Holiday Festivities at Crystal Springs Resort

Holiday Festivities at Crystal Springs Resort

crystal springs resortCrystal Springs Resort is offering special events and activities throughout the holidays.

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Crystal Tavern’s three-course Christmas menu ($69, $98 with wine pairing) features starters such as the creamy Pheasant Veloute with root vegetables; House-Cured Salmon with black radish and salmon roe or Fried Mackerel with oyster mayonnaise and pickled cucumber. Entrée options include Rib Roast with parsnips and natural jus and Ocean Trout with swiss chard and rosemary, followed by Eggnog Panna Cotta or Warm Apple Crumble. The holiday menu will be offered 5pm – 10pm on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (the full menu is also available).

Springs Bistro will offer a three-course Italian feast ($69, $98 with wine pairing). After an amuse of Bolognese Arancini, guests can choose pasta, surf or turf with Tortellini en Brodo, Scallops with cauliflower and hazelnuts or Beef Carpaccio with apple and arugula. For the entrée, Porchetta with fregola or Roasted Bass accompanied by clams, fennel and olives and for dessert – a rich Budino with whiskey cherries or Winter Citrus with white chocolate and pistachios. Springs Bistro will be open 5pm to 10pm on Christmas Eve and 3pm – 8pm on Christmas Day.

Restaurant Latour’s festive Christmas Brunch on Dec. 24 will highlight the flavors and ingredients of the season like chestnuts, pheasant and caviar in dishes such as Scrambled Eggs with crispy oysters and caviar, Pheasant on a stout waffle, Cured Salmon on ab everything bagel and Poached Eggs with pork belly. Chocolate Cake or Chestnut Cheesecake with cranberry and graham cracker round off the celebratory meal. The special brunch will be $55 for 2 courses and $75 for 3 courses, Dec. 24 hours: 11am – 3pm.

Holiday Activities

Every night until January 8, the night sky comes alive during the Winter Light Walk as hundreds of thousands of lights shimmer outside the resort’s Grand Cascades Lodge. Complimentary hot chocolate will keep guests warm and toasty (dusk to 10pm nightly). Indoors, a candy land comes to life in the Gingerbread Village in the Crystal Springs Clubhouse.

Crystal Springs Resort is located at 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg NJ;

Exclusive Wine Cellar Krug Dinner at Crystal Springs Resort

Exclusive Wine Cellar Krug Dinner at Crystal Springs Resort

Crystal Springs Resort welcomes Krug, one of the most storied houses in Champagne, for an exclusive Wine Cellar Krug Dinner in celebration of the 2004 vintage release on December 14. Krug vintages are only bottled in the best of years and the 2004 is considered an excellent year for Champagne.

Executive Chef Anthony Bucco has created a six-course tasting menu featuring the season’s favorite ingredients to pair with these rich, elegant Champagnes. The evening starts with a reception at Restaurant Latour with Krug Grande Cuvee, a complex, creamy Champagne with notes of hazelnut, nougat, citrus fruits and more. 

Krug Dinner Menu

Canapes + Krug Grand Cuvee

Belon Oyster | Uni | Caviar + Krug Grand Cuvee Brut

Langoustine | Salsify | Vanilla + Krug Grand Cuvee Brut

Chestnut Raviolo | Hen’s Egg | White Truffle + Krug Grand Cuvee Brut

Foie Gras | Sweet Potato | Quince + Krug Grand Cuvee Brut

Pheasant | Apple | Black Truffle + 2004 Krug

Cheese + 2004 Krug

Dinner is $165 inclusive of Krug pairing (tax and gratuity additional). The evening will begin at 6:30pm with a canape reception; seated dinner at 7pm. Reservations can be made at 866.976.7286.

Crystal Springs Resort is located at 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg NJ.



Bird Dinner at Crystal Springs Resort

Bird Dinner at Crystal Springs Resort

Chefs Bucco & Viana

Award-winning Crystal Springs Resort is hosting a fun collaboration between its Chef, Anthony Bucco, and Chef David Viana of Heirloom Kitchen on Sunday October 8th at 7pm in the Chef’s Garden at the resort.

The three course menu will feature each chef’s unique preparations of different birds and fall seasonal vegetables, all cooked in the Chef’s Garden wood fired ovens and stoves. Dishes will be true collaborations with elements from both chefs on every plate.

Some dishes include Chef Bucco’s Pheasant Sausage paired with Chef Viana’s roasted pears and walnuts and Chef Viana’s Stuffed Quail served with Chef Bucco’s baked heirloom beans. Black Dirt Applejack cocktails, Naked Flock hard cider and wines from Alba Vineyard will be paired with the menu.

Seats for the dinner are $105 (tax & gratuity additional) and reservations can be made by calling 855.698.2283.

Chef’s Garden is located at 3 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg, NJ;



2017 NJ Beer & Food Festival 6/16 – 6/18

2017 NJ Beer & Food Festival 6/16 – 6/18

Photo by Crystal Springs Resort

Now in its 9th year, the New Jersey Beer & Food Festival will once again take place at Crystal Springs Resort from June 16 – 18. Crystal Springs’ annual celebration of all things beer happens over Father’s Day Weekend with a Chefs & Brews Dinner, beer tasting featuring over 150 beers, a golf tournament and the Brews Brunch in the Chef’s Garden. Here are the details:

Friday 6/16

Chefs and Brews Dinner at 7pm featuring beer pairings from Jersey Girl Brewing Co., a local craft brewer from Mount Olive, NJ that launched in 2014. Executive Chef Anthony Bucco’s four-course menu features Mangalitsa Charcuterie with whisky soaked cherries, stout mustard and artisan breads; Berkshire Pork Belly with olives, pistachios and avocado; and Porcelet Porchetta with Pine Island potatoes, dandelion and romesco. For dessert, NJ Strawberries hit the sweet spot with lavender, shortbread and whipped yogurt. Dinner starts with a reception of passed canapés and beer cocktails. Tickets are $125.

Saturday 6/17

Brews & Birdies Tourney will be at 9am on the resort’s award-winning Wild Turkey course. The tournament will feature 18 holes of golf with stops for craft beer tastings on 4 different holes. Tickets are $195 and include admission to the Beer Festival tent. Registration for the golf tournament can be made at

Saturday’s showcase event is the Beer Festival, will take place under a soaring tent where beer aficionados can sample over 150 beers, including many craft brews. Crystal Springs’ culinary team will grill delicious Berkshire pork, grass-fed beef, lamb, free range chickens, rabbit and more over open fire pits. Popular cover band Lima Bean Riot is a perennial favorite returning to rock the house with everyone’s favorite hits. Tickets are $75 for 3pm admission ($100 for VIP; early 2pm entry); $35 for designated drivers.

Sunday 6/18

Brews Brunch will be in the Chef’s Garden, a unique “garden-to-table” al fresco dining experience. Guests will enjoy family style dishes like Wood-Fired Mushroom Frittata, Jerk Goffle Road Chicken, Smoked Berkshire Pork Shoulder, 7X Beef & Mangalitsa Sliders and more with growlers of beer. The full menu can be found here. There will be two seatings at 10am and 12:30pm. Brunch is $39 plus tax & gratuity ($19 for kids 4-12, free for 3 and under).

Tickets for Beer Festival events are available at



2017 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival Recap

2017 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival Recap

The 9th annual New Jersey Wine & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort that took place last week is officially over. Renowned Chef Daniel Boulud was the Guest of Honor and proceeds benefited Ment’or, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America.

About Friday

Friday night was a food and Krug extravaganza with a cellar dinner by Chef Boulud and his team and a Top Chefs & Top Wines Dinner featuring three chefs from the season of Bravo’s Top Chef that just concluded: Katsuji Tanabe, Silvia Barban and Casey Thompson. Those three popular chefs cooked alongside uber talented Chef Martyna Krowicka of Restaurant Latour and Pastry Chef Miro Uskokovic of Gramercy Tavern. The feedback about both dinners is out of this world with people who attended raving about it.

About Saturday Afternoon

Saturday was fun-filled with various classes and demos. I attended, as a guest of the festival, the Daniel Boulud Foie Gras Challenge where five NJ chefs competes to produce a foie gras dish worthy of Chef Boulud’s approval. The aromas that greeted me as I entered the room were intoxicating and five busy chefs and their teams were busy concocting praise-worthy dishes for judge, Chef Boulud.

After walking around for a few minutes to take in the sights of each participant’s table, I was approached by festival organizers along with Chef Boulud himself to co-judge the event. What? Me? Chef Boulud himself actually asked me – what a thrill! I joined Chef Boulud and a volunteer judge, Meghan Walker, at the judges table to sample dishes from five talented chefs: Ehnren Ryan of Common Lot, Francesco Palmieri of Calandra’s Il Vecchio Café, David Viana of Heirloom Kitchen, Mike Carrino of Pig & Prince and Matt Laurich and the kitchen staff at Crystal Springs.

While all the dishes were creative and delicious, there could only be one winner: Mike Carrino of Pig and Prince with his take on a French traditional foie presentation and a pour of 1941 Courvoisier. 

About Saturday Night

I’ve always been very vocal about what an amazing festival this is and beyond what others in the area can produce. One of the reasons I feel that way if the Grand Tasting on Saturday night.

Some of my favorite bites of the evening (I liked MANY others and didn’t visit all the tables):

Porcelet Head Taco – Felton

David Felton – Natirar/Ninety Acres: Porcelet Head & Shoulder Taco.

Greg Vassos – Brick Farm Tavern: Beef Tartare.

Chris Siversen – Maritime Parc: Octopus a la Plancha.

Phil Deffina – Char Steakhouse: Prime Dry-Aged Strip Steak.

JR Belt – Stage Left: Pork Belly Terrine.

David Viana – Heirloom Kitchen: Octopus Bolognese with Masa Harina.

Josh Bernstein – Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas: Pasta with Preserved Lemon, Fennel and Shrimp.

Rob Ubhaus – Redux: Venison Carpaccio with Shaved Foie Gras.

Leia Gaccione – South + Pine: Burrata with Roasted Baby Carrots, Sunflower Sprouts and black pepper+cardamom vin.

About Sunday

This was the first time I attended the famous Champagne Brunch as part of the festival. Wow, just wow. Chef Anthony Bucco and his talented team pulled no punches with this spread. As soon as we sat down, we were greeted by the always-lovely Sommelier, Susanne Lerescu with a choice of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label or Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne. Ruinart it was for me and my guest. The room, which held the Grand Tasting the evening before, was completely transformed into a beautiful room with various buffet stations and brunch drinks bar. A lot of hard work went into transforming that room from what it was the previous night. While the options were plentiful, we enjoyed the raw/seafood station, the wild mushroom eggs, the breakfast sandwich station and the carving station. The R&B singer was outstanding and entertaining, nice choice.   

I know I’ve written about this in all my yearly recaps of this Crystal Springs event but it’s a must-attend for any wine and food aficionado in the NJ/NY area. Nobody does it better in a more gorgeous setting.

To stay abreast of events at Crystal Springs Resort, sign up for its newsletter or like its Facebook page.



9th Annual Crystal Springs New Jersey Wine & Food Festival

Grand Tasting - Photo by Crystal Springs

Grand Tasting – Photo by Crystal Springs

Tickets are now on sale for the 9th annual New Jersey Wine & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort, taking place March 31 – April 2. This year, we are excited to announce that one of the most celebrated chefs in the world, Daniel Boulud, will be the Guest of Honor. Proceeds benefit Ment’or, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to inspiring culinary excellence in young professionals and preserving the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. 

Weekend Happenings

Friday March 31

SOLD OUT!!! 8PM – Chef Daniel Boulud is an industry legend, with 14 restaurants around the world and numerous James Beard awards to his credit. Daniel and his team will be cooking in the Wine Cellar for what will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience rare vintage wines from the cellar. The dinner includes a Krug Champagne reception with dishes by Crystal Springs Resort Executive Chef Anthony Bucco ($1,000 plus tax and gratuity).

SOLD OUT!!! 8PM – Top Chefs & Top Wines Dinner featuring three chefs from the current season of Bravo’s Top Chef: Katsuji Tanabe, Silvia Barban and Casey Thompson, alongside Chef Martyna Krowicka of Restaurant Latour and Pastry Chef Miro Uskokovic of Gramercy Tavern. ($225 plus tax & gratuity). 

Saturday April 1

10AM – Perfectly Paired Pastries with Chef Jessie Dardar of Le Petit Temptation Dessert Truck ($35).

11AM – A Conversation & Book Signing with Guest of Honor Daniel Boulud – Enjoy a glass of Champagne as Daniel reminisces about his career and signs copies of his cookbooks. ($50, including a copy of either My Best: Daniel Boulud or DANIEL: My French Cuisine).

11:30AM – 1PM – Marketplace Lunch

12PM – The Art of Fresh Pasta with Chef Silvia Barban (Top Chef Season 14) and Aishling Stevens (Crystal Springs), featuring winemaker Ryan Rech of Beringer ($50).

SOLD OUT!!! 1PM – A Taste of Mexico with Chef Katsuji Tanabe (Top Chef Season 14) and Chef Martyna Krowicka (Restaurant Latour) – refined Mexican dishes with beers and spirits from Mexico ($40).

2PM – Create your own Red Blend with Rodney Strong winemaker Justin Seidenfeld ($35).

2PM – Daniel Boulud Foie Gras Challenge – 4 NJ chefs will compete to produce the winning dish as judged by Chef Boulud ($60).

3PM – An Afternoon in Provence – kick off the spring rosé wine season and enjoy Daniel Boulud’s custom smoked salmon, caviar and more ($45).

3PM – Punch Party – learn how to make the perfect party punch and try punches from top NJ bartenders ($35).

3PM – Secrets of the Crystal Springs Wine Cellar with Wine Director Robby Younes – Robby will open rare wines from the award-winning cellar ($150).

4PM – 7X Ranch: The Perfection of Beef – join Chef Anthony Bucco for a discussion of the prized 7X beef and tasting of this rare delicacy ($45).

4PM – Craft Whiskey Spotlight: Widow Jane Distillery – tastings of this award-winning spirit ($40).

7PM – 10PM; Early VIP admission at 6:30PM – The Grand Tasting returns with 30 top NJ and NYC chefs and winemakers from around the world. The VIP experience will feature Daniel Boulud and 5 acclaimed restaurants ($135 regular, $295 VIP). 

10PM – Meet the Chefs & Winemakers After Party guests can party into the night with a DJ, dancing, open bars and more ($150).

Sunday April 2

10AM – 1PM – Champagne Brunch featuring a sumptuous brunch buffet and free flowing Champagne, the perfect capper to the weekend!

Tickets can be purchased at Rooms can be booked at 855-415-2776.

Hope to see you there!


Restaurant Latour Makes New Jersey Proud

Restaurant Latour Makes New Jersey Proud

Photo by Crystal Springs Resort

Photo by Crystal Springs Resort

For those of you who have visited the incredible 75,000-bottle wine cellar at Crystal Springs Resort, you’ll agree it’s difficult to comprehend the unmatched selection without witnessing it. Equally as outstanding is the culinary program at Restaurant Latour, the refined restaurant at Crystal Springs where Chef de Cuisine Martyna Krowicka crafts creative and delectable dishes under the direction of Head Chef Anthony Bucco. The sophisticated restaurant has again in 2016 been recognized by a number of top wine publications in the US and abroad for its outstanding fine wine collection, including Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and UK’s The World of Fine Wine.

Wine Enthusiast America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants

Perhaps most impressive is Restaurant Latour being named as one of Wine Enthusiast “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” for the third year running. Why is that particular award so impressive, you might ask? Restaurant Latour is the only New Jersey restaurant to make the list, which is published in the magazine’s August 2016 issue, joining the ranks of such esteemed restaurants as Per Se, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Le Bernardin, among others. See the mention and gorgeous photos here:

The World of Fine Wine Three Stars

The World of Fine Wine, the prestigious international wine publication for serious wine aficionados and collectors, has also recognized Restaurant Latour third year running as having one of the world’s best wine lists. For the 2016 “World’s Best Wine Lists,” the magazine’s editors and a group of international wine experts reviewed over 4,500 wine lists from around the world to come up with just over 800 honorees. Restaurant Latour’s wine list was awarded three stars – the highest honor (the ratings are 1, 2 and 3 stars). Restaurant Latour was additionally awarded a Jury Prize, given “at the nomination of individual senior judges, but subject to the approval of the jury as a whole, these prizes recognize wine lists that show distinctive character and flair, offer exceptionally good value, or were particularly strong in a specific wine style. See the award mentioned here:

Wine Spectator Grand Award

Restaurant Latour has once again been awarded Wine Spectator’s prestigious top honor Grand Award, which it has held since 2006 – only 88 restaurants in the world hold the award. Wine Spectator gives its wine list awards to about 3,600 restaurant around the world in three categories from the lowest Award of Excellence to Best of Award of Excellence to Grand Award. See the award mentioned here:

Congrats to the Crystal Springs cellar and Restaurant Latour teams – making us proud in the Garden State.



2016 New Jersey Beer & Food Festival

2016 New Jersey Beer & Food Festival

NJ-Beer-Fest-3-300x200The 8th New Jersey Beer & Food Festival will take place June 25-26 at Crystal Springs Resort at a new location on the corner of Route 94 and Wild Turkey Way. The festival will feature new events for 2016 including a second day of festivities for the first time. The two day extravaganza offers guests beer tastings under the big tent, a beer and chocolate seminar, yoga with beer tasting, golf tournament and more.

Saturday June 25

9AM – Brews & Birdies Tourney on two of Crystal Springs’ award-winning links, Wild Turkey and Ballyowen. The tournament will feature 18 holes of golf and craft beer tastings on 4 different holes. Prizes will be awarded to the winners on each course. Tickets are $195 for Wild Turkey and $205 for Ballyowen. Registration for the golf tournament can be made at 9AM Hoppy Yoga class at the picturesque Crystal Springs Quarry and enjoy a tasting of Schofferhofer Grapefruit ($25) afterwards. 12PM – 2PM – “Chefs & Shorts” Lunch ($45) will be served in the lush Chef’s Garden. 12PM – Beer & Chocolate, a fun, interactive seminar and tasting will showcase a wide variety of beers including Keegan Mothers Milk, Atwater Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale, Sam Adams Nitro Coffee and more ($20). 3PM – 7PM – NJ Beer & Food Festival tasting for adults 21 & over only. Under the tent, beer aficionados can sample over 120 beers, including many craft brews, along with delicious BBQ pulled pork, German bratwurst, spit-roasted Berkshire pork and more. Popular cover band Lima Bean Riot returns to play everyone’s favorite hits ($75). NJ-Beer-Fest-9-300x200

Sunday June 26

12PM – 4PM – NJ Beer & Food Festival family day. Along with being able to enjoy over 150 beers from around the world, families will be welcomed with rides and activities for kids of all ages. There will be a petting zoo, pony rides, three-legged races, face painting in more, while adults can carom off each other playing Knockerball and Human Foosball ($55).  

Tickets for Beer Festival events are available at



Masters of Mixology Dinner at Crystal Springs Resort

Masters of Mixology Dinner at Crystal Springs Resort

On 2/21, Crystal Springs Resort will host a Masters of Mixology Dinner featuring author Warren Bobrow and cocktail expert Christopher James.

Chris JamesThis exclusive event will feature a five-course menu by Executive Chef Anthony Bucco paired with cocktails from two of New Jersey’s premier mixologists. Bobrow will demonstrate a cocktail from his popular series of books then dinner and cocktails will follow in the resort’s award-winning Wine Cellar.

The menu and pairings:

First Course

Amberjack – blood orange/grapefruit/meyer lemon

Le Premier – Reyka vodka, grapefruit, tangerine, Champagne

Second Course

Octopus Chili – parsnip/pumpkin seeds

Sweet River – Glenfiddich 12, cachaça, lime, demerara, Regan’s no. 6

Third Course

Pheasant – fennel/pomegranate/chicory

Monkey Gland – Hendricks gin, orange, grenadine, absinthe

Fourth Course

Lamb – heirloom carrots/honey/clove

The Corsa Cocktail – Monkey Shoulder whiskey, Drambuie, Angostura

Dessert Course

Yogurt – poppy seed/streusel/oro blanco

El Ultimo – Ancho Reyes, Sailor Jerry rum, tawny port

The Masters of Mixology Dinner is $150 per person, inclusive of the food and cocktails; tax and gratuity extra. The event begins with a cocktail reception at 5pm followed by dinner at 6pm in the Wine Cellar. Reservations are extremely limited and can be made by calling 844-207-3203.

Crystal Springs’ Wine Cellar is located at 1 Wild Turkey Way in Hamburg, NJ.



Valentine’s Day at Crystal Springs Resort

Valentine’s Day at Crystal Springs Resort

Crystal Springs Resort will be catering to guests of all types with various dining experiences at its many restaurants for Valentine’s Day weekend.

Restaurant Latour

Executive Chef Anthony Bucco has created a tantalizing 7-course tasting menu that will be served at the jewel-box like Restaurant Latour on both Saturday February 13th and Sunday February 14th ($165, $225 with wine pairing). The guests will enjoy the elegant setting and view, along with superb service and menu that will showcase decadent ingredients such as oysters, black truffles, caviar, uni and wagyu beef. The full menu is below.

The Wine Cellar

Couples can also opt to have a rare dining experience in the renowned Wine Cellar’s Bordeaux Room on February 14th at 7pm. Surrounded by verticals of wine from the storied houses of Bordeaux, the centerpiece of Crystal Spring’s award-winning 135,000 bottle wine collection, guests will enjoy a luxurious five-course menu ($150, $195 with wine pairing). The menu features Fluke Crudo with cara cara orange and poppy seed; Foie Gras Torchon; and Lamb with sweet potato and black truffle.

Crystal Tavern

On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th, Crystal Tavern’s 5-course menu ($85, $120 with wine pairing) will feature Wagyu Beef Tartare with black truffles; Tenderloin of Beef with parsnip and brussels sprouts; and Muscovy Duck with turnips and lentils. The a la carte menu will also be available.

Springs Bistro

The menu at Springs Bistro ($75, $115 with wine pairing) will feature the flavors of Northern Italy with dishes like Chestnut Soup; Tagliatelle with saffron; Orechiette with hazelnuts and winter squash; and Duck Breast with mushrooms and polenta. The Valentine’s Day menu will be served from Friday the 12th through Sunday the 14th.

Kites at Minerals Resorts & Spa

Kites at Minerals Resort & Spa will serve a 4-course menu ($75, $110 with wine pairing) in addition to the regular a la carte menu. Dishes include Steak Carpaccio with shaved black truffles; Prosciutto-wrapped Lobster Tail; and Stuffed Roasted Squab with quinoa and squash. The prix fixe will be available Saturday the 13th from 5pm – 10pm and Sunday the 14th from 5pm – 9pm.

Reservations can be made by calling 844-207-3203.