The month of January welcomes in 2013 with some intriguing restaurant and food news. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, everyone on the Jersey Shore is happy to see 2012 gone as so many restaurants, food vendors and related businesses were either devastated or seriously impaired. Happily many restaurants have been restored and reopened. Circle these dates on your calendar to save and experience epicurean delights.
In Long Branch’s Pier Village, Avenue restaurant’s Executive Chef Dominique Filoni has secured a cache of prized “black Perigord truffles” from France and is introducing two distinctively different truffle tasting menus this January. During the first half of January, Filoni is preparing scrambled duck eggs with truffle shavings, followed by truffle risotto with celeriac, pine nuts and truffle espuma and chocolate Valrhona truffles.
From January 16th to the 31st, Chef Filoni will offer a sea scallop and truffle carpaccio, followed by a trio of braised beef tongue, oxtail and tripe with truffle brunoise, and culminating with a sublime house-made truffle ice cream. Each three-course tasting will be available for $50 per person. For reservations, call 732-759-2900.
At Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, a new menu of hot drinks and sweet desserts has been premiered and is guaranteed to shake off winter’s chill. While guests enjoy the majestic view of the Navesink River they can indulge in a repertoire of sinful confections as they sip on a favorite hot, after-dinner drink. Some of the new desserts include: a Granny Smith Apple Pie ($7.95) topped with vanilla ice cream and warm caramel sauce; Crème Brulée ($6.95) with creamy vanilla custard and caramelized sugar and a gluten-free Flourless Chocolate Cake ($6.95) topped with chocolate gelato and chocolate sauce.
Soul warming dessert drinks include: the Pumpkin Pie (Stoli Vanil, Bailey's, Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon Spiced Rum, Graham Cracker Rim); Strawberry Chocolate (Stoli Strasberri, White Godiva, Strawberry Liqueur, White Crème de Cacao in a Chocolate Frosted Glass) and White Chocolate (Stoli Vanil, White Godiva, Bailey's, White Crème de Cacao). All these dessert drinks are $12. Salt Creek Grille, 4 Bingham Avenue, Rumson.
January 9, 7 p.m. – David Burke Fromagerie, Rumson, kicks off 2013 with a Winter Champagne & Wine Dinner Series featuring Veuve Clicquot's Brand Ambassador Aygline Pechdo. Guests will begin with Belvedere cocktails, followed by a four-course dinner prepared by Chef Phil Deffina and accompanied by five champagnes for $130 per person. David Burke Fromagerie, 26 Ridge Road Rumson, 732-842-8088.
Also, beginning January 9, Fromagerie will be heating up its Burger Night with Burgers, Belvi & Bubbles. For a $5 supplement ($30), add a Belvedere martini “your way”, and for a $10 supplemental ($35), add a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne with your burger!
January 18, 7 p.m. – Asian Fusion Night at The Grape Escape -Join Winemaker Thomas Nye and Exectuive Chef Steve Mezzadri from Green Olive for a five-course food and wine pairing. Chef Mezzadri will prepare the five- course dinner with each course paired with wines from around the world.
January 22, 7:30 p.m. - Mr. Green Tea Ice Cream Co., Keyport, partners with Porta Restaurant, Asbury Park, to present “A Night Out To Restore The Shore.” The event will benefit local Sandy rebuilding efforts by 501c3 charity Waves For Water.
The exclusive event will feature a four-course menu including drinks, live music by local artists and a silent auction. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated directly to the 501c3 charity Waves For Water, which has been addressing the initial survival needs of first responder assistance, rubble removal and rebuilding efforts. The $100 per person event includes a four-course dinner, two drinks, and entertainment; cash bar to follow event, with all proceeds donated to Waves For Water. Tickets are limited; reserve online at mrgreenteaicecream.com/rts or call 732-446-9800. Porta Restaurant, 911 Kingsley Street, Asbury Park.
January 23, 7 p.m. – David Burke Fromagerie California's Faustini and Fulcrum Wine Dinner. Winemaker guest speakers Anthony Faustini and David Rossi will share their insights and tasting notes for wines that will be paired with Chef Phil Deffina's creative American cuisine. The winemakers have selected six selections from their cellars for this special evening. Included in the wines are: Faustini Cabernet Sauvignons, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay. $125 per person. For reservations, call 732-842-8088. David Burke Fromagerie, 26 Ridge Road, Rumson.
January 24, 6 p.m. -Help Townsquare Media “Restore the Shore” at a tasting event to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Sample more than 50 wine & spirit brands from around the world and savor the cuisine prepared by the culinary team at Eagle Oaks Country Club. Enjoy live music from the Jersey Shore’s popular cover band, Daddy Pop and participate in a silent auction. 100 percent of the ticket sales and silent auction proceeds will benefit Jersey Shore Sandy victims through Hometown Heroes. Tickets are $35 per person. For ticket information, visit Restore the Shore Benefit. Eagle Oaks Country Club, 20 Shore Oaks Drive, Farmingdale
January 24, 6:30 p.m. - Join The Grape Escape Winery for its "Bottle Your Own Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar" event. You will be treated to fun, food and wine in a unique cooking class where you bottle your very own award-winning olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Reservations are required and space is limited. (Full dinner Included with this class). The cost is $95.00 per person or $165.00 per couple and includes the following: Olive Oil & Balsamic Tasting - savor different herb blends with seasonal items; Design Your Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Labels, and create your very own herb blends. The Grape Escape Winery, 12 Stults Road, Suite 101, Dayton, 609-409-9463.
January 26, 6-9 p.m. - Guest Chef & Pairing Dinner - Laurita Winery and Branches Catering welcome Steven Mercer as guest chef for the evening who will be serving fine foods paired with Laurita Wines. $62 per person. For reservations, call 732-542-5050. Laurita Winery, 85 Archertown Road, New Egypt.
January 26, 3:30 p.m. - Make Your Own Wine Infused Chocolate event at The Grape Escape Winery. The Robinson Family has over 100 years of chocolate making experience and has agreed to combine their knowledge and expertise of making high quality chocolate with The Grape Escape’s expertise in wine making to create five custom blends just for you.
Each custom blend is created by Robinson’s Master Chocolatier Jim Robinson of Robinson’s Fine Candies in Princeton, using their own family recipe blend of semi-sweet Belgium and Swiss Dark Chocolate. Each unique chocolate bar comes in its own custom labeled gift box made by you. The cost is $75 per person or $130 a couple and includes the following activities: history of chocolate making and discussion on different chocolate types; chocolate and wine tasting/pairing, and melt your choice of custom blend of chocolate - enough for 6 custom bars – and you can infuse your chocolate with wine directly from the barrel. The Grape Escape Winery, 12 Stults Road, Suite 101, Dayton, 609-409-9463.
January 26, 9:00 a.m. - Make Your Own Mozzarella event at The Grape Escape Winery. Hands-on instructions on how to make your own mozzarella; two person teams will be created – a master cheese maker and an assistant; each guest will make his/her own mozzarella and then switch roles with the assistant. One ticket enables you to go home with four or five large mozzarella balls; two tickets will provide you with seven or eight large mozzarella balls.
Reservations are required and space is limited. The cost is $85.00 per person or $160.00 per couple. You will learn the proper way to freeze and unfreeze your mozzarella balls and will be provided with notes, a recipe and sources for materials after the session. The Grape Escape Winery, 12 Stults Road, Suite 101, Dayton, 609-409-9463.
*All prices quoted are exclusive of tax and gratuity.
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