Tag Archives: Ruth Reichl

Ryland Inn in Edible Jersey; 5 NYTimes Restaurant Critics Discuss the Process; You (and Your Kid) Can Be an Archaeologist for a Day; Judy Wicks in Stockton

My Interview with Chef Anthony Bucco & Owner Jeanne Cretella of the Ryland Inn

In the just-out Fall 2013 issue of Edible Jersey I ask these key players: Can this legendary restaurant really be reborn and, if so, what’s their strategy and how’s it going. Here’s the link to the digital edition. The story starts on page 66.

Edible jersey cover fall 13

Times’ Reviewers Dish on the Art of Restaurant Reviewing

In case this somehow got by you, here’s a terrific video featuring Pete Wells, Ruth Reichl, et al on subjects close to my heart, such as assigning stars, going incognito, overused adjectives, what they won’t eat, etc. Someday, when I’m done reviewing NJ restaurants, I promise to spill my own beans on all of the above subjects – and more.

The Following has Nothing to do with Food or Dining but…

Morven archaeology

… at one time I worked for the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and have always been fascinated by archeology. If you have, too, this Saturday (9/14) you – and a child, if you so choose – can participate in a dig at Morven, the 18th century former NJ Governor’s mansion in Princeton. Click here for details. It’s free and open to the public. Oddly, the Morven website doesn’t give enrollment info. To reserve a spot, phone (609) 924-8144 x106 or email Michelle Sheridan at msheridan@morven.org.

Legendary White Dog Cafe Restaurateur @ Stockton Farm Market

Judy Wicks book

Interesting slate of events for September at the Stockton Farmers Market, beginning this Sunday (9/15) with legendary restaurateur Judy Wicks:

Sunday, September 15 Judy Wicks will be signing her recently published memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business at the market on Sunday September 15th for a discussion of her book which is about her life as a girl coming of age in the sixties, living a year in an Eskimo village, co-founding the Free People’s store, her accidental entry into the restaurant business, the creation of the White Dog Cafe in Philly and her eventual role as a pioneer in the localization movement. She’ll talk about how entrepreneurs, as well as consumers, can follow both mind and heart to build a more compassionate economy that will bring us greater security, and happiness. Join her Sunday, September 15th from 10am-1pm.

NJ Monthly’s Top 25 Restaurants & My Review of the (new) Saddle River Inn; Restaurant News & Events; Summer Reading

Whew! Lots jam-packed into this post: tacos, champagne & small plates, mind-blowing edible food packaging, and, of course, the NJ Monthly restaurant issue – including results of its annual readers’ poll, the top 25 critics’ picks, and my review of how the Saddle River Inn is faring under new ownership.

August 2013 NJ Monthly: The Restaurant Issue

NJ Monthly cover aug13

The Saddle River Inn has been one of the state’s most revered and beloved restaurants for decades. When I reviewed it a few years back, I thought it had lost its edge. Earlier this year it got new owners – one of whom is the chef. Here’s my review of the newly reborn Inn.

In this same issue: Top 25 NJ restaurants

In this same issue: Results of the 2013 Jersey Choice Restaurant Poll

Restaurant News & Events

 The Taco Truck: A new brick-and-mortar version is opening in August in Morristown. The first ‘brick’ location of this small but growing,sustainability-conscious group is in Hoboken, but Morristown will become the flagship. Get the scoop from this Morristown Patch post.

Mistral & CoolVines: You’ll have to hurry, but these two Princeton stars are teaming up on Wednesday, July 24 at 7 pm for a 3-course pairing of Champagnes and small plates at (normally byob) Mistral. $65 all-inclusive. Details and reservations (a must) here.

Elements: Scott Anderson will welcome super-hot chef Jason Yu of Oxheart in Houston to his flagship restaurant on Friday, August 9, for a collaborative dinner focusing on wild and cultivated local mushrooms. Joining them will be Alan Kaufman of Shibumi Farm. Details here.

 Smithsonian Magazine Does a Terrific Food Issue: Who Knew?

Smithsonian Mag June 2013

I am so glad I picked up this past June’s issue. In addition to stories by Ruth Reichl, Mimi Sheraton, and Roy Blount, Jr. I particularly got a kick out of these:

Burning Desire: The hottest chile pepper in the world – it’s not what you think it is – by the inimitable, offbeat science writer Mary Roach. (Her latest book, Gulp!, is beguiling and repulsive in equal measure. I highly recommend it.)

The Future in the Making: This short, back-page entry focuses on the WikiCell, a surprisingly attractive, futuristic edible food packaging concept. Designed by a Harvard bioengineer, it functions as both wrapper and box.

Groundbreaking NY Times Review; Truffle Season at NJ Restaurants

Am I the only one who thinks it’s a huge deal that NY Times restaurant critic Pete Wells crossed the Hudson for his review of Thirty Acres in Jersey City in last Wednesday’s Dining section? Maybe not as huge as George Washington crossing the Delaware, but still…

English: Washington Crossing the Delaware 1856...

English: Washington Crossing the Delaware 1856-71 George Caleb Bingham oil on canvas, 93 x 146 cm, Chrysler Museum of Art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I admire Wells for being open-minded, and more importantly I think he is the best Times reviewer since Ruth Reichl, both for his culinary insights and his skilled prose. Do you agree or disagree? btw: Wells’ review was a rave. Here’s the link to the restaurant Thirty Acres. Congrats to everyone there!

Truffle Menus at Avenue & Nicholas

Have these restaurants snagged some kind of special deal on black truffles, despite the Perigord beauties going for record prices? I don’t know and I don’t care. All I know is they’re offering some pretty super-sounding menus that also appear to be fantastic bargains. (Everything being relative, of course).

Avenue, Pier Village, Long Branch

French-born executive chef Dominique Filoni has two distinct truffle menus on tap for January, each at $50 for 3 courses.

From now through the 15th:Avenue Truffle Scrambled Duck Egg
Scrambled Duck Eggs Infused with Truffles

Truffle Risotto with Celeriac, Pine Nuts, and Truffle Espuma

Valrhona Chocolate Truffles
(Pictured above: Avenue’s scrambled duck eggs infused with truffles. Eggs are sealed in a container for a couple of weeks to absorb the aroma, with truffle shavings added during final prep.)

Then, at Avenue from January 15th through the end of the month:

Sea Scallop and Truffle Carpaccio
Trio of Braised Beef Tongue, Oxtail, and Tripe with Truffle Brunoise
House-made Truffle Ice Cream

Chef Filoni is also offering to add shaved truffle to any dish for $15, and will point to which dishes are paired best with truffles.

Nicholas, Red Bank

Black Perigord Truffle, wikipedia.org

Black Perigord Truffle, wikipedia.org

Starting Thursday, January 10th until “the supply of fresh truffles runs out,” here’s what Nicholas Harary and crew are featuring at NJ’s top-rated restaurant, for $125:

Amuse: Black Truffle and Foie Gras Macaroon
First Course:Wild Mushroom, Celery Root Puree, Coconut and Black Truffle
Second Course: Lobster, Black Truffle Dashi, Tokyo Turnip, Red Wine
Third Course: Duck Egg, Parmigiano Reggiano, Tagliatelle, Black Truffle    Fourth Course: Duck Confit and Black Truffle Pot Pie
Dessert: Strawberry, Black Truffle, Sabayon
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