Tag Archives: Whole Earth Center


River Horse Moves Brewery to Larger Space in Ewing

??????????There’s no arguing that this Jersey brew company’s original home in an historic brick factory in Lambertville had its charms, but what it lacked was space to grow. So earlier this year River Horse co-owners Chris Walsh and Glenn Bernabeo moved their fermentation tanks and brewing vats to Graphics Drive in Ewing.

“We had 10,000 square feet in Lambertville, spread over two floors and four rooms with low ceilings,” Walsh told me at his company’s ribbon cutting ceremony on October 10th. By contrast, the new space is an open 25,000 square feet all on one level and with 20-foot-plus ceilings. It is divided into a tasting room, brewing and packaging room, and grain mill.

Courtesy George Point

Courtesy George Point

Some walls sport graffiti by Jersey City artists, like this one behind Chris Walsh:

Courtesy George Point

Courtesy George Point

The team has already added 3 new 40-barrel fermentation tanks – and that’s just a start. “In theory we will never have to move,” Walsh said. “We have eight times the capacity we did at Lambertville.” This means they can make more styles of their unfiltered beers, as well as brewing more of their current popular offerings, some of which they produce year-round (like my favorite, River Horse Hop-A-Lot-Amus double IPA) and others which are seasonal, such as wintertime’s Belgian Freeze Ale and Oatmeal Milk Stout.

Courtesy George Point

Courtesy George Point

All 13 River Horse employees made the move over to Ewing, including head brewer Chris Rakow, in the brown shirt below. (Check out the size of the scissors Chris Walsh is holding!)


Brewery tours and tastings commence on Saturday, October 19, and are conducted on the hour from noon to 5 pm. Reservations are required. River Horse t-shirts and other swag should also be available for purchase, as are take-out beer and growler pours. For reservations and information visit www.riverhorse.com.


Photos from Princeton March Against Monsanto

This past Saturday was a gorgeous day for the music, speeches, and march up Nassau Street from the Whole Earth Center to the Princeton Battle Monument by city hall.

March organizer Theresa Lam

March organizer Theresa Lam

Can you spot the anti-GMO cow?

Can you spot the anti-GMO cow?

Just your typical father and son

Just your typical father and son

Gotta start 'em young

Gotta start ’em young

The crowd gathers

The crowd gathers

Upcoming March Against Monsanto; Theater District Dining; Green Restaurant Nominations

Marching to Label GMO Foods

March Against Monsanto logo

This Saturday, October 12, thousands of people around the world are expected to march against ag-biotech giant Monsanto – including in Princeton where the focus will be on getting foods containing GMOs labeled. Organizers of the Princeton march, which kicks off at 2 pm at the Whole Earth Center, include that natural foods store, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ), Food & Water Watch of New Jersey, and GMO-Free NJ. Read about what the march will entail, as well as background info on the GMO debate, in my revealing interview with march organizer and NJ food activist Theresa Lam in the October 9 issue of US 1.

Mercato in NYC’s Theater District (& a Bonus Find)

When I am dining before or after a play or concert, I try to pick a place within walking distance. This past Sunday I needed a lunch spot near Playwrights Horizon, where I was going to see Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play. (Yes, the Mr. Burns in the title refers to the Simpsons character. I had snatched tickets after reading this glowing review by Ben Brantley in The NY Times.)

Mercato roomMy choice was Mercato, an unpretentious, surprisingly authentic Italian spot on 39th Street between 8th & 9th Avenues. We enjoyed good-size pours of a Montepulciano ($9) and a Falanghina ($11), as well as excellent espresso. Here are highlights of what we ate in between.

The special app of tuna tartare, below, doesn’t come cheap ($16) but it’s uncharacteristically generous and beautifully accented with pomegranate seeds, capers, and slivers of yellow pepper:


The best dish of the meal, hands down, was this pasta dish from the regular menu. The cavatelli-like pasta is actually Sardinian malloreddus, here enveloped by braised wild boar ragu ($18):


To be honest, my choice – fettuccine with mushrooms – couldn’t compare. Since we still had time to kill before the performance, we strolled around the outdoor flea market I had spotted at the end of the block. Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is a real find! Among the treasures I snagged were a pair of vintage Trifari earrings, which I haggled down to $12. God, how I love New York!
Mercato on Urbanspoon

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

New Jersey Finalists Announced for Nature’s Plate Award:
Vote Now for Your Favorite Green Restaurant

Nature Conservancy logoIn a previous post I urged you to nominate your favorite ‘green’ restaurant for the Nature Conservancy’s national award. The eateries with the most nominations have entered the finalist voting round, which is open from now until October 15 at 5 pm EST. The finalists in New Jersey are:

Ninety Acres, Peapack
Eno Terra, Kingston
Local Urban Kitchen, Brielle
BluePlate, Mullica Hill

All of them embrace green practices like using sustainable seafood, free-range and grass-fed meat, organic produce, locally sourced food, and tap water (rather than bottled water). Vote for your favorite at www.nature.org/naturesplatenj.

To sweeten the deal, one voter will be chosen at random to receive a $100 gift certificate to the winning restaurant. The winning restaurant and lucky voter will be announced October 17.

GMO Film, Talk, Dine; Dairy Day Camp; Eat Drink Local Week; Museums Focus on Food

If you’re concerned with who controls the future of your food and how to feed your family in a GMO world (and, frankly, you should be), then this is for you

The Princeton Environmental Film Festival has teamed up with the Whole Earth Center and Mediterra restaurant for 2 days of events centered around the new film, GMO OMG, produced and directed by Jeremy Seifert. Here’s the rundown:


Film Screening & Post-screening Q&A with Jeremy Seifert

When: Tuesday, July 9, at 6:30 pm
Where: Garden Theater, Princeton
How: Tickets are $7.50 in advance (plus $1.40 eventbrite fee)

GMO Talk by Producer/Director Jeremy Seifert

When: Wednesday, July 10, from 2 to 3 pm
Where: Whole Earth Center, Princeton
How: Free (with free kids’ activities); pre-register

Dinner & Discussion with Jeremy Seifert

When: Wednesday, July 10, 6:30 pm
Where: Mediterra Restaurant, Princeton
How: $40/person, 3 courses (optional wine pairing, $20)

For tickets, more information, or to sign up for any of these events, click here.

Still Looking for a Summer Activity for Your Child?


My two – now grown – would have loved this: Dairy Day Camp at Fulper Farms in Lambertville. 5- and 3-day day camps – offered for kids 8 to 13 – include activities like leading, washing, clipping, and showing your own calf; making homemade ice cream, butter, and milkshakes; and seeing a cow give birth. Camps run through July and a bit of August. I haven’t checked out price or availability, but you can get some details here, then contact Molly Pfaffenroth at 609.651.5991 or camp@fulperfarms.com.

Dine Out Now for Eat Drink Local Week

Eat Drink Local Week 2013

We’re smack in the middle of this annual event presented by Edible Jersey magazine. Through this Saturday (June 29) more than 60 NJ restaurants – including our top-rated ones – are featuring special prix fixe or supplemental menus that celebrate our local, seasonal bounty. Check out the list here and then make your reservation!

Exhibits in NY, DC & NJ Focus on Food

Shop Life @ Tenement Museum

Shop Life @ Tenement Museum

I’ve been making the rounds of major art, culture, and history museums on the East Coast, taking a big bite of their special exhibits that focus on food, drink, and dining. Dig into what I found at the Smithsonian, the American Museum of Natural History, The Tenement Museum, Grounds For Sculpture, and Liberty Hall at Kean University, here in the June 26 issue of US 1.

Border Crossings: San Francisco Neighborhood Restaurant Finds

Customarily when I dine outside the boundaries of the Garden State it’s to cross either the Hudson or the Delaware. Recently, I trekked clear across the country.

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA a...

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA at sunset taken from the Marin Headlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nopalito & Izakaya Yuzuki: Delicious Food at Reasonable Prices


Nopalito on Urbanspoon

You know how it’s always the locals who know the best little neighborhood places in a big city? Well, imagine my delight when the “locals” in the know turn out to be one of my own daughters and her boyfriend. Nopalito – there are actually two locations because it’s just that popular – serves up simply the best straightforward Mexican food I have eaten outside of Mexico City.

There are two key factors that account for Nopalito’s success. First, many of the ingredients are organic, sustainable, and local. Masa, made from organic corn, is ground in-house and tortillas are hand-formed. Chorizo and queso fresco are made on the premises, too. Blue Bottle coffee is served. Key factor number two: the two chefs behind Nopalito, Jose Ramos and Gonzalo Guzman. They started out at Nopalito’s parent restaurant, the more formal Nopa (which serves Northern California cuisine), where as part of their cooking duties they were tasked with making the “family” meals for staff. These were so delicious, Nopa’s owners offered them their own spinoff.

Nopalito’s setting is casual in the extreme and its short menu covers the basics. Don’t let either of those factors fool you into thinking it’s run of the mill. Ceviche and carnitas are revelations. Tamales change with the season and should not be missed. (In July, I downed the Empipianado, with pork and two kinds of seeds. It’s now replaced with a summer squash, corn, and tomato version.) A pitcher of margaritas would not be amiss (Pueblo Viejo Blanco, Combier, agave nectar, and lime), for $33. Prices, for the quality, are ridiculously reasonable – like $15.50 for carnitas or carne asada and $4.50 for a beef gordita. Plus, the staff is friendly and although Nopalito doesn’t take reservations, you can call ahead when you’re on your way and get put on the list.

Izakaya Yuzuki

Izakaya Yuzuki on Urbanspoon

I learned about Izakaya Yuzuki, on the other hand, from Princetonian Fran McManus, longtime marketing director of that town’s Whole Earth Center. Yes, it’s Japanese – but it doesn’t serve sushi. Instead, it focuses on cooked dishes featuring “koji,” the fermenting agent used since ancient times to make many essential Japanese foods and ingredients, including (but not limited to) sake, miso, and soy sauce.

Vegetables 3 Ways

Vegetables 3 Ways (Photo credit: I am Jeffrey)

In the introduction to her menu, Izakaya Yuzuki‘s owner, Yuko Hayashi, explains that “the preparation of koji…demands much time and close attention. As a result, this beautiful and sophisticated tradition as been cast off for faster, cheaper methods” and mass production. Whatever – the food speaks for itself.

We happened to hit this small storefront restaurant in the Mission (near Tartine) at the tail-end of a weekday happy hour, when both food and sake were offered at prices we couldn’t resist. We loaded up with small plates (and by small I mean a couple of bites each) and a flight of 4 sakes (each in an amazingly different style). Among the many standouts was a combo dish of 3 vegetables of the day that featured smoky sautéed spinach and sweet potatoes with crisp skins and custardy insides.  Sweet clams and Japanese cucumbers in red miso also pleased, but what blew me away was – and I realize this sounds dreadful – squid cooked in its own liver. Couldn’t get enough.

Grilled Chicken Meat Ball

Grilled Chicken Meat Ball (Photo credit: I am Jeffrey)

Among the consistently excellent larger dishes (although still not exactly large) are Kobe beef tataki and whole, air-dried horse mackerel – crispy skinned and butterflied – with daikon ponzu sauce. More conventional but no less lip-smacking are grilled chicken wings and chicken meatballs on a skewer. As at Nopalito, many of the ingredients are fresh, organic, and from local and sustainable sources, and even the soy sauce and tofu are made in-house.

Izakaya Yuzuki offers 24 sakes, as well as beer, shochu, and a nicely curated list of European wines that are well matched to the fare. One final detail not to be missed: the restroom has a high-tech heated toilet seat.