Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Macarons - Now At @AsaltAndButtery

Asalt and Buttery, the East Coast's favorite destination for Authentic French Macarons, introduces a new flavor: Dark Chocolate Pomegranate. Valrhona Caribe and Pomegranate are the perfect combination for a grown up Christmas wish.  

@AsaltAndButtery
The French Macaron is a meringue confection made with sugar, egg whites and almond flour, with a filling that can be either ganache or buttercream, sometimes jam is used. Sounds simple, at first, but anyone who knows anything about meringue is well aware of how easy a delightful treat can become aerated concrete if not done well.

So what's owner Maureen O'Neill's secret for the perfect macaron? That's a well guarded secret, sort of, but what is shared is that Asalt and Buttery uses only all natural ingredients and flavors, including real fruit. It's not such a stretch that all those traditional flavor sources are what make the originals in France so good, but it is also the same thing that makes them so delicate with such a short perfect shelf life. .Since nothing artificial is used the general rule is buy them today, eat them tomorrow. (they freeze well, so hoarding for the holidays is perfectly acceptable.)

Located in Little Falls NJ, Asalt and Buttery will be moving to Caldwell NJ soon to a larger location soon. In the meantime visit Asalt and Buttery on Facebook or their website today to plot and plan what you'll get on your next visit. OR order online to anywhere in the country.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Raid Your 401(k) - The Montclair Pop Up Is Back!

Local entrepreneurs, Selma Avdicevic (owner of Woolly Boo) and Helene Richman (owner of brandhelene) today officially announced the return of Montclair Pop-Up. The Montclair Pop-Up 2014 will be located at 28 South Fullerton Avenue and the grand opening will be Saturday, November 29.

South Fullerton Avenue has always been an integral part of Montclair Center, but the economic downturn has affected the neighborhood. Avdicevic and Richman have worked since the summer trying to find just the right location, to bring the pop-up to Montclair Center, and South Fullerton was the answer

Pop-Up stores are temporary retail venues that are very popular in large urban areas. These shops, while small and temporary, can build up interest by consumer exposure. Pop-up retail allows curators to create a unique environment that engages the customers, as well as generates a feeling of relevance and interactivity. “We believe Montclair’s retail landscape has greatly benefited from this idea, as evidenced by the surge of pop-ups since last winter. Last year, we created at the same time an exciting retail space where consumers can purchase unique products, as well as collaborative space for the community,” says Helene Richman.

Montclair Pop-Up will be curated to compliment the residential and existing retail spaces, and will help to increase the South Fullerton foot traffic. Landlord Jarmila Packard says: “We are delighted to welcome Helene and Selma's Montclair Pop-Up to The Crescent Shops. We think it is going to be fantastic!”

Montclair Pop-Up will feature unique, artisanal goods and products, most of them locally made. “It brings us a great pleasure to bring the Montclair Pop-Up “downtown”. It was such a wonderful community experience last year, and we have been peppered with questions about when and where is the new pop-up going to be since last January,” says Selma Avdicevic.

The founders plan to reach out to all other local businesses, and will seek joint participation to engage the neighborhood with events, signage, and marketing for the launch on November 29, which is also Small Business Saturday.

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More information can be found at:http://www.montclairpopup.com/. Updates daily at the Montclair Pop-Up Facebook page and and Twitter @MontclairPopUp

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Crab and Salmon in the Tree of Life in Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom


"The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword, But Nothing Brings People Together Quite Like A Fork And Spoon" - John Lee

Terre a Terre is the highly acclaimed Farm to Table restaurant in Carlstadt New Jersey. I know, Carldstadt, off the beaten path, away from the hot food towns of the Garden State, a little out of the way, but so good that even New Jersey Monthly gave Chef Todd Villani 3 1/2 stars. (its been forever and a day since that has happened)

Discover Terre a Terre, and in the meantime, gather some friends and people you know and remember what I wrote "The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword, But Nothing Brings People Together Quite Like A Fork And Spoon"


Monday, November 24, 2014

Meet Santa at @MundoVeganMtc in @MontclairCenter Friday Nov 28

We are THRILLED to welcome Santa next Friday afternoon -- and the event is a fundraiser for some really important and wonderful community organizations! Read on for details, and see you next Friday!!

****Montclair’s Mundo Vegan invites kids of all ages to come and visit with Santa Claus on Friday, November 28. Santa will be at the Church St. restaurant for photos between 2 pm and 5 pm.
The event’s $20 suggested donation will benefit two different animal welfare organizations, JerseyCats and the Montclair Township Animal Shelter. "

Donation recipient JerseyCats is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to improving the lives of homeless cats and kittens in New Jersey through rescue, adoption and spay/neuter programs. Montclair Township Animal Shelter is municipally run and governed by the Township of Montclair. The facility provides animal care and control for the townships of Montclair, Verona and Nutley.

Mundo Vegan will also be open to celebrate their first Thanksgiving between 12 and 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving; call them at 973-744-5503 for reservations or take out for a healthy, cruelty-free Thanksgiving meal.****

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hazlenut Dreams

SCORE! @dudeletseat just shared one of my (@johnleesandiego) photos to over 27,000 followers #tasteofmontclair @tastemontclair

When the Montclair Rotary wanted some photos of the restaurants and participants for Taste Of Montclair 2015, I sent them this photo of Asalt and Buttery's French Macarons. Then this happened:
@DudeLetsEat has over 27,000 Twitter followers and they all saw my photo
 and the Taste of Montclair tags. Woot!

 Taste of Montclair returns to Montclair on March 9 2015 followed by Montclair Restaurant Week March 9 to 15. Both events are sponsored by the Montclair Rotary.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Old Canal Inn Opens Less Than A Week After The Fire #ocinutley #restoreoci

The Old Canal Inn Reopened At Noon Nov 22
The legendary Old Canal Inn reopened at noon today just short of a week after a fire in the kitchen. The kitchen and dining room portion of the Inn are closed as reconstruction and restoration work is done.

Owner Mark Conca estimates that that portion of the business will be closed for about six months. In the meantime the bar, including the iconic death seat and shuffleboard table are open and ready for guests.

A large party tent was put up in the parking lot as a gathering place while the dining room is rebuilt. It is a great gathering place and can hold dozens of people, which is perfect because on Thanksgiving Eve, people from all over the region are expected to visit to express their gratitude for what they have this year, and that the Conca family, their tenants upstairs, and their business are all headed toward a great 2015.

First "Sale" After The Fire
Located on the Bloomfield/Nutley  border, the Old Canal Inn was saved from being a total loss because of the swift efforts of the Bloomfield and Nutley Fire Departments. The first paying customer after the fire was a Bloomfield Firefighter. The Conca Brothers were ready to put that beer on their own personal tabs tab but he insisted to pay $10 for that one beer to help the business recover.

That story, and so many others from this period of restoratin, tell so much about the type of place the OCI is: people coming together in good times for a beer, and coming together to support each other in the not so good times. It is always like that at the OCI.

While it will be several months until the "New Old Canal Inn" reopens the restaurant portion, but the organizers at Bloomfield Restaurant Week were proud to announce that the OCI was the first restaurant to sign up for the August 2015 event. The Old Canal Inn will indeed come back bigger, better, and more bad-ass than ever before.

 

The Old Canal Inn
2 East Passaic Ave Nutley, NJ 07110
Type of Cuisine: Pub Food
Price Range: $$
Alcohol: Full Bar

The Old Canal Inn REALLY Needs Your Support #restoreoci @TheOCI_NJ

After the fire, and before reopening the bar at the Old Canal Inn on Nov 22, Mark and Danny Conca were caught watching One Direction on Ellen. Is this how you #concatheworld ? Drop in, grab a drink, and encourage them to watch something real on TV. 


The restaurant portion of the Old Canal Inn will be open in the spring following extensive renovations. (The bar is open now). The OCI was the first restaurant to join Bloomfield Restaurant Week 2015 coming to town in August. 


Looks Like There Might Be Breaking News About Old Canal Inn #restoreoic @TheOCI_NJ

On the night of November 15 a fire broke out in the kitchen of the Old Canal Inn. Not even a week later it appears that at least the bar portion of "Two-eez" is open. Details will follow in the morning. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Something Is Going On At The Old Canal Inn #restoreoci


Nutley’s Traditional Holiday Celebration Set for November 30th, 2014

Nutley, NJ – Mayor Alphonse Petracco and the Board of Commissioners have announced plans to host one of Nutley’s oldest traditions – the annual Holiday Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting. The entire community is invited to attend the Township’s official kick-off of the Holiday Season.

The annual celebration will take place on Sunday, November 30th from 5pm to 7pm, with activities scheduled to take place both inside John H. Walker Middle School and areas in and around the Nutley Park Oval. Franklin Avenue will be closed between Chestnut and New Streets. Chestnut Street between Franklin Avenue and Vincent Place will also be closed during the festivities.

“The annual holiday celebration is a wonderful community event bringing families and friends together to welcome in the holiday season,” commented Mayor Alphonse Petracco. “It is a great way to see our community at its best,” the Mayor added. Santa returns to Nutley with his reindeer and will be ready to have his picture taken with the children. (Photographs will be available for individual purchase.)

Carrying on the holiday tradition, the celebration will include live entertainment from local musical groups approximately every 15 to 20 minutes, including the Elementary School Choir, the John H. Walker Middle School Concert Choir, the Middle School Jazz Band, the Choralettes, the MS Madrigals, Men’s Choir and NHS Chamber Singers and the Brass ensemble. Under the direction of Music Director James Riley, the groups will provide a medley of holiday music sure to please all in attendance. The events festivities will feature a mini-train ride, horse and buggy rides, roasted chestnuts, hot cider & coffee and family entertainment.

There will be a special refreshment/bake sale to support the Friends of the Nutley Singers (FONS) and the Nutley Music Boosters, as well as a hot cocoa sale to support the senior class.

Star Anise : The Not So Secret (Anymore) Ingredient In My Turkey Brine

Star Anise

Thursday, November 20, 2014

World Nutella Day Is 5 February 2015 : Save The Date


World Nutella Day was created in 2007 when Sara Rosso, an American blogger living in Italy, thought that there were many days in the year but no day set aside to appreciate Nutella. Why not?


And World Nutella Day was born.

Sara recruited Shelley from At Home in Rome to be her partner in crime for World Nutella Day 2007. In subsequent years, Sara was joined by Michelle from Bleeding Espresso as they spread World Nutella Day love!

Giraffe in the Tree of Life at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Still Life With Ketchup and Fries at Terre a Terre ( @localnjfoods ) | Carlstadt #foodporn

The new Prix Fixe lunch at Terre a Terre in Carlstadt is finding devotees across the Garden State. The menu echoes the same locally sourced Farm to Table concept as the dinner menu and changes a bit each week. My first visit included the TaT Burger whose toppings will change based on seasonal availability. Don't miss the hand cut fries - they are as good as In-N-Out in California but LOCAL, and the ketchup is served in that little pot - perfect for dipping.

Meerkat and Snail in the Tree of Life at Walt Disney's Animal Kingdom


Monday, November 17, 2014

Band Aid 30 - Do They Know It's Christmas? (2014) #BandAid30 #HealTheWorld

Save The Date: Taste Of Montclair Is March 9th 2015

Taste of Montclair will showcase of Montclair’s best and brightest stars of the culinary world on March 9th 2015

Come to The Rotary Club of Montclair’s Taste of Montclair Monday, March 10, 2014 and help us put charity back on the table. The participating restaurants represent the eclectic, wonderful culinary artists that thrive here in Montclair. Whether you fancy authentic French food or have a passion for locally sourced food, Montclair restaurants have what you crave. You don’t need a plane ticket to travel the world for international foods in one spot – at The Taste of Montclair.

 The Taste of Montclair will offer you a world of culinary delights under one roof. In 2014 the Taste of Montclair raised over $24,000 for the charities supported by the Montclair Rotary Club.

In the coming weeks Black Tie And Flip Flops will announce each new participating restaurant for Taste of Montclair 

Pumpkin Spice French Macarons at @AsaltAndButtery in Little Falls #foodporn

Authentic French Macarons, made using traditional French methods and using only natural flavors,can be found at Asalt and Buttery in Little Falls. Pumpkin Spice is one of the seasonal flavors that will disappear once the turkey flies. Asalt and Buttery is moving to Caldwell NJ in late 2014.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bloomfield's Old Canal Inn Survives Fire

A kitchen fire broke out at the iconic Old Canal Inn in Essex County NJ. Located on the border of Bloomfield and Nutley, the Old Canal Inn has experienced a resurgence in attendance after Nutley's Conca brothers restored the landmark three years ago.
The bar and residences appear unaffected by the fire

The fire, which was restricted to the kitchen in the rear portion of the inn, was contained by 7:30 pm on Saturday November 15, 2014. The restored bar was not affected by the fire. The condition of the dining room was not immediately known as the kitchen is adjacent to the dining room and water damage is always a concern with a fire. As daylight breaks more details will be made known. The Old Canal Inn is known for the Death Seat Burger as well as one of the best dirty martinis in Essex County.

This past week the organizing committees of Bloomfield Restaurant Week and Taste of Montclair reached out to the Old Canal to participate in their respective events. Obviously, the OCI has made a great name for itself. 

I first heard of the “Death Seat” at the Old Canal Inn when I found a copy of weird New Jersey at the Barnes and Noble in Mission Valley in San Diego. Who would have thought that several years later I would not only have the opportunity to see the actual death seat, but eat the burger after which it is named!

Of course before eating the Death Seat Burger Platter it’s always good to know a little about the background on Nutley’s most infamous piece of furniture.


The Old Canal Inn opened in the 1930’s on East Passaic Avenue along the Nutley –Bloomfield border. The township boarder actually runs through a portion of the building – the shuffleboard is actually in Bloomfield. A working class fixture for decades, the establishment was owned by the same family until it closed in the early 2000s. The Conca Brothers of Nutley knew a bit of the history, found the building to be structurally sound, and saw an opportunity create the next chapters of this landmark by building on the past. The original maple floors and chestnut bar have been restored to their mid-20th Century  appearance, the old beer taps are back with some new additions, and the Death Seat is featured near the front of the bar.

According to legend, somewhere in the latter part of the last century, a patron of the bar died in one of the barstools. A burger was not involved. Not that long thereafter another patron met the same fate, in the very same barstool. And a legend was created.
The Death Seat Burger
Flash forward to 2012 and the Death Seat takes a prominent place on the menu on Mondays.
The Death Seat Burger Platter is BIG, so big that you definitely have to eat it sitting down, and that death part, while eating it I thought I died and went to heaven! So what is a Death Seat Burger?  Start with a grilled burger. The full kitchen at the Old Canal Inn includes a grill. Then layer it Nacho Cheese, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Jalapeno, and Tomatoes

But wait, you don’t think it stops with a bun, do you? The entire burger, bun and all, is beer battered and deep fried.  It's then served on a large platter that includes homemade slaw, homemade pasta salad, fries, lettuce and pickles. That’s right, homemade, as in right in the kitchen, with fresh ingredients with just enough mayonnaise to pull it together. Most slaw and pasta salad out there, in my opinion is just mayonnaise with some added texture. That’s so not the case here. It was all about the vegetables! All of this fun can be yours for just $13. The cool part – patrons who eat the Death Seat Burger Platter get a black t-shirt announcing your accomplishment to the world. Sadly, it is served only on Mondays at the Old Canal Inn. The Old Canal Inn is located at 2 East Passaic Avenue in Nutley. It’s just down the street from St Valentine’s Roman Catholic Church.

 "The OCI" will undoubtedly reopen soon and I'll be there waiting for my dirty martini.  

The Old Canal Inn 2 East Passaic Ave Nutley, NJ 07110
Type of Cuisine: Pub Food
Price Range: $$
Alcohol: Full Bar

The Grand Floridian Resort At Walt Disney World Orlando Florida


Friday, November 14, 2014

Ricky Mugs For The Camera

Ricky (formal name Ricardo Joachim) found me at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2nd Annual Turkey Ride to Benefit the Human Needs Food Pantry Scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

Following up on its huge success last year, the Montclair Bikery’s 2nd Annual Turkey Ride to ride and collect turkeys for the Human Needs Food Pantry will take place on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014.  Cyclists will meet at the Montclair Bikery at 145 Valley Road at 9:30 a.m. and ride a flat, 15-mile circuitous route to the Brookdale Shoprite on Broad Street, Bloomfield, where they will buy frozen turkeys, and deliver them (by bike) to the Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair. The Human Needs Food Pantry distributes over 600 turkeys and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving feast to their clients the week of Nov. 24.

Last year, 75 cyclists braved arctic cold temperatures and bought and donated 175 turkeys to the Human Needs Food Pantry.  This year, the Montclair Bikery is hoping to double both those numbers.  “That’s a tremendous help to us,” says Mike Bruno, Executive Director of the Human Needs Food Pantry.  “It’s a little bit tense, hoping we’re going to have enough turkeys to supply everybody.  I don’t want to tell anybody here, ‘Sorry, I don’t have a turkey for you.’  The Pantry is expected to give out between 600-700 turkeys this year, to families in the communities of Montclair, Glen Ridge, and Bloomfield. 

“It’s always inspiring to me to see so many people who are willing to give of themselves and share in such a fun event.  That helps motivate us to give back to this great community,” says Dave Adornato, the owner of the Montclair Bikery.

For those not able to ride on November 23, you can still help out the Human Needs Food Pantry by making a contribution for turkeys at the Montclair Bikery.  Partners For Health will match all donations made between now and Nov. 23.


Interested participants should register via email at montclairbikery@gmail.com or in person at the store prior to the ride.  Riders may also sign up the day of the ride.  All riders must be 18 years or older and are asked to bring $20 to buy the turkey, which is being discounted by the Brookdale Shoprite.  Cyclists may buy additional turkeys and these will be transported to the Pantry as well.

The Montclair Bikery is grateful for the following sponsors who are helping to underwrite the event:  Amanti Vino, Athletic Genius, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Sharon Gill, Central Engineering & Supply Co., Corneal Associates of NJ, Egans, Partners for Health, Sandler O’Neill & Partners, Shoprite, and Thomas Direct.

Estelle Really Does Have To Learn How To Let It Go | Frozen #disneyside


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lion in the Tree of Life at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom


The Legendary Death Seat Burger at the Old Canal Inn | Bloomfield / Nutley NJ #foodporn

According to legend, somewhere in the latter part of the last century, a patron of the Old Canal Inn died in one of the barstools. A burger was not involved. Not that long thereafter another patron met the same fate, in the very same barstool. And a legend was created.





Flash forward to 2012 and the Death Seat takes a prominent place on the menu on Mondays.
The Death Seat Burger Platter is BIG, so big that you definitely have to eat it sitting down, and that death part, while eating it I thought I died and went to heaven! So what is a Death Seat Burger?  Start with a grilled burger. The full kitchen at the Old Canal Inn includes a grill. Then layer it Nacho Cheese, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Jalapeno, and Tomatoes

But wait, you don’t think it stops with a bun, do you? The entire burger, bun and all, is beer battered and deep fried.  It's then served on a large platter that includes homemade slaw, homemade pasta salad, fries, lettuce and pickles. That’s right, homemade, as in right in the kitchen, with fresh ingredients with just enough mayonnaise to pull it together. Most slaw and pasta salad out there, in my opinion is just mayonnaise with some added texture. That’s so not the case here. It was all about the vegetables! All of this fun can be yours for just $13. The cool part – patrons who eat the Death Seat Burger Platter get a black t-shirt announcing your accomplishment to the world. Sadly, it is served only on Mondays at the Old Canal Inn. The Old Canal Inn is located at 2 East Passaic Avenue in Nutley. It’s just down the street from St Valentine’s Roman Catholic Church.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Montclair Animal Shelter Volunteers & Staff Step Up Adoption Efforts

The Montclair Township Animal Shelter has seen some remarkable progress in pet adoption numbers during last several weeks. Volunteers rallied behind adoption events, dog-walking, pet socialization, and other efforts to help shelter animals, so that they may ultimately find their forever homes. 
Ricky learned very quickly that if he acts cute he would be adopted. 


Shelter volunteer and Montclair local Nancy Willis spearheaded a major adoption campaign for dogs. She organized weekly outings to the Montclair Farmers’ Market with volunteers and shelter dogs so that the animals could be more visible and be able to interact with the public.

“We really wanted to get some of our dogs out in the fresh air where people gather so that folks could come and meet them and find out what truly wonderful and friendly companions they would make,” said Willis.

Willis had bright yellow t-shirts made for the volunteers and Montclair resident and professional photographer Eric Delmar provided his services to produce beautiful portraits of the Shelter’s cats and dogs. Sheltervolunteer Noel Sedransk donated graphic design and printing costs to make posters that are being displayed in establishments around town.

“It was just amazing to see how many people rallied around our efforts and came out to help,” said Willis. “What was even more gratifying was the reaction from those who stopped by to meet our dogs – they simply fell in love! Just as we knew they would.”

As a result of combined efforts on the part of volunteers and shelter staff, 27 dogs have found homes during the past several weeks.

In addition, Caz Rosson was recently hired to be the Shelter Volunteer Coordinator. “Caz is well on the way to making some very positive changes that will further the good work of the volunteers,” said Health Department Director Sue Portuese. “She has some really great ideas that we’re looking forward implementing to help our animals and our staff.”

“I am truly astonished and pleased not only that we have so many terrific people who raised their hands to help our animals, their dedication and efforts are a such a tremendous asset to what we hope to achieve at the Shelter moving forward,” said Rosson.

One of Rosson’s first tasks was to organize volunteer duties, nominating team leaders for various shelter responsibilities: cats, dogs, media, events, and administration.

“Having well-defined roles not only makes for clear objectives, it provides much greater direction and accountability to ensure that all our animals’ needs are seen to,” said Rosson. “We have some extraordinary people who gladly stepped up to the plate to take on these leadership roles and they will help me with coordinating all of our activities.”

In addition to the Farmers’ Market events, the Shelter hosted the second annual fundraiser “Zombie Dog Walk of the Dead,” organized by Anthony Muzikar of MetalDogz.com. Pet adoption events were held at the Upper Montclair Sidewalk Sale and Anthropologie on Bloomfield Avenue. Volunteers have also stepped up a social media and TV34 pet spotlight campaign to ensure the animals get maximum visibility on all media. Additional events are planned, such as dog and cat adoption Saturdays at Petco in West Orange and resuming volunteer evening walks with shelter dogs.
Rosie (now Rosalita Towanda) is a rough and tumble girl who is so grateful that the shelter staff placed her in a good home with her own cat and Mini Cooper.
The Montclair Animal Shelter continues to accept volunteer applications and will host more weekly orientations in the weeks to come. For more in formation, please contact MTASVolunteer@montclairnjusa.org.

Autumn In New York : Along The Palisades Interstate Parkway

A Clean Slate Monday Reminder From The Mad Hatter #disneyquotes