What Do You Say? Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

BY  |  Friday, Apr 21, 2017 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Yes, it’s true. Now through April 23, you can order a Unicorn Frappuccino at Starbucks. The “magical” (a.k.a. sugary) drink, which promises to change flavors and colors, has gotten mixed reviews in terms of taste. The end of the drink can’t come soon enough for some baristas, who are tired of concocting the elaborate frozen beverage. And like a unicorn, it can be elusive, as we hear of many Starbucks are selling out of it.

Montclair’s Java Love has its own response to the unicorn hysteria. And Little Daisy Bake Shop answers back with cake.

Lobster Rolls and More! Jack’s Seafood Shack Montclair Opens

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Montclair’s mini Restaurant Row just a stone’s throw from the Montclair Art Museum is shaping up nicely now that the new Jack’s Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar has opened. With its decorative lobster traps and centerpiece massive lobster tanks (able to hold more than 300 lobsters, ranging in size from 1.5 -4 lbs.), Jack’s brings a Cape Cod vibe to the corner of Bloomfield Ave. and St. Lukes Place.

How do you choose between a Maine style lobster roll (served cold with a touch of mayo and celery on a grilled split top bun) or a Connecticut style lobster roll (pictured above, served warm with butter and lemon on a grilled split top bun)?

Owner Jack Tabibian, who also owns Jack’s Lobster Shack in Edgewater, gets asked that question a lot. He likes both rolls and says it’s just a matter of taste and preference. Sometimes he lets the seasons act as his guide, ordering Maine in summer months and Connecticut when the weather is cooler.

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Alfresco Food and Fun Coming to Montclair Bread Bakery

BY  |  Friday, Apr 14, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The new outdoor space in front of the Montclair Bread Label Street Bakery made us smile when we saw it. Owner/baker Rachel Crampsey tells us the space, featuring benches crafted by carpenter and friend Tyler Clogston, was part of the original plan for the bakery, took a little while to make happen.

Crampsey says the bakery host parties for children & adults every weekend and now the new outdoor area will add even more fun to the celebrations. Montclair Bread is also planning some special evening activities.

“In May, we’re launching Family Fridays. Families can come in and make their own pizza, create a seasonal salad and finish the meal off by decorating a box of doughnuts for dessert. Spots for Family Friday can be reserved ahead through our online store. Continue Reading

Montclair’s New Gastropub, The Crosby, Opens Tonight

BY  |  Friday, Apr 07, 2017 3:26pm  |  COMMENTS (7)

The Crosby, Montclair’s new gastropub on Glenridge Avenue and a sister restaurant to Fin, opens tonight, serving 40 beers on tap and casual, fun American fare.

Look for crafted house cocktails and a large selection of bourbons, Scotch and whiskeys, including some from local distilleries.

Menu highlights includes a Crosby burger, a lobster grilled cheese and blade cut pork chops. Continue Reading

Yum! Score Some Sweet Treats For Your Passover Celebration

BY  |  Friday, Apr 07, 2017 2:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Passover begins at sundown on Monday, April 10 and continues for seven days, and you’ll need desserts for your holiday table. These Montclair bakeries have what you need:


Order this gift box of hand dipped and decorated Belgian dark chocolate Afikoman Set from Dolce Federica for your meal or a delicious hostess gift.

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Viaggio: Rustic, Modern Italian Worth The Journey To Wayne

BY  |  Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 2:15pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Chef Robbie Felice of Viaggio

NJ Wine & Food Festival, the state’s premiere food event, features well-known celebrity chefs from Jersey’s culinary scene and beyond. You’ll recognize names from Top Chef as well as local chefs such as Michael Carrino, Ryan DePersio, Ariane Duarte and Francesco Palmieri.

This year, there’s a new young chef to watch, Robbie Felice, who was invited to participate by Anthony Bucco, executive chef at Restaurant Latour, who coordinates the festival chefs. At age 26, Felice, a CIA grad, already has an impressive resume –working at properties owned by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, including serving as sous chef and head of the salumi program at B+B Ristorante in Las Vegas and working with longtime culinary mentor DePersio at Montclair’s Fascino.

Even if you can’t make it to the NJ Wine & Food Festival, you can take a trip to Wayne, where tucked away in a strip mall, is Felice’s restaurant, Viaggio. Walk inside and you forget you are steps away from busy Hamburg Turnpike. Instead, the restaurant’s reclaimed barn wood, brick walls and strings of lights evoke a rustic Tuscan farmhouse vibe.

House cured salumi at Viaggio

The menu is equally transportive. A Sussex native, Felice describes his cooking as “the way food is eaten in Italy — super fresh, meant for sharing, simple and straightforward.” You’ll want to start by sharing one of the stars of the Viaggio experience — the extensive salumi offerings. Most are house-cured and the rest are imported from Italy. “In order to be truly authentic, I knew I had to make my own. I’m bringing in whole Berkshire pigs that I butcher here, and I use it all to make everything from pork chops and prosciutto to porchetta de testa to mortadella,” says Felice. Diners can select a sampling of salumi served at their table on a wooden board. Pickled accompaniments offer the perfect counterpoint to the rich, salty meats.


Another must-try is the fazzoletti, a.k.a. handkerchief pasta, just one of the many interesting pasta dishes made in house. These delicately folded pasta pieces, served simply with herbs and preserved Meyer lemon butter, channel spring on a plate, and boast complex flavors that make each bite better than the last.

For your secondi course, there is a branzino in parchment with tomatoes and olives or for meat lovers, the hearty Piedmontese tagliata with rosemary smashed potatoes and cippolini onions. And if you never think to order chicken out, think again and try Felice’s chicken alla cacciatore, made with Lancaster Amish chickens, housemade pancetta and polenta.

Save some room if you can for dessert and split a chocolate budino. Featuring salted caramel and meringue, it’s a showstopper ending to a delightful culinary sojourn. For a closer look at Felice’s work, you can reserve the 5-seat Chef’s Bar, for a curated experience featuring a custom tasting menu and a direct view into the open kitchen (advanced reservation required; starts at $85 per person).

Viaggio, 1055 Hamburg Turnpike, Wayne. 973-706-7277. 5-9:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 5-10:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 4-9 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays

Get a Taste of Montclair on March 13

BY  |  Tuesday, Mar 07, 2017 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Taste of Montclair

Enjoy the cuisine of more than 40 celebrated restaurants and food crafters around at the annual Taste of Montclair on March 13.

Taste of Montclair is a fundraiser hosted by Rotary Club of Montclair. 100% of ticket sales go to the charities supported by the Club including Toni’s Kitchen, the Human Needs Food Pantry, and the feeding programs of the Salvation Army. The Montclair Rotary Club also supports S.O.F.I.A, Succeed2Gether, the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, and many others serve our communities. This year, Taste of Montclair is made possible by the generous support of presenting sponsor Clifton Savings Bank.

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Kimchi Smoke, Outrageous Southern Korean BBQ Sensation, To Open Montclair Location

BY  |  Sunday, Mar 05, 2017 8:38am  |  COMMENTS (1)

Get ready Montclair for a Chonut 2.1 and much more!

Baristanet fell in love with Kimchi Smoke when we tried their taco featuring smoked pork shoulder, sweet Gochujang sauce, smoked kimchi, cheddar cheese, ramen bits, on a tortilla sprinkled with powdered sugar, at Montclair Food and Wine Festival’s first Bourbon and Biergarten back in 2015. Continue Reading

Chef Meny Vaknin of Mishmish Cooks and Delivers Meals to Homebound Elderly New Yorkers

BY  |  Saturday, Mar 04, 2017 8:48am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Chef Meny Vaknin

Homebound elderly New Yorkers in the East Village got a taste of Mediterranean cuisine from Montclair when Chef Meny Vaknin of Mishmish delivered specially prepared meals right to their doors as part of the Chefs Deliver for Citymeals program. Chef Vaknin will also take part in the upcoming event Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals on Wheels on June 12, 2017.

The delivery marks the announcement of the theme for the 32nd Annual Chefs’ Tribute to Citymeals – Ports of Call Mediterranea: A Culinary Journey. Chef Vaknin will be one of more than 50 chefs gathering  to celebrate the flavors of the Mediterranean Coast at tasting stations throughout Rockefeller Center.

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Essex Junction and The Wood Pit Team Up to Put BBQ on the Menu

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 02, 2017 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

Essex Junction and The Wood Pit

Montclair and Bloomfield will be making beautiful BBQ together! Essex Junction owner Jeremy Goldberg and The Wood Pit owner Chef Lawrence Hackney are collaborating to bring BBQ to Essex Junction every day.

Goldberg tells Baristanet he had been doing some focus groups to tweak Essex Junction’s menu. He discovered that BBQ was the thing that customers wanted and, when asked which place they love, The Wood Pit was the #1 choice. Coincidently, Chef Lawrence of The Wood Pit is a frequent customer of the popular restaurant and bar. Long story short, the two decided to team up.

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Featured Comment

Yes, April is The Foolish Month. This might be the most inept Planning Board we have had in recent memory. They don't even now how to hold a public hearing. It is so Trump-like. Just the times.

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