Montclair Hosts The Hottest Food And Wine Festival Ever!

BY  |  Friday, Jun 07, 2013 5:04pm  |  COMMENTS (4)

Best line overheard at the Montclair Food and Wine Festival: “I was hoping to meet 100 hot women, but not like this.”

Second best line: “This festival is great — I’ve already lost five pounds!”

Yes, the Montclair Food and Wine Festival was hot!

Pair a freak pre-summer heat wave with a historic venue that never put in air conditioning, then add a couple hundred guests and food vendors and you’ve got the ingredients for — one steamy food festival.

Fin kept things cool with an icy raw bar.

Fin kept things cool with an icy raw bar.

That’s OK though, because even with the heat (did we mention it was hot?), Montclair’s first ever Food and Wine Festival was also a pretty amazing event. The first night was a grand tasting where area restaurants and food purveyors plated up delicious offerings. Our most memorable mouthfuls? Sally Owens of So Tasty Vegan’s roasted vegetable nori rolls, Fricasee’s pâté, Upstairs’ gin and fennel cocktail and char grilled octopus, a steak tartare from NICO Kitchen, standout Indian dishes from Mausam and Brick Lane, the Pie Store’s key lime pie in a cup, Dinosaur BBQ from Newark and oysters from the eight-foot long (icy cold!) raw bar from Fin.

Culinariane's Ariane Duarte and Restaurant Blu's Zod Arifai at Montclair's first ever Food and Wine Festival

Culinariane’s Ariane Duarte and Restaurant Blu’s Zod Arifai at Montclair’s first ever Food and Wine Festival

The second night of the festival was the Gala Dinner, where things cooled down a bit (in a good way). Organizer Melody Kettle landed some air conditioning units which helped, as did Mother Nature, who cooperated by dropping the temperature a few degrees. But it was the six local rock star chefs who provided a delicious distraction, dazzling diners with dish after dish of beautifully prepared fare, each paired with the perfect wine by Sharon Sevrens of Amanti Vino (see list below).

Starting with a gorgeous amuse bouche from Pig & Prince’s Michael Carrino and ending with an inventive dessert by Restaurant Blu’s Zod Arifai, each course of the gala dinner built on the last for an incredible dining experience. On the way out, three coffee and chocolate pairings from Java Love and The Chocolate Path were a sweet ending to the evening.

We also loved(!) the live music at the festival, featuring Jazz House Kids Quartet, 3rdValve Jazz during the Grand Tasting and the Jazz House Kids Ensemble, followed by the show-stopping Jazz House Kids Big Band, at the Gala Dinner.

Kettle is glad to have the first festival under her belt.

“Of course there are always tweaks to be made, but overall it was a huge success. The attendance was phenomenal; we ended up with a wait list on both evenings. The vendors, chefs and wine coordinators all did an outstanding job and really brought their A game. The Gala Chefs all loved working together. The camaraderie in the kitchen was tangible,” says Kettle.

We liked: Olive oil from Olive That and More; Herb centerpieces from Matarazzo Farm

Nice touch: Olive oil from Olive That and More; Herb centerpieces from Matarazzo Farms

“We were also very happy to award a Montclair High School student with the first Montclair Food & Wine Festival Culinary Scholarship in the amount of $1000. We haven’t yet arrived at the final number on what the other charities will receive yet, but we do plan to maximize the charitable contribution to St. Joseph’s Childrens’ Hospital and will be working on developing the community program with Partners for Health by this fall.”

Can we expect another hot festival next year?

“Of course, there was the heat. Unfortunately, with historic buildings – like the Upper Montclair Woman’s Club – you have to take the good with the bad,” says Kettle, adding, “we tried everything we could to mitigate the circumstances on short notice – we brought in auxiliary air units, and it helped a bit on Sunday night.”

“There are many features about the club that I love, specifically the size, the grandeur of the ballroom, and especially the workability of the kitchen. But, all things considered, we are already looking at alternate venues for our next events. Kudos to our vendors and attendees for hanging in with the heat.”

Kettle is already thinking about what’s next — which means Montclair is in store for some more exciting food experiences. “We’re brainstorming about different culinary formats and events – unusual locations, maybe car service pick up and drop off to the event. Our team is very excited to be working on upcoming events together.”

chefs in the kitchen

Wine pairings at Gala Dinner: Riondo Prosecco Spago Nero NV (on arrival, $11.99); OCD Riesling 2010 (with amuse bouche, $14.99); My Essential Rose 2012 (oysters, $15.99); Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Blanc 2012 (crab agnolotti, $11.99); Capiaux “Chimera” Pinot Noir 2011 (halibut, $31.99); Jean Edwards “Stagecoach Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (short ribs/cote de boeuf, $64.99); Echeverria Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (caramel panna cotta, $19.99).


  1. POSTED BY Montclair Lover  |  June 07, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

    Both nights were awesome, even despite the heat!

  2. POSTED BY Nellie  |  June 07, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

    I was there Saturday night, What a classy event! The patios provided a nice escape from the heat inside. My boyfriend is a jazz enthusiast and loved the music. The key lime pie was light and refreshing in the heat. We were both kinda sad, having gone to Pals in the afternoon for our final meal there, but this event took the edge off, Where can we get tickets for next year?????

  3. POSTED BY njjenva  |  June 08, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    What a treat to have all the great chefs and restaurants in one location. I got to try all the places that I want to get to but never seem to….after experiencing them here, now I will try a little harder!

  4. POSTED BY Kristin  |  June 08, 2013 @ 8:49 pm

    I’m surprised there was no mention of Maritime Parc in Jersey City. They had a lovely scallop ceviche with beautiful presentation. Also, Chef Lance Knowling had an amazing dish (according to my meat-eating husband). It was nice to see him since Indigo closed. The vichyssoise from Hunger Construction (parked outside, but part of the festival) was divine.

    I enjoyed last Saturday’s food, prosecco, and jazz. And I was pleasantly surprised to see many vegetarian options sprinkled in with the other dishes. Uncle Moustache never disappoints!

Leave a Reply

Baristanet Comment Policy:

Baristanet has specific guidelines for commenting. To avoid having your comment deleted -- or your commenting privileges revoked -- read this before you comment. Violators will be banned from commenting.

Report a comment that violates the guidelines to For trouble with registration or commenting, write to

Commenters on are responsible for all legal consequences arising from their comments, including libel, infringement of copyright or actions that threaten a third party. By submitting a comment, you agree to indemnify Baristanet LLC, its partners and employees from any legal action arising from your comments.

In order to comment on the new system, you need to register a new Baristanet account. To get your own avatar next to your comments, sign up at

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Featured Comment

De Camp and the councilman missed the bus on this one.

Tip, Follow, Friend, Subscribe

Filter Restaurant Listings

Full Restaurant Lists

Baristanet Food Guides

Restaurant Listings by Town


12 West Restaurant & Bar



Ah’ Pizz

Albert’s CLOSED

Ani Ramen

Aozora Japanese Restaurant

Applegate Farm

Aroma Palace

Asana House

Bamboo Asian Bistro

Banker’s Cafe

Bay Street Urban Chicken

Bistro 18


Blue Sushi

Bluestone Coffee Company

Bonjour Montclair

Cafe Eclectic CLOSED

Cafe La Crepe



Chia Asian Bistro

Comfort Food Kitchen

Corso 98


Cozy End

Crockett’s Fish Fry

Cuban Pete’s

Cucina 98


Cupcakes by Carousel

Dai-Kichi Japanese Restaurant

Egan & Sons

Elevation Burger

Energy Bar

Enzo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant

Erie Saloon

Falafel Hut



Four Seasons Kebab House


Gencarelli’s Cucina CLOSED

Gina’s Bakery

Golden River

Greek Delights CLOSED

Greek Taverna

Green Chop’s


Hot Bagels Abroad

Hunan House

Hunan House

Indigo Kitchen CLOSED

J & K Steakhouse

Jackie’s Grillette

Jefferson’s Cafe & Food Market

Joey Thai

Just Jake’s

Kei Kabob CLOSED

Koreander Fusion Cafe

La Couronne Restaurant

Laboratorio Kitchen

Le Baker’s Dozen

Le Salbuen

Leela’s Trinidad Cuisine


Let’s YO

Long Hing Restaurant

Madear’s Southern Cuisine CLOSED

Mancinni’s Coal Oven Pizza

Manhattan Juice Bar & Cafe

Manny’s Diner

Marrakech CLOSED

Marzullo’s Restaurant & Cafe




Montclair Char-Broil Restaurant

Mr Dino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant

Muscle Maker Grill

Nauna’s Bella Casa

New Jin Lin Chinese Restaurant

Next Door

Noodle Cafe


Osteria Giotto

Palazzo Restaurant

Panera Bread

Panzano Pizzeria

Park Sports Bar & Restaurant

Peking Restaurant

Petit Paris

Pig & Prince

Plato Cubano CLOSED

Plum on Park

Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits

Prime 151

Ray’s Luncheonette


Red Eye Cafe

Red Mango

Roberto’s Pizza Restaurant

Ruthie’s BBQ

Salute Brick Oven Bistro


Sandwich Theory

Satish Palace Indian Restaurant

Saveur Creole

Scala Del Nonna

Simit House Bakery

Smash Burger

Solé BBQ

Southend Pizzeria & Deli

Spice II

Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks Coffee (Valley Road)

Stockpot Inc.


Sushi Hana Japanese Restaurant

T.S. Ma

Taj Palace

Tapastry Restaurant

Tasti D Lite & Planet Smoothie

Terra Tea Salon

Thai Chef

The Blended Beverage

The Bread Company

The Little Daisy Bake Shop

The Office Beer Bar & Grill

The Pie Store

The Wood Pit

Tierney’s Tavern



Toro Sushi Bar

Trattoria Rustica

True North Osteria CLOSED

Trumpets Jazz Club & Rest

Tuptim Thai Cuisine


Uncle Momo


Uptown Bistro

Veggie Heaven

Villa Victoria Pizzeria

Wahchung Chinese Restaurant


Aki Restaurant

Angelo’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Anthony’s Cheesecake

Anthony’s Cheesecake


Bella Napoli

Biba’s Tavola Calda Pizzeria

Bloomfield Steak & Seafood


Boonsong Thai

Broad Street Cafe

Brookside Thai Restaurant

Cafe Tartufo

Calabrese Pizzeria and Restaurant

Casa Turano Pizzeria & Restaurant

Cheng’s Garden

Chicken & Rib King

China Taste

Cousins Pizza & Restaurant

Cozy Deli

Crown Fried Chicken

Dev’s Jamaican Cuisine

East West Chinese & Filipino Restaurant

El Matador Mexican Deli & Restaurant

Empire Chinese Restaurant

Family Buffet King

Family Garden

Frank’s Pizza & Restaurant


Giuliano’s Luncheonette

Glenwood Diner

Golden Harvest

Grill Master

Havana Sandwich Cafe

Holsten’s Brookdale Confections

International House of Pancakes

Italia Pizza


Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kira Kira

Lucky Star Chinese Restaurant

Man Hing Chinese Restaurant

McDonald’s Restaurant

McDonald’s Restaurant

Moon Palace

Mr Dino’s Pizza Restaurant

Napoli’s Pizzeria

Nevada Diner

New China Restaurant

Number One Chinese

Pandan Asian Cuisine

Parkside Pizzeria & Restaurant

Pianos Bar & Grill

Plaza Diner

Prana Restaurant

Senorita’s Mexican Grill

Shiki Wok

Spice Thai Cuisine

Stamna Taverna

State Street Grill

Subway Sandwiches

Sushi You

Tao YUEN Chuen

Taquería Auténtica

Taste it Again

The Orange Squirrel

The Pit BBQ

Town Pub

Victorio’s Restaurant

Vinnie’s Pizzeria & Restaurant

Yellow Plum

Glen Ridge

Fitzgerald’s Tavern

Just Sandwiches


Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria

Bill & Harry


Burger King

Chris & Cathy’s Coney Island Grill

Churrasco BBQ & Steakhouse

Di Pietro Foods

Dunkin Donuts

Edith’s Cafe CLOSED

Food of Our Own Design CLOSED

Freeman’s Fish Market

Highland Place Steak

HLS Juice Bar & Grill

HP/Crane’s Delicatessen

Hunan Wok

iLand Breeze Cafe & Catering

Kari’s Cafe CLOSED

Luke’s Kitchen (Catering)

Maple Leaf Dinner

Mapleton Confectionery

Maplewood Country Club

Maplewood Deli & Subs

Maplewood Diner

Maplewood Pizzeria & Ristorante

Marty’s Pizzeria CLOSED

Mt. Fuji Sushi

New World Catering & Food Boutique

O’Reilly’s Bar & Grill

Panda Chinese Restaurant

Papa John’s Pizza

Park Wood Diner

Restaurant Lorena’s

Roman Gourmet

Scoops & Soups

Scott’s Deli


St. James’s Gate Publick House

Sweet Lime Caribbean Kitchen

Sweet Relish CLOSED

Tara’s Gourmet Deli

The Able Baker

The Bagel Chateau

The Laurel

Verjus Restaurant

Village Coffee

Village Ice Cream Parlour

Village Trattoria

Young’s Fish Market



Bella’s Bakery

Cafe Luna

Cafe Monet

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse

Cheryl’s Deli


Dunkin’ Donuts

Enchanté Artisan Cuisine


Jade Lake Gourmet

La Cucina Ristorante & Seafood Grill

La Strada Nuova

Ling Ling

Martini Bistro & Bar

Mia Famiglia Inc.

Millburn Diner

MS Gourmet

Oscar’s Deli & Restaurant


Q.J. Green Garden

Rockn’ Joe

Sakura Japanese Restaurant

Samurai Sushi Japanese Restaurant


Semolina Ristorante

Sono Japanese Restaurant

Starbucks Coffee

The Millburn Delicatessen

Tinga Taqueria

Trattoria Gian Marco

South Orange

Above Restaurant & Bar


Ariyoshi Japanese Restaurant

Blue Ocean

Bottagra South

Bunny’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

Cait & Abby’s Daily Bread

Carvel Ice Cream

Chris’s Texas Weiner Family Restaurant

Cluck-U Chicken

Cold Stone Creamery

Cryan’s Beef & Ale House CLOSED

Domino’s Pizza

Dunkin’ Donuts

El Greco Pizza

Family Buffet Restaurant

Frank’s Pizzeria

Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant

Giorgio’s Ristorante

Grid Iron Waffle Shop

Harrar Ethiopian Cafe


Hot Bagels Abroad

Island Life Cafe

J & J Caribbean Restaurant

Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant

Little Cuba CLOSED


Neelam Exotic Indian Cuisine

New Great Wall

New York Fried Chicken

No. 1 Chinese Restaurant

Papillon 25

Pirates Pizza

Pizza Hut

Reservoir Restaurant


Sonny’s Bagels

Starbucks Coffee



The Blue Plate Special

The Great Wall

Toro Loco

Town Hall Delicatessen

Tung Tin Restaurant

University Sub Shop

Village Diner

Village Pizzeria

Village Trattoria

Yama Sushi House

Zayda’s Kosher Meats Deli & Catering

West Orange

A Taste of The Caribbean

Al’s Pizza

Angelo’s Meat Market & Deli

Baskin Robbins

Bill & Harry’s Chinese Cuisine

Burger King

China Garden

China Gourmet

China King

Desert Moon Fresh Mexican CLOSED

Due Amici Ristorante

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts

Eagle Rock Diner & Restaurant

East Garden Chinese Cuisine

Egan & Sons Restaurant & Bar

El Centro Americano Restaurant

El Norteno

El Primo Ristorante

Essex Green Grand Buffet

Fogon Latino

Fortissimo Osteria Pizzeria

Frank’s Pizzeria and Restaurant

Gaffer’s Pub CLOSED

Guy’s Restaurant

Hellenic Deli

Highlawn Pavilion

Hoogaard Market

Huguito’s Restaurant & Bar

Ital Mart

Johnny’s Pizzeria and Restaurant

Kim’s Sushi 2

La Delere Centro Americane

Los Tapatios

Lotus Oriental Cuisine

Main Moon Chinese Restaurant

Mamma Maria Pizzeria

Mark & Julie’s Homemade Ice Cream


McLoone’s Boathouse

Miriam’s Restaurant

Misty’s Restaurant

Northfield Bagels & Deli

Number One of West Orange

Oneway Deli

Pals Cabin CLOSED

Panera Bread

Papa John’s Pizza

Pepe’s BBQ Charcoal

Pie~Zon Pizza Cafe

Pizza Hut

Poppy’s Bagels

Primavera Ristorante

Reggiano’s Ristorante

Rockit Pizza

Star Coffee Shop & Deli

Starlite Restaurant & Pizza



Sun Wah Kitchen

SuzyQue’s BBQ and Bar

T.G.I. Friday’s

Terra Luna Pizza

The Bagel Box

The Deli Guy

The Manor

The Rock Cellar Bar & Grille CLOSED

The Supreme Bakery

Valle Pizzeria

Wendy’s CLOSED

West Orange Bake Shop

West Orange Diner

Wing Fat Chinese Restaurant


Yoshi Sono Japanese Restaurant