My 3-star review of Brian’s - chef/owner Brian Held‘s French/Italian bistro in Lambertville that opened earlier this year in the space on Kline’s Court that had been No. 9 – is in the August issue of New Jersey Monthly. Check out the online version here.
NJ Seafood is Having Its Moment
I don’t know if it’s just coincidence or what, but this summer the state’s top-tier chefs are showcasing fish and seafood from local waters like never before. Just a few of the most exciting examples:
The Bernards Inn: For the Garden State Bounty dinner he’ll be cooking at the on August 9, executive chef HouseCorey Heyer will combine NJ seafood with ingredients from the Inn’s own garden. In a nutshell (or perhaps sea shell):
Hors d’oeuvre of smoked blue fish, Cape May salt oysters, clams (in the form of a shooter), blue crab, and lobster (in the form of a summer roll).
Four courses featuring fluke, Barnegat Inlet scallops, skate, and striped bass.
Dessert is fish-less, and rightly so: Jersey peach tart Tatin with local honey and lavender ice cream.
Nicholas: On August 23, Nicholas Harary will feature a one-night-only Tastes of the Sea menu at his top-rated Red Bank restaurant. Cape May salts, NJ Canyon bluefin tuna, Jersey blue crab (joined by sea urchin – not a NJ creature, but oh my!), Barnegat Light scallops, and lobster. $125, or $175 with wine pairings. For the full menu, details, and reservations, click here.
Ryland Inn: No, Ryland 2.0 in Whitehouse is not open yet, but I hear tell it will be soon. Meanwhile, I had a chance to preview the kinds of things executive chef Anthony Bucco has up his chef-jacket sleeve when he guest cheffed at the Stone House in Warren one evening in June. NJ seafood starred in several courses of a memorable meal, among them a perfectly nuanced crudo of yellowfin and yellowtail with baby herbs and Jersey strawberries, and steamed black bass with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and a puree of English peas and mint that was the embodiment of spring in a bowl.
Win a Trip to Portugal!
The trade association ViniPortugal has launched a U.S. Facebook contest with a grand prize of a five-day trip to Portugal. The contest runs between now and September 25th, with the winner announced on September 28. I have to admit I haven’t read the rules, but you might want to. Just click here.