Baristanet Mother’s Day Dining Guide

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 28, 2016 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Forget breakfast in bed! Want to truly make Mom happy on Mother’s Day, May 8? Make reservations and treat her to a great meal with zero clean up. Here are some local suggestions:

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Montclair: What’s Coming to the Former Marzullo’s Space?

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 26, 2016 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (1)


After a 31-year run in Montclair, Marzullo’s closed nearly a year ago. Jeff Munoz, owner of the very popular The Corner on Walnut and Grove Streets, is also owner of the the former Marzullo’s space next door. Munoz tells Baristanet that there are plans to open a new restaurant in the space and that it “will be a new concept, but it is too early to tell as we are still working on it.”

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Ray’s Luncheonette and Molina Family to Raise Funds for Ecuador Earthquake Victims

BY  |  Monday, Apr 25, 2016 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Ray's Luncheonette

Before Walnut Street looked like Park Slope West, Ray’s Luncheonette shared the now gentrified block with an Italian social club (now Le Salbuen) , an overstuffed thrift store (now Babo Teahouse) and an industrial butcher shop (now Halcyon). For 40 years, Ray’s has been the meeting place for local politicians, blue collar workers, yoga moms and generations of Montclair high school students.

Today, Ray’s is owned and operated by the Molina family who hail from Mantas, Ecuador. On April 16, 2016, a devastating earthquake rocked their hometown, destroying homes, business and infrastructure. The area is in crisis and they are reaching out to the Montclair community for help.

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Oakeside to Present Taste of Bloomfield

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 20, 2016 1:20pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Taste of Bloomfield

The annual Taste of Bloomfield returns to the Oakeside-Bloomfield Cultural Center on Sunday, April 24.

The fundraising event hosts between 15 and 20 area restaurants and food establishments which will showcase tasty samplings from their menus.

Restaurants slated to attend this year are Anthony’s Cafe, Anthony’s Cheesecake, Applegate Farm,Blue-eyed Bakettes, Brookdale ShopRite, Brookdale Tavern & Kitchen, Casserole Bistro, Essex Junction Craft Kitchen & Bar, Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen, Fitzgerald’s 1928, Frungillo Caterers, Mr. Cupcake, Orange Squirrel, Salute Bistro, Senorita’s, Spice Thai Cuisine, Victorio’s Restaurant, Village Gourmet, Zi Zia Pizzeria & Trattoria.

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Sweet Treats For Your Passover Celebration

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Passover begins at sundown on Friday, April 22 and continues for seven days, and you’ll need desserts for your holiday table. These Montclair bakeries have what you need:



Order crunchy dark chocolate covered matzoh from Dolce Federica.





Gina’s Bakery (110 Walnut Street, Montclair) has a full menu for the holiday: flourless brownies, coconut macaroons, hazelnut raspberry torte, and more. Check out the full menu and order form here.




Plum Bakery (179 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair) offers gluten free treats for your Passover meal. They offer Rugelach and Challah bread (we hear this is delicious), as well as many other treats.




Montclair Bread Company (113 Walnut Street) has created a Flourless Chocolate Almond Doughnut special for Passover.




Cupcakes by Carousel (25 Church Street) offers all the treats for Passover: Sponge Loaf, Flourless Chocolate Tore, Macaroons, Seven Layer Cookies and much more. See the full menu and order form here.




Chocolate Works Montclair (42 South Park Street) has everything you need to make your Passover Sedar extra sweet, including adorable Chococlate covered Frog lollipops and Seder plates.




Whole Foods Market (701 Bloomfield Avenue) offers a full menu for Passover.



Moroccan-Inspired Passover Recipes from Chef Meny Vaknin of MishMish in Montclair

BY  |  Monday, Apr 18, 2016 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)


Passover begins at sundown on Friday, April 22 and continues for seven days. It’s a joyous holiday for Jewish people, as it’s a celebration of freedom. Israeli-born chef Meny Vaknin, of MishMish Café in Montclair, has crafted a Passover menu with authentic family recipes inspired by his Moroccan, Sephardic Jewish. These delicious dishes will be offered at the restaurant for dinner service during Passover, but if you are cooking at home, Chef Vaknin shares two recipes for you to enjoy:

Slow braised lamb shoulder with caramelized onions

Yield 6 servings

  • 3 lb large diced boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 yellow onions sliced Julienne
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbl spoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tbl spoon ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbl spoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tbl spoon white pepper
  • 1 Tbl spoon olive oil
  • 1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup of water or chicken stock
  1. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large heavy skillet or a clay tajine, heat up the oil and brown the diced lamb over medium fire, place the lamb on a plate with paper towel.
  3. In the same oil, sauté the sliced onions until golden brown.
  4. Add all spices into caramelized onions with a tablespoon of stock to create a loose paste.
  5. Add back the diced lamb, rest of the stock, garlic cloves and half of the cilantro. Bring to a simmer, cover with a tight lid and place in the oven for 3 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven and garnish with the rest of the cilantro and some extra virgin olive oil.



Basmati rice with Moroccan ‘ Tanzia’ (stewed dried fruits and onions)

For rice:

  • 1 cup of dry basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water or stock of your choice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a sauce pan heat the canola oil and sauté the diced onion until it turns translucent.
  2. Add the rice and sauté for another minute, make sure to stir it continually.
  3. Add the water, salt and butter and bring to a boil.
  4. Let rice cook for 10 min and then cover with a tight lid and cook for another 10 min on a very low flame.

Leave the rice in the pot for another 10 min and the ‘fluff’ it out on a sheet tray when ready to serve.

For Tanzia:  

  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup apricots
  • 1/2 cup prunes
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  1. Sauté the onions with the cinnamon stick on low heat until caramelized and turned golden brown.
  2. Add the dried fruit and cook for 5 min.
  3. Add the honey, cook for another 2 min and then deglaze with the vinegar.
  4. Add the water, cover and cook on low heat for another 25 min.

Serve on top of the rice.


Montclair Family Selected as NJ’s Walk MS Ambassadors, Watchung Deli Creates Sandwich in Their Name

BY  |  Monday, Apr 11, 2016 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Walk MS

In 2007, Joel Greengrass of Montclair received a diagnosis of Relapse Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. His family — his wife Carla and three children —were devastated. A year later, Carla spotted some information about a MS walk happening at a local park and registered the family as Team Greengrass, with their oldest daughter Aly leading as the captain. That decision changed their lives.

“Starting Team Greengrass helped us to make sense of this unexpected curve ball and gives us a voice and a purpos,” says Carla. “Participating as a family and as a community  turned one of the darkest moments in our lives into an empowering and inspiring experience.”

Year by year, Team Greengrass and its presence at Walk MS have grown by leaps and bounds. Since 2008, they have raised an excess of $213,000 thru Walk MS, Bike MS and MuckFest, helping to support and further the incredible work being done by the Society.

This year, to honor their efforts,  Team Greengrass was named selected as New Jersey’s Walk MS Ambassadors for 2016!

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Cocktails At Fin! Montclair Liquor License Sold For Close to $1.2 Million Will Also Cover New Gastropub (UPDATED)

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 06, 2016 4:42pm  |  COMMENTS (19)


Update: The office of the municipal town clerk tells Baristanet that the actual price for the license Cerrigone purchased was $1,150,000. The clerk’s office also confirms that Dick Grabowksy purchased Cecere’s license at auction for $1,236,000 in August 2015.

Gerry Cerrigone and Bobby Gaccione, restaurant owners of Salute, Salugo, and Fin Raw Bar & Kitchen, have purchased a liquor license from the former South Park Restaurant for a whopping $1.2 million. “$1.2 million for a Montclair liquor license is just ridiculous,” says Cerrifgone, “when other [past] licenses were bought for around $700,000.00.”

This purchase followed his initial attempts to purchase the liquor license from Richard Cecere’s. Cerrigone’s plans fell through when the license was court ordered to be sold at auction.

Cerrigone plans to open a full bar soon, at his signature Fish eatery, FIN, on Glenridge Avenue in Montclair.

The target date to open the full bar service is Tuesday, April 26, with a full selection of wine, craft beer, champagne, and cocktails. Continue Reading

Cheese Tasting 101 With Montclair’s Marie Fromage

BY  |  Tuesday, Mar 29, 2016 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Cheese Tasting

Montclair native Mary Connolly knows cheese. You might say she is the Big Cheese. You don’t go by Marie Fromage, unless you know your stuff. Connolly will be teaching a Cheese Tasting 101 class at My Social Heirloom in Montclair on April 23 to share her knowledge.

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Chef Vaknin of MishMish Cafe in Montclair to Compete on Chopped Champions

BY  |  Monday, Mar 28, 2016 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Chef Meny Vaknin

Tune in to Food Network on March 29 at 10 pm to catch Chef Meny Vaknin of MishMish Cafe in Montclair return to the Chopped stage in the special, Chopped Champions: Battle 1, Best of the Best. Vaknin won in 2015 and will battle other former winners and will face daunting ingredients and killer pressure to fight for the ultimate title of two-time Chopped champion. Continue Reading

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The Montclair Film Festival is one of the great joys of living in the area.

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