julie Lingard, AQ/ AQ has always been female first. The label takes on architectural angles, clean lines, and geometric patterns with a provocative playfulness that’s all its own. Based in London and beloved worldwide, AQ/AQ clothing offers fresh, flattering party dresses and separates ready for a night out, making it a perfect pairing for the girl drawn to bright lights, loud music, and bold style statements that will be remembered long after the party is over. According to the company, “Our mission is to unite women in the art of style. We believe that no matter how incredible we are alone, we are stronger, happier, and more successful when lifting each other up. We design for strong, confident, and fashion-savvy women who are unafraid to turn heads. It is our mission to create clothes that add an extra spring to your step and make you feel unstoppable.”


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Sunday, April 19 at 4PM Circus Maximus Theater

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nnn Oh, So Preppy In 2015, preppy fashion brand Tory Burch — known for its bright colors and prints — branched out with the launch of an athleisure line, Tory Sport. The “Coming and Going” collection of tennis ensembles, swimwear, running gear, and tracksuits pays homage to a retro 1970’s vibe. The result is a stylish and versatile collection of workout-wardrobe essentials, like Tory Sport leggings, knits, and outerwear for the gym, the slopes, running errands — and, really, anywhere else you might get moving. Seek out this tangerine set that combines high-performance fabric with bold graphics and an energized palette. Founded in 2004 in New York City, Tory Burch is a distinctly American brand with


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020



a global point of view, taking its cue from Tory herself. Each collection reflects Tory’s love of color and travel, through print and special details, seen every season on the runway during New York Fashion Week and in campaign photography. Tory sees the world in color. She is drawn to the way colors complement and play off each other. And living in full color is her guiding principle — from how she raised her children to how she approaches design and her company. nnn Tie One On Men certainly don’t have to sit on the sidelines when it comes to the latest fashion trends and should take every opportunity to look current and dapper. This bright tangerine necktie will unite

flawlessly with white, blue, or gray dress shirts; and pairing it with a navy suit is a brilliant choice. Orange is a wonderful, warm color that also works particularly well with brown tones, as well as black or charcoal; which are usually more of a business color. You can also pair it with green to achieve a more casual look. Once you begin to use tangerine in your wardrobe, you will quickly realize it is quite a versatile color. If you’re still a bit hesitant about adding this lively hue, simply pick a few key pieces and let the brightness serve as a fun pop of color in an otherwise unassuming look. You will instantly increase your cheeriness level when you add some always-needed Vitamin C to your fashion diet, so let your tangerine dream become a joyous reality. n

The Ideal Accessory These posh designer selections will infuse any outfit with a pop of sunshine.

1. 5.



4. 2.

1. Bloomingdales delivers their own range of trend-led clothing with their in-house line Aqua. The label delivers the quality and style the retailer is known for, with a more laidback and easy-to-wear attitude. Their latest is young, playful, and ultra-feminine, like this mini wood-beaded tote, featuring double handles, an open top, and beaded fabrication with a geometric design, Aqua, $88.

4. At first glance, the bold geometric shapes and vibrant colors of Nico Giani bags seem less like handbags and more like works of art. Inspired by surrealism and the mod era of the 1960s, Italian designer Niccolò Giannin brings a playful, retro feel to his collections. This Myria mini croc-embossed satchel is crafted in Italy and features a tortoisetoned top handle, a snakeskin-printed flap, and smooth leather sides, Nico Giani, $595.

2. When it comes to on-trend pieces, of course the French luxury fashion house Chloé is front and center. Beautifully-executed pieces with a retro-tinged sensibility are the cornerstone of the label. This fun fashionforward, see-through tote bag features double handles, silver-tone grommets and hardware, and a removable zip pouch. You can spot a Chloé girl for her cool attitude and ability to mix things up — tailored and floaty, breezy, yet polished, Chloé, $295.

5. Your seasonal accessory selection would not be complete without a hobo bag, and his one from luxe label Bottega Veneta will elevate even the savviest fashionista’s style. The Jodi Mini Intrecciato Hobo Bag is made in Italy and features signature woven leather, a knotted wristlet strap, and a zipper closure. Since its birth in Vicenza in 1966, Bottega Veneta has set a new standard for luxury. Inspired by Italian culture with a global outlook, the brand is defined by a distinctly refined attitude, Bottega Veneta, $1,700.

3. What could be more perfect than a lime wedge silhouette bag in the ideal hue? This raffia orange wedge clutch from Colombian jewelry designer Mercedes Salazar will spice up any spring outfit. Since studying the art of jewels and jewelry making in Mexico, Salazar designs and constructs her pieces through her fundamental principle of preserving artisanal techniques in Bogota, Mercedes Salazar, $420.

6. Woven luxury is the true essence of this upscale bag from the Maison Alma label. Handmade in Colombia, this Bahia top-handle basket bag features tangerine tiered tassels, a patterned chain link shoulder strap, and a drawstring rope closure. This chic label crafts exceptional statement pieces to represent the emancipation of Latin American luxury long-hidden behind closed doors, Maison Alma, $450.


Spring 2020 |



In 1969, Stephen Hankin founded the firm now known as Hankin Sandman Palladino Weintrob & Bell. Since that time, this venerable firm has built a reputation for excellence, effectiveness and integrity, ably advocating for our clients in a variety of practice areas.



Main Office Atlantic City 30 South New York Avenue | Atlantic City, NJ | P: (609) 344-5161 Cape May Court House Office 18 N. Main Street | Cape May Court House, NJ | P: (609) 465-5557 Avalon Office 2123 Dune Drive | Suite 2 | Avalon, NJ | P: (609) 368-5500 New York Office 32 W. 39th Street | 4th Floor | New York, NY | P: (212) 335-2255


IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS Patio done in bristol stone in the color Sonoran. Set off with a custom fire feature installed in the walls. All materials used are EP Henry products.



hen it comes to landscaping, there is one trend that will rule 2020. “The biggest trend this spring will be the continuation of indoor spaces outdoors,” says Ralph Pappas, owner of Stoneworld Hardscape Center in Egg Harbor Township. From outdoor living rooms complete with lush curtains, TVs and fireplaces — complete outdoor kitchens and even personalized recreation zones — backyards are taking a front seat in home design this year. Creating indoor living outside requires using products that can withstand the elements. Stone and composite stone products have become the go-to for all-weather living. “Stone has really evolved over the last 10 years,” Pappas says, “There are so many products now that you’re really only limited by your own imagination.” Well … imagination and budget. Stoneworld creates backyard oases for anywhere from more


Spring 2020 |



Home & Design

Walls constructed out of 6" cast veneer stone in the color Aspen, and capped with custum cut bluestone.

Creating a California room in New Jersey By Danielle Gomes

than $100,000 to less than $5,000, and one of their projects in Ventnor was recently featured on an episode of HGTV's Beachfront Bargain Hunt. “People are spending more and more each year. We are doing two to three $100,000 backyards each year and we’re getting those jobs more and more. But, we can also do a great backyard for $5,000. There are so many different products that we can really work around most budgets,” Pappas says. Chill A great place to start is with an outdoor living room. “A pergola over a patio with a coffee table and seating is a basic way to bring a living room outside. Then you can add some curtains to really give your space a chic, swanky feel,” Pappas says. Add an outdoor carpet, throw pillows, and a few potted plants to give your outdoor space a cozy feel. You may also want to consider adding a stone accent wall. According to EP Henry, a major hardscape product manufacturer, “Walls are a wonderful way to add beauty and dimension to any outdoor living space.” Walls also provide an anchor point to create your living space around. For a movie night under the stars, you can add an outdoor TV. There


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020




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Spring 2020 |




are several options to bring the big game or movie night outside. From weatherproof televisions, protective casings for regular TVs, or all-weather projector screens, there is something at every budget. Cook Nothing says summer quite like an outdoor barbeque. To bring some style to your cookouts, add an outdoor kitchen to your backyard space. With outdoor kitchens, you can go as complex or keep it as simple as you’d like. “A typical outdoor kitchen has a grill, a refrigerator, and some counter or bar space,” Pappas says. More complex outdoor kitchens will also include a sink and possibly a dishwasher. If you really want to impress your guests, you can even include a smoker or kegerator. However, if you want that builtin feel without making a major commitment, there are several options to achieve that look. While typical outdoor, built-in grills require a gas line and are more expensive, Pappas recommends simply building an encasement to house a propane grill. “It’s a really easy and affordable way to get that built-in kitchen feel. It’s also a lot easier to maintain. You can even add a bar with seating,” Pappas says. There are also several lines of modular outdoor kitchens. Popular brands such as Char-Broil, Home Depot, Lowes, Wayfair, and more sell customizable, prefabricated outdoor kitchens. These kits make building your outdoor dream kitchen a breeze. Just be sure to talk to an expert about the kit requirements such as electric, plumbing, and gas. Burn From spring through fall, firepits can set the tone for a fun night under the stars. “There are so many different styles of firepits, there is really an option for just about everyone,” Pappas says. Traditional options include natural woodburning, piped

FOR ALL YOUR “HARDSCAPE” NEEDS in natural gas, and propane. You can buy a ready-made firepit, or you can build one into to your outdoor design. “Another big trend are outdoor fireplaces, which can complete the feel of an outdoor living room,” Pappas says. Fireplaces provide a nice focal point and can be incorporated in an outdoor living room, whereas a firepit is generally a standalone outdoor feature. If firepits and fireplaces are too ordinary for your liking, there are unexpected and creative ways to incorporate flames into your outdoor retreat. “We recently built a backyard living space that had a fire feature built into the wall. The fire shoots up, out of the wall about four or five feet. It was really cool,” Pappas says. Just be sure to leave these features to the experts.

One of the most popular trends in design style right now is stacked stone. “It’s a huge trend, people are putting stacked stones accents everywhere from columns to feature walls,” Pappas says. Play Playing is a trend that will never go out of style. With the vast variety of materials available, you can now play away in style. From pools to putting greens, basketball and tennis courts to ninja warrior training courses, your backyard can be your playground regardless of your age. “There are so many different materials now that you can be very creative. One of my most memorable installs was a complete Mark Twain island in the middle of a pool,” Pappas says. Mark Twain islands aside, one of the most popular trends in design style right now is stacked stone. “It’s a huge trend, people are putting stacked stones accents everywhere from columns to feature walls,” Pappas says. In addition to pools, Pappas has also installed several putting greens and basketball courts. “We had a client that was very particular on his basketball court being regulation size. He was a casino host whose customer was Shaq,” Pappas says. With the ever-expanding options, it’s easier than ever to bring the best of indoors — outdoors! So, whether you decide to DIY or DFY (Done For You), your backyard retreat is waiting. It’s time to get outdoors! n

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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Wellness

A GARDEN OF POSSIBILITY Creating meaningful and therapeutic connections to nature


By Felicia L. Niven

here’s something about gardening that nurtures your very soul. Perhaps it’s the feel of the earth running through your fingers, the subtle scent of life waiting to blossom, or the deep connection to nature as you engage in cultivating your own special space. Now imagine that you bring to this activity a lifetime of memories — growing vegetables to sustain your family during the Great Depression for example — and you can understand what is so extraordinary about the gardening programs at Seashore Gardens Living Center (SGLC) in Galloway, N.J. These programs are able to touch the residents in ways that are truly powerful. Horticultural therapy has long been used in senior communities for its ability to provide mental and physical stimulation, and opportunities for socialization; and at SGLC, there is ample opportunity to explore this interest. Residents can benefit from the kaleidoscope of changing colors and scents in the Alzheimer’s Sensory Trail & Garden and reap countless health-related rewards from the interactive programs from the Rutgers Master Gardeners and Eldergrow.

showing off the beautiful landscaping and realized that it was a rare moment to find our residents out there,” she said, “perhaps because of mobility challenges or cognitive impairment.” However, she had spent enough time with seniors, including her beloved Irish grandmother, to know that they would truly benefit from that kind of interaction with nature. “I wanted to bring nature indoors in an interactive and purposeful way,” she said. That was the inspiration for Eldergrow, which she founded in 2015 as a project for her Healthcare Executive MBA. She received immediate validation, with accolades ranging from the 1st place audience award and 2nd place judges award at the 17th Annual Harriet Stephenson Business Competition. Now in 21 states and almost 200 communities on the continental U.S., Eldergrow is a proven program providing residents with meaningful and therapeutic connections to nature. In 2018, it impacted 11,851 residents in senior living communities, with 90% of them fully or partially meeting their therapeutic goals. SGLC offers two Eldergrow programs The Rutgers Master Gardener Program that feature mobile, indoor gardens. Master Gardener Patty Dorr-Lewin receives The first is the original, the therapeutic a special greeting each time she visits horticultural program that will be offered educator Mikkele Lawless introduces SGLC. “The residents see my red shirt and Eldergrow to Comfort Care residents with Alzheimer’s the garden to Comfort Care residents. ponytail and they start singing, ‘You are my or other forms of dementia. The second sunshine,’” said Patty. “That’s how we open each session.” will be a farm-to-fork culinary herb garden for residents Patty started at SGLC in 2013 as a master gardener educator. of Assisted Living. It will come with recipes and activities. “I’ve been gardening all of my life and I love it. I also adore Stockton University students, a.k.a. The Seashore Gardeners, working with seniors. When I first visited Seashore Gardens, have been trained in the program and are volunteering to help I fell in love with the place and the opportunity to volunteer.” SGLC Activities staff. She visits monthly from March to November, working with “It’s far more than a garden club; it’s a wellness program,” residents in 45-minute sessions. noted Orla. “We’re igniting the senses, engaging motor skills, “We gather around a table to encourage interaction,” she stimulating cognitive exploration. Classes are a range of said. “We start seeds, plant herbs, create terrariums. We work traditional gardening, garden art, and garden harvest. The in standing gardens. We do a planter for the nurses’ station. program really builds self-esteem. Many of these residents We emphasize the senses — the softness of lamb’s ears or used to be working professionals; now they have time on their the spikiness of other plants, for example. We taste herbs or hands. We’re helping to fill that void and give them something vegetables.” meaningful that they can nurture.” The very act of gardening elicits the memories, she noted. Eldergrow is the only program of its kind tailored for “The residents will reminisce about summer days when they residents and SGLC is the only facility in south Jersey to would spend hours searching along the creek for watercress,” offer it. The Master Gardeners program is made possible via Rutgers University. “We’re said Patty. “They will tell me how they would walk in their always looking for the bare feet, and how they had to go early, or the heat would be innovative programs that unbearable. I look forward to hearing their stories and creating enrich quality of life for our something meaningful together with them each session.” residents,” said Executive Director Alysia Price. Eldergrow “We’re excited to be able to Orla Concannon experienced a pivotal moment when she offer these, and more.” n was touring a family around a senior living community. “I was Est. 1916

ANNUAL FEEDING FRENZY Prepare for one of the most anticipated events of the year: Atlantic City Restaurant Week By Elaine Rose


ime to hit the gym. Not to instill panic: we know beach season is still a few months away. But one of South Jersey’s largest — and arguably the most popular — eating frenzies is about to take place, so you’ll probably want to burn off some of the calories in advance. The 12th Annual Atlantic City Restaurant Week takes place March 8-13, with about 80 establishments participating. And many of the offerings are irresistible. As in past years, eateries across Atlantic County will present three-course meals. For the price of $15.20 for lunch or $35.20 for dinner, patrons can choose from offerings of an appetizer, an entree, and dessert from a special menu. Taxes, tip, and beverages are not included. And considering that most high-end restaurants in the resort’s gaming halls are participating, there are some amazing bargains to be had. While most establishments are in Atlantic City, several in the surrounding area are included in the event. Participants range from the recently opened Setaara Afghan French Cuisine to Dock’s Oyster House, which has been serving up fresh seafood in Atlantic City since 1897. You can dine at an eatery named after a Food Network chef, such as Gordon Ramsay or Guy Fieri, or one run by recent immigrants — with lots of choices in between.


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LifeStyle Venues

The Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority started Restaurant Week in 2009, said Larry Sieg, director of communications and marketing for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which absorbed the ACCVA about nine years ago. “With the emerging dining scene in Atlantic City, we saw this as an opportunity to showcase restaurants to visitors and the community,” Sieg said. The event has been a huge hit with locals, visitors, and restaurateurs alike, Sieg said. Restaurant owners are happy to offer some of their signature dishes — often at a fraction of the normal price — in the hope that it will generate repeat business. “It’s a good opportunity for visitors and the local community to go to a restaurant that may typically be outside (the range of) their budget,” Sieg said. To whet your appetite, here are some of the dinner offerings already posted on the Restaurant Week website: • Pan-seared Scottish salmon, accompanied by spaghetti squash, wild mushrooms, scallions and caper brown butter sauce at Dolce Mare at Ocean Resort • Twin petite filet mignons wrapped in bacon with bearnaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus at Gallagher Steakhouse at Resorts • Veal scallopine with prosciutto, fried eggplant, baby spinach, and mixed mushrooms at Il Verdi at Tropicana • Mussels, chopped clams, and fish in seafood broth with fresh tomato and basil served over linguini at Phillip’s Seafood House on The Playground Pier • Two chicken breasts topped with lump crab in a sweet cream butter sauce at Back Bay Ale House in Gardner’s Basin • Vegetarian dumplings topped with kidney beans and tomato or special kofta sauce at Setaara In other words, if you can’t find something you like on these menus, you’re a real picky eater. Most of the restaurants are willing to accommodate special dietary restrictions, and a few offer vegetarian or vegan choices, said Doreen Prinzo, marketing partnership manager for the CRDA. Restaurant Week has become immensely popular over the last dozen years, Sieg said. The CRDA does a survey at the end of each yearly event and found that about 90% of visitors say they will come back the next year. “We get a lot of play on social media that week,” Sieg said, “as diners post photographs of their meals on sites such as Twitter and Instagram. The restaurants apparently appreciate the boost in visitors, as they sign up to participate in Restaurant Week year after year. It is also good PR for Atlantic City, as it attracts visitors to the resort during what is usually a slow time of the year.” The CRDA survey also found that about 20-25% of respondents book a room while they’re in town to eat.

Inside Knife & Fork Inn during Atlantic City Restaurant Week

From the Knife & Fork Inn: Harvest Green Salad, Cider Glazed Bone-in Pork Chop and Brownie Bottom Peanut Butter Pie


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020



Broadway Signature Beef Burger from Broadway Burger Bar is on their lunch and dinner menu.


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“While they’re here, they’re shopping, they’re visiting a casino, they’re taking in a show,” said Sieg. There has to be a catch, you say. Well, there is one. You’d better make your reservations early, especially if you want to choose the day and time of your repast. Several of the restaurants — especially the normally pricey ones based in casinos — are often completely booked before Restaurant Week begins, revealed Sieg. So, you have no time to lose. Log on to acrestaurantweek.com and check out all the scrumptious dishes that will be served up the second week in March. Most of them allow you to link to Open Table to make an online reservation. One final suggestion: you should probably review these menus after eating. If you flip through this website on an empty stomach, you’re likely to drool all over your smartphone or tablet. And who knows what damage that might cause. So, make your choices and your reservations — and then head to the gym to preemptively work off the calories. Your waistline will thank you. n

Health Watch

Get Out and Get Fit

Take advantage of the welcoming landscape our area has to offer. By Robin Stoloff


s the days grow longer and the winter chill fades into the rearview mirror, I cannot contain my excitement for the warmer weather and the chance to spend more time being active outdoors. Of course, we know we can always walk or jog, but there are so many other activities ideal for our beautiful parks, beaches, and waterways in southern New Jersey. So, what is the best outdoor fitness activity for you? Well, you don't have to choose just one, but the key is to find something you genuinely


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enjoy. It should be less like a chore and more of an activity that makes you feel good, both physically and mentally. If you like competition, outdoor sports are one of the best ways to stay in shape without really trying. I have always competed on sports teams, so I can't think of a better way to get my cardio than on a tennis court. During a tennis game, time goes by so quickly that I don't even know I am exercising. Yet, when I check my Fitbit at the end of two hours, I usually burn between 600 and 800 calories, and I am in my cardio zone for a good part of that. With pickleball, basketball, softball, volleyball, and so many other outdoor sports, there is something for everyone in our area. We have all heard the phrase, “Take a hike!” Usually, it's used synonymously with “Get lost!” but this time, it's a suggestion for improving our health. We are fortunate to have such fabulous places in our communities where we can walk or hike, and warmer

With pools, lakes, rivers, and, of course, our beautiful ocean, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape and have fun on and in the water in southern New Jersey. weather makes it an excellent time to get outside and explore. When I'm not playing tennis, I take my fitness to the beach. Something I started a few years ago is knee-deep water walking, which provides extra resistance on the legs. I also power walk on the sand, which is more challenging than on the hard ground. Of course, our beautiful boardwalks and parks offer incredible scenery for walking, running, or hiking. Whether you prefer to be on your own or with a friend, this is a non-competitive way to get fit outdoors. Who doesn't love riding a bike? It is something most of us loved as kids but somehow slipped away from us. Since I was in a bike accident about twenty years ago, I have had a fear of riding on the road. A few years ago, I bought a new bike and pushed myself to overcome my anxiety. As the wind began to hit my face and I cruised down the road, I began to relax and enjoy the freedom of being back on a bicycle. It is now a part of my outdoor physical activities. A good bike ride will burn up to 500 calories an hour. It is a low impact


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


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workout that can be done wherever there is a roadway. If it has been a while, it is time to dust off that old bike, fill up the tires, and take it for a spin. Don't forget to obey the rules of the road, stay in the bike lane, and always wear a bike helmet. Many fitness centers and studios offer sporadic classes outside during the warmer weather months. Outdoor workout classes allow us to engage in our fitness favorites while enjoying the outdoors. Ask your fitness instructor if you can move all or even part of your class outside. If you are a fan of resistance training, you don't have to be bound to the gym. Shake it up a bit and take your workout on the road. Many parks now offer fitness trails with stations to do pull-ups, pushups, rows, and more. On the other end of the spectrum, yoga is a perfect way to challenge our body, increase flexibility, and relieve stress. Yoga on the beach or in a park takes it to a whole new level. We can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and enjoy a refreshing change from the controlled environment of an indoor yoga class. After walking on the beach in the morning, I love to spend some time stretching and doing yoga on the sand. With the sound of the waves and the sun shimmering off the ocean, there could not be a more relaxing way to start the day. With pools, lakes, rivers, and, of course, our beautiful ocean, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape and have fun on and in the water in southern New Jersey. We can go on some exciting journeys while kayaking. It's a fun activity to enjoy the water and gorgeous scenery, and it is especially beneficial for our upper body. For those that want a little more adventure, there are plenty of places to go windsurfing. It is a mix of

surfing combined with sailing and a little technique. Once you get the hang of it, you'll have a blast on the open water. Of course, there is a learning curve, but it is a great workout and a fantastic way to enjoy the water. Speaking of a learning curve, surfing is another terrific sport, but if you prefer something a little easier to do out of the gate, try some boogie boarding. No, it is not just for kids. I see plenty of adults enjoying the surf as they ride a wave. I have done it on occasion myself, and while I often spend my time laughing, the workout is no joke. For those who like a more laidback atmosphere, stand-up paddle boarding is a fun option, but don't be fooled by the slower pace. Working out doesn't always have to be superfast. Stand-up paddle boarding does a lot more for your body than you might think. Balancing on the board while paddling is a great way to work our legs, core, and entire upper body. Many parks and beaches offer rentals by the day or by the hour, making it a convenient activity for a large group. Of course, we cannot forget about water aerobics and swimming. Whether in a pool, lake, or the ocean, water aerobics, and swimming are fantastic activities to get a workout while staying cool on hot and steamy days. Water workouts are easy on the joints providing an allover workout that challenges the body. If you are like me, when the sun is shining, and the sky is blue, you will find any way to spend time outdoors and be active. With so many options in our area, we can keep ourselves very busy enjoying nature and staying in shape. So, grab your sneakers, ball, racket, paddle, bike or board and get out and get fit. n



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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Travel

Camels on Jumeirah beach in Dubai

Opulent Dubai A Pot of Gold in the Sand By Molly Golubcow


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Dubai is home to many modern high-rise buidlings.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi


omewhere over the rainbow, you will find the Land of Oz. If you continue flying over that rainbow (via a 14-hour flight from JFK), you will find a pot of gold in the sand called Dubai. No, there are no munchkins or flying monkeys, but you will see, feel, taste, and experience opulence and superlatives to the max right in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula. For example, the most expensive hotel in the world, the tallest skyscraper ever erected, and the largest mall on the planet. In addition, Dubai offers natural beauty like extravagant parks, gardens, and stunning beaches, as well as food and entertainment that appeal to all ages and budgets.


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


Burj Khalifa rising above the Dubai mall and fountain

The palm tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah island

Dubai Marina

The Arabian Resort Madinat Jumeirah, and the luxurious hotel Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in the background


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They Came with a Lot of Money As one of the seven emirates (lands/ states) that make up the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has always been an important city on the Persian Gulf. As a major trading port starting in the 7th century, to the discovery of oil in 1966 to its current money maker — tourism, Dubai has become synonymous with money. In fact, an old Arabic proverb, Daba Dubai, translates to “They Came with a Lot of Money” — appropriately describing Dubai then and now. As of 2018, Dubai ranked as the fourth most-visited city in the world with over $30 billion from tourism. I’m All Souk Up In keeping with Dubai’s quest to be biggest and best, shopping is no exception. The Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world, offers over 1,200 shops. The mall is so large it is divided into precincts like the Fashion Avenue for chic and haute couture fashion from Versace to Gucci. If you are in the market for gold and jewelry, let your eyes and credit cards feast at the Gold Souk. Located in Dubai's business district in Deira, this traditional outdoor market houses 380 gold retail shops that would impress Midas! In addition, other markets can be found nearby, including the Dubai Fish and Vegetable Market and the Textile Souk. If you are a foodie, check out the Spice Souk to see and savor the colors and aromas of spices ranging from frankincense to shisha for your hookah pipe! Whether you are buying a rug, tea, or spice, don’t be afraid to bargain in a souk — haggling is very much expected and accepted. View Masters Skyscraper design and technology literally takes Dubai architecture to


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MICHAEL A. GOLOFF Ceritfied Public Accountant 609-350-6958 1616 Pacific Avenue, Suite 407 Atlantic City, NJ 08401 njlifestyleonline.com

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020



WALK ON WATER Unique reception and ceremony space suspended over the Atlantic Ocean

the highest levels touting the world’s tallest skyscrapers. The pièce de résistance, Burj Khalifa, towers over Dubai at 2,722 feet. So much rebar was used in the construction of Burj Khalifa that if laid down endto-end, the total length would be one-quarter way across the globe. When in Dubai, it’s a must to take the world’s fastest elevator up to the 125th floor of Burj Khalifa to the outdoor terrace offering 360-degree views over Dubai and the Arabian Gulf — day and night. The tower offers heart-stopping views of the Dubai Fountain and downtown Dubai from an unbelievable vantage point that most people can only imagine. If you like the concept of sleeping in the clouds, the Gevora Hotel opened in 2018 as the tallest hotel in Dubai rising to 1,168 feet. The art deco-themed hotel, bedazzled in gold, includes a health club, pool, five high-end restaurants, and superb views of the city — rates start at about $1,100 a night. Looking to break accommodation records? The five-star Burj Al Arab, listed by CNN Travel as one of the world's 15 most expensive hotels, offers The Royal Suite at a mere $24,000 per night in the hotel shaped like a ship’s sail.


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Dubai — By Day and Night There is something for everyone in Dubai — known as the Las Vegas of the Middle East. For outdoorsy types, enjoy 4-wheel dune buggy rides in the desert or zipline over the Dubai Marina. Ski enthusiast can experience alpine skiing indoors with real snow — five slopes including the world's first indoor black diamond run as well as a quad and tow lift! Regardless of age, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is an aquatic sight to be seen. Here you can walk along a tunnel observing sea life, including over 300 sharks and

rays, up close and personal through the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel. For botanical enthusiasts, the Miracle Garden keeps up with Dubai’s overachiever theme. The grounds are home to the world's largest natural flower garden — 45 million flowers transformed into a rainbow of colorful displays including a heartshaped pathway. Another must take photo op, the Dubai Fountain, boasts an incredible water and light show set to music. Located in downtown Dubai, the $800 million project attracts thousands of visitors daily. As for Dubai’s nightlife, options are overflowing. If you’re into night views, go back to the Burj Khalifa to experience the city’s skyscrapers illuminated against the Arabian Peninsula sky. Dining possibilities are as plentiful as the sands in the desert. For example, Manousheh, a pizza-like flatbread that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and drizzled with aromatic spices and toppings, is a favorite. Restaurants are plentiful and range from fast and inexpensive to elegantly fit for a sheik. If you are looking for a cocktail, be aware that alcoholic beverages are only available in bars and restaurants within tourist hotels in Dubai. Build it BIG and They Will Come Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, sums up his country’s philosophy, “In Dubai, we don’t wait for things to happen, we make them happen.” From the tallest of buildings in the world to the most shopping malls per square foot, Dubai builds it and builds it BIG! Whether you relax at a café sipping a glass of sweet tea with milk or go clubbing where the rich and famous (and infamous) are seen, Dubai has something for everyone to experience in a big way, to the max, and over the top. n

Located in the heart of prohibition-unfriendly Atlantic City, Little Water Distillery is a craft distillery producing premium spirits for thirsty souls in the Garden State and beyond. We also offer educational tours and tastings and craft cocktails at our facility along with a variety of special events throughout the year. Our line of spirits can be found in retail stores, bars and restaurants throughout New Jersey and beyond.

Liberty Rum

Inspired by the rums that fueled early America, and our first white spirit offering. Fermented from a proprietary blend of golden brown molasses, this unique silver rum has notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and crème brule.

Prosperity Rum

48 Blocks Vodka

Crafted in small batches and aged in premium charred American Oak barrels. Subtle aromas of brown sugar and vanilla are followed by a pleasant oak finish. Enjoy straight, over ice, or in your favorite rum cocktail.

This velvety smooth & creamy wheat vodka is AC’s own! Blended with our prized water drawn from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer and finished over local minerals, 48 Blocks Vodka delivers unparalleled quality and complexity!

Rusted Revolver Gin

The revolver, unearthed on the grounds of our distillery and displayed on the label, inspired this enticing recipe …. a careful selection of 16 indigenous and exotic botanicals, Rusted Revolver Gin is like no other gin in the world.

Whitecap Whiskey

A uniquely smooth American whiskey at 90 proof. Developed for the cocktail world but enjoyable on its own, this blend of sweet corn, wheat and rye enhances any recipe but truly makes its mark in a classic Old Fashioned.


807 Baltic Ave • Atlantic City, NJ, 08401 609.344.7867 (DIG-RUMS) • littlewaterdistillery.com

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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


Food Fare

Geoffrey Zakarian threw a Rose’ Pool Party at Eden Roc Miami Beach.

South Beach Culinary Connections Area snowbirds enjoy the delicious tastes offered during Miami’s culinary event of the year. By Lisa Johnson 34

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Bobby Flay preparing food for one of SOBEWFF’s premier dinners.


ach February, wine-loving foodies from around the country, and right here in South Jersey, descend on Miami for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF). In fact, there are a lot of connections to South Jersey, from celebrity chefs who have restaurants in Atlantic City to the attendees who have residences both here and in Miami (often referenced as snowbirds who fly south as soon as the temps dip below 50 degrees). SOBEWFF is the Magic City’s most celebrated annual culinary event. Presented by the Food Network & Cooking Channel, the five-day food & wine festival features more than 100 events and showcases the channels’ TV chefs and culinary personalities along with renowned wine and spirits producers. Here are some of the top signature festival events, dinners, parties, and tastings where we found a New Jersey Lifestyle connection: Dinner at Amare hosted by Bobby Flay, Tommaso De Simone, and Cosimo Cassano Perhaps the event with the most links to New Jersey was at the chic Amare Ristorante, recently opened in South Beach by Gino Iovino, owner of Atlantic City’s acclaimed Girasole. Amare’s Michelin-starred chef Cosimo Cassano welcomed beloved Food Network personality, restaurateur, and celebrity chef Bobby Flay and Executive Chef Tommaso De Simone, of the Amalfi Coast hotspot Lo Scoglio, to share his kitchen. Flay, whose everevolving culinary panache includes his restaurant at Borgata, Bobby Flay Steak, is a devotee of the bold and vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean. For one of SOBEWFF’s premier dinners, he joined De Simone and Cassano to create culinary masterpieces that drew inspiration from the charm and glamour of Southern Italy. The

Gino Iovino recently opened Amare Ristorante in South Beach. Guy Fieri and Robert Irvine at the SOBEWFF


SOBEWFF offers a great escape for South Jersey residents.

talented trio curated a menu that reflected the soul and vivacity of the Amalfi coast. This fiercely-talented trio came together for a dinner mash-up that was a truly delicious and unique dining experience of Southern Italian dishes expertly paired with a robust selection of wines. Scott Conant, Andrew Zimmern and Michael Symon join in on the comerade.

Renowned wine and spirits producers feature their offerings.


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Bootcamp & Bites hosted by Robert Irvine Robert Irvine is a familiar face in Atlantic City. He was a chef in the resort for eight years, with turns at Trump Taj Mahal, Resorts, and Caesars. He then became a superstar chef on Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible, where he was given near impossible culinary tasks with limited resources. His

Rose' Pool Party hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has been leaving his personal mark on the culinary world for over 30 years. His ties to Atlantic City include opening Borgata’s Water Club as its Culinary Lifestyle Consultant. The Food Network television star has built an empire that continues to grow and reflect his passion for all things foodrelated. Living up to his standards of elegance and grace, Zakarian threw a Rose’ Pool Party at Eden Roc Miami Beach. Anyone who reads our Road Trippers’ features knows how much I love rose’, so this was an event not to be missed. The poolside afternoon celebration featured offerings from Meiomi Rosé’, accompanied by


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Beachside BBQ hosted by Guy Fieri Emmy Award-winning chef and best-selling author Guy Fieri owns multiple restaurants in Atlantic City, including Guy Fieri’s Chophouse and Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint, both showcasing many of his signature items. The “Culinary Rock Star” also hosts the top-rated show on Food Network, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, which has featured South Jersey local gems including Vagabond Kitchen in Atlantic City, George’s Place in Cape May, Anchorage Tavern in Somers Point, and Maui’s Dog House in Wildwood — just to name a few! The BBQ Master hosted a Beachside BBQ at this year’s festival, where attendees were treated to delicious BBQ creations from more than 30 handpicked chefs, specialty cocktails, and live country music on one of the world’s most iconic beaches.



current show, Restaurant: Impossible, tasks him to save failing restaurants. Known for being a fitness fanatic, at this year’s festival he hosted a fierce hour of boot camp with Exhale South Beach (which also has a spa at Ocean Casino). In true SOBEWFF fashion, the workout was followed by bites and refreshing libations.



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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020




Nobil on the Bay is proud to announce their re-affiliation with the Ocean City Yacht Club.

sk about our special offers for ny wedding booked for 2020. Please contact Bill McGinnity at (609) 457-7112 or email bmcginnity@hotmail.com for info.


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refreshing bites from the resort’s restaurants. The wine served was crisp and cool ... and absolutely delicious, and the beach-inspired backdrop made this event the epitome of South Beach chic.

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Dinner hosted by Michael Symon and Michael Mina Chef Michael Symon, owner of the Italian restaurant Angeline at Borgata in Atlantic City (named after his Sicilian mother), made his name by

This year in South Beach, Chef Michael Symon partnered with world-renowned chef Michael Mina to host an evening that boasted an exclusive dining experience. cooking in acclaimed restaurants all over the country. The lively and sociable award-winning chef has appeared in multiple shows on Food Network and secured his spot as an honored Iron Chef after winning season one of The Next Iron Chef. He is also a best-selling author. This year in South Beach, he partnered with world-renowned chef Michael Mina to host an evening that boasted an exclusive dining experience and treated guests to classic dishes and new surprises, paired with wines from Marque’s de Riscal and Viña San Pedro. New Jersey Lifestyle certainly loves a good party. While we wait for our own beaches to warm up to enjoy our favorite foods and wines along the shore, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival offers a great escape each February to help us to make it until spring. n

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LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle On Wheels

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in Velvet Red Pearl

An Off-Road Icon Ride shotgun with us as we explore the Jeep Grand Cherokee. By Elaine Rose


he Jeep Grand Cherokee is a unique fixture in the automotive market, in that it is designed to fit almost any budget. It starts with the Laredo trim at just over $32,000. A Car and Driver review states; “the base Laredo offers all the Grand Cherokee’s legendary capability both on- and off-road at a tolerable price.” From there, it goes to the top-of-the-line Trackhawk, with a base price of $86,900, and can easily run into six figures if jacked up with options. The Trackhawk runs on a 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter, Hellcat V-8 engine, the same motor that’s in the high-end Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars. And there are plenty of choices in between. The Grand Cherokee comes in a mind-boggling eleven trim models, so you can choose according to what you want for the engine, tires, interior accoutrements, and technology. And of course, the price you’re willing to pay.


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The Grand Cherokee has been a staple on American roadways for decades. American Motors Corporation started playing with the idea for the Grand Cherokee in 1983. Chrysler kept the concept going when it bought AMC out from a much-deserved bankruptcy in 1987. The first Grand Cherokee was introduced to the market in 1992 and is now in its fourth generation. A redesign is scheduled to debut next year. The Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s flagship vehicle and lies in the small crossover SUV category. It is a five-seater, and reviewers say even large adults will be comfortable in the rear. The area behind the seats has 36.3 cubic feet of storage, a bit smaller than other SUVs in the category, but certainly enough for most families’ needs. The rear seats fold in a 60-40 split and collapsing them entirely provides 63 cubic feet of cargo space. All versions come with eight-speed automatic transmission. The ProTech 1 package — with blind-spot monitoring, rear parking assist, and back-up camera — is standard at all levels. Fuel economy starts at a respectable 18 mpg in town and 26 mph on the open road for the base Laredo V-6 engine and goes down as power and performance increase. Interiors are nicely appointed at all levels, with cloth seats in the Laredo, and adding leather as the price goes up. The Grand Cherokee is assembled in Motor City, and thus has the coveted “Made in America” sticker. “The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee marks the breakover point between ‘crossover’ and ‘SUV’”, Brian Leon wrote for The Car Connection. “It’s a docile wagon on the street, a mud-plugger when the road disappears, and in some forms it’s a demon on a track.” The base Laredo comes with a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine with rear-wheel drive and 295 horsepower. The highly-rated Uconnect infotainment system has a 7-inch touchscreen and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The engine power and performance increase with

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in Billet Silver Metallic


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020



the trim level. Several four-wheel drive options are available as well. All but the Laredo have an 8.4-inch touchscreen. But which version is right for you? “Regardless of which version you choose, the Grand Cherokee is thoroughly competent and thoroughly enjoyable,” according to a Car and Driver review. With an astounding array of trim lines and options, Jeremy Korzeniewski of Auto Blog recommends test-driving several versions to determine your favorite. Pay attention to details such as wheel size, engine power, suspension, and drive configurations. Reviewers at Edmunds like the Trailhawk (MSRP $44,995), for its off-road capability, but with an upgrade to the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. If you plan to stay on paved streets, they say the Limited (MSRP $39,855) will do nicely. Other car experts — many of whom are closet speed demons — fell in love with the souped-up Trackhawk for power that just can’t be beat. You must remember that it’s an SUV and not a sports car, one remarked. “In SRT or especially the Trackhawk trim, the Grand Cherokee has more power, more road-holding grip and superior braking performance than any other SUV or crossover within $30,000 of its price,” Korzeniewski wrote for Auto Blog. But if you don’t need all that horsepower in your daily driving — or if you’d rather not have frequent encounters with state troopers on the Garden State Parkway — a few reviewers say the SRT trim is a great choice. “The 2020 Grand Cherokee SRT can easily take you through a beaten road and cruises comfortably on paved roads,” Pranav Gupta wrote for Car Indigo. “Around the town, it might seem to be an overkill for performance lovers, (and) responsive throttle for powerful passing will keep the day exciting. This highway cruiser and track demon will fulfill your desire throughout its lifetime.” The SRT trim is equipped with a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine, capable of delivering 475 horsepower, Gupta wrote. It goes

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee interior

from zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds. A specialized four-wheeldrive system makes it even more exciting. “While the Grand Cherokee SRT specializes in straight-line speed, it goes around corners surprisingly well given its heft (5,195 pounds),” Car and Driver states. With the proper equipment, the SRT can tow more than its own weight, up to 7,200 pounds, Car and Driver noted. That should handle any boat you want to haul to the shore and many camper trailers. The downside is the SRT is good for your local gas station’s bottom line. It gets a paltry 13 mpg in town and 19 mpg on the highway. It should also be noted that all trim lines of the Grand Cherokee get so-so safety scores, especially regarding head-on crashes. But the Grand Cherokee has been around for a long time and shows no signs of leaving the market soon. So, if we’ve piqued your interest, check out the offerings at your local dealer. And if you’re not quite happy with what you see, come back next year after the fifth generation has been unveiled. n

2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit interior

Rear view of the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk


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LifeStyle Art

Artist Kelley Prevard Photo by Sparkle Prevard

BREAKING BARRIERS One Atlantic City artist is making her valuable imprint on the art world. By Michael Cagno


he question used to be simple and straightforward. What does it mean to be an artist? Today, it is much more complex, especially given the socially-politically charged climate. What may be a necessary key is empathy. Artists have become the “tip of the spear� in questioning stereotypes and roles while they explore conventional attributes such as gender, ethnicity, sexuality, ancestry, and social identity. Regardless of race, female artists are often overlooked in Western art. As you know, there is no secret regarding


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the art industry largely being a white, male hegemony. One only need look at those represented in galleries and museums across the nation. Sure, you can pick up a Western Art textbook and read small excerpts about people like the Italian Renaissance female artist Artemisia Gentileschi, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who recently had a blockbuster exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and American contemporary photographer Cindy Sherman. Other wellknown female artists that may get a mention include the

Photos on this page by Todd Johnson

feminist group Guerrilla Girls, and Vietnam Memorial designer Maya Lin. One might question than about female African-American artists? You have Faith Ringgold, Kara Walker, and Kerry James Marshall, but you most likely won’t see their names in the book, not yet anyway. A New Jersey female artist and Atlantic City resident, Kelley Prevard, is making a valuable imprint on the art world. Kelley is a self-taught artist, born and raised in Atlantic City creating thought-provoking pieces influenced

Magnitude and Bond, a 10-story mural recently completed by Kelley and a small group of artists

Above, Patterns of Oppression; Below Not On My Watch

by social, historical, and cultural events. “Through my artwork I attempt to bridge the gap, to humanize the dehumanized,” said Prevard. “So that we can connect to people on an emotional level, and not see them as stereotypes, statistics, or caricatures, but see them as fully realized human beings.” As an artist, she encourages reflection and critical thinking with the aspiration of creating dialogue. Full of vibrant colors, textures and patterns, her paintings


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LIFEST YLE ART Levander Photo by Todd Johnson


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are healing and transformative. Kelley is driven by expressing a visual statement that provides a platform for people of color. Her narratives illustrate stories that evoke reflection and purpose. Today, we are experiencing a cultural shift. There is a huge push nationally to recognize more female artists, especially those in the minority. As an African-American, female artist, the journey to have a voice is critical. On the local level, Kelley is pushing the art world to be more inclusive and to recognize narratives that push the boundaries of social identity. “Most of my art is centered around the nuances of being both ‘black’ and ‘women’ in this society. Black women are usually at the forefront of many movements but never quite make it to textbooks. Their stories are normally erased and forgotten,” states Kelley. In the painting, “Pattern of Oppression” you see the repeating representation of black-face mammy. It represents the legacy of racism in America and how it is perpetuated through different avenues especially, the media. The woman’s frustration is in her inability to escape these generational stereotypes and caricatures of who black people are. It becomes a part of the fabric of who she is,

a black oppressed woman. “Not on My Watch” is about resistance with a focus on taking a stand against oppression. “The woman depicted is protecting our stories and the humanity of black bodies,” says Kelley. Working with the “A Womb of Violet Collective,” Kelley was one of a small group of artists that recently completed a 10-story mural in Newark. “Magnitude and Bond” was a collaborative mural located on Halsey Street in Newark’s historic downtown and featured the late Matriarch of Newark Arts, Gladys Barker Grauer, and the late poet Breya Knight. The imagery celebrates their significant contributions to the Newark arts and poetry community, highlighting the intergenerational and communal connection as a unifying force and source of power for healing. When asked about her purpose moving forward, Kelley says, “I think my purpose is to continue to tell these stories so at the very least we can push passed the stereotypes and caricatures that exist for women of color, and at best change the very systems that depend on continuing these damaging narratives.” She wants to make a name for herself in the art world while sharing her voice on multiple platforms; mural arts, fine arts, teaching, and community work. Mostly, Kelley would like to continue to create art with a message, “I see myself breaking barriers and showcasing my art in new places around the world.” Recently, she has been featured in the “Moments of Love” art exhibit in Washington, D.C., and the “Black Art Matters” exhibit in New York City. Artists like Kelley Prevard are redefining the role of an artist while constructing a sense of who we are as individuals, as a society, and as a nation. Today’s culture is becoming informed and influenced by style, technology, politics, and economics. Female artists such as Kelley Prevard are demarlginalizing the wider, more inclusive focus by creating art with empathy. Art is a catalyst for social change and can be a powerful instrument to bring people together. n

Bring the Beauty of Nature into your Home

Kristian Gonyea’s love for capturing local landscapes & seascapes is available for purchase at kristiangonyeaphotography.com.


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Entertainment


Brandon Tomasello performing with the City Rhythm Orchestra this past December

A Philadelphia-born crooner pays tribute to a musical legend. By Molly Golubcow


ere’s a story about music that transcends the generations. Before we begin, let’s start with a major musical misconception: anybody can sing Sinatra. From Las Vegas to Atlantic City, entertainers attempt to do “New York, New York” and other Sinatra classics. They may get the words right, but nobody possesses that smooth-as-silk voice, classy, but edgy style, and magnetic stage presence like Francis Albert Sinatra. Now, let’s talk about Brandon Tomasello — the young and on-the-rise performer who absolutely loves Sinatra era music. However, he does not attempt, in any way, shape, or form, to


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imitate Old Blue Eyes. He respects the legend too much to even try. Tomasello grew up in South Philadelphia where Sinatra music drifted out of every row house. In fact, the 28-year old still lives in the same neighborhood. Tomasello, at the ripe old age of five, recalls getting the Sinatra bug, “One day I was going through my grandmother's CDs — she absolutely loved Frank Sinatra. She always told the story of her meeting him at the 500 Club in Atlantic City in the 1950s. I sat down at the CD player and listened to Sinatra for the first time. It was “Sinatra Gold,” the song was “Young at Heart.” Instantly,

I knew I was listening to the best.” Although Tomasello was only seven years old when Sinatra died, the man got under his skin, deep in the heart of him and has never been extracted. As a child, Tomasello loved hamming it up performing magic shows in the family living room — in a tux, of course! Like most kids, Tomasello wanted to grow up and be many things ranging from a fighter pilot to undertaker. Regardless of what phase he was going through, he continued to entertain; “… anything to get people to laugh.” Tomasello’s musical training started in 2000 singing in the Philadelphia Boys Choir. He attended the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, where he played the violin and took musical theater classes. Although he was exposed to all facets of music, Tomasello looked to Sinatra as his ultimate singing coach. In fact, he would love to have been able to do a duet with him — even singing “Happy Birthday” with the legend would have been sheer joy! Tomasello explains, “I can honestly say I learned the most from very carefully listening to Mr. Sinatra over and over again. Where he would take a breath, how he would play with phrasing and the melody. I keep all of that in mind when I sing and try to add my own little nuances.” By the time Tomasello was 20, he and childhood friend, Stephen Garbesi, opened their own production company and built a small studio. As a test, he recorded "Fly Me to The Moon.” The next thing the boys knew, they had recorded and produced an album, "It's My Time.” Within months of releasing the album, Tomasello got his first singing job in the Whiskey Bar at Resorts Casino. A year later, he moved up to The Superstar Theater and has been booked at various venues ever since. On stage, Tomasello has got that knack — handsome, dapper, and comfortable in his own skin. His personality matches a fine voice that pays homage to Sinatra without trying to be Sinatra. In between sets, Tomasello chats with the audience and shares his love of Sinatra and his songs. He shows the audience his gold necklace dangling a charm of Sinatra, of course. Tomasello winks and jokes, “You wear your God, and I’ll wear mine!” Although most of his childhood friends never understood why Tomasello liked that “old” music, his love for the standards never faltered. According to Tomasello, Sinatra style music makes him happy; it tells a story. As a musician, he appreciates the complexities involved and that it takes “real” and devoted musicians to produce that sound. Tomasello passionately explains, “You cannot replicate that sound with a computer. I listen to a song over and over until I understand the meaning of it and can hum each individual instrument's part. If you as the singer can relate to the song, that in turn will convey to the audience. Sinatra always said, ‘a song is nothing but a four-minute movie’”. What’s on the horizon for Tomasello? In the spring, he plans to record an album featuring many of the standards that everyone knows and loves, as well as some contemporary songs. The album will also include a duet with his South

Philly neighbor, Bobby Rydel, crooning Sinatra’s big hit, “The Tender Trap.” All of the arrangements will be brand new, written specifically for Tomasello’s style. Accompanying him on the album will be a 28-piece orchestra comprised of top musicians from Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and New York — many of whom have played for everyone from Sinatra to Gaga. The album will be co-produced by Chuck Granata, record producer and co-host of Nancy Sinatra's weekly Nancy for Frank radio show on Sirus-XM. Granata encourages and guides Tomasello to emulate Sinatra, but to absolutely not imitate him. In addition, the seasoned Sinatra expert is recommending song selections where Tomasello can make his own mark. Granata explains, “I am there for Brandon to help him define and focus the craft. He’s got a great voice and charisma — and that’s what it takes to carve out a performer’s unique niche.” The album is expected to be released in Spring 2020. It will be available for digital download on iTunes, as well as CD and vinyl — for the musically pure at heart. So, start spreading the news — Brandon Tomasello can make it here … and anywhere. n Brandon Tomasello

W HAT'S HA PPENI NG A RO U N D S O U T H J E R S E Y. . . with Whitney Ullman

MARCH March 1st - 31st Strike Gold at Rock Spa and Salon Spa and Salon Specials with St. Patrick Day themes all month long Hard Rock Atlantic City www.hardrockhotels.com/atlantic-city/amenities/rockspa kkk

March 6th 83rd Annual Maxwell Football Club Gala Tropicana Atlantic City www.maxwellfootballclub.org kkk

March 8 - 13th Atlantic City Restaurant Week Enjoy our areas restaurants for just $15.20 for lunch and $35.20 for dinner www.acrestaurantweek.com kkk

March 10th - 14th 2020 MAAC Basketball Championship Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall www.maacsports.com kkk

March 14th, 1 PM The 35th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Atlantic City Boardwalk www.acstpatricksdayparade.com

March 14th Beer Hoisting Competition Can you hoist your beer the longest? Play for a chance to win! Resorts Casino Hotel www.resortsac.com kkk

March 19th March Madness Drink specials available during all games Draftkings Sportsbook Resorts Casino Hotel www.resortsac.com kkk

March 20th The Annual Top 40 Under 40 Ceremony Greater Atlantic City Jaycees Borgata www.acjaycees.org kkk

March 21st Jerry Blavat’s Soul, Doo Wop & Rock ’n Roll Golden Nugget Atlantic City www.goldennugget.com kkk

March 26th, 6 PM - 8 PM AtlantiCare Young Professionals Brewery Tour & Social Garden State Brewery in Galloway www.atlanticare.org/yp



March 14th Kegs + Eggs Taste all of your favorite eggs and beers before the St. Patty’s parade | Must be 21+ Topgolf Swing Suite at Ocean Casino Resort www.theoceanac.com

March 27th - 29th NJ Horron Con and Film Festival Over 20 celebrities, 120 vendors, Q&A sessions, Films & More Showboat Atlantic City www.njhorrorcontixmarch2020.eventbrite.com

The weather is warmer, our spirits are better, and we have many events in Atlantic City that give us a ton of reasons to get out of the house. So grab your family and friends, enjoy the celebrations, and don’t forget to tag us here at @NJLifestyleMag!

APRIL March 30th - April 4th Beer Week at Caesars, Bally's Harrah's And Bally's WWW official after party of the April 4th Beerfest www.caesars.com kkk

April 4th Lit in AC 2020 Featuring artists Lil Kim, Fat Joe, Ja Rule and State Property Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall kkk

March & April The Imax Experience Theater — Tropicana Onward — March 5th - 19th A Quiet Place Part II — March 19th - 26th Mulan — March 26th - April 9th No Time to Die — April 9th - 30th

April 18th Mob Movie Con Celebrate the mob movie genre like never before Harrah's Resort Atlantic City www.mobmoviecon.com



April 3rd Comedian Jay Leno Ocean Resort Casino www.theoceanac.com kkk

April 3rd and 4th Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival www.acbeerfest.com kkk

April 4th Rob Lowe — Stories I Only Tell My Friends Caesars Circus Maximus Theater www.caesars.com/caesars-ac/shows kkk

April 4th Melissa Etheridge Ocean Resort Casino www.theoceanac.com

April 19th Midsummer Night's Dream The Atlantic City Ballet Caesars Circus Maximus Theater www.acballet.org kkk

April 25th & 26th 2020 April fools Rach Fun April fools themed event with various prizes Resort's Casino Hotel www.acraceseries.com/volunteer kkk

April 26th, 4PM - 6 PM Rock the Runway Fashion Show Featuring five area boutiques AC Day Nursery www.acdaynurseryschool.com njlifestyleonline.com

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Social

Check out all of our event photos at facebook.com/NJlifestyleMag.

AtlantiCare Healthy Schools Grant Event More than 100 educators were students for the day at AtlantiCare’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Children Mini-Grants Workshop in Atlantic City this past January. Some 61 mini-grants were presented, totaling more than $70,000 to representatives of Atlantic, Cape May, and Ocean County schools who have encouraged physical activity and healthy eating habits among students, staff, and families.

AtlantiCare Young Professionals for Networking, Cocktails & Comedy AtlantiCare Young Professionals enjoyed an evening of networking and cocktails at the exclusive Society Club High Rollers Lounge at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa this past January. Proceeds benefit AtlantiCare’s Young Professional initiatives supporting the health and well-being of children in the communities served by AtlantiCare.

Photos by Paul Dempsey

Claridge Celebration Day The Claridge celebrated the historic event of Repeal Day, official known in Atlantic City as Claridge Celebration Day on December 6th. Themed as a 1930’s bar crawl, guests enjoyed a 2-hour open bar and live entertainment.


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Photos by Eric Weeks

LifeStyle Social Casa Del Dielo Holiday Celebration The Annual Casa Del Cielo Holiday Party was held in December in Atlantic City. The event celebrated the holidays with over 400 local community leaders, hosted by John Schultz and Gary Hill.

AtlantiCare’s 13th Anniversary Red Dress/Tie Reception AtlantiCare held their 13th Anniversary Red Dress/Red Tie Reception at The Smithville Inn in February. Guests at the sold-out event enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, craft beer tasting, raffles, and a vendor marketplace. All proceeds benefit ARMC Heart & Vascular Institute.


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Social

Check out all of our event photos at facebook.com/NJlifestyleMag.

New Jersey Lifestyle kicks off the New Year at Phillips Seafood NJ Lifestyle magazine held a New Year reception at Phillips Seafood in Atlantic City in January. Contributors and clients were invited as an expression of appreciation, and to enjoy a delicious array of appetizers and cocktails served by Phillips.


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LifeStyle Social Faces 4 Autism, an evening with Dr. Temple Grandin Educators and families gathered for an Evening with Dr. Temple Grandin at Seaview Hotel in December. This unforgettable experience discussed employing those who are differently-abled in meaningful careers. A Q&A was led by Dr. Mary Kientz, Director of Stockton University’s Graduate School of Occupational Therapy.

“Movers & Shakers” Provided HOPE for the Holidays Masterpiece Advertising continued its legacy of giving back to the local community with their 6th Annual Helping Other People Every Day (HOPE) Foundation Holiday Benefit in December at The Palm in Atlantic City. This benefit was especially meaningful to the Masterpiece family after the recent loss of their beloved colleague and friend, Creative Director Mark Patten, to his battle with cancer.


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Social

Check out all of our event photos at facebook.com/NJlifestyleMag.

MBCA Luncheon a Success The Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association (MBCA) held its traditional “Un-official State of the City Event” Annual New Year’s Luncheon in January at Caesars Casino Palladium Ballroom. Over 900 attendees heard and saw some of Atlantic City Mayor Small’s vision and plans for 2020, including more positive communication at City Hall and the hope to tear down Trump Plaza.

Epicurean Society enjoys “A Holiday Evening at Sofia” The Epicurean Society of Southern New Jersey had an amazing holiday gathering of friends both old and new at Sofia Restaurant in Margate this past December. Guests enjoyed an exquisite feast prepared by Chef Tim Pelham and Sofia’s talented staff, paired with some great wines.

Epicurean Society Dinner at the Palm Restaurant The Palm Restaurant was host to The Epicurean Society of Southern New Jersey this past January. Guests enjoyed cocktails, a starter course, entrée, family style sides, and dessert.


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LifeStyle Social Atlantic City's Art/Wine/Dine Guests had the opportunity to enjoy food samplings from AC Restaurant Week participating restaurants. They also sampled spirits, wine, and craft beer while listening to live music. Local artists were on hand with their artwork for sale and a silent auction.

Photos by Kristian Gonyea

Republic Bank Grand Opening in Northfield Republic Bank opened their second area branch in Northfield this past January with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The Somers Point branch opened in 2019, and an Ocean City branch will be the next to open.

Photos by Photographics/Tom Briglia


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Social

Check out all of our event photos at facebook.com/NJlifestyleMag.

SoPro Kick Off Mixer SoPro, AC kicked off the new decade in a fun and productive way. Borgata's Level One Lounge was host to a night of networking, cocktails, and conversation in January. SoPro, AC is a notfor-profit corporation that assembles young professionals in a social setting, providing unique opportunities for young professionals to connect with one another to advance their careers.

28th Annual Super Bowl Party a Success Over 300 people came out to support the Chief Arthur R. Brown, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Foundation at its 28th Annual Super Bowl Pre-Party. The event was held at Dock’s Oyster House in Atlantic City and raised $10,000 for the foundation.


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LifeStyle Social Ales for Whales The Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMCS) held their annual event, Ales for Whales, at the Garden State Beer Company this past January. Guests enjoyed an evening of great brew, wine, food, and friends. Proceeds support the MMSC.

Photos by Eric Weeks

African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey celebrates 18th Anniversary

Photos by Photographics/Tom Briglia

The African American Heritage Museum of Southern NJ held their 18th Anniversary Gala at Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center in February. Notable guests included Ron Buamann, Caesars Entertainment Regional President; Jennifer Lewis-Hall, Journalist TV-17 and Keynote Speaker; Ralph E. Hunter, President & Founder AAHMANJ; and Stacey Hunter Withers. Exec. Director AAHMANJ.


LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Eats

Academy of Culinary Arts students arrange a variety of desserts for guests to savor at the 2019 Gala.

A Party

With A Purpose By Molly Golubcow Photos by Donna Connor Photography

The Gala ends the evening with a "Dessert Extravaganza"

Spicy Tuna Tartare served during the 2019 Gala Cocktail Reception, made by students at the Academy of Culinary Arts.

Mark your calendars for

an event not to be missed.


ccording to its definition, a gala is a festive occasion with celebration and special entertainment. In other words, it’s a party with a purpose. In April, Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC) will host its Annual Restaurant Gala — a culinary extravaganza and one of the most important fundraising efforts supporting students at the Academy of Culinary Arts. Since its inception 37 years ago, the gala has raised over $3.5 million for scholarships through the generosity of community partners and corporate sponsors. This year, as has been the case since 1983, attendees can expect camaraderie, dancing, and fine dining options for every palate. Last year, over 900 guests attended the sold-out event that raised over $230,000 in scholarship funds. Organizers this year hope to not only surpass these numbers, but to “wow” guests and honorees alike with décor, lighting, and entertainment. According to Jean McAlister, Executive Director of Atlantic Cape Foundation, this year’s theme is a secret for now. McAlister explains with an enticing tease, “We will dazzle our attendees with a unique event including tasting spectacular food for every passionate palate prepared by our students and locally-renowned restaurants, amazing desserts, great entertainment, and

Academy of Culinary Arts students display their Pork Belly Buns, Pickled Vegetables, and Korean Barbeque for guests to sample at the 2019 Gala.

A large array of amazing desserts prepared by students and local restaurants at the 2019 Gala.

Alyssa Bean of Phillips Seafood and Souzai Sushi & Sake serves an "Everything Crusted Tuna Chip" during the 2019 Restaurant Gala.


Students prepared and served mouth-watering grilled cheese sandwiches for guests at the 2019 Gala. Kelsey Jackson, owner of Kelsey's, and members of his staff pose with Dr. Barbara Gaba, Atlantic Cape President.


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always a few, extra, unexpected special touches.” What is not a secret is a social event extraordinaire starting with a Cocktail Hour featuring hors d'oeuvres and a lavish raw bar prepared by students of the Academy of Culinary Arts. Dinner consists of signature dishes from 40 of the area's finest restaurants. To end the night, the gala features a “Dessert Extravaganza” prepared by area pastry chefs as well as students and faculty of the Academy. Throughout the night, live music will be available as you dance and enjoy your food and cocktails from the open bar. In addition, fun activities include a photobooth, tickets for the 50/50 raffle drawing, and sampling beverages from local breweries and distilleries. In addition to food and fun, the gala also recognizes people from the Atlantic and Cape May community who remain connected to the college through individual support of students or through their company’s philanthropic gifts. Past year honorees include an impressive list, including the late James L. Cooper Esq.; former Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian; Mark Giannantonio, President and CEO of Resorts Casino Hotel; Will and Jack Morey, Morey's Piers; Anthony Catanoso and Steel Pier Associates LLC; Gary Hill and John Schultz of Schultz-Hill Foundation; and many more. This year, the gala will add Stephen and Dianne Nehmad to the list of honorees. The Nehmads have supported the College’s mission ever since they met on campus in 1968. The gala also honors alumni who have graduated from the Academy of Culinary Arts at Atlantic Cape Community College including Kevin Scull, VP of Hotel and Food and Beverage Operations at Golden Nugget; Chef Deb Pelligrino, former Executive Pastry Chef at Harrah's and Showboat Atlantic City (now co-owner of MADE in Atlantic City); and Chef Kelsey and Kimberly Jackson (Kelsey and

Kim's Restaurant). The 2020 Gala will recognize the accomplishments of Chef Bill McGinnity (1985) for his continuous support for students attending the Academy of Culinary Arts. Students currently enrolled in the Academy can look to honorees for guidance and direction as they explore careers in the culinary world. McAlister proudly explains, “We love recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of our students who have become successful chefs, cooking competition winners, and entrepreneurs. Many of our students will go on to become restaurateurs. Our honorees recognize the talents of our graduates and have employed our students. Many times, our honorees give back and can be found helping students prep for the gala.” This year, about 20 scholarships will be awarded to new and returning culinary arts students at Atlantic Cape Community College. Although the scholarships are financially based, a student's academic achievement is also considered when awarding funds. A typical semester at the Academy of Culinary Arts, without books and supplies, runs about $8,000 per semester totaling over $31,000 for a complete degree — an amount for which many students may need to request aid. Although the tuition is much higher than a typical community college student taking general studies or liberal arts classes, the Academy costs much less in comparison to other culinary academies nationwide. This year’s gala, held April 16, 2020 at Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center, promises an enjoyable and delicious evening that will support deserving students looking to enter the culinary world. To reserve an individual seat or a corporate table for the event, contact Kristin Jackson at kjackson@atlantic.edu or 609-463-3621. For more information about the event go to www.atlantic.edu/ gala. n

Featuring New American Cuisine Sunday Brunch Extensive Wine And Beer List

Private Rooms For Special Events From 10-200 Guests

1 N New York Rd • Smithville NJ 08205 • 609-652-7777 • SmithvilleInn.com njlifestyleonline.com

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Wine By Michael Bray

Perfect Pairings

Five tips on how to pair your food and wine


elcome (back) to the Spring Issue! We all deserve some LOVE for getting through the first quarter here in New Jersey. It’s this time of year that we begin our spring chores, and part of that is rewarding ourselves after a long day in the yard, or the office. For me, it’s getting the BBQ grill cleaned and ready for entertainment! Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about wine and food and “pairings.” Take a read and learn our Top 5 Pairing Tips and be ready to wow your friends! While we always encourage you to drink what you like, when it comes to enjoying wine and food together, the big thing you want to do is avoid disaster. Do your best to do the following: 1. Match the weight of the wine to the weight of the food. This will help prevent you from worrying if you should follow the old standard of having a red wine with red meat or white wines with fish when you prefer to drink something else. By working with the weight of food, an oaked Chardonnay can be just fine with a pan-seared steak and a Beaujolais can taste great with a delicate white fish. The body and mouthfeel of a wine should be in alignment with the food first and foremost. 2. Avoid tannic, high alcohol red wines with spicy foods. Wines made from grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Nebbiolo will only amplify the heat and make for an unpleasant experience on your palate. Unoaked white wines with noticeable acid like Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc will complement spicy cuisines (think of what limes do for salsa), while the touch of sweetness from an off-dry Riesling or powerful exotic fruitiness of a Gewurztraminer will provide contrast. 3. Your wine should be sweeter than your dessert. Our obsession with dry wines means that we tend to overlook sweet wines when the moment calls for it. If your wine does not have the right amount of residual sugar to stand up to the dessert you are enjoying, the wine will taste harsh and thin. Sweet red wines will work with deeper flavors, while sweet whites marry delicate fruity desserts. Try Ruby Port with a chocolatey dessert or an aged Tawny Port with a caramel-based dessert. An


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Ice Wine or a Tokaj from Hungary is tremendous with a fruit tart. We also recommend getting adventurous by pouring a little PX Sherry over vanilla ice cream ... you will be glad you did! 4. Match regional cuisines to wines. It may seem like too easy of a solution, but the truth is that food and wine from designated regions were meant to go together. Argentina’s affinity for flame-grilled beef calls for the plush texture and fruitiness of its star grape of Malbec (the same can be said for an alfresco barbecue in California with Zinfandel). The coastal French region of Muscadet is an easy partner with oysters. A Pacific Northwest salmon and Oregon Pinot Noir is a magical pairing. You might also think a Sauerbraten would overpower a German Riesling but grab a Kabinett Riesling and watch how the flavors work together! 5. Think pink with fresh herbs and vegetables. These types of foods can be tricky when featured in a dish. Green veggies can make red wines harsh, while white wines can get lost in the strength of certain herbs or bitter greens. Look toward some rosé wines which will give you the requisite fruitiness and acidity needed to bring these foods together. If a salad with dressing is involved, try a Spanish rosé made from Garnacha that will provide additional texture to offset the vinegar and sharpness of a salad dressing. If you have any pairing tips and or tricks of your own, I would love it if you would share them with me. At the same time, if you have any questions that need answers, I am here. I can be reached via TEXT at 609-248-6065, or michael@passionvines.com. As always, thank you for taking the time to engage — it means the world to me and our team at PV! Drink Passionately,





Week 1: Loire Valley, Champagne, Alsace Week 2: Burgundy, Beaujolais, Bordeaux Week 3: Rhône Valley, Provence, Languedoc Roussillon

Restaurant Report

Beautifully hand-carved wooden doors at Setaara's entrance

Uzbeki Palau — Afghan rice, lamb shanks, onions, shredded carrots, and raisins


TO SETAARA A first and true guiding star along the Silk Road of Atlantic City By Michele Giampaolo

Bailee Daniel welcomes diners.


he minute you step through the beautifully hand-carved wooden doors, you instinctively know that you are about to begin a journey like no other, a culinary journey that will invite all of your senses to partake; sight, hearing, smell, touch … especially your taste buds. In the heart of Ducktown in Atlantic City, you’ve arrived at the first EVER Afghan French fusion restaurant! Khosh Amadid (You’re Welcome) … Welcome to Setaara! This extraordinary journey begins where few have had the opportunity to travel, along the famous Silk Road. Afghanistan sits at the midpoint of Central Asia, with the former Chinese empires to the East and Persian empires to the West. Any goods traded back and forth between Europe and Eastern Asia on the ancient Silk Road routes crossed through Afghanistan. The aromatic cuisine reflects this rich cultural history. Special care when building the restaurant, which was created from an abandoned building, was taken by Abdullah Panah, co-owner, to bring to life the richness of Afghan culture and the ambience of Eastern/Western Silk Road traditions. The restaurant pays homage to the family’s travels throughout the Middle East and Europe and their love of creating something new while grounded in traditions, diversity, the love of art and history. As you pass through the entrance, you will be greeted by the amazing aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and cloves from chef and co-owner Homa Bazyar’s kitchen. This is a hint at the culinary feast you are about to enjoy. You might, however, be surprised to also smell the bouquet of a Beef

Salata — an Afghan style salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, and cilantro

Owners Abdullah Panah (left) and Homa Bazyar

Experience traditional Afghan seating on the floor adorned with comfy cushions in a private alcove.

Mousse Au Chocolate

As if your senses weren’t already tingling, the sights that surround you in the restaurant will.


Bourguignon being prepared and French Onion Soup. Not a surprise though, when one understands Chef Homa’s background. Having immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan in the 1970s, Chef Homa settled in Denver, Colorado. Her French culinary journey began shortly after when she trained in classic French cuisine. She went on to open and operate a highly-successful French restaurant (Café Monet) in Denver. Thankfully, at the insistence of her nephew Abdullah, she brought her talents to Atlantic City, and in partnership with Abdullah, opened Setaara’s in July of 2019. A master of spice, Chef Homa has always loved creating dishes that reflect the Eastern and Western influences of her homeland. Dishes that are neither too spicy or too hot, filled with rich robust flavors; blends of warm spices with a touch of French flair. As if your senses weren’t already tingling, the sights that surround you in the restaurant will. With lighting that is visually pleasing, the unique artwork and colors create an ambience and allure of the richness of the cuisine you are about to eat. You will be invited to select from a variety of options for seating to dine, including the front dining area where one can experience traditional Afghan seating on the floor adorned with comfy cushions in a private alcove, to tables and booths in the main dining area. Once you’ve settled in and review the menu, your mind will finally be convinced by your senses that you are no longer in Atlantic City, but are now traveling somewhere along the Silk Road. It is a wonderful moment as you select from traditional Afghan, French, or European selections on the menu, where you will experience a collaboration of cultures and flavors. Where to begin? The combinations are endless … from traditional Afghan Bolani (fried dough filled with seasoned potatoes, green onion, cilantro served with special yogurt sauce), followed by Trout Almondine, or to begin

T E N N E S S E E with Escargots a la Bourguignon (snails in garlic and herb butter) followed by a Palau (national rice dish of Afghanistan with Chicken or Lamb) or Setaara Kabob (rack of lamb slowly charbroiled to perfection) or Mantu (Afghan Dumplings) hand-formed dumplings with a variety of fillings to select from; yes, the combinations are endless. Make sure to ask about daily specials as the restaurant continues to showcase traditional Afghan dishes and French classics based upon available fresh ingredients. The restaurant is BYOB and serves traditional Afghan teas and freshly squeezed juices. A night at Setaara’s is not complete without experiencing Setaara Ice Cream; vanilla ice cream, topped with fresh crushed cardamom and rose water. C’est Magnifique! The time has arrived for you to say good night to the staff as your dining experience on the Silk Road comes to a close. You’ll want to linger at the doorway for a moment still wrapped in the warmth of the hospitality experienced at Setaara’s and pinch yourself before re-emerging into the hustle and bustle of Atlantic City. Yes, that was truly an authentic culinary dining experience. In the distance, you hear someone saying … Tashakur Shab Bakhair … Thank you and good night! And if you didn’t know before, you know now … you will be back again to travel the Silk Road. n Located at 2322 Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City, Setaara is open for dinner Monday – Thursday, 5 PM – 10 PM, Friday & Saturday, 4 PM – 10 PM, and is available for private parties. The restaurant is BYOB and has its own private parking lot across the street for customers. Reservations are recommended: 609-246-7704 or can be made via Setaara’s website, www.setaaraac.com. All dishes are made with Halal permissible foods, prepared with the freshest of ingredients, in a healthy manner. Please make the staff aware of any special dietary requirements. Follow the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.



Bean-to-Bar Chocolate • Desserts • Cocktails $6 World’s Best Cookie


Bespoke Cocktails • Live Music $5 Bar Pies


Coffee • Food • Wine Now Serving Dinner


40+ Craft Beers on Tap • Gastropub Menu $5 Happy Hour Burger • $2 Mexi Monday Tacos


Atlantic City’s Premiere Digital Network

Interested in learning more? Contact Matt McCarron 609.226.9239 njlifestyleonline.com

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Preferred Dining

“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.”

Scallops, Washington Inn Photo by Jessica Orlowicz www.peachandport.com

—Julia Child

The Continental Playground Pier, 1 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City 609-674-0100 buddakanac.com Buddakan's dreamlike ambiance makes an enchanting setting for hosting special events. Guests are instantly transported to an ancient Chinese village complete with rock gardens, thatched roofs and a dramatic twilight sky. The menu portrays an innovative interpretation of Modern Asian cuisine that matches the decor in terms of creativity and inspiration. Guests will feel relaxed and indulged in this exotic and comfortable environment.

Playground Pier, 1 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City 609-674-8300 continentalac.com Stephen Starr’s Continental features a clever mix of vintage elegance and vanguard sophistication. It invokes the drama of the Rat Pack days on the Vegas Strip. The space incorporates unique retro elements such as a sunken fire-pit lounge, populuxe bar and outdoor patio, all accented by breathtaking views of the ocean. The global tapas menu showcases a variety of innovative dishes meant to be shared. And of course the martinis are an essential part of the experience. Whimsical culinary creations and specialty cocktails make for a fun and hip dining experience.


Dock's Oyster House


Resorts Casino, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City 609-344-6000 resortsac.com No passport needed for this Italian experience. Capriccio’s all new menu features gourmet Italian cuisine in an exquisitely comfortable Mediterranean atmosphere, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the food and view are spectacular.

2405 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City 609-345-0092 dockoysterhouse.com A classic oyster bar feel with the upscale dining and maritime touches that Dock's fans have enjoyed over the years. From Dock's Classics such as the Crab Au Gratin and Seafood Fry to perennial favorites Pecan Crusted Salmon and Crispy Wasabi Tuna, as well as, naturally, a large selection of oysters and lobster in all sizes! Despite its larger size, guests at Dock's are still welcomed into the warm, friendly environment that has established this family owned restaurant as a local institution.

The Ebbitt Room

25 Jackson Street, Cape May 609-884-5700 caperesorts.com From the relaxing front porch, to the classicallycomfortable bar and lounge with live piano music on weekends, the Ebbitt Room is strongly rooted in a farm-to-table, farm-to-glass dining philosophy featuring the freshest ingredients from their very own Beach Plum Farm located in Cape May. The Ebbitt Room offers a variety of vegetarian and gluten free dishes. As a farm-todining restaurant, they proudly feature free-range eggs and fresh herbs, vegetables and pork from their local farm.

Gallagher’s Steakhouse

Resorts Casino, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City 609-340-6555 gallaghersresorts.com A classic steakhouse serving hearty salads, dryaged meats, wonderful fish and shellfish. Their glass-enclosed meat locker is in the front of the restaurant for all to view; and all of the beef is dry-aged for 21 days at a constant 36 degrees to insure tenderness. Offering the finest selections of seafood as well. Open for dinner Sunday thru Thursday 5-9:30 pm, Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday 5-11 pm.

Chef Vola’s

111 S. Albion Place, Atlantic City 609-345-2022 chefvola.com Reservations are a must! With a celebrity roster to rival the Oscars, this restaurant is booked months in advance. But with your reservation, you are guaranteed to eat like celebrity. This James Beard Foundation-awarded restaurant resides in a house on an off street in Atlantic City, offering huge portions of delicious food your grandmother would be proud of. Your hosts, the Esposito Family, serve traditional Italian food like bone in Veal Parmesan, Crab Cakes, and Flounder Franchise, along with a plethora of must-try delicious desserts. 70

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Dolce Mare

Ocean Resort Casino, 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City 866-50-OCEAN theoceanac.com Dolce Mare is a modern Italian restaurant that captures the effortless elegance of seaside dining. Whether lingering over a Negroni or a decadent meal with the best ocean views in Atlantic City, Dolce Mare is the perfect setting for socializing and indulging in the charm of the Italian dining culture. Enjoy menu items such as handcrafted pastas, seafood risotto, and meatballs over creamy polenta.

The Historic Smithville Inn

1 N. New York Road, Galloway 609-652-7777 historicsmithvillenj.com The Historic Smithville Inn offers a sophisiticated dining experience combined with the atmosphere of warm hospitality, since 1787. Their scenic view dining areas looking out on Lake Meone, private dining rooms with fireplace and formal banquet and wedding facilities coupled with their attention to detail services will make your dining, banquet or wedding event a night to remember.

Joseph's Pub & Grill at Renault Winery

72 Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City 609-965-2111 renaultwinery.com Joseph's Pub & Grill, located within the Tuscany House Hotel, features new American cuisine. Globally inspired by Chefs Stephen Golden and Paul Drew, and presented in a casual, friendly atmosphere, classic dishes are prepared with a modern twist using fresh seasonal ingredients. Open 7 days for lunch and dinner, featuring small and large plates designed for sharing, along with signature dishes and classic inspired desserts. Joseph's serves a variety of wines, craft beers, whiskeys and hand-crafted cocktails.

Josie Kelly’s Public House

908 Shore Road, Somers Point 609-904-6485 josiekellys.com With all your Irish favorites like Fish and Chips and Shepard’s Pie, Josie Kelly’s delivers on the promise but also elevates the traditional Irish Pub dining experience. Beyond the classics, they offer some unique items like a vegetarian Faux Gras and a Lobster Pappardelle, as well as vegetarian and gluten free options. The restaurant, located in Somers Point, resides in a spot made famous by the former Mac's Restaurant. Josie Kelly's is a spacious restaurant, featuring a lively bar with a great selection of libations.


470 White Horse Pike, Hammonton, 6126 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing 609-561-9621, 609-625-1181 joesmaplewood.com For almost 70 years, Joe Italiano’s Maplewood has been known for its consistently great food! They believe that freshness and loving preparation are keys to satisfied customers. Food is fresh, salads are made to order, and pasta is boiled right before sauce is poured over it. “Gravy” or red sauce is made fresh daily and is loved by the locals in the area. They only use the finest ingredients at the Original Maplewood. Two locations — Same Great Food. Your Choice.

Mexico Restaurant & Bar

3810 Ventnor Avenue, Atlantic City 609-344-0366 mexicorestaurantbar.com Mexico Restaurant & Bar cuisine offers a variety of tastes ranging from spicy chili flavors to the hard to find, sweet and hearty Mole sauce. The food is traditional Mexican fare prepared from actual homemade recipes. Whether you’re in the mood for a Margarita, an Enchilada, or just some great Mexican home-cooked meals — Mexico Restaurant offers a comfortable, bright, and cheerful atmosphere. Serving Atlantic City since 1995.




Main Office Atlantic City | (609) 344-5161 Cape May Court House Office | (609) 465-5557 New York Office | (212) 335-2255

www.hankinsandman.com njlifestyleonline.com

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


LifeStyle Preferred Dining

Oysters, Washington Inn Photo by Jessica Orlowicz www.peachandport.com

Nero's Italian Steakhouse

Phillips Seafood

Caesar's, 2100 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City 609-343-2505 caesars.com Oceanside dining in a magnificent old world setting. Entrées feature Prime grade steaks, delicious pastas and a fresh seafood selection that you won't find anywhere else. Nero’s also serves the most decadent Sunday brunch in Atlantic City with specialties such as filet of beef, grilled swordfish, freshly carved turkey and handmade lasagna. Dive into their succulent seafood favorites, including shrimp, crab claws, oysters, or freshly prepared sushi. Enjoy the bottomless Bloody Mary bar and an amazing dessert display.

Playground Pier, 1 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City, 609-348-2273 phillipsseafood.com Enjoy Phillips’ classic signature crab cakes along with delicious seasonal fishes and an array of seafood choices. Phillips’ Happy Hour is all day every day. Select choice appetizers as well as cocktails keep you comfortable and full for the duration of your visit. Experience an upscale, interactive dining experience with their exhibition kitchen, who will also happily serve your banquet or large event. Located on the third floor of The Playground at Caesars, enoy the most succulent classic American seafood while surrounded by a captivating view of the Atlantic City boardwalk and beaches.


Robert's Steakhouse

Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City 609-340-4053 okatsherestaurant.com Okatshe (pronounced Ō- kaht-she) is Chef Jose Garces’ playful, modernized take on a traditional Japanese izakaya. Okatshe visually transports guests to the streets of Tokyo and provides a sense of discovery by taking guests through a small Japanese candy (okashi) storefront before entering the restaurant. The full-service, 80-seat sit-down restaurant serves a selection of small plates, yakitori, ramen, sushi and sashimi. The bar at Okatshe will include a curated selection of Japanese whiskys, 50 sakes, beers and specialty cocktails.

Hard Rock Casino, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City 855-500-ROBERTS robertsatlanticcity.com The true key to the magic behind Robert’s legendary steaks is that they are dry aged in house, for far longer than any other restaurant in the city. All of Robert's steaks are USDA prime and are hand-cut daily by their own in-house butcher. From a bone-in New York Strip to Rib Eyes for one or two, each steak is seasoned simply. Robert’s also offers amazing, fresh seafood dishes.

Souzai Sushi & Saki

Playground Pier, 1 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City 609-348-4443 souzaisushi.com Simple… seasonal… sensual… Souzai features a diverse menu of hand-rolled sushi, fresh sashimi and traditional Japanese dishes, as well as a wide range of innovative cocktails, Japanese sake and beer. Showcasing stunning views of the beach, ocean sunsets and the sparkling cityscape from its perch high above the famed Atlantic City boardwalk, Souzai has become one of the hottest spots in town to mix and mingle. Grab a seat and discover Souzai for yourself.


9300 Amherst Avenue, Margate 609-822-7535 tomatoesmargate.com A favorite of chefs and foodies who are impressed with the location, food, and view of the Margate Bay. The elegant and refined atmosphere includes a bar area, sushi bar, private meeting and dining rooms in addition to the main dining room. Trendy with a high-end, eclectic American fare and sushi, plus a happening bar scene. Excellent fresh fish, wonderful sauces and impressive desserts.



Tropicana, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City 609-340-4050 olonrestaurant.com Inspired by the beach towns of Ecuador, specifically Olón, and the vibrant flavors of coastal cuisine, Olón is an alluring beach front experience centered around Chef Jose Garces’ vision of fresh seafood. Bar Olòn offers a more casual experience, serving sandwiches, small plates and an extensive beer list. 72

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2322 Arctic Avenue, Atlantic City 609-246-7704 setaaraac.com Family owned and operated, Setaara opened its doors in July 2019 as the first Afghan French fusion restaurant in Atlantic City ... Ever! Their cuisine reflects the important role that Afghanistan played in the Silk Road, which is full of rich flavors reflective of Afghan culture with a French flair. One can also enjoy many favorite French dishes found on their menu. All dishes are made with Halal permissible foods, prepared with only the freshest of ingredients, in a healthy manner. BYOB.

A Touch of Italy

6629 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Twp. 609-641-1855 touchofitaly.net A Touch of Italy offers the finest quality of food and service. Each meal served is cooked to order. A friendly and pleasurable atmosphere will make your visit a memorable one. Established in 1981 with more than 31 years of experience, this restaurant, banquet facility, and lounge serves only the finest natural veal, steaks, poultry, pasta, seafood and brick-oven pizza.

The Twenties American Bistro

The Claridge Hotel, Boardwalk & Park Place Atlantic City, 844-224-7386 claridge.com Order a drink from the original speakeasy bar that made this restaurant famous during the Roaring Twenties era, and then savor a tender steak, fresh seafood or their fine Italian cuisine. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the sixth-floor restaurant features beautiful views of Brighton Park and the Atlantic Ocean.

Valentina's Trattoria Italiana

Kensington Square, 200 Tilton Rd., Northfield 609-380-2466 valentinasnj.com Comfort food the “Italian way” featuring Neapolitan pizza cooked to perfection in their wood-fired oven. Handcrafted pastas, fresh seafood, imported meats, and fine Italian cheeses, along with fresh baked bread and desserts made in-house daily, are served in a warm, inviting ambience with old world charm. Paula Pisano and Rosaria Conti, a Neapolitan-born chef, bring an unmistakably authentic touch to the Valentina’s menu. BYOB.

VUE Roof Top Bar and Lounge

The Claridge Hotel, Boardwalk & Park Place Atlantic City, 844-224-7386 claridge.com Boasting magnificent views of Atlantic City’s skyline and beach, this bar on the 23rd story of The Claridge Hotel features both indoor and outdoor dining spaces. Enjoy upscale dining with light fare and signature cocktails as you take in the view or catch the big game. VUE can also be reserved for events for up to 100 people inside the restaurant or 600 for a standing outdoor reception.



Washington Inn

801 Washington St., Cape May, 609-884-5697 washingtoninn.com The Washington Inn offers six unique dining areas, from a summer patio to cozy fireside tables. Cocktails are a must in the Wine Bar, where the passing Cape May scene can be best appreciated. Often described as romantic, their easy-going elegance will satisfy anyones craving for fine dining. Their enticing menu offers the best of American cuisine, but with an inventive, upscale edge. Food, service, ambiance, the essential ingredients for dining excellence, are all deftly blended at The Washington Inn.

Lunch  Dinner  Catering ValentinasNJ.com 609.380.2466 njlifestyleonline.com

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2020


Money Watch

An in-depth look at a top performing year


he year 2019 was by all measures a great year for investors, although few people predicted the kind of returns that both the stock and bond market produced. We began the year with the market pundits worrying about trade issues and the possibility of global slow-down and even a potential recession. Well, investors that stayed on the sidelines because of these concerns clearly missed out on one of the best years in over 20 years. There was not a global recession or a resulting bear market. In fact, we did not even have a 10% intra-year decline. The largest drawdown during the year was less than 7%. What we did have was a market melt-up. All year, the talking heads on TV were preaching doom and gloom (trade wars, impeachment, inverted yield curves, impending recession, etc.) and the market just kept going up. The S&P 500 finished up 31% in 2019. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished up more than 36%. The S&P Midcap 400 and the Russell 2000 (Small cap) finished up 26% and 25.5%, respectively. The MSCI EAFE Index (developed Europe & Asia) finished the year up 22% and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index was the only major equity index to finish below 20% with an 18% return. The top performing sectors in 2019 were technology, communication services, and financials. The worst performing sectors were energy, healthcare, and materials. As good as the stock market returns were in 2019, we believe the returns in the bond market were an even greater surprise to the upside. We began the year with the 10 Year U.S. Treasury at 2.69% and the yield on the U.S. Aggregate Bond Index at 3.3%. Once Fed Chair Powell indicated in early January 2019 that the Federal Reserve (Fed) was done hiking rates, interest rates began to fall across the yield curve. The Fed not only stopped raising rates, but actually cut the federal funds rate three times over the course of 2019. The 10 Year Treasury fell all the way to 1.47% as of September. Yields moved back up slightly over


Spring 2020 |



the rest of the year and the 10 Year Treasury finished 2019 at 1.92%, still down 28% for the year. The U.S. Aggregate Bond Index yield finished 2019 at 2.3%, down 30% for the year. As a result, all major bond indices finished with strong returns. The Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index finished up 8.7% and the Bloomberg Barclays Muni Index finished up 7.5%. The BAML U.S. High Yield Index finished up 14% and the S&P Leveraged Loan (Floating Bank Loans) Index finished up 8%. The Economy The economy continued to expand in 2019 with GDP expected to come in at about 2%, albeit at a slower pace than the 3% in 2018. Unemployment continued its downward trend and was below 4% by the end of the year. Inflation, as measured by CPI, came in under 2%. None of these factors point to an imminent recession, and although we don’t see a repeat of 2019 in 2020, we also do not have a bear market as our base case scenario. More likely than not, we believe 2020 will be a year where fixed income clips its coupons and yields don’t move all that much. We also find it likely that the stock market will be more volatile than it was in 2019, but not necessarily a negative year. Low to high single digit returns seem to make sense as the base case scenario, not all that bad after a 30% equity return year. n Tom Reynolds, CPA & Matt Reynolds, CPA, CFP® Robert T. Martin, CFA, CFP® Francis C. Thomas, CPA, PFS Gordon Shearer Jr., CFP® Jeff Hilliard, CFP®, CRPC Joseph McCaffrey This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as the basis for an investment decision. Consult your financial adviser, as well as your tax and/or legal advisers, regarding your personal circumstances before making investment decisions.

When Selecting

your Advisory letters do matter.....


and we just happen to have them all..... CFP®, CPA, CFA, PFS n As SEC REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISORS we adhere to a higher standard of fiduciary care.

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We are CRA Financial. Thomas Reynolds, CPA Matthew Reynolds, CPA, CFP® Robert Martin, CFA®, CFP® Frank Thomas, CPA, PFS Gordon Shearer, Jr, CFP® Jeffrey Hilliard, CFP®, CRPC®

n As PRACTICING CPA’s we understand the complexities of the current tax system and work to maximize tax efficiencies. n As INDEPENDENT ADVISORS, we remain product neutral, transparent, and answer only to you, the client. n With an emphasis placed on FUNDAMENTAL FINANCIAL PLANNING, we strive to help you achieve your long term investment goals. n With over $790 Million in assets under management, we have the RESOURCES, the EXPERIENCE and the KNOWLEDGE to help you achieve your financial goals.

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NJ Lifestyle Magazine Spring 2020 Issue