The Black Napkin Treatment

Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 4:18pm  |  COMMENTS (22)

Lambchops_1You’ve heard of the white glove treatment, but at Montclair’s newest French, Passionne on Walnut Street, we got the black napkin. Service is so attentive, that when the hostess noticed one in our party wearing a black skirt, she offered her a black napkin. Why, we asked? So her skirt wouldn’t get that any lint on it from a white napkin. It was a little gesture, but it said a lot about Passionne.

OK, sure, we know you’re saying. "yes, but you can’t eat a napkin." True, but you can and will eat Passionne’s wild mushroom tart with Gruyere and herbs, (and get your own, because appetizer portions are perfect for one, but a bit skimpy for two). We also sampled the foie gras, prepared with a Hannibal Lectoresque-fava bean puree and cassis reduction (yum). Entrees are generous and deliciously complex — lamb chops (above) with warm chick pea and goat cheese salad, Long Island duckling with a red currant reduction and below, the classic steak frites…

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Teardown Photo Archives

Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 10:59am

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Putting 2006 To Bed

Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 9:21am  |  COMMENTS (57)



My Ballot Box

Baristaville’s big stories of 2006. Vote for your fave…

Microburst!
Hempstead – Christopher Court – Crisco!
Exploding manhole covers!
Upper Montclair train station is toast
4 Duryea Road saved, landmarked
Ted Mattox lawsuit/listening night
Eminent domain in Bloomfield
Whole Foods opens in West Orange (hooray!)
Red Cheetah opens (ugh!)
Cuban Pete’s sangria troubles



View Results


Of course, if we had to pick a personal favorite…

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The Gift Where You Keep Giving

Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 8:12am  |  COMMENTS (94)

The first batch of appraisals arrived in time for the holidays and you talked about it here. Now there’s more. From the Star Ledger

“Shock. Terror. Horror,” James Abraham of Wildwood Avenue said of his reaction to his new assessment, the product of Montclair’s first property revaluation since 1989.
Last week, numerous residents turned up at Montclair’s main library for informal meetings with Appraisal Systems appraisers acting as hearing officers.
At the library, the company set up displays bearing the pictures of homes and their pricetags from sales going back to the dawn of 2005. The examples were eye-opening.
88gordonhurst.jpg On Gordonhurst Avenue, a 1925 Colonial with 4 bedrooms and 1,959 square feet of living space (left) sold for $770,000 in May 2006.
On nearby Waterbury Road, a 1927 Colonial with 5 bedrooms and 3,223 square feet of living space sold for $1.1 million a year earlier, in May 2005.
They were but two of many examples from “neighborhood 18,” a region bounded by Grove Street and Valley Road to the east and west and Bellevue and Watchung avenues to the north and south.

Still, no answers as to what these letters actually mean in monthly payments…

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Build Your Own Baristaville Barbie

Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 4:07pm  |  COMMENTS (37)

We got the following email and wondered why Baristaville didn’t make the line of “New Jersey Barbie” dolls. Read on and then feel free to create specs for Glen Ridge Barbie, Bloomfield Barbie, Montclair Barbie, Verona, West Orange, etc…

Summit- Chatham – Short Hills Barbie.
This princess Barbie is only sold at the Short Hills mall. She comes with Kenneth Cole 4-inch clunky shoes, an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, and a Mercedes-Benz SUV with hand held Cell Phone. Options include tummy tuck, face lift, and workaholic Ken.
Westfield Barbie
This outwardly conservative Barbie is adorned with a silver Tiffany & Co. silver heart chain necklace with matching ‘Please Return to Tiffany’ heart bracelet. This Barbie also comes with a gas guzzling pearly white Cadillac Escalade fully decorated with a soccerball sticker, LBI sticker and VT sticker and is used to drive her kids 2 blocks to school and park illegally in front of local Rialto movie theater blocking traffic and picking up Starbucks Mocha-lattes. A bonus is her husband Wall-Streeter Commuter Ken.

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Those Wacky Montclair Council Folk

Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 9:03am  |  COMMENTS (43)

If you were out shopping or busy cooking or at the movies on Christmas Eve, you may have missed Ted Mattox getting the Phil Read treatment. From the Star Ledger, here are the highlights…

Last week, the confrontation was ratcheted up when in a counterclaim, his colleagues assert that Mattox is “unfit to fulfill his oath of office.” In the legal papers, Mattox is accused of offering to pay off his slate’s old $13,000 campaign debt if Remsen would get “on board” with Mattox’s idea to increase councilor’s salaries from $5,000 to $20,000. The counterclaim likens it to a bribe.
Mattox has denied ever making such an offer. In an interview last week, he said his proposal was only to double the salaries to $10,000 and that he never offered anyone money to support the plan.
In July, the exchanges got particularly heated.
Gerald Tobin, the deputy mayor, demanded an apology from Mattox for publicly accusing his colleagues of a “cycle of corruption.” Mattox refused. A debate about the definition of corruption ensued.
“Not doing things by the letter of the law,” Mattox said. “Corruption means the erosion of protocol.”
Tobin, an attorney, shot back: “You have your own definitions. It means taking money illegally.”

Here’s the definition of corruption if it will help. Meanwhile Mattox has kept his sense of humor, says Read. Remsen? Not so much…

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Catching Up With Montclair CFO Chatter

Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 8:45am  |  COMMENTS (25)

In case you missed it in comments here, there’s more intel about the new CFO for Montclair and how it might involve Glen Ridge…

The CFO postion is not part time at $120,000.
It is as follows…
1. The appointment as Chief Financial Officer/CMFO is effective January 1, 2007, with the expectation that you will work the equivalent of one day per week for Montclair and be in the office on average once per week. You will receive a stipend of $462 per week for this service.
2. The appointment as Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer/CMFO is effective February 5, 2007, and at that time the above stipend will cease and an annual salary of $122,160 will commence.
So it is only a part time postion for a month at a lower stipend until the full time position starts at $120k.
The part to be worried about is…
3. As discussed, the Borough of Glen Ridge may wish Montclair to provide their CFO next year under a shared services agreement. Thus, you may be able to participate in this or a similar opportunity in the future, as long as we are able to work out mutually agreeable terms.
4. I understand that you have child care issues through this school year. As long as you keep me informed of your situation and devote full-time to your position here starting 2/5/07, you will be able to “flex” your hours on days that you need to attend to these issues.
Those scare me as it is worded in a way that we may not see a person in this office from 9-5, Mon-Fri. And it leaves open the door that we may see the person working for another municipality like the last CFO. Hopefully if the CFO works also for Glen Ridge, Montclair gets some money back as opposed to the last CFO who got paid a seperate salary from Mountainside while Montclair got nothing (not really a shared service at all, just a second job!)

Hussein Reported Dead

Friday, Dec 29, 2006 10:23pm  |  COMMENTS (39)

CNN reports that Saddam Hussein has been executed.

Party Hearty

Friday, Dec 29, 2006 3:14pm  |  COMMENTS (12)

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This Sunday, it’s all about First Night Montclair. Check out who’s performing and when the festivities begin, right here.

Learn To Be A Tutor

Friday, Dec 29, 2006 2:03pm  |  COMMENTS (10)

Be a hero — help a kid pass the test…

Montclair High School is looking for tutors to help students prepare for the English, Reading and Comprehension sections of the High School Proficiency Assessment given this March. Each tutor will be matched with a particular student. The tutoring will begin the first week of January and continue at least through the end of March. The tutors will meet with students for 45 minute sessions, two times per week during regular school hours, 8 am – 2:30 pm.
No expertise is required. Training sessions are planned for January 4 and 5, 3-5 pm. Room 603 MHS Annex. Contact: Amy Poster (212) 538-8394, amy.poster@credit-suisse.com

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