daPesca Opens with Chef Craig Polignano at the Helm

daPesca Opens with Chef Craig Polignano at the Helm

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen

Photo: Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen

The upstairs dining room at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen has been re-imagined and opened as daPesca on February 6th. The new space, as the name indicates, is now a “sparklingly fresh, locally sourced, seafood-centric restaurant”.

I’m excited about this new concept primarily because ultra-talented Chef Craig Polignano is at the helm in the kitchen. The menu is nearly exclusively-sourced from off the coast of New Jersey, with captains out of Point Pleasant and Barnegat Light providing daPesca much of their catch.

Chef Polignano offers a four-course $86 prix fixe experience, in addition to a seasonal $116 chef’s tasting menu for the entire table as well. From Tuesday through Friday the daPesca menu is also available a la carte. Saturday nights, the restaurant offers either the four course or the six course prix fixe menu only.

Is it wrong that I already know what I want to order when I visit? Calamari a la Plancha, Squid Ink Cavatelli, NJ Skate Wing and the Caputo Brothers Ricotta Salata!


Tuesday & Wednesday from 5pm – 9pm

Thursday 5pm – 9:30pm

Friday and Saturday from 5pm – 10:30pm

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen – 110 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960. 973-644-3180.

Let me know what you think once you try it!



Bryan Gregg Appointed New Executive Chef at Orama

Bryan Gregg Appointed New Executive Chef at Orama

Really excited that one of the very best chefs in the NYC metro has found a new home! Bryan Gregg is the new Executive Chef of Orama located in Edgewater, New Jersey. 

Chef Gregg, who gained a loyal clientele as the Chef/Owner of Escape Montclair, is redefining Orama’s menus to take advantage of the freshest ingredients at the markets, the docks and the farms in New Jersey. “I’m excited to be back in the kitchen after a couple of fun consulting projects,” says Chef Gregg. “My customers have been asking when they’d be able to enjoy my food again in a restaurant setting, and I know they’ll be impressed with the setting at Orama. Orama has one of the best wine programs in the area and I look forward to some enjoyable wine-pairing dinners,” continues Gregg.   

Hours of Operation: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 5PM -10PM; Friday – Saturday: 5PM – 11PM.

Orama – 595 River Road, Edgewater, NJ 07020. www.orama.com.  

Current Dinner Menu: http://www.orama.com/dinner-menu

About Chef Bryan Gregg

Chef Bryan Gregg is a native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. Early in his career, he staged at Michelin-starred restaurants in France and England. He then continued to hone his culinary skills at some of the most highly-regarded restaurants, and with world class chefs, in New York and New Jersey.

Chef Gregg, whose résumé features Escape Montclair, his southern fine cuisine restaurant, and Executive Chef roles at Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and Michael Anthony’s in New Jersey, is a crusader for local New Jersey food producers.

Chef Gregg is the Executive Chef of Orama in Edgewater, New Jersey. At Orama, his New American menu features inventive dishes showcasing pristine local ingredients. Orama, situated on the banks of the Hudson River, offers an elegant setting with exceptional Manhattan views.

The serial entrepreneur is the founder of Think Local Foods, a leading restaurant consulting firm that formulates groundbreaking strategies and drives concepts to help clients enjoy enhanced bottom-line profits.

The award-winning Chef has been a repeat Featured Chef at the prestigious James Beard House. He was named Best Jersey Seafood Chef at the 2015 Jersey Seafood Challenge and as a result, represented the Garden State at the 2015 Great American Seafood Cook Off in New Orleans where he won the Seafood Showdown.



Heirloom Kitchen Dinner at the Farm

Heirloom Kitchen Dinner at the Farm

Last night, I was fortunate enough to attend the 4th annual fall dinner at Hauser Hill Farms in Old Bridge, NJ. The food was creatively crafted by one of the most talented chefs in the area, David Viana, of nearby popular restaurant, Heirloom Kitchen.

The setting was incredible – 110-person communal table in the middle of the farm’s apple orchard. With the open air mock kitchen Chef Viana was working with, you’d think he would keep the menu simple and the plating easy-to-accomplish…but, no. He designed a menu reflective of the season and the gorgeous setting for the dinner.

Guests were warmly greeted by Heirloom Kitchen’s Founder/Partner/General Manager Neilly Robinson and welcomed with a signature cocktail at a makeshift bar. Elegant bites were passed butler-style.

We found our way to our seats and found ourselves among loyal customers of Heirloom Kitchen, fellow groupies of Chef Viana and past attendees of the farm dinners. Great group of folks.

First course was the ultimate farm-friendly dish – Heirloom tomatoes, peach, marcona almonds, quinoa, mint crema. Vibrant colors on the plate, big flavors from the mint crema, great texture from the quinoa. Just a lovely dish and beautiful presentation.

Second course was – Pine Hill lamb, ricotta gnudi, delicata squash, sweet potato. Pure comfort on a plate with rich lamb, pillowy gnudi and sweet/earthy squash. This might have been my favorite of the evening.

Third was – Simply Grazin grass fed NY strip, apple cheddar potato gratin, broccoli, broccoli chimichuri. Perfectly-cooked beef (how does one do that in an open air kitchen for 110 people?), decadent cheesy potato gratin and the best example of broccoli I’ve had. Divine with the uber fruit-forward Pinot Noir poured from magnums (see my hubby excited about those magnums in the following pic).

Dessert was – Apple bread pudding. The perfect ending to an outstanding meal along with aged port.

The evening continued at a campfire under twinkling lights. Simply a magical night.




Chakra Launches $39 NJ Harvest Summer Menu

Chakra Launches $39 NJ Harvest Summer Menu

Chakra is offering a three-course prix fixe menu for $39 Tuesday – Saturday until Labor Day.


Choice of:

  • Heirloom Tomato Salad Bruschetta, basil, toasted Italian country bread
  • NJ Corn Soup house-cured salmon, pickled jersey chanterelles, lavender
  • Thick-Cut Bacon, compressed watermelon, jalapeños, honey glace


Choice of:

  • Brioche Crusted Salmon, salmon pea mousse, jersey corn, chanterelles, lavender
  • Grilled Hanger Steak, arugula, grilled peaches, fried goat cheese
  • Maltagliata Pasta, spicy boar sausage, caramelized fennel, broccoli rabe, pecorino


Choice of:

  • Crispy Waffle, jersey corn ice cream, jersey blueberry compote
  • Watermelon Mojito, rum ice cream, mint sorbet, compressed watermelon

For reservations, call 201.556.1530

Chakra Restaurant – W144 Route 4 East, Paramus, NJ 07652.



The Orange Squirrel – Things Just Got Even Better

The Orange Squirrel – Things Just Got Even Better

Chef Palmieri

Chef Palmieri – Photo Credit: The Orange Squirrel

When I first heard the rumors about The Orange Squirrel getting a new menu (and website, and hours, and Sunday Sauce Dinner….), I was a bit weary. After all, I already love everything on the menu – how could Chef Francesco Palmieri kick that up a notch? Well, he did just that by keeping some fan favorites and adding new and fun dishes to the lineup!

Starting November 11, the 8-year anniversary of The Orange Squirrel, the new menu will entail Squirrel Snacks ranging from $3 to $12 and The Hungry Squirrel plates priced from $10 to $25. The new menu is in keeping with Chef Francesco Palmieri’s philosophy since opening in 2008 – serving simple, but not simplistic global comfort food using approachable, wholesome ingredients.

Some favorites staying on the menu are the PEI Mussels, the Veal Meatballs and the award-worthy Chicken Pot Pie….yes, the Squirrel Nuts too! Some new additions I’m looking forward to trying are the Chicken Fried Ribeye, the Swedish Fish Meatballs and the Fried Bufala Mozzarella.

A few months back, I was one of the ‘beta testers’ for Palmieri’s Sunday Sauce Dinner. The meal was simply delicious and I’m thrilled to see him take the concept on each Sunday. Starting November 13, Sunday Supper will feature focaccia and salad, then Sunday Sauce served with artisanal pasta and ending with tiramisu.  

NEW Hours as of Monday, November 7:

Monday-Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday-Thursday: Dinner 5-10pm/Bar till 12am

Friday-Saturday: Dinner 5-10:30pm/Bar till 1am

NEW: Sunday: 1-6 pm Squirrel Sunday Sauce Dinner menu only (cash only)

NEW: Happy till Ate: 5-8pm Wed-Sat / Squirrel Snacks $1 off and All Cocktails/Beer $2 off (bar only)

410 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ. 973-337-6421

See you at TOS soon!


It’s Back – Chef’s Counter Tasting Menu at Anthony David’s

It’s Back – Chef’s Counter Tasting Menu at Anthony David’s

Anthony David's Tasting Dinners - 021715Chef Anthony Pino, owner of Anthony David’s in Hoboken, is pleased to announce that he (and his Chef de Cuisine Justin Antiorio) are bringing back their popular Chef’s Counter Tastings, Monday evenings at 7:00pm, starting Monday Feb 23rd and running through May 4th.

There are 10 seats at the Chef’s Counter, in the recently renovated restaurant. Chefs Anthony and Justin will personally prepare and serve these 10 guests a special 5-course Tasting Menu. Price is $100 per person (including tax & gratuity).

The theme of Monday Feb 23rd’s dinner is a culinary tour of Lazio, Italy, the region that includes Rome. Chef Pino and his family recently traveled to Italy and he found this region to be particularly inspiring.

Upcoming Chef’s Counter Tastings will also have unifying themes, to be announced. The 5-course menus are spontaneous, off-menu, and driven by market ingredients and availability.

As Anthony David’s is a BYOB establishment, guests are welcome to bring their own wines, making these special dinners a great value. Chef Pino is also willing to offer BYO suggestions to reserved guests.

Reservations can be made by emailing info@anthonydavids.com or calling 201-222-8399.

Anthony David’s is located at 953 Bloomfield Street in Hoboken NJ.