What do you do when it’s the perfect spring day, your agenda is empty and your husband is out golfing? You explore your own city! That’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago. I decided to take a long walk around the center of town and about three hours later I had discovered new shops, indulged in a giant ice cream come from the South Street Creamery, and took in the Morristown green’s budding views. It honestly was the best afternoon I had in a long time.
Do any of you scan your Instagram food feed regularly to look at food photos? I know that due to who I follow on my blog account (@behindthepl8s …in case you aren’t already following along! Get on that!) I look at a sea of “foodporn” every day. It’s how the latest and greatest food trends get discovered and the next “it” eateries do their best marketing. One dish that has been on repeat on my feeds for a few years now is Ramen. It exploded onto the food scene a few years back and continues to prove it has stay power. And for anyone who has tried this Japanese noodle dish (And no, the dried Ramen packets you ate in college do not count….), you understand why Ramen has become a household name.
It’s very rare for me not to enjoy an Italian meal. With New Jersey and New York hosting more Italian restaurants than most places across the country, it’s easy to come across a decent dish. While I love to eat Italian food whenever I can, the restaurants I visit also tend to be a dime a dozen. My general feeling is that once you try one, you’ve tried them all. I shouldn’t paint such a broad brush but, as a large majority, most Italian eateries serve the same overplayed Americanized meals that we have come to accept as “true” Italian food. I don’t downplay that I enjoy these dishes, I even cook them myself. But, let’s face it; some of the dishes we chow down on aren’t even popular across the pond. Our ancestors who came over often mixed together American and Italian ingredients to produce these popularized dishes. Or, as time wore on, only the Italian dishes brought over that pleased other Americans’ palates were what stayed in favor.
Locals alert!!! Limited Whole Foods Markets rolled out their new Square Style square pizza at the stores’ ready-made food counters. The Morristown location happens to be a part of this exciting food introduction. I was privileged enough to visit the store on launch day to speak with Rico, the pizza chef, who is helping to lead the inaugurations across the New York and New Jersey stores.
Believe it or not, there are still a small handful of Morristown restaurants I have not dined my way through. It’s not necessarily for lack of wanting to try them. It’s just that I’m always out to try the newest place on the block or settling with my regular favorites.
Morristown has had some exciting new restaurant additions in the works for the past few months. Stirling Tavern is one of these endeavors! It took over the beloved David Todd’s space on South Street. I was a big fan of David Todd’s so they had a lot to live up to in my mind. Once I learned that the renowned Stirling Hotel would be taking over the reins I had high hoped for good things to come. (I haven’t been myself but have heard only great things!)
Spoiled Rotten. That’s the words that best describe me after my recent excursion to Ninety Acres at Natirar. Before I carry myself back and away with the dining experience, I’ll let you know how I ended there. Natirar is a sprawling 500 acre property and estate in Peapack, NJ that houses a cooking school, farm, meetings and event space, and a fine dining restaurant, Ninety Acres. The property is the embodiment of countryside elegance. The restaurant is reserved for luxurious nights out with an expensive menu, extensive wine list, and elaborate farm to table fare. Previous to my most recent visit I had visited the restaurant one other time for a special birthday dinner date with my now husband. However; our friends know us all too well and more than one of our wedding guests thought to give us a gift card to this estate to use to enjoy the finer foods in life. We’ve managed to make it six whole months without finding the time to make a reservation. But, we had an empty weekend and we finally ceased the opportunity.
I’m excited to share a new restaurant with all of you today! A few weeks back I decided to venture outside of my Morristown comfort zone in order to get some new dining perspective. One of my foodie friends and I decided that we needed to try something new and refresh our taste buds from the same old (while very good) restaurant repertoire. We drove up and over to Mountain Lakes, NJ to give The Station Restaurant a taste test.
The Montclair Rotary Club has done it again! Monday night’s annual Taste of Montclair event took place at The Manor in West Orange, NJ. More than thirty local restaurants and celebrated chefs came together and showcased their talents for the charity event. I had the pleasure of attending for the second year in a row and I was once again blown away by these restaurants’ mastery of their craft. Before I get into the culinary achievements I was lucky enough to indulge in, I want to share the positive message that this event takes pride in spreading each year. One hundred percent of all ticket proceeds for The Taste of Montclair go to charities supported by the Montclair Rotary Club. Some of these include the Salvation Army, the Human Needs Food Pantry and Toni’s Kitchen. The Taste of Montclair raised thousands of dollars at this years event. The efforts of all those involved whom put together this night to support local businesses while benefiting a great cause should not go unnoticed.