Montclair’s Comfort Food Kitchen Starts Subscription Dinner Service

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 5:59pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Suzanne Michaud, Owner/Executive Chef, Comfort Food Kitchen

Looking for a change of pace from Baristaville’s abundant Italian eateries and yogurt shops? The food and ambiance of Comfort Food Kitchen, Watchung Plaza’s latest lunch spot, will delight your taste buds and satisfy your soul.

Comfort Food Kitchen, a cozy, light-filled space located next to Watchung Booksellers, is more than a gourmet cafe and takeaway shop. Founder and Executive Chef, Suzanne Michaud is kicking off her subscription dinner service today. Order online by 8pm and you won’t have to worry about dinner tomorrow. Michaud will also teach cooking classes, bake her signature heirloom cookies (including her famous Florentine biscotti) and run her successful catering business from the new location.

Michaud is passionate about cooking with the freshest seasonal, organic and local ingredients possible. “I want to connect people to where the food is coming from,” says Michaud, a French Culinary Institute-trained chef. That commitment is evident in her many fragrant, mouth-watering dishes. Last week, my husband and I found seats at one of the two broad, wooden communal tables (there are a few tables outside as well) and tried several of Michaud’s healthy soups, salads and artisanal sandwiches, which are made fresh daily.

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Montclair Police Blotter: Burglaries, Thefts, Arrests, DWI and Numerous Incidents of Graffiti and Other Vandalism

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 3:05pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Crime in Montclair this week included several thefts, burglaries, and arrests–including one for suspected DWI. There were also numerous incidents of graffiti and other vandalism.  Information provided by DLt. Angel Roman of the Montclair Police Department.


On July 20, 2012 at approx. 1134 hours, officers responded to a Central Avenue address on a report of theft.  The homeowner informed officers that three statues from her garden in the front of her home were stolen.  The thefts occurred sometime between the night of July 15th and the morning of July 16th.

On July 24th a Wayside Place resident also reported a 3 foot tall bronze statue stolen from the front yard.  The statue is of a boy holding a bat dressed in a baseball uniform and is valued at approx a $1,000.00.

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NJ Transit Says To Expect Commuting Delays Tomorrow

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 12:01pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

NJ Transit is alerting commuters to prepare for possible travel delays tomorrow afternoon, Wed. August 1st, as nearly 100,000 Jewish men and women are expected to attend a celebration and reading of the Talmud, Judaism’s holist book. The event, Siyum HaShas (which means “completion of the Talmud”), will take place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Organizers are calling it the largest celebration of Jewish learning in centuries, according to

A concert on the Pier in Hoboken at the same time as the celebration can only make commuting even trickier.

From an NJ Transit release:

Large crowds expected @ SEC, NYPS, HOB & NPS due to event @ MetLife Stdm. on Wed. Aug. 1 from 4pm Customers should allow extra travel time for the pm commute.

Log onto, or follow NJ TRANSIT’s twitter feed at @nj_transit for more travel updates.


Ernest Williams, Jr. Pleads Not Guilty In Schiavetti Murder In Montclair (UPDATED)

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 11:08am  |  COMMENTS (10)

Update: Star Ledger is now reporting that two law enforcement sources are confirming the murder was a drug-related robbery.

Ernest Williams, Jr., 21, of Montclair, charged with the murder of Brian Schiavetti, pled not guilty this morning at an arraignment in Essex County Superior Court.

Williams came before Judge Peter J. Vasquez, who asked Williams if his lawyer, John McMahon, had reviewed the charges with him, if he understood the charges, and if his lawyer had reviewed his rights with him.

Williams, dressed in a pale blue dress shirt, answered “yes” to all of three questions.

Vasquez said the matter would go before a grand jury, and that bail was continued at $750,000.

Assistant Prosecutor Cheryl Cucinello said the case would probably go before the grand jury sometime in December.

A group of family and friends that included Williams’ brother were at the arraignment to support Williams. One friend who spoke to reporters described Williams as “kind and generous” and said he was raised by his mother alone. He added that there was a lot people didn’t know about both Williams and the victim, Brian Schiavetti. Williams’ brother declined to talk.

Rumor Confirmed: Trader Joe’s Coming to Clifton

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (28)

Artist’s rendering courtesy of Jeffery Realty

No more driving to Milburn or Wayne to get your Trader Joe’s fix. If all goes as planned, by mid-October you’ll be able to hop on Route 3 and minutes later enjoy free samples of the latest T.J.’s chocolate confection.

Baristanet and many other northern New Jersey publications have been writing about the rumors for what seems like forever. Bill Farkas, Vice President of Jeffery Realty and the broker representing Gabrellian Associates, the owner of the new Trader Joe’s building in Clifton, has confirmed the rumor to Baristanet.

The popular grocery store will be located on the new construction site at 700 Route 3 West, between the Tick Tock Diner and Amazing Savings. You can also get there via the quieter back way, going nearly all the way east down Allwood Road.

Farkas says Ulta Cosmetics will share the space with Trader Joe’s. Three other tenants are expected to close a deal within weeks to move into the soon-to-be-renovated group of stores next door. One casualty of the upgrade is Marty’s Shoes, which will close in August, says Farkas.

Trader Joe’s is popular because it offers low prices for high quality products–mostly under their own store brand. But shoppers like me also dig the quirky shop for it’s friendly, Hawaiian shirt-wearing “crew” members, as they call their employees, and for its promise that all T. J.’s label products are free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, MSG, artificial trans fats, and genetically modified ingredients.

The only downside to the news? Farkas says the Clifton location won’t sell beer and wine.

Artist’s rendering courtesy of Jeffery Realty

Are you a Trader Joe’s newbie? I suggest you accompany a veteran on your first visit to the store, if possible. The dearth of familiar brands can be disconcerting. The next best thing would be to read The Best and Worst Products at Trader Joe’s, Vol. 1-4. You’ll find more than 275 reviews of the store’s items.
  • What’s your favorite Trader Joe’s  product?

Gatepost “Ghosts” Mark Montclair’s First Estate Section

BY  |  Monday, Jul 30, 2012 3:33pm  |  COMMENTS (9)

If you ever walked downtown and stumbled upon a tiny block called Prospect Terrace, you may have felt like you were stepping into Montclair’s past. You were.

Prospect Terrace, situated between Union Street and Hawthorne Place and parallel to Gates Ave., is a preserved pocket of some magnificent homes from Montclair’s original estate section. The streets surrounding Prospect Terrace loom large with apartment buildings. Walking down Hawthorne Place toward Gates are these mysterious gatepost markers jutting out incongruously next to more modern buildings. Local historian Frank Gerard Godlewski explains why…

Prospect Terrace was subdivided from the Pratt Estate, the finest property of its day. Mr. Pratt invented the name Montclair because he felt the the name West Bloomfield would not attract enough fancy Gilded Age millionaires. The manor house is now Martin’s Funeral home. This was the first estate section.

Hawthorne Towers (the apartment house) was one of the most incredible estates in town. There was a HUGE english baronial mansion that belonged to the Rand family who built the Montclair Art Museum. All of the stone gateposts you see [on Hawthorne and Gates] are leftovers from the estates that were then subdivided. Those markers are Crane Brownstone, mined in Glen Ridge!

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Montclair’s South Park Street Takes Shape (UPDATED)

BY  |  Monday, Jul 30, 2012 1:06pm  |  COMMENTS (14)

4:30 p.m. We have an update from the town:

Paving of the northbound road was completed earlier today and all fencing was removed from the east side of the street. Starting tomorrow morning (Tuesday, July 31), the street will be opened one-way for northbound traffic, however trucks will not be permitted until further notice.

The contractor will continue working on the west side of the street, with the cobblestone median and tree pits to be installed later this week. The bumpout in front of Starbucks will be completed tomorrow and the new handicap ramp on the southeast corner will also be constructed.

Project work should be substantially complete by August 17.

Lots of activity at Montclair’s South Park Street today, as workers ready the street so it can be opened to vehicular traffic (sometime this week maybe?). The entire project isn’t due to be completed until at least mid-August. Here’s a look at how it’s shaping up.

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Montclair’s DeCamp Cancels Bus Due to Low Ridership

BY  |  Monday, Jul 30, 2012 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (5)

A DeCamp rider reported on Clever Commute that his driver told him DeCamp has permanently cancelled its 6:40 a.m. 33M.

Baristanet contacted DeCamp this morning and a dispatcher confirmed that the information is true, citing low ridership as the reason. An operator at DeCamp said the cancelled bus originates from Gates Ave. and Bloomfield. She added that someone told her that particular bus had not been running for a couple weeks.

A Clever Commuter wrote the following this morning:

[Decamp-33-66] 640 33M from Gates a no show. 650 should be packed. (06:53 AM)

The online schedule for the 33M schedule shows a 6:20 and a 6:50.

Tired of the bus? In other commuting news, Clever Commute’s Inside Track has grown — with 13 new features to help NJ Transit riders navigate their commute.

New Jersey Public Employees Saying No To Retirement

BY  |  Monday, Jul 30, 2012 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)

New Jersey’s public employees — teachers, police, firefighters — aren’t retiring, the Star Ledger reports today, in contrast with last year, when they were retiring at a record rate. The number of public employees opting to retire has slowed down and this year, some 3,858 teachers are expected to retire, a number last seen in 2001.

Locally, The Montclair Times reports that Montclair is seeing a slow down in teachers retiring after two years of increases.

In Montclair, it’s not unusual to see teachers who have retired make a return. Terry Trigg-Scales, who served as Montclair’s assistant superintendent and retired in 2010, was recently named interim principal at Mt. Hebron Middle School.

What do you make of the slowdown? And are you retiring any time soon?

Retirement photo: Flickr Creative Commons Tax Credits

Celebrate National Cheesecake Day in Bloomfield

BY  |  Monday, Jul 30, 2012 7:09am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Anthony’s Cheesecake, Bloomfield’s go-to spot for scrumptious cheesecake as well as breakfast and lunch, celebrates National Cheesecake Day today, (July 30). Visit the Cafe at 71 Washington Street between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to receive a free mini NY Style Cheesecake with any lunch entree purchase.

Owners Phil Byrne and Anthony Lauro opened Anthony’s Cheesecake Cafe in 2010.

Lauro, co-owner of Lunchbox Deli, also in Bloomfield, learned how to make cheesecake from his mother and grandmother and uses their recipes to this day.

For information, call 973-415-8885 or visit

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Ok, I'll be patient, but you have big shoes to fill! Georgette Gilmore did such a fantastic job on barista kids. Miss her already.

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