Scenes From 2017 Montclair Food and Wine’s Bourbon & Biergarten at Wellmont Theater

BY  |  Friday, Jul 21, 2017 5:42pm

2017 Bourbon & Biergarten. Photo: Tony Turner

Montclair food lovers were well indulged last Saturday night as Montclair Food & Wine hosted its 2017 Bourbon & Biergarten, new this year at the Wellmont Theater.

Live music by Street Beat Brass, stilt walking by Captain Highwalker and Leo and amazing gymnastics by Sky & Vlad added to the event’s excitement. Fantastic food from area restaurants and food purveyors is always the star of the evening and this year’s offerings didn’t disappoint.

Standouts include bourbon-based cocktails infused with ginger or lemon from Silk City Distillery, perfect paired with mini samosas from Brick Lane. Other favorite include tuna tartare from Mish Mish and some incredibly addictive Bourbon balls from Little Daisy Bakeshop.

This year’s “Best of Festival” trophy went to Newark’s BURG, for their chipotle burger.

“I was very pleased with event — the chefs were incredible, the street entertainers added a very cool texture and, of course, there were incredible bourbons,” says Montclair Food and Wine founder Melody Kettle. “I believe we had about 650 in attendance, maybe 700. So happy that Chris Siversen of BURG won the competition.”

Burg takes Best of Festival at 2017 Bourbon & Biergarten (Instagram)

2017 Bourbon & Biergarten. Photo: Tony Turner

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Meet Montclair Author of “The King and Queen of Malibu” Tonight, 3/3

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 03, 2016 7:00am

Frederick and May Rindge, whose love story propelled Malibu’s transformation from an untamed ranch to a celebrity-studded paradise, are at the heart of this story of American grit and determinism.

malibuPicMonkey Collage
The King and Queen of Malibu: The True Story of the Battle for Paradise, by David K. Randall, Montclair resident and the NYT best-selling author of Dreamland, traces the path of one family and the story of Malibu from the halls of Harvard to the Old West to the beginnings of San Francisco’s counter culture amid the Gilded Age.

The story culminates in the glamour of early Hollywood, when the advent of railroads and cars heralded a beckoning American frontier and anything seemed possible.

Randall, a senior reporter at Reuters, is a California native who now lives in Montclair with his wife and two children. He spoke to Baristanet about his book: Continue Reading

Montclair Middle School Counselor Launches Therapy Journal for Teenagers

BY  |  Monday, Jan 25, 2016 3:00pm


Andrew D. Evangelista, who has been a Montclair student-assistance counselor for nearly three decades and also has a private psychotherapy practice, has used journals as an effective tool to help patients and teenagers understand themselves better. Now Evangelista has published a prompt-filled journal for teenagers, aimed as a therapy aid.

Styled like a workbook, You Can’t See It. It’s “Write” in Front of Me” (Xlibris, 2016), is designed to help teenagers assess their own actions, behavior and experiences, and understand how they can negotiate situations in their world as they grow up.

Teenagers typically are reluctant to let adults know if something is bothering them. But in the written form, with specific prompts, Mr Evangelista says that from experience, the journal has given them a safe space to express, explore or vent their feelings about daily situations or problems and may guide them toward finding inner strength, and ideas and coping mechanisms.

Evangelista will speak about his book at Watchung Booksellers this Thursday, Jan 28, at 7 p.m.

He tells Baristanet more about the book.

What inspired you to come up with this prompt-triggered journal?

As a student assistance counselor and private practitioner therapist, I have always used blank journals to help teenagers and adults connect to their feelings and thoughts. There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical and mental well being. I started by giving the students or patients things to write about, and that gave birth to the prompted journal. The prompts help adolescents get started by giving them ideas and subjects to think about.

What kind of issues may youth seek therapy for?

Some of these are covered by chapters in the journal. Things like self-acceptance, relationships, love and like, school issues, alcohol and drugs, social media, grief and loss, sexuality. These are typically issues teenagers face as they grow up. These chapters are included to help kids continue to work with self-esteem, confidence, and to expand their creativity and insight with regards to conflicts, problem solving and difficult decisions.

Why should parents or therapists give their kids/patients this journal?

To help them with transitions through adolescence and the teenage years. It’s a great tool for therapists to give to their patients and schools to use in advisory groups – to start conversations that may sort out confusion and help the teens deal better with relationships etc.

What’s the advantage of this journal as opposed to a regular one with no prompts?

Answering prompts eases the teenagers into journaling and keeps them focused. One of the trials of being a teenager is the inability to see the full consequences of their actions. They tend to live in the moment, with fun as a goal. Journaling allows a child to develop critical decision-making skills. By writing through ideas and the associated emotions, they begin to understand their own thought-processes and to learn from their mistakes.

My prompted journal helps jump start their thought process and offers some direction and focus. Cause and effect of behavior may become clearer when written in their own words, and this may help them understand their impulsivity, patterns of behavior and getting to know themselves on a different level.

How does journaling help in therapy?

Journaling about stressful events, goals, ideas that come in to your head or just daily activities can develop lead towards preventive strategies and coping skills. Teenagers, like adults, may not remember all the details when asked verbally. Journaling can help adolescents analyze a situation and to break down the thought process, which in turn may help reduce the impact of stressors on their physical or emotional health. This helps them become more self-reliant.

What: Book launch, Andrew Evangelista’s “You Can’t See It. It’s ‘Write’ In Front of Me”
When: Thursday, January 28, 7 to 8 p.m.
Where: Watchung Booksellers, 54 Fairfield St., Watchung Plaza, Montclair

Glenfield Kids Win Top Prize in Essex County Math League Competition

BY  |  Thursday, May 28, 2015 4:39pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Students (l.) Christian Brauchle, Andrew Skibniewski, Isaac Restrick, Aneekah Uddin, and Lila Zimbalist, with Mr. Emmett Murphy

Students (l.) Christian Brauchle, Andrew Skibniewski, Isaac Restrick, Aneekah Uddin, and Lila Zimbalist, with Mr. Emmett Murphy

Students from Glenfield Middle School, representing two teams from Montclair High School, trounced kids from nine other New Jersey schools to win the top honors in geometry, while placing 3rd in algebra, in the Essex County Math League competition on Wednesday. Montclair High School also sent four other teams for Algebra 2, Advanced Math, Calculus and Statistics.

Led by Glenfield’s Mr. Emmett Murphy, MHS’s geometry team – solely made up of Glenfield middle school kids participating in a high school competition – won first place in a contest that has been won before only by Livingston and Millburn high schools. They beat seven other school teams on their way to the top. The algebra team was also solely comprised of Glenfield students.

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Creative Confections Cafe Opens on Bellevue Ave., Montclair

BY  |  Wednesday, Mar 18, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (4)


EAT CAKE. I need no further invitation. The words in large, metal letters sit in the window of Creative Confections, a new bakery on Bellevue Ave. The sunny spot vacated last year by the popular Le Baker’s Dozen lures the early spring pedestrian, so recently wrapped in Eskimo garb, with the waft of fresh pastries and, yes, cake.

Run by Jennifer Duran, 50, and her daughter Larissa, 19, the bakery and cafe opened on March 7th, and will offer daily selections of pastries sweet and savory and breads, too, “with a European flair,” along with a wide selection of coffee and tea.
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Japanese Yam Latkes with Nori and Chili for Hanukkah

BY  |  Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014 9:00am

Latkes-Japanese yam1

I found some delightfully magenta Japanese yams while foraging for seasonal goodies in the dark woods well-lit aisles of my local Whole Foods.

Vivid on the outside, they’re crisp-white inside, and a wonderful addition to a festive tray of roast vegetables. They were just the inspiration I needed for my annual Asian-twist latke tradition, which enters its 17th year (er, I started early!).

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Lost Dolls and a Distraught Montclair Child

BY  |  Tuesday, Oct 04, 2011 12:50pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

You’ve probably been through the drill. Your child loses a toy, and it doesn’t make a different if it’s a dog-eared, well-worn, scruffy one or in good nick; the trauma that follows can’t be appeased by anything but the return of the very same plaything.

Second-grader Viltis Varnelis had been playing with her much-adored dolls at the top of the driveway on Highland Avenue (south of Ingleside), and left them there for a short while. One of the three dolls was extra special, being a gift from an aunt who had bought it in the ’80s. When Viltis returned to the driveway, they were gone.

Her mom Jennifer and dad Kazys , who immediately left a poster at the site asking if passersby may have seen the dolls, tell us:

“Viltis left her dolls at the top of the driveway on Highland Avene on Sunday around 3 or 4pm. She had been playing with them and had gone to the backyard even though we’d warned her that people might misunderstand and take toys left at the top.

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Kidsave Needs Families, Advocates for Older Orphans

BY  |  Friday, Jul 08, 2011 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

A Montclair family is advocating to find families for older, orphaned children from Colombia, and an event has been planned for July 10, to which potential families and interested parties are invited.

Rachael and Mark Egan, who adopted their own two daughters from infancy in New York, told Barista Kids (which wrote about the non-profit’s Summer Miracles program here) they feel passionately about this endeavor.

Here’s an interview BK had with Rachael recently:

Who should attend this event on Sunday?

People interested in learning about older child adoption, people interested in learning about hosting an orphan, or to advocate for their adoption, and people interested in learning about volunteering with (a non-profit dedicated to helping older orphans and foster-care children meet people who may adopt them) to help older orphans around the world and in New Jersey.

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Host an Orphaned Child this Summer

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 05, 2011 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

If you’ve ever felt blessed for everyday things in life that are easy to take for granted, like family, you may appreciate the warm thoughts behind‘s Summer Miracles program.

Kidsave, a nonprofit which works to move older kids out of foster care or orphanages and into permanent, loving homes, plans to bring orphaned or abandoned children, age 8 to 13, to Montclair and the New York metropolitan area from Colombia, and to find host families for them for a four-week summer visit.

The goal of this visit is to help these kids find permanent families, their own “forever homes.”

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NYT Bestselling Author Horowitz Meets Montclair Kids

BY  |  Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011 2:45pm

A warm welcome and a school auditorium brimming with keen, young readers greeted NYT #1 bestselling author Anthony Horowitz at the launch of Scorpia Rising, the final instalment in the popular Alex Rider series, late on Monday at Mt Hebron Middle School. Alex Rider, about a reluctant 14-year-old spy sensation, has sold tens of millions of copies and has been translated into 28 languages.

Which begged the question, why Montclair?

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I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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