undici1On Sunday, December 11, 2016, Undici Taverna Rustica, 11, West River Road, Rumson, New Jersey, will host a holiday wine tasting from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Over 40 wines will be available for tasting, and guests may take their purchase home with them (all wines available in gift boxes). The event is complimentary to the first 200 guests, so you may wish to arrive early.

For more information about this event, please contact Undici at (732) 842-3880.

Bon Appétit!



redux-restaurant-interiorOn Sunday, December 11, 2016, 5:30 p.m., Redux: The Restaurant, 3 Central Avenue, Madison, New Jersey, will host an eight-course BYO tasting menu, personally created by chef/owner Robert Ubhaus and sous chef Michael Martello, Jr. The duo will take classic dishes and personalized them; turning them into their own version of modern classics.

The Chefs recommend pairing your favorite Champagnes with the following menu…

Beet Tartare: Cured Egg, Nori

Scallop: Boudin Noir, Lentils, Potato

Lamb: Bacon, Truffle, Foie Gras, Brioche

Spaghetti: Squid Ink, Smoked Mussels, Egg Yolk

Monkfish: Brussels Sprouts, Capers, Lemon, Brown Butter

Quail: Chasseur Stuffing, Celeriac

Ossau Iraty: Persimmon, Brioche

Blood Orange: Chocolate, Kelp

The cost of the modern classics eight-course dinner is $100.00 per person (plus tax & 20% gratuity), BYOB.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call Redux at (973) 845-6263.

Bon Appétit!



Arugula Ristorante Italiano

275 Wilmington West Chester Pike (Route 202)

Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

(610) 358-0888


arugula-interiorTucked away in a tiny nondescript strip mall next to a Great Clips Hair Salon, Arugula is easily passed by without notice. And the homey, retro-style interior, while certainly comfortable, isn’t about to set off any aesthetic bells and whistles either. No, the drawing card here is clearly the food. Owned and operated by the Lubrano family, the cuisine is inspired by the traditional home cooking of central and southern Italy tweaked by a number of innovative touches.

arugula-aranciniAssuaging your hunger pangs with slices of crusty Italian bread aided and abetted by herb-infused olive oil, you contemplate the menu. Antipasti, you note, round up the usual suspects… from bruschetta to calamari to grilled polenta with cherry tomato & sausage sauce to Prince Edward Island mussels in red or white. All worthy of attention. Of special note, however, is the Assagi di Aranini, a sampling of the kitchen’s homemade risotto balls. A specialty of Sicily, these are rice balls flavored with saffron, stuffed with vegetables, cheese, or meat, and then breaded and deep-fried. Uncommonly delicious and the perfect prelude to any meal.

arugula-spinach-saladThe restaurant also does a number of interesting takes on salads. Peppery arugula, for example, is combined with diminutive orange segments & julienne of fresh fennel and tossed in a light lemon olive oil dressing. The grilled romaine hearts also have a great deal to recommend them. Accompaniments include caramelized onion, goat cheese, crispy pancetta, and tangy balsamic vinaigrette. The table favorite, however, proved to be the Spinaci e Fichi (pictured), spinach leaves companioned by dried figs, candied pecans, gorgonzola, and an assertive Dijon olive oil dressing.

arugula-capellini-all-arugulaAs you move on to the entrées, Arugula offers excellent choices of meat, fish, and fowl… But let’s not forget the pastas, which are particularly well prepared. And at the top of my list is the Capellini all’Arugula, angel hair pasta in a cherry tomato arugula sauce with shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese. This is a relatively simple presentation as pasta dishes go… but all the more sublime because of its apparent simplicity. For starters, the angel hair, properly al dente, sports just the right texture. Then there’s that marvelous sauce that dances across the palate with beguiling light-as-a-feather flavors that keep you coming back for more. The crowning touch…? The sensuously salty tang of Pecorino Romano.

arugula-pasta-w-clamsComing in a close second in the pasta sweepstakes is the linguini with clams – which actually turned out to be capellini – in white wine broth. Once again, the pasta is just the right texture; and the clams are at the very peak of good health. But with dishes of the nature, the determining factor usually turns out to the broth. Clam (or mussel) broth is occasionally rife with what could only be described as a rather “funky” flavor and/or aroma. This is due to a variety of possible circumstances… none of them very pleasant. You needn’t worry, however, as Arugula’s rendition passes muster on all counts.

Continuing in a piscatorial vein, when the monkfish medallions make a guest appearance as a nightly special, be sure to take advantage of your good fortune. Known for its compact white flesh that is often compared to lobster meat, monkfish exhibits a mild, pleasant flavor and unique texture. The lean flesh tends to dry out if overcooked; but the kitchen prepares it to moist & meaty perfection and serves it up in a lovely white wine lemon sauce companioned by equally well prepared fingerling potatoes and broccoli florets. Not to be missed.

If there is an acid test for Italian restaurants, it is generally veal – and Arugula passes with flying colors. There are several options here: Alla Parmigiana, breaded and topped with tomato sauce & mozzarella; Piccata, sautéed in a lemon white wine caper sauce; Marsala, sautéed in a mushroom marsala sauce; Alla Chesapeake, saffron cream sauce with jumbo lump crabmeat, peas & mushrooms; Involtini al Cognac, rolled with arugula, pancetta, and Fontina cheese in a Cognac mustard sauce; Ciociara, sautéed in a light cherry tomato sauce topped with ground sausage & smoked mozzarella; and Amalfitana, sautéed in a light cherry tomato sauce and topped with arugula, jumbo lump crabmeat and mozzarella. Quite a lineup. Chicken breast may also be prepared in the same manner.

arugula-veal-medallionsAll the veal dishes are highly recommended. Recently sampled, however, was a particularly noteworthy variation on the theme. The veal medallions were topped with sliced eggplant, zucchini, tiara of mozzarella, and presented in an exceptional white wine sauce. The veal itself was perfectly tender with just the right amount of “bite”; the veggies that topped the medallions were just the proper texture; and the light sauce caressed rather than smothered the objects of its affection. An absolute winner in every respect.

arugula-lemon-cream-cakeWhen it comes to dessert, both the cannoli and tiramisu are made on the premises. The restaurant also serves up some excellent representatives from bindi fantasia nel dessert, a company that originated in Italy and is now also based in the United States. My nod, however, goes to the exquisite lemon cream cake from a local bakery (pictured). The texture is as smooth as silk; and the flavor is just tart enough to refresh rather than overwhelm the palate.

Arugula isn’t perfect – I mean, what restaurant is? – but it is a reasonably priced, friendly, unpretentious neighborhood eatery that hits the mark with soul-satisfying regularity. And the fact that you may tote along a vintage(s) of your own choosing also helps alleviate any undue strain on your wallet.

Bon Appétit!



crystal-spring-resort-glenfiddich-dinner-at-springs-bistroOn Thursday, December 8, 2016, Springs Bistro at Crystal Springs Resort, 3 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg, New Jersey, will host a special Glenfiddich dinner. Featured will be canapés and cocktails with live music at the Bistro Bar; this will be followed by a four course dinner paired with four different single malts. Master of Whisky Jim Patterson will host the evening and speak about the types of whisky paired with Executive Chef Anthony Bucco’s menu. Cigar aficionados may complete their evening with cigars on the Fire & Water Deck

The complete menu and single malt pairings are noted below

Scallop: Smoked Cerignola Olives, Cauliflower and Golden Raisins; Scotch Pairing: Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Barrel Reserve

Muscovy Duck: Poppy Seed Spätzle, Cauliflower; Scotch Pairing: Glenfiddich 15 Solera Reserve

Roasted Lamb: Kabocha Squash, Orchard Apples; Scotch Pairing: Glenfiddich 18

Bittersweet Chocolate Sponge: Salted Caramel, Peanut Brittle; Scotch Pairing: Glenfiddich 21 Grand Reserve

The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m.; dinner at 7:30 p.m.

The cost of the Glenfiddich dinner is $129.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). Reservations are required. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (855) 583-2847.

Bon Appétit!



stage-left3On Thursday, November 24, 2016, Stage Left, 5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey, will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving menu from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

First Course (Choice of) – Butternut Squash Soup: Chestnut Herb Salad… Endive & Arugula Salad: Blue Cheese, Candied Walnuts, Grapes… Shibume Farm Mushroom Salad: Goat Cheese Mousse, Jamon Vinaigrette… Country Pâté: Cornichon, Pickles, House-Made Mustard

Main Course – Local Turkey: Chestnut Stuffing Sweet Potato Purée; Choice of: Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Roasted Parsnips, Carrots & Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest & Applejack… Butternut Squash Gnocchi, Lemon Thyme Brown Butter & Pecans, Roasted Parsnips, Carrots & Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry Sauce with orange Zest & Applejack

Dessert (Choice of) – Toasted Coconut Sabayon… Pear & Cranberry Bread Pudding… Pumpkin-Seed Milkshake, Chocolate Chip Cookies & Pumpkin-Seed Brittle… Baked Caramel Apple Streusel… Molten Valrhona Chocolate Cake

The cost of the traditional Thanksgiving menu is $59.95 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). The restaurant’s à la carte menu will also be available. All dinner guests will also receive the fixings for a late night turkey sandwich to take home.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 828-4444.


catherine-lombardi-3On Thanksgiving Day, Catherine Lombardi, 5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, New Jersey, will be offering a special family-style holiday menu from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Antipasti: Pizza Rustica

Macaroni Course (Choice of) – Fettuccini, Roasted Garlic, Pepper Flakes, Tomato & Mussels…Garganelli, Truffle Cream, Prosciutto, Asparagus… Orecchiette, Sausage (hot or sweet), Garlic, Broccoli Rabe… Spaghetti, Marinara… Long Fusilli, Walnut Basil Pesto Cream… Pappardelle, Bolognese… Lasagna… Eggplant Parmesan… Caesar Salad

Turkey (American) Course – Natural Turkey with Sausage Stuffing, Broccoli Rabe, Polenta, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes

Dessert (Choice of) – Zabaglione with Fruit… Mrs. Palmisano’s Cookie Plate… Pumpkin Cheesecake… Chocolate Hazelnut Bread Pudding… Tiramisu

The cost of the special holiday menu is $49.95 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). The restaurant’s à la carte menu will also be available.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 296-9463.

Bon Appétit!



On Thursday, November 24, 2016, the Gladstone Tavernthanksgiving4, 273 Main Street, Gladstone, New Jersey, will be serving a special Thanksgiving family-style menu for the entire day, beginning at 12:00 noon.

Soup: Butternut Squash Bisque, Smoked Ham Hock, Dried Kale… Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup, Natural Broth, Dill

Family-Style Servings: All-Natural Brined Turkey (Honeysuckle Farm, PA)… Hand-Carved Country Ham (North Country, NH)… Herb-Crusted Salmon (True North, CAN)… Harvest Quinoa (Vegan)

Family-Style Sides: Cranberry Relish… Country-Style Turkey Gravy… Mushroom-Sage Stuffing… Buttered Green Beans… Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts… Caramelized Sweet Potato… Buttermilk Whipped Potato… Parker House Rolls… Melick’s Farm Apple Cider

Dessert Table: Traditional Pumpkin Pie… Bourbon Pecan Pie… Dutch Apple Pie… Chocolate Layer Cake… Cranberry Cheesecake… House-Made Vanilla Ice Cream… Fresh Baked Bookies… Coffee, Tea

The cost of the Thanksgiving family-style menu is $46.00 per person for adults; $16.00 per person for children under 10 (plus beverages, tax, and 22.5% gratuity) For more information, or to make reservations, please call (908) 234-9055.

Bon Appétit!



albaRestaurant Alba, 7 West King Street, Malvern, Pennsylvania, will be offering “Thanksgiving to Go,” preparing everything for your holiday feast but the turkey. All items come in disposable, aluminum pans with simple reheating instructions.

The complete Thanksgiving menu is noted below…

Side Dishes: Green Beans, Brown Butter, Marcona Almonds, $7.00 per person… Truffled Mashed Potatoes, $6.00 per person… Brussels Sprouts, Maple, Pancetta, $6.00 per person… Vermont Cheddar Potatoes au Gratin, $7.00 per person… Butternut Squash, Brown, Butter, Hazelnut, $6.00 per person

Entrées: Honey & Chipotle Glazed Overnight Pork Shoulder, $70.00, serves 10-12… Lasagna of Ricotta Cheese, San Marzano Tomato, $45.00, serves 8-10… Baked Potato Gnocchi with San Marznao and Parmesan, $9.00 per person, minimum of 6

Additions: Cranberry Sauce, $15.00 qt, $25.00 2 qt… Turkey Gravy, $15.00 qt, $25.00 2 qt… Squash & Apple Soup, $15.00 qt, $25.00 2 qt

Dessert: Tiramisu with Pumpkin Mascarpone, $6.00 per person

The deadline for ordering has been extended until tomorrow, Saturday, November 19th, 3:00 p.m. Items will be available for pick up the afternoon of Wednesday, November 23rd. For more information, or to place an order, please call Restaurant Alba at (610) 644-4009.

Bon Appétit!



harvest-seasonal-grill-wine-bar-glen-millsSide dishes are the second best part of Thanksgiving, which is why Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar Restaurants are offering “Sidesgiving.” If you make the turkey, Harvest will make the side dishes.

The entirety of the restaurant’s farm-to-table, local & organic side dishes are precooked and ready to reheat at home, with all instructions and packaging included.

The following side dishes will be available…

Lancaster Butternut Squash Soup… Serves 4-5… $18.00

Warm Butternut Squash & Asiago Drip… Serves 10-12… $38.00

Organic Green Bean Casserole… Serves 10-12… $35.00

Organic Sausage Cornbread Stuffing… Serves 10-12… $46.00

Mashed Sweet Potatoes… Serves 10-12… $35.00

Roasted Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes… Serves 10-12… $35.00

Local & Organic Mac & Cheese… Serves 10-12… $40.00

Warm Autumn Quinoa Salad… Serves 8-10… $35.00

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar Restaurants are located in Glen Mills, PA, (610) 358-1005… Harrisburg, PA, (717) 545-4028… Philadelphia, PA, (215) 662-1100… North Wales, PA, (267) 460-8986… Moorestown, NJ, (856) 581-0044… Radnor, Pa, (484) 584-4975. For more information, or to place an order, please call the appropriate number and ask to speak to a manager.

Bon Appétit!



crystal-springs-thanksgivingOn Thursday, November 24, 2016, Crystal Springs Resort, 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg, New Jersey, will offer five options for Thanksgiving celebrations.


Grand Cascades Lodge will host a Thanksgiving buffet with live music from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Emerald Ballroom. Guests will enjoy an array of seafood and antipasti; a salad bar with roasted apples; hot corn chowder; a carving station with honey-glazed smoked ham, herb-roasted turkey with cornbread stuffing and other trimmings, as well as other hot entrees. A bounty of desserts will include pumpkin pie, apple pie, pear tart, Italian cheesecake, cookies assorted pastries and fresh fruit. The buffet is priced at $49.95 for adults; $24.95 for children aged 4-11; children under 4 are free (tax & gratuity are additional)


Restaurant Latour will be serving a five-course Thanksgiving tasting menu from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Executive Chef Anthony Bucco and Chef de Latour Martyna Krowicka have created a menu full of fall flavors and luxurious twists on traditional holiday ingredients. The complete Thanksgiving menu is noted below…

Orchard Apples: Caviar, Uni, Browne’s Point Oysters

Chestnut Angolotti: Brown Butter, White Truffles

Monkfish: Romesco, Corn Pudding

Heritage Turkey Croquette: Autumnal Vegetables, Stuffing Crumble

Pumpkin Roasted in Hot Ashes: Honey, Milk Skin, Spice Bush Berries

The cost of Restaurant Latour’s Thanksgiving tasting menu is $125.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).


Springs Bistro at Grand Cascades Lodge offers an Italian take on Thanksgiving, serving a three-course menu from 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The cost is $59.00 for adults; children 4-11, $21.00; children under 4 are free (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

Shaved Carrot Salad: Pistachio, Capers, Parmesan… or… Autumn Squash Soup: Pancetta, Sage

Traditional Turkey Dinner with all the appropriate trimmings

Ricotta Crostata… or… Apple Pie


Crystal Tavern will serve an all-American celebration of the season with a three-course prix-fixe menu priced at $59.00 per person for adults; children 4-11, $21.00; children under 4 are free (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

Corn Chowder: House-Smoked Bacon, Peanut Potatoes… or… Brussels Sprouts Salad: Cranberries, Walnuts, Pecorino

Traditional Turkey Dinner with all the appropriate trimmings

Bourbon Pecan Pie… or… Apple Turnover


Diamond Ballroom at Minerals Resort & Spa, Route 94, Vernon, New Jersey, is another option for families, serving an expansive buffet from 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There will be a carving station, pasta station, cold selections, entrées, as well as a kid’s corner. The cost is $49.95 for adults; $24.95 for children 4-11; children under 4 are free (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

For more information about Thanksgiving Day dining, or to make reservations, please call (855) 977-6473.

Bon Appétit!



Chakra3On Thursday, November 24, 2016, Chakra Restaurant, West 144 Route 4, Paramus, New Jersey, will be serving a three-course Thanksgiving feast from 12:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Appetizer (Choice of) – Caesar Salad: Romaine Hearts, Lemon Confit, White Anchovies, Parmesan Crisp… Mesclun Greens: Fines Herbes, White Balsamic Vinaigrette… Roasted Red & Golden Beet Salad: Walnuts, Pears, Confit Onions, Caveman Blue Cheese… House-Cured Duck Breast: Roasted Pumpkin, Apples, Arugula, Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette… Kabocha & Butternut Squash Soup: Cashew Nuts, Apples, Yuzu… Horseradish-Crusted Crab Cake ($8.00 Supplement): Snow Pea Shoots, Mustard Seed Vinaigrette

Entrée (Choice of) – Brandy-Maple Brined Goffle Road Turkey: Cornbread Stuffing, Chestnuts, Yams, Roasted Squash, Baked Terhune Farm Apple, Cranberry Sauce… Horseradish-Crusted Salmon: Beets, Watercress, Mustard Seed Velouté… Vegetarian Eggplant Tart: Sacred Chow Tofu, tomato, Bell Pepper Coulis… Chili-Cinnamon-Glazed Chilean Sea Bass ($8.00 Supplement): Potato Wrapped Shrimp, Baby Bok Choy, Lemongrass Nage… Berkshire Pork Tenderloin: Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potato Purée… Applewood Smoked Bacon, Apple Cider JusFilet Mignon ($8.00 Supplement): Roasted Fall Vegetables, Truffled Fingerling Potatoes, Terhune Farm Apples, Pinot Noir Reduction

Dessert (Choice of) – Pumpkin-Pineapple Cake: Compressed Pineapple, Walnuts, Gingerbread Icing, Maple-Caramel Sauce… Warm Valrhona Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding: Macerated Berries, Vanilla Ice Cream… Goat’s Milk Cheesecake: Figs, Port Wine, Honey-Rosemary Ice Cream… Peanut Dacquoise: Caramelized Bananas, Jivara Milk Chocolate Chantilly, Hawaiian Sea Salt

The price of the three-course Thanksgiving Day menu is $49.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity). Children’s à la carte menu is also available.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 556-1530.

Bon Appétit!