Chef Ilson Gonçalves Shares Recipes in The Samba Montclair Cookbook

Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 11:18am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Bolinho de Mandioca, a coconut yuca cake.

Fans of Samba Montclair and the culinary skills of Brazilian-born Chef Ilson Gonçalves can try and recreate some of Gonçalves’ favorite dishes at home with The Samba Montclair Cookbook: Authentic Home-style Brazilian Recipes and Reminiscences.

The book features the chef’s memories of growing up in the southern state of Santa Catarina, where he learned to prepare these dishes from scratch using fresh, all-natural ingredients.

One of those ingredients is yuca and the root vegetable (which grew wild in Gonçalves’ backyard growing up) figures prominently in the cookbook’s 42 recipes for home cooks, including yuca gnocchi, yuca and codfish croquettes and Bolinho de Mandioca, a coconut yuca cake that Gonçalves’ favorite dessert as a child.

“It was common for me to pick wild fruits for snacking and spend the day surrounded by natural beauty,” says Gonçalves.

Ilson Gonçalves signed his new cookbook at a launch party on Tuesday.

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Wooden Spoon Southern Kitchen & Saloon: Country Comfort Food With Soul

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 19, 2017 11:45am  |  COMMENTS (0)

If you find yourself jonesing for comfort food now that the nights have turned chilly, then Bloomfield’s new Wooden Spoon Southern Kitchen and Saloon has got your fix. Here, you’ll find a large menu of Southern specialties plus authentic Southern BBQ, prepared by executive chef and owner Donald Erickson, whose dream has been to bring a touch of the South to New Jersey.

Open since late summer in the space formerly Senoritas, Wooden Spoon has a comfortable natural-wood accented dining room and bar, with a large dining room and a 10-screen sports bar tucked away upstairs.

We recently stopped and tried the chef’s signature dishes — Southern fried chicken and creole shrimp and grits.

The shrimp and grits plate is beautiful to look at: a big bowl brimming with andouille slices, large shrimp, vegetables in a richly seasoned wine, mild chile, herb sauce, layered with flavor. Underneath it all, a silky, creamy cushion of grits that envelops every bite. This dish is perfectly prepared with loads of nuanced flavors and contrasting textures. Not surprisingly, this is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Continue Reading

Montclair Bread To Open New Upper Montclair Location in Former Warner Building

BY  |  Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Good news for donut fans and commuters! Montclair Bread will join Keller Williams as tenants in the first floor of the former Warner Communicatins building on Lorraine Avenue (opposite Williams Sonoma).

Montclair Bread owner Rachel Crampsey tells Baristanet she hopes to have the new location open by January, if not sooner. The location, near both the Upper Montclair train station and the 66 Decamp Bus route, will offer coffee and of course, yummy baked goods.

“Our space will have a coffee/espresso bar serving our favorite, Stumptown roasts! We will also provide customers with doughnuts, croissants, danishes & other hand held treats,” says Crampsey. “Customers will also have the option of picking up their catering orders at our new location. The rest of our Upper Montclair menu is still being worked out.” Continue Reading

Food News Friday: “Top Chef” and “Chopped” Judges Cook In Verona To Raise Funds For Suicide Prevention

BY  |  Friday, Oct 13, 2017 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Celebrity chefs Floyd Cardoz, Ariane Duarte, Amanda Freitag and Carmen Quagliata are teaming up with Newman Cares, Inc., a Verona, NJ-based charitable organization whose mission is to bring communities and neighbors together for a variety of worthy causes, to raise funds and awareness for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Specifically, the chefs will pool their culinary talents for the “Dine 4 a Difference” charity dinner at Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona on Thursday, November 9 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

An advocate for suicide prevention amongst young adults, celebrated Indian-American Chef Floyd Cardoz, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters Season 3 and owner of casual-modern Indian restaurant, Paowalla – and a Verona resident, first developed the idea for the charity dinner, and enlisted the help of fellow friends and chefs. Ariane Duarte, whose restaurant, Ariane Kitchen & Bar, will serve as host of the dinner, Amanda Freitag of Chopped fame and Carmen Quagliata, Executive Chef of Union Square Café and Daily Provisions, have partnered with Newman Cares, Inc. to create the Dine 4 a Difference concept as part of Verona’s commitment to suicide prevention and promotion of mental health.

The ticketed event will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. followed by a four-course sit-down dinner featuring dishes prepared by each chef. Wine will be served with dinner, and a cash bar will be available. Guests will also have the opportunity to win various prizes throughout the evening, including dinner for eight at Ariane Kitchen & Bar, dinner for four at Paowalla, a complimentary dinner and show at Papermill Playhouse, autographed cookbooks from Thomas Keller and more.

The menu includes: Continue Reading

Marcel Bakery & Kitchen Brings Convenient Deliciousness To Upper Montclair

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 12, 2017 2:48pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Marcel Bakery & Kitchen, now open in the space that was The Cozy End, brings convenient deliciousness to Upper Montclair for breakfast, lunch and more, with an Israeli-Mediterranean twist.

The space, bright, open and welcoming (transformed by Jesscia Benari Designs), gives you the option to choose from bakery items, “grab and go” freshly made salads and prepared dishes, to made to order sandwiches, pizzas and more for take away or to enjoy inside, at an attractive long communal table. The food itself is simply amazing.

Chef/owner Meny Vaknin of the popular MishMish Cafe, who named his second eatery after his grandfather, showcases a tempting selection baked goods at Marcel, surprising and delighting with flaky pastries filled with chocolate and halvah. You’ll struggle to choose from almond stuffed danish, brownies, croissants, fruit scones, or one of four different flavors of silky babka. Not a bad problem to have. And all pair deliciously with excellent Jim’s Organic coffee.

On the savory side, Vaknin has more winners. Israeli style bourekas are golden pastry pillows of light flaky dough filled with your choice of three cheeses, spinach and feta, or slow cooked beef with caramelized onions. Individual size flatbread come out of the oven with a light, blistered crust topped with mushroom and ricotta or a “shakshuka” topping (herbed tomatoes, feta, Israeli spices and egg). This is the Vaknin version of a Middle eastern pizza – the perfect, satisfying, comfort food. Continue Reading

Celebrate Halloween with Vincent Price-Inspired Cookbook Dinner and Signing – Featuring Victoria Price!

BY  |  Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

La Taverna Bar & Lounge, located inside Calandra’s Italian Village will continue a five-year tradition begun by Chef Francesco Palmieri: The Vincent Price Cookbook Dinner, this year featuring Vincent Price’s Cookbook, Cooking Price-Wise! The event will be held on Tuesday evening, October 31st, from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Guests will experience a presentation by Vincent & Mary Price’s only daughter, Victoria Price about her father’s legacy as well as his featured cookbook. Chef Francesco will also walk guests through each course and how Price’s book inspired it.

The event will feature a four-course menu of inspired by dishes from one of Vincent Price’s original cookbooks, Cooking Price-Wise. These dishes will be crafted by Calandra’s very own Chef Francesco Palmieri, who started the tradition at his previous restaurant, The Orange Squirrel. Palmieri will also complement these courses with wine pairings from the Calandra family wine collection. Continue Reading

Food News Friday: Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen Wins Us Over With S’Mores and More

BY  |  Friday, Oct 06, 2017 4:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Dessert is a treat and at Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen, you will be treated to inventive, delicious dessert creations. Sure, you can go to Vanillamore for lunch and dinner (their tagline is Sweet. Savory. Social.) but coming to Vanillamore and not having dessert would be missing out on something special.

Desserts are the star attraction at Vanillamore and you are reminded of it when you glance over at a giant video wall playing one cake decorating video after another. Even the modern art work, both on the walls and the screen — from the Chloe Gallery in San Francisco — feature still-life feasts, many with desserts.

Vanillamore offers a space where you are encouraged to interact with your food and your dining partners. We sat at the horseshoe-shaped bar with a view of the open kitchen and the giant screen. Small plates perfect for pairing and sharing include smoky Brussels sprouts with pancetta, some toothsome turkey meatballs in a ginger scallion sauce, and spicy chorizo and potatoes with red pepper and capers (all priced at $9). There were also larger plate options including a skirt steak or roast chicken, as well as lamb chops, a special, on the night we visited.

Still, even while you are enjoying your “savory,” you have to save room for sweet. Dessert options include dessert charcuterie boards (mimicking the appearance of their savory counterpart of meats and cheeses also on the menu, but instead with chocolate salami, fruit and nut confections and other surprises). There are also dessert flights and dessert tapas.

We tried The S’Mores ($12), featuring vanilla bean marshmallows, toasted and paired with different chocolate, vanilla and graham cracker short breads and served with espresso, buttered rum and caramel sauces to embellish them. To drink with the s’mores was a spicy Aztec hot chocolate, rich, dark and with a delicious kick.

Another fave was the Milk & Cookies ($10) served with a sweet vanilla malted milk in whimsical miniature milk bottles. Snickerdoodles with espresso caramel; chocolate chip cookies with dark chocolate fudge and sea salt; and our favorite, ginger molasses with toasted marshmallow took the classic comfort food to the next level.

And if you somehow didn’t save room for dessert, Vanillamore also sells sweet treats to bring home, too.


Vanillamore Dessert Kitchen, 349 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, 973-707-5373.

Food News Friday: Buy 1 Get 1 Free Today at Java Love, Hurricane Maria Fundraiser at Cocina Candela

BY  |  Friday, Sep 29, 2017 8:25am  |  COMMENTS (0)

It’s National Coffee Day today and Java Love has a buy one, get one free deal. Go and get your caffeine on!

Cocina Candela is hosting a Hurricane Maria Relief Fundraiser on Wednesday, October 4. Come for a great meal and support the cause at the same time. Cocina Candela will be donating 100% of all sales to relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Fundraiser is from noon to 9 p.m. with a set menu for $50 per person. Continue Reading

Food News Friday: Al Sogna, Kimchi Smoke Barbecue, Ani Ramen, Chateauberfest

Friday, Sep 22, 2017 3:56pm

A new Italian restaurant, new menu offerings, the return of a ramen eating contest and more in Food News Friday:

Al Sogna

Al Sogna, an elegant new Italian restaurant, has opened at 38 Valley Road, Montclair, taking a first floor space in building 2 of Valley and Bloom. The menu emphasizes steaks and seafood along with entrees such as homemade porcini ravioli in a light brandy cream sauce, veal sorrentino and pappardelle with lobster meat.

Al Sogna, 38 Valley Road, Montclair, (973) 337-6669

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Look Who’s Bagging at ShopRite To Fight Hunger in Bloomfield and Newark

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 2:15pm

ShopRite customers were treated to some special baggers when Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia, along with Councilman Nick Joanow, bagged groceries Wednesday at Brookdale ShopRite as part of ShopRite’s “Help Bag Hunger” initiative for National Hunger Action Month.

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka also helped bag hunger at ShopRite of Newark, to the delight of customers. The local officials helped ShopRite with its goal to raise awareness for the issue of hunger.

Nearly 50 million Americans, including more than 16 million children, suffering from food insecurity. Twenty percent of the value of all the groceries bagged by the guest baggers went to benefit the company’s Partners in Caring program.

Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

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