Grissini 21st Anniversary Special

Grissini 21st Anniversary Special

GrissiniGrissini is celebrating its 21st anniversary this month and will be featuring a special five-day promotion.

The critically acclaimed contemporary Italian restaurant known for “Vera Cucina Italiana” (true contemporary Italian cuisine) will take 21% off your lunch or dinner food bill from Monday, 8/25 – 8/29 (alcohol and other beverages not included.)

The 21% discount may be applied to the entire menu, including Grissini’s signature dishes, such as the Ravioli d’Aragosta (hand-crafted ravioli filled with lobster in a light brandy & paprika tarragon cream sauce), Dentice in Crosta di Rafano e Papvero (snapper crusted in horseradish & poppy seed) or the hugely popular 16 oz. grilled sirloin steak.

Grissini – Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632 – 201-568-3535.



Pig & Prince Hosts Gil Family Estates Wine Dinner

Pig & Prince Hosts Gil Family Estates Wine Dinner

Pig & PrincePig & Prince presents Spanish wines from the regions of Calatayud, Rias Baixas, Almansa and Vino de la Tierra.

Wednesday, March 26th at 7pm. Five-course tasting menu:

First Course

2012, Albarino by Kentia

Scallop crudo / grapefruit granita / mustard green/ radish/ jalapeno

Second Course

2011 Tempranillo by Bodegas Tridente

Morcilla / pallea rice cake / shrimp / cilantro crema

Third Course

2012 Atteca (100% Garnacha) by Bodegas Ateca

Roast venison / curried cauliflower puree / lacinato kale/casis demi glace


2011 “La Atalaya” (Granacha, Monastrell) by Bodegas Atalaya

Marinated sirloin flap/fried suchokes/compound butter


El Maestro Sierra, Pedro Ximenez Sherry

Chocolate-sherry souffle

$69 per person for five courses and pairings.

Reservations are limited, please call 973-233-1006 to book your seats now!!

End of Month Sunday Brunch at A Toute Heure

End of Month Sunday Brunch at A Toute Heure

I had heard from several foodie friends about the fabulous meals served at A Toute Heure, so when I had guests in town, I secured a reservation for the brunch, exclusively served on the last Sunday of the month.

A Toute Heure, which opened in May 2007, offers seasonal foods sourced locally to feature the freshest produce, meats, dairy and more.  The menu is ever-changing depending on what chef de cuisine Kara Decker is presented by co-owner Andrea Carbine from her market sourcing visits.

The cozy space seats 38 and is bright and inviting with its high ceilings and large windows.  The wait staff is young, informed and helpful about the menu and ingredients.  A Toute Heure is a BYOB which makes dining at this lovely bistro an affordable option.

For our party, brunch began with hot bowls of powdered sugar-coated beignets ($8).  Beignets can also be served coated in cinnamon sugar.  A Toute Heure’s version of the puffy, dough balls are light and addicting and were gone moments after being delivered to our table.  The coffee is strong and simply great.  It’s a special blend created for A Toute Heure by Small World Coffee of Princeton, NJ.

There were ten brunch entrées available when we visited and each was described in a way that made it extremely difficult to decide on.  We selected the breakfast tart ($9), the housemade jalapeno cornbread with spicy beef chili ($16), the egg-in-a-hole ($16) and the brunch burger ($16).  The breakfast tart begins with a hand-made puff pastry base that is topped with crispy pancetta, melted Manchego cheese and a barely set farm-fresh egg.  The combination of the buttery pastry with the tangy cheese and crispy ham is a must-try.  The cornbread topped with chili, cheese and two sunny side up eggs was flavorful, but a bit dense and heavy for one of my guests.  The egg-in-a-hole  consists of a thick slice of sourdough bread with two fried eggs baked in the center then served with crispy, high quality bacon.  My guest who ordered the brunch burger stated it might be the best he’d had.  The house-ground beef patty is stuffed with Gruyere cheese and topped with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions then sandwiched between English muffin halves.  The burger is paired with uber thin house chips.

The vibe of the place is simply fantastic and I look forward to visiting for dinner very soon.

232 Centennial Avenue

Cranford, NJ 07016


Lunch: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Dinner: Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.

Brunch: the last Sunday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.



5-Course Highlands Menu at Restaurant Latour in Northern NJ

Wanted to share this amazing value from Wine Spectator Grand Award Winner, Restaurant Latour at Crystal Springs:

New! 5-Course Highlands Menu Paired With Wine

Local Farmed John Dory Vermicelli
Nature Valley Swiss Chard, Root Vegetable Saffron Sauce
Union Home Chardonnay, Unionville, New Jersey, 2008

Vernon Valley Suckled Grass Fed Veal
Appaloosa Bean And Black Dirt Onion Cassoulet

Plaid Piper Farm Smoked Chicken Dumplings
Crystal Springs Tomato Fondue, Parmesan Broth, Basil Oil
Cam Jam #1, Pinot Noir & Chambercin, Unionville, New Jersey, 2008

Bobolink Farm Aged Cheddar
Rosemary Poached Winter Fruits
Port, Vat #15, Unionville, New Jersey, NV

Pan Fried Tomkins Apples
Nutmeg Ice Cream, Cinnamon Tuile
Vat #15 Port Wine Sabayon

$85 Per Person*
Reservations Required ~ 973.827.5996, Ext. 3

Chef de Cuisine ~ John Benjamin
Sommelier ~ Susanne Lerescu

*Prices Do Not Include Applicable Tax & Gratuity. Member discounts do not apply.
Restaurant Latour ~ One Wild Turkey Way, Hardyston, NJ 07419 ~ 973.827.5996, Ext. 3

Have a Penchant for Fabulous Food? Café Panache Delivers

Have a Penchant for Fabulous Food? Café Panache Delivers

Our party of four was greeted warmly upon arriving at this cozy, upscale restaurant and was seated at a table with great chairs.  Yes, I’m mentioning chairs as I believe restaurants often omit splurging on this important décor item.  The smallish space boasts a hip and wealthy crowd (can you say “Real Housewives of New Jersey”?).  Since Café Panache is a BYOB, we’d brought four wines to enjoy.

The first wine we opened was a terrific Prosceco – La Marca Di Conegliano Valdobbiadene.

Tuna Tartare

Tuna Tartare

The second wine we uncorked was a 2003 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon.  We drank it with our starters, which were outstanding: Tuna tartare with wilted seaweed on an avocado and wasabi puree, a wild mushroom and arugula salad with shaved parmesan and a pan-fried pulled pork cake.  The tuna was served in a very generous portion and was a great contrast to the wilted seaweed.  The intriguing pulled pork dish was simply great.  Pulled pork was formed into a patty then breaded and pan-fried to create a crispy exterior.  The huge parmesan shavings on the wild mushroom salad were delectable.

The third bottle we enjoyed was a 2004 The Dead Arm Shiraz and it was served with our entrees: A perfectly-seared loin of venison, braised short ribs with dark beer and black molasses, a stellar mustard seed-crusted and sautéed calves liver, and a special of the evening, a crispy John Dory on a bed of wonderfully al dente farro.  Braising the short ribs in beer and molasses is a great way to prepare this popular dish – nice twist by Chef Kevin Kohler.  The star of the evening was the sautéed calves liver.  This dish was

Short Ribs

Short Ribs

simply divine.  Perfectly cooked to ensure its tenderness, and full of peppery flavor.

Our final wine was a 2003 La Chapelle de Calon and we drank it with our desserts: a cheese plate with solid options, a white chocolate mousse and a crème brulée.  The mousse and the crème brulée were standard and okay.

I made a reservation well in advance for this popular restaurant and had very limited options, so plan ahead if you want to dine at Café Panache on a weekend night.  The restaurant occupies what was formerly a Long John Silver’s, but you’d never guess it by the beautiful décor and warm atmosphere.  If you haven’t dined at this restaurant, definitely put it on your radar for special occasions.

130 East Main Street
Ramsey, New Jersey
(201) 934-0030