US 1Fall Dining Issue; Double Brook Farm’s Kinder, Gentler Slaughter Facility; Slow Food & Chef Todd Villani Team Up

6 Transformed and/or Transformative Central NJ Restaurants

Chris Bryan, Liberty Hall Pizza. Photo by Guy Ambrosino

Chris Bryan, Liberty Hall Pizza. Photo by Guy Ambrosino

In this year’s fall dining issue of US 1 I turn the spotlight on new or newly transformed eateries that have bravely planted their flags in towns either not known as dining hubs (hello, Hightstown) or that once were hubs but have lost a step or two (apologies, New Brunswick). Here’s the story, in the September 23rd issue. Other locales include Lambertville (photo above), West Windsor, Stockton, and Trenton.

Robin & Jon McConaughy Add a USDA-Inspected Slaughter Facility to Double Brook Farm, For “A Kinder Kill”

NJ Monthly cover sept 2015Read why the couple is committed to providing a compassionate end for their pasture-raised animals, and how the design of their abattoir was influenced by Temple Grandin, here in my story in the September issue of New Jersey Monthly.


Chef Todd Villani & Slow Food NNJ Team Up to Benefit School & Community Gardens

Todd Villani, Terre e Terre (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Todd Villani, Terre e Terre (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Villani’s Carlstadt restaurant, Terre e Terre, is a fitting site for this farm-to-table, 4-course benefit dinner. In her NY Times review, Fran Schumer wrote that Villani “prepares some of the best locally sourced New American dishes in New Jersey.” (I tagged his smoked Berkshire pork loin “perfect” when I reviewed his previous work for a Union City restaurant.)

On Thursday, October 8 at 7 pm, Villani will offer the following menu, at $80 for Slow Food members and $85 for everyone else. The price includes tax and tip. Be sure to BYO wine and beer.

Amuse: Shibumi Farm deviled mushroom stuffed with truffle/duck/thyme

First Course: Fire-roasted butternut squash soup/crispy farro/sage

Second Course: Sockeye salmon/cauliflower puree/bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts/charred chive and caper vinaigrette

Third Course: Slow and low-braised short ribs/goat cheese potato gratin/ sauteed greens/cipollini onions

Dessert: Apple croissant bread pudding/cinnamon gelato

Seating is limited and tickets must be bought in advance by Sept. 30 at Slow Food NNJ’s website,

And just because it bears repeating, here is the explanation of Slow Food’s mission of good, clean, and fair food for all:

Good: Our food should be tasty, seasonal, local, fresh, and wholesome
Clean: Our food should be produced in ways that preserve biodiversity, sustain the environment, and ensure animal welfare – without harming human health
Fair: Our food should be affordable by all, while respecting the dignity of labor from field to fork.

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