Stage Left - Roberto Cipresso Wine DinnerOn Friday evening, October 24, Stage Left in New Brunswick, New Jersey, will host a special wine dinner featuring the La Fiorita wines of Roberto Cipresso, one of Tuscany’s greatest winemakers, writers, and educators.

Mr. Cipresso was the winemaker of the famous Brunello of Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, which Stage Left has carried for almost 20 years. With several partners, Mr. Cipresso founded La Fiorita in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, a small town in southeastern Montalcino. His wines are nothing short of amazing. Wines will be poured from the ’07, ‘06, ‘04, ‘03, and ’01, including some riservas.

The menu for this special wine dinner is noted below…

Hors d’Oeuvres: Autumn Bellini

Duck and Root Vegetable Pan Roast: Rosemary and Austrian Pumpkinseed Oil; Wine Pairing: La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2003

Kentucky Fried Pheasant: Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Garlic Gravy; Wine Pairing: La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino, 2007

Roasted Veal: Smoked Polenta, Shibumi Farm Mushrooms, Pancetta; Wine Pairings: La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino, 2006; La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino, 2004; La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino Riserva, 2001

Applejack Poached Pear: Smoked Pear Caramel with Lemon Cream

The cost of this special wine dinner is $169.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 828-444.

Bon Appétit!



Chefs Thomas Ciszak of Chakra in Paramus, New Jersey, and Todd Villani of Terre à Terre in Carlstadt, NJ, are teaming up for a pair of dinners showcasing fall flavors at their respective restaurants.

All produce will be sourced from local New Jersey farms, including Bracco Farms, Terhune Orchards, and Shibumi Farm. The tasting held at Terre à Terre will feature Tavalon Tea.

Chakra - Thomas CiszakOn Monday, October 6, 6:30 p.m., at Chakra in Paramus, the chefs will prepare a five-course menu paired with wines. The complete menu is noted below…


Sautéed Carolina Trout: Slow-Roasted, Pickled Beets, Horseradish & Mustard; Wine Pairing: Albariño, Bodega Castro Martin, 2012

Viking Village Scallops: Cauliflower Purée, Lardon; Wine Pairing: Chablis, Christian Moreau, 2012

Lavender-Honey Glazed Duck: Duck Fat Potatoes, Fennel; Wine Pairing: Grenache, Beckmen Estate, 2010

48-Hour Root Beer Sous Vide Short Ribs: Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts; Wine Pairing: Cabernet Franc, Macari Vineyards, 2013

Pear Tart & Mousse: Foie Gras Ice Cream; Wine Pairing: Vidal Ice Wine, Equifera, NV

The cost of the paired wine dinner at Chakra is $89.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 556-1530.


Terre a Terre - ChefOn Wednesday, October 22, 7:00 p.m., at Terre à Terre in Carlstadt, the chefs will collaborate on a five-course dinner paired with Tavalon Teas. The tea pairing by Chris Cason, co-owner and tea sommelier for Tavalon, features a selection of teas from around the world, served hot, iced, and cold-brewed. Terre à Terre is a BYO restaurant.) The complete menu is noted below…

Amuse: Jasmine Green Tea (China) mixed with Peppermint (Germany)

Cured Duck Pastrami: Parsnip, Shibumi Farm Mushrooms; Tea Pairing: Earl Grey (Sri Lanka) blended with Lapsang Souchong (China)

Arctic Char: Carrots & Peas; Tea Pairing: Chun Mee Green Tea (China) with Dried Lemongrass (Thailand)

Black Berkshire Pork Belly Terrine: Lavender Cabbage, Kaffir Lime, Apple; Tea Pairing: Pai Mutan White Tea (China) with Peppermint (Germany) and Korean Plum (South Korea)

Elysian Fields Farm Lamb Chops: Pumpkin, Wheat Berries; Tea Pairing: Royal Golden Yunnan Black Tea (China)

Peanut Dacquoise: Milk Chocolate, Sea Salt; Tea Pairing: Chamomile (Egypt), Lemongrass (Thailand), Peppermint (Germany), Rooibos (South Africa), and Vanilla Beans (Madagascar)

The cost of the paired tea dinner at Terre à Terre is $79.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). BYO. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 507-0500.

Bon Appétit!



Nicholas - Fall Walk Around Wine TastingOn Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 p.m., Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank, New Jersey, will host another in its popular series of walk-around wine tastings. This tasting will feature 16 wines from around the world that are perfect for quaffing on crisp fall nights.

These wines pair beautifully with fall flavors: roasted meats, hearty soups, and harvest vegetables. Passed hors d’oeuvres and artisanal cheeses will be served.

Domaine Gasnier Cravantine NV

Giovanni Almondo Arneis Vigne Sparse 2013

Corzano e Paterno Il Corzanello Bianco 2013

Roc des Anges Cotes du Roussillon Blanc Effet Papillon 2013

Domaine du Carrou Sancerre Blanc 2013

Domaine Sève Pouilly Fuissé Terroir 2012

Domaine de la Citadelle Le Viognier 2012

Domaine Barmes-Buecher Riesling Tradition 2012

Juliana Layla Pinot Noir Carneros 2012

Masut 6 Pinot Noir 2012

Three Zinfandel Contra Costa 2012

Unti Vineyards Barbera Dry Creek Valley 2012

Stolpman Vineyards Sangiovese Santa Ynez 2010

Ojai Vineyard Syrah Santa Barbara County 2012

Carl Roy Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley East Side 2012

Fabre Montmayou Malbec Patagonia Barrel Selection 2012

The fee for the fall walk-around wine tasting is $75.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity), $50.00 of which goes toward the first wine purchase.

For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (732) 345-9977.

Bon Appétit!



Pilsener Haus Biergarten - Interior 2From Friday, September 26 through Saturday, October 25, the Pilsener Haus & Biergarten, 1422 Grand Street, Hoboken, New Jersey, will host their 3rd annual Oktoberfest with a special music, special menu, and special events.

The area’s most authentic Biergarten kicks off Oktoberfest on Friday, September 26 with a Ramstein keg-tapping and Bavarski, New York City’s bad boys of polka.

Pilsener Haus’ Viennese Chef Thomas Ferlesch (formerly of Café des Artistes) will offer a special, traditional Oktoberfest menu all month. Specials will include:

Sautéed Chicken Paillard: Asparagus, Prager-Schinken (Prague Ham), Fontina Cheese, Roasted Summer Potatoes

Faschierter Braten: Country-Style Meatloaf, Creamy Mushroom Sauce served with Cucumber, Beet & Lentil Salad

Schweinshaxen für Zwei: Roasted Pork Shank for Two, Polish Pickles, Bavarian Mustard, Horseradish, Kraut Salad (served Fridays, Saturdays, some Sundays)

Every Friday and Saturday of Oktoberfest, Pilsener Haus & Biergarten will feature live polka bands like Alex Meixner, the hardest working man in polka.

The New York metro area’s most rocking Oktoberfest ever! The Haus’ taps will be flowing with Oktoberfest imports. There will also be mug-holding contests, Lederhosen Contests, and giveaways.

For more information, please call (201) 683-5465.

And at Satis Bistro, Café & Wine Bar, 212 Washington Street, Jersey City, New Jersey, an Oktoberfest Beer Pairng Dinner will be held on Thursday, September 25, at 8:00 p.m. Chef Michael Fiorianti’s menu will include:

Leberwurst Paté: Pickled Beets & Onions, Horseradish, Dusseldorf Mustard, Warm Salted Pretzel Roll

Beer-Braised Mangalitsa Bratwurst: Bacon & Apple Sauerkraut

Jaeger Schnitzel: Breaded Veal Cutlet, Wild Mushroom Gravy, Crisp Shallot, Sour Cream Spaetzle

Apple Strudel: Vanilla Bean Gelato

Each dish will be paired with a premium import or American craft Oktoberfest beer.

The cost of the beer-pairing dinner is $45.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 435-5151.

Bon Appétit!



Paradiso RestaurantOn Wednesday, September 10, 6:30 p.m., the popular “Drinking Italy” happy hour wine event returns to Philly’s Paradiso Restaurant & Wine Bar.

Patrons are invited to snag a seat at the bar or one of the high-tops and settle in for a fun, informative, easy-going wine tasting. Enjoy three distinct pours companioned by a savory pairing plate from Chef Lynn Rinaldi.

This month the tasting heads to Abruzzi and Campania with 3 pours paired with 3 bites for just $20.10. Wine specialist R. Michael Hodges from Vintage Imports will be on hand to talk tasting notes.

Call. Reserve. Or just pop on down.

Paradiso Restaurant & Wine Bar is located at 1627 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, (215) 271-2066.

Bon Appétit!



Nicholas7On Tuesday, September 23, 7:00 p.m., Restaurant Nicholas in Red Bank, New Jersey, will present a special six-course “Tastes of America” menu, drawing inspiration from the nation’s sizzling culinary hotspots.

From Texas BBQ to the restaurant’s famous beignets, the kitchen will explore a variety of iconic American dishes, while adding Nicholas’ sophisticated touch, paired with a group of extraordinary vintages…

Pacific Rim: Kona-Crusted Ahi Sashimi, Cured Pineapple, Poi Purée; Wine Pairing: 2012 Touraine, Les Trois Chênes, Vincent Ricard

Deep South: Gulf Shrimp and Grits; Wine Pairing: 2011 Forster, Riesling, Mariengarten, Kabinett, Eugen Müller

New England: Day Boat Chatham Cod, New England “Clam Chowder”; Wine Pairing: 2012 Langhe, Chardonnay, Educato, Elio Grasso

Texas: Classic Texas BBQ, Cornbread; Wine Pairing: 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 40th Anniversary, Caymus

New Orleans: Beignets à la Café du Monde; Wine Pairing: 2003 Vin Santo, Lucignano

The cost of the “Tastes of American” dinner is $135.00 per person; $185.00 with wine pairings (plus tax & gratuity).

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (732) 345-9977.

Bon Appétit!



Gladstone Tavern ExteriorFrom Wednesday, September 17, through Tuesday, September 23, the Gladstone Tavern, 273 Main Street, Gladstone, New Jersey, will celebrate the Feast of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, with a special vintage Italian menu.

DALLA SBARRA – Sgroppino: Ketel One, Tenute Arnaces Prosecco, House Lemon Sorbet; Al Capone: Bulleit Rye, Carponno Antica Vermouth, Campari; Sottimano Langhe Nebbiolo 2010: Full-Bodied with Refined Tannnins; Fattoria Lucignano Chianti 2010: Bright Cherry and Red Fruit, Soft Tannins

PER LA TAVOLA – Garlic Bread: Toasted House Ciabatta, Garlic, Olive Oil, Herbs, Four Cheeses; Eggplant Parmesan “Fries”: Spicy Tomato Sauce

PRIMO CORSO – Escarole & White Bean Soup: Garlic Sausage, Chicken Broth, Rosemary; Antipasto Salad: Dried Salami, Aged Provolone, Olive, Pickled Vegetable, Tomato, Celery, Romaine, Garlic Vinaigrette; Baked Clams: Nine Littleneck Clams, Garlic, Oregano, Breadcrumbs, Parmesan

PIATTI PRINCIPALI DI PASTA – Shrimp Scampi Linguine: Garlic, Herbs, Crushed Red pepper, Olive Oil, White Wine; Lasagna Bolognese: Baked Layers of Pasta, Meat Ragout, Cheese; Sweet Sausage – Broccoli Rabe Rigatoni: Sun-Dried Tomato, Roasted Garlic, Chicken Broth, Pecorino

PORTATA PRINCIPALE – Grilled Bronzini “Picatta”: Lemon, Capers, Shallot, Garlic, Sautéed Escarole, Grilled Polenta Cake; Chicken Scarpariello: Chicken Breast, Hot Sausage, Mushroom, Potato, Pepper, Onion, Red Wine Vinegar; Grilled Pork Chop Gambiata: Hot Peppers, Onion, Garlic, Roasted Potato; Veal Parmesan: Tomato Sauce, Cheese, Garlic Roasted Broccoli Rabe

DOLCE – Tiramisu: Espresso-Soaked Lady Finger, Mascarpone Mousse, Cocoa Powder; Zeppole: Cooked to Order, Honey, Toasted Almond, orange Zest; Gelati: Campari-Orange, Prosecco-Peach, Gianduja (Chocolate-Hazelnut)

*Menu subject to change.

For more information, or to make reservations, please call (908) 234-9055.

Bon Appétit!



Pluckemin Inn - San GennaroOn Friday evening, September 12, the Pluckemin Inn in Bedminster, New Jersey, will be serving a special menu to commemorate the annual feast of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples.

The menu noted below will be the only menu available for the evening…

ANTIPASTI (Choice of) – Bruschetta: Grilled Bread, White Beans, Cherry Tomato, Ricotta; Peperoni Ripiena: Stuffed Peppers, Arborio Rice, Fennel Sausage; Frittatine di Maccheroni: Spaghetti Fritters, Soppressata, Pecorino, Mozzarella; Prosciutto della Casa: House-Cured Ham, Melon Salad, Mint, Aged Balsamic; Insalata Caprese: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Basil, Fresh Mozzarella

PRIMI (Choice of) – Paccheri allo Scarpariello: Fresh Tomato, Parmigiano, Pecorino, Basil, Garlic, Chiles; Rigatoncini con Ragu Napoletano: Plum Tomato Sauce, Pork Sausage, Pecorino Romano; Gnocchi alla Sorrentina: Marinara Sauce, Parmigiano, Basil, Mozzarella; Spaghetti con Cozze: Mussels, White Wine, Garlic, Chiles, Lemon, Parsley; Pasta e Fagioli: Cavatelli, Heirloom Beans, Pancetta, Escarole, Plum Tomato

SECONDI (Choice of) – Salsiccia con Peperoni e Patate: Sweet Fennel Sausage, Roasted Peppers, Fingerling Potatoes; Braciole di Manza: Braised Beef, Pine Nuts, Marjoram, Provolone, Tomato; Melanzane alla Parmigiana: Roasted Eggplant, Tomato Sauce, Basil, Parmigiano, Mozzarella; Zuppe di Pesce: Shrimp, Calamari, Mussels, Clams, Fresh Cod, Tomato Broth; Saltimbocca di Maiale: Pork Scaloppine, Prosciutto, Sage, Anson Mills Polenta; Pollo alla Cacciatora: Braised Chicken, Peppers, Mushrooms, Pancetta,Tomato Soffritto

DOLCI (Choice of) – Trio of Cheeses: Marinated Olives, Pine Nut Nougatine, Grissini, Fig Marmalade; Tartufo: Chocolate, Brandy, Cherry; Sfogliatelle: Sweet Ricotta, Orange, Pistachio Ice Cream; Biscotti: Italian Cookie Sampler

The three-course dinner prix fixe is $65.00 per person; the four-course prix fixe, $75.00 per person (plus beverages, tax & gratuity).

Last year’s event sold out quickly for all seating times. Therefore, the restaurant encourages making reservations early. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (908) 658-9292.

Bon Appétit!



Chakra - Hecht & Bannier Wine DinnerOn Tuesday, September 9, 6:30 p.m., Chef Thomas Ciszak of Chakra Restaurant in Paramus, New Jersey, will prepare a special five course dinner paired with the extraordinary southern French wines of Hecht & Bannier. The speaker of the evening will be François Bannier, founder of Hecht & Bannier.

Hecht & Bannier produces wines that are reference points for the Languedoc, Roussillon, and Provence in the south of France. Each of their wines is typically based on 5-10 different parcels found to be of exceptional quality. These blends are then vinified and bottled to best represent each appellation in the range.

All Hecht and Bannier wines are aged for two years in large, traditional “Demi Muids” (600L) wood barrels that insure preservation of fruit quality and impart “resistance” to the wines, allowing them to age well. A portion of each wine is aged in neutral concrete vats to focus the expression of fruit and appellation.

Hecht & Bannier Wine Dinner Menu…

Reception: Passed Hors d’Oeuvres; Wine Pairing: Prosecco, Lamberti

First Course: Tarte Flambée, Greens, Raspberry-Grenache Vinaigrette; Wine Pairing: Rosé Hecht & Bannier, 2013, Languedoc (40% Syrah, 35% Cinsault, 25% Grenache)

Second Course: Escargot, Garlic Quinoa, Ramps, Lavender; Wine Pairing: Blend Hecht & Bannier, 2008, Languedoc (80% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 10% Carignan)

Third Course: Lamb Sirloin, Roasted Fennel, Fig Jus; Wine Pairing: Minervois Hecht & Bannier, 2011, Languedoc (45% Syrah, 45% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Carignan)

Fourth Course: Braised Short Rib of Beef, Truffled Parsnip; Wine Pairing: Faugeres Hecht & Bannier, 2011, Languedoc (55% Syrah, 35% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan)

Fifth Course: Almond Cake, Orange-Cognac Ice Cream

The cost of the Hecht & Bannier wine dinner is $69.00 per person (plus tax & gratuity). Seating is limited. For more information, or to make reservations, please call (201) 556-1530.

Bon Appétit!



Gladstone1On Thursday, October 9, 7:30 p.m., the Gladstone Tavern, 273 Main Street, Gladstone, New Jersey, will host a special beer tasting dinner headlining the extraordinary offerings of the Founders Brewing Company.

Foie Gras Terrine: Braised Apple, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Rubeaus Drizzle; Brew Pairing: Founders Rubeaus

Seared Sea Scallop: Organic Herb Broth, Potato Nest; Brew Pairing: Founders Centennial IPA

Braised Beef Cheek Pierogi: French Onion Sauce, Horseradish Cream; Brew Pairing: Founders Porter

Duck Confit: Spicy Caramel Demi, Carrot Purée, Rice Cake; Brew Pairing: Founders “Dark Penance” Black IPA

Carrot Cake Roulade: Spiced Mascarpone Cream, Chocolate, Breakfast Stout Ice Cream; Brew Pairing: Founders Breakfast Stout

*Menu is subject to change.

The cost of the Founders Brewing Company beer tasting dinner is $60.00 per person (by reservation only). For more information, or to make a reservation, please call (908) 234-9055.

Bon Appétit!