Finding Mish

The Secret of 70th Street 

A golden lotus gracefully opens its ethereal petals, revealing diamonds dancing delicately on its pistils and stamens. It is an alchemist’s dream. No clunky piece of jewelry, this luminescent brooch blossoms with timeless design, creativity, and craftsmanship. So often we go treasure hunting in New York, yet so rarely do we unearth a real treasure. In this case the map couldn’t be marked more clearly. Forego 47th Street. Skip breakfast at Tiffany’s. Wander up Madison Ave. past Chopard and Chanel, and turn east on East 70th Street. Proceed to a cluster of brownstones close to Lexington Avenue. There, tucked behind a gentle garden sits a boite of a jewelry store called Mish New York. For years, my Upper East Side girlfriends have talked in hushed, reverent tones about Mish. They swoon over Mish’s chalcedony and diamond earrings, sigh at the sight of the topaz, gold and diamond pagoda pin and quietly covet the gold Chinese charm bracelet. This eponymous boutique also houses a select array of stunning jewel-encrusted rings, bracelets, necklaces and cufflinks created by Mish Tworkowski, a boyish, friendly former senior VP of Jewelry at Sotheby’s. A New Jersey native, Mish graduated from Rutgers with a double degree in Art History and Business Administration—both of which, no doubt, contributed to his accomplishments as a taste-making jewelry designer and successful entrepreneur. Along with the discerning artistic eye and business acumen, Mish’s interest in jewelry design, its process and art, grew out of an early exposure to all aspects of jewelry making. “A family friend owned a jewelry studio and factory where I would hang out watching the craftsmen at work—creating molds, casting, soldering and polishing silver and gold, and setting stones. It was a fun and amazing place.” Mish explains. “So through osmosis and access to the workshop at a young age, I got to the point where I could make drawings and then think about how to convert a drawing into a piece of jewelry through, say, the ‘lost-wax’ process.” After college came a 15-year stint at Sotheby’s, which included overseeing the estate sales of Diana Vreeland and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Soon Mish started creating his own line of jewelry. His early business “began organically, as many of my clients at Sotheby’s became friends and were interested in my designs.” He began selling his jewelry on the side with his Sotheby’s boss’s blessings. A self-described “happy workaholic,” Mish threw himself into his dream of opening a shop in 2001. His apprenticeship at Sotheby’s gave Mish some definite thoughts on the subjects of taste and style. To him, they are closely linked. “If you define tasteful and stylish, tasteful could be negative, implying that someone is boring, maybe too solemn or safe in her dress,” he says. “Tasteful and good taste are different. Good taste is always appropriate. Good taste is finely edited, never anything superfluous. Stylish, or having style, is someone who is willing to take a little risk. The little surprise that it gives is always wonderful. It might make you smile. It might make you think, ‘Wow, that person is creative and original.’ When someone is stylish, it is under the veil of appropriateness, there is a tastefulness, but with flair.” Nature is Mish’s primary muse. While at Wakaya, a client’s resort in Fiji, Mish was so blown away by the vibrant colors of sea life that—despite being a self-professed “waterphobic”— donned scuba gear and ventured out to the coral reef. “The colors were awe-inspiring,” Mish recalls. “Huge cobalt-blue starfish, yellow, pink, purple and salmon coral, fish of all colors. I went there to relax, but from the moment I stepped on the island, I was designing jewelry non-stop.” Mish has a devoted following of chic New Yorkers. His wide smile and signature bowties reveal a man confident in his own style, who effortlessly puts people at ease. I recently walked into the cheery shop to find a film crew interviewing Mish for a BIG birthday montage for a regular customer. I heard Mish thank her, teasing that without her enthusiastic patronage, he would “never have been able to buy Karl Lagerfeld’s Paris apartment!” When a museum curator friend heard I was researching this story, she emailed me pictures of her Mish treasures— the “go-to” orbiting pearl earrings, the aquamarine necklace, the Henderson brooch Mish designed for her, which she described as a “stunner on a navy suit jacket…the subtlety of colors shows the eye of the artist.” Even online at 72 dpi, she looked great. “What I love about this jewelry,” she wrote, “is his masterly way of mixing colors, keeping it all fresh and not serious-looking (even if the prices are serious). It’s easy to wear.” Mish enjoys collaborating with his customers and being inspired by their lives and interests. His playful wit emerged when designing cuff links and tuxedo studs for a client’s husband’s 50th birthday. The husband collected cars and especially loved his Aston-Martin. Mish made studs, using photos the wife took, that were replicas of the wheels (replete with gemstone hubcaps). He backed the cuff links with miniature gold versions of Aston-Martin tire treads. “What is special about coming to someone like me is that I’m not wholesaling, but dealing one-on-one with the client with a defined style,” Mish explains. “Many jewelers have globalized, so that you can buy their jewelry in any city or country and so can your friends. If you want to buy my designs or find something unique that none of your friends have, you have to come to my store.” In a world where so much is mass-produced, impersonal and brazenly marketed, it is rare to come across a business that thrives on artistry, workmanship and word of mouth. We sometimes forget that, in matters of the heart, a gulf still separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. Mish is a reminder of just how wide that gulf can be. EDGE

All photos courtesy of Mish New York; special thanks to Michael Oldford

 

Wardrobe Malfunction

Wow. Has it really come to this? I recently learned there is someone at this magazine who has been forbidden to purchase his own clothing. I won’t say who it is, but you’ll find his name closer to the top of the masthead than the bottom. He is a reasonable, intelligent man with a good eye for what works and what doesn’t—except when he’s standing in front of a mirror. The expensive, yellow plaid shirt that doesn’t go with anything (except possibly a wood chipper) was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Since then, his wife must be present to approve all apparel purchases. This is nonnegotiable. If you—as a husband, wife or significant other—feel that you are headed toward this totalitarian state of clothes shopping, I can help. As the longtime host of the TV series A Makeover Story, it was actually my job. I found that focusing on five “essentials” often was enough to move fashion disasters in a safe direction, so that’s how I’ll handle it here. And just to keep things in season, we’ll focus on autumn. Men, stick to this plan and you never hear another What were you thinking! Ladies, arm your man with this information and you’ll soon be cutting him some slack (instead of cutting up his slacks) when he comes home from the store. Buy two sport coats. Although price-wise they will represent the lion’s share of the new wardrobe investment, quality navy blue wool and brown corduroy sport coats are an absolute necessity that will create endless outfits. I know that men can be tempted, at times, to purchase grey, black, or herringbone blazers (all of which can be dazzling), but coupling those colors and patterns with shirts, slacks and ties dramatically widens the playing field for fashion faux pas. I highly recommend J. Crew’s Cashmere Ludlow Legacy Blazer ($575) and Banana Republic’s Tailored Corduroy 2- Button Blazer in Camel ($198). As you’ll see, navy and camel act as an absolute and infallible base for each and every autumn ensemble. They make up the keystone in the flying buttress of a well-rounded wardrobe. Purchase two pairs of Chinos. Don’t call them Khakis, because they aren’t the same. What most people consider a stereotypical khaki is really just the bottom of the barrel in the world of men’s cotton trousers. I hate to say it, because they serve many a purpose, but it’s true. The word Khaki, by the way, comes from the Urdu word for dusty. During the Raj, English soldiers would dye their whites the color of the omnipresent and unavoidable dust in south and central India. Thus, was born both the color and the English word. Chinos, the more sophisticated cousin, are distinguished by the combed cotton sheen and the lack of back pocket cover flaps. Lacoste’s Classic Chino in Beige ($88) is perfectly conservative and appropriate for any occasion. Get two tailored shirts. You want the real deal here. A well-constructed gent’s wardrobe requires them in at least two colors; white and a light blue pattern. I’ve always been a fan of the Brooks Brothers Luxury Slim Fit shirt ($79.50). It is timeless, fits properly, and is available with or without a French cuff. Brooks Brothers includes its trademark “knot” cufflinks with each French cuff purchase, which is a fantastic pair of fashion training wheels if I’ve ever seen them. Every man needs an essential brown shoe. Keep in mind, a go-to black shoe is always a necessity, but I find that in fall, a brown shoe is always more appropriate and will mesh with infinitely more outfit components. Hugo Boss has always been a favorite of mine. And, in this case, the Saharian Chukka Boot in Dark Brown ($275) is a timeless, rich choice. Chukka sub-ankle boots are a great option for brisk months and seem to carry with them both endless style and rugged masculinity—two big advantages in my book. Most men have no idea what it’s like to suffer for the beauty of a shoe, and this will be no exception. Chukka’s wear like a Jimmy Choo, but feel like a Birkenstock. I know, it’s so unfair! Accessorize. No male wardrobe would ever be complete without a little accoutrement. I know most men shy away from (if not perpetually underestimate) the importance of the accessory. A stubborn man can mount successful arguments against a beautiful watch, a great pair of cufflinks or a dazzling ring. However, a first-rate leather belt is a must have, not a should-have. Again, since we’re building our fashion masterpiece within the framework of an autumnal palate, I highly suggest brown—if for no other reason than the fact that brown leathers seem to retain more beauty in texture, and stand out more prominently against other fabrics. Ralph Lauren’s Saddle Leather Belt in Papaya ($175) is a winner through and through. Its gold roller buckle and rich saddle leather echo country craftsmanship, while conjuring images of the luxury of Savile Row. A suddenly and unexpectedly well-dressed man can be a startling reminder of all the other fantastic, useful, and sometimes mystifying purposes he serves. So go forth and shop with new purpose and confidence. To the Short Hills… and beyond! EDGE

 

Hurting Instinct

 For more and more vets, evaluating pain has become less and less of guessing game

As judgment calls go, it is one of the most difficult in veterinary medicine. A dog in pain can’t speak for itself—we know that—but without accurately gauging the nature and severity of a canine’s discomfort, even the most gifted vets may find themselves at a loss when determining a course of treatment. Compounding this dilemma is the fact that dogs rarely display the pain they are experiencing at home on a trip to the animal hospital. Their adrenaline is pumping, their senses are under assault, and many experience off-the-charts anxiety—all of which can mask their pain once they hit the examining table. So what’s a vet to do? Keep score. They now can do so thanks to an elegantly simple document called the Canine Brief Pain Inventory (aka CBPI), which was developed at the University Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. The two-page evaluation sheet contains 11 carefully constructed questions, each of which can be answered on a sliding scale from 1 to 10—not by the doctor or (obviously) the patient, but by the dog owner. The result is a score which, over years of trials, has proven to be remarkably accurate. Why the dog owner? The answer would seem to be a no-brainer. After all, who better to report on a pet’s condition than the person who sees that pet more than anyone? But there’s the rub. The idea of taking what is purely observational data and then translating that into unimpeachable science is not always an easy sell. It’s not weaving straw into gold, mind you, but to some it has a little of that flavor. Not so says the CBPI’s creator, Dr. Dorothy Cimino Brown, Professor and Chief of Surgery at Penn who also has a practice within the university. “There is a whole scientific method surrounding how you build a numbers-based assessment tool from something that is inherently subjective,” she says. “It is a multi-step process during which you develop interview questions and then determine what and how they should be asked, and also how the answers should be recorded. We knew that the signs and behaviors associated with chronic pain in dogs can be non-dramatic, and therefore would be best known by dog owners. That is why we devoted five years and $500,000 on studies and focus groups in order to develop a scientifically reliable instrument.” According to Dr. Brown, there was a lot of tweaking during CBPI’s first two years, and mostly fine-tuning over the last three. Some of the questions to be included seemed obvious to everyone, such as How is your dog hopping into the car or getting upstairs? One development that surprised the researchers was a sleep question. Dogs experiencing pain related to cancer have trouble sleeping, so everyone assumed a sleep question would make the final cut. “It didn’t,” says Dr. Brown. “In building a question about sleep we could never get it to mathematically behave. So we eliminated it. The problem was that not all owners sleep in the same room as their dog, so we dropped it from the inventory.” Brown’s team is pleased with the acceptance of the CBPI within the veterinary community. The form is available on the Internet at no charge, and it already has been downloaded more than 500 times; there is no way to track how often it is emailed or disseminated in other ways. After some initial resistance, the CBPI received glowing reviews in veterinary publications and today companies seeking FDA approval for canine pain medicine are using the CBPI to determine whether a drug is doing what it is supposed to do. Will the CBPI achieve “industry standard” status? From a research standpoint, it’s already a superb one. Considering that many local practitioners don’t use anything—they will ask how a dog is doing, but they don’t quantify it longitudinally—often a change in medication or treatment is based solely on feel. Old dogs can learn new tricks, as can vets who might initially resist an instrument such as the CBPI. From a patient record-keeping standpoint alone, says Dr. Brown, it just makes sense. “We recognize that the idea you can build an objective tool for a subjective situation is something new for veterinarians,” she offers. “But you can’t just pull six questions out of the air and expect to get a real evaluation.” EDGE  

Editor’s Note: Mark Stewart grabbed this story assignment for selfish reasons. He is the owner of an arthritic collie named Clementine. On his next vet visit, he will have a completed CBPI in hand. Mark also authored New Jersey Plants and Animals and All Around New Jersey: Regions & Resources; both books are now in their second hardcover printings.

 

Horse Play

 In the Garden State, Polo Is a ‘Family Thing’ 

Thousands of families in suburban New Jersey wake up on summer Sundays to a little something I like to call the eternal struggle. The kids want to kick around in cutoffs and flip-flops. Dad is looking to devote the day to the “competitive spirit” (translation: watch sports). Mom? By the time the sun sets, she would like to feel as if she’s moving forward—psychically and socially— not just treading water. Like most, I once assumed the solution to this Sunday dilemma was unattainable. And I’m not one to give up easily. I run a business that presents a new twist or challenge on an hourly basis; if I don’t hear someone screaming a four-letter word, I actually worry that something’s wrong. Perhaps that is why my favorite four-letter word is Polo. Yes, I know. We tend to think of polo as an exclusive pastime for those who enjoy the privileges of wealth and influence. And in some parts of the world this is true. But I have experienced firsthand the inclusive side of polo, too— the side that brings people from all walks of life together in a beautiful setting, transforming that sleepy Sunday into a vibrant sporting and social event. Some come to watch the action. Others come to connect with old friends and meet new ones. Big kids come and so do little ones. And a lot of people may not admit it, but they come for the amazing food. The point is that everyone comes. For those interested in business or social networking opportunities, well, obviously that goes on all the time at a polo match. In fact, much like golf, the two are constantly intertwined. Unlike golf, it doesn’t take a mother or father away from home all day. Indeed, I know of no other leisure activity that promotes the family dynamic the way that polo does. And this applies to virtually any family. Families with young children will find plenty to do at a polo match. There are the magnificent ponies to admire, the spotless stables to explore, a variety of kid-friendly activities and, naturally, lots of other young boys and girls. Families with teenagers typically park the car, get a feel for the layout and logistics, and then watch with confidence (and relief) as their sons and daughters fan out on their own—leaving mom and dad to enjoy a civilized afternoon and recharge their batteries for the week ahead.

THE CULTURE The people who gather to watch a polo match tend to have a few things in common. They enjoy good food, engaging conversation and, let’s face it, people-watching. Consequently, you won’t see too many folks wandering around in jeans and a t-shirt. You will see some big hats— hats that are unlikely to be worn anywhere but a polo match. As a rule, polo fans dress neatly and nicely. This includes the kids, who seem amazed that they can actually enjoy themselves without looking like their role models on Jersey Shore. Do you have to be wealthy to attend and enjoy a polo match? No. Polo is an expensive sport to play (just ask my accountants) but, in our area, a season’s pass to a polo club can be had for less than the cost of two tickets to a Yankees game. Are there wealthy people at a polo match? Most definitely. But they are not as easy to pick out as you might think; the old expression, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” often applies here. That’s because it’s not all about the money. It’s about the camaraderie, it’s about the aesthetics, it’s about people who—like the elite athletes out there controlling their powerful animals—are interested in elevating their game. Ultimately, I believe this is what makes polo such an inclusive sport. Truth be told, I encountered far less resistance from people in American polo when I first started getting into the sport in the 1990s than I did when I came to America from Europe as a boy in the 1970s. The real tip-off that there are multimillionaires milling around in the crowd is the number of corporate sponsors splashing their names on an event, and also the high-end jewelers and other retailers who like to display their wares to attendees. They know that there are lots of current and future customers at the match, and they also know that many people only watch some of the action—they come to socialize and shop, too. If you’re in the market for a new car, new jewelry, new wardrobe, new stock broker, new caterer or even a new face, there is a lot to catch your eye away from the field.

THE COMPETITION Lest we forget, polo is a serious sport. It is fast. It is exciting. And it has an element of danger. The athletes in the saddle must perform both as individuals and as members of a team, and they need unbelievable hand-eye coordination. The animal that riders must control is a “pony” in name only—they are full-on horses, four to eight inches taller than the riding ponies at your local stable, and a lot stronger and swifter. They tip the scales at around 1,000 pounds. When they thunder past the spectators, the air crackles with energy. A good polo pony can cost a cool quarter-million dollars or more, and requires up to two years of training before they are ready for competition. They continue to train daily, often twice a day. A polo pony must respond to a rider’s instructions through a variety of one-handed tugs on the reins and subtle weight shifts and leg movements. They are primped and pampered in between matches, but once the action starts they are pushed to their absolute limits. Many first-time polo fans are amazed to see how often a player changes mounts. His string of ponies usually ranges between three and seven. If you’ve ever watched an ice hockey team change lines, then you have some idea of the level of exertion involved. A quality horse can get its rider to the ball. From there, however, it’s up to the player to pass, defend or score. There are four players per side, each with different responsibilities. The point of polo is to work the ball up the field and knock it through a goal that is eight yards wide. The field itself is 300 yards long with tall sideboards to protect the spectators and keep the ball in play. Defense is all about position and timing. A player can thwart an opponent by interfering with his mallet, or by “riding him off” (picture a half-ton bodycheck). For us, polo is a family sport no matter where we are sitting. My great joy is that I now train and compete with my sons, Tyler, Shaun and Jeffrey. I have been working on my polo game for more than a decade and still feel like I’m learning something new every day. Often I am asked about the skill level required to play polo at a world-class level. The truth is that it’s difficult to define. Try hitting a golf ball one-handed on a bicycle at 30 mph without ending up in a heap and you’ll have some idea of the talent and training involved. Better yet, come out to a match this summer. You’ll see…it really is a family thing. EDGE  

Editor’s Note: Simon Garber is the owner of the Yellow Cab and SJS Jets polo teams, as well as the Polo Club of Colts Neck. For more information about this summer’s Sunday schedule, log onto poloclubofcoltsneck.com. Special thanks to Dario Garcia and Susan Belfer for their help on this story.

Love is a Battlefield

Dispatches from the Dating Front

The facts are irrefutable. The numbers are alarming. The statistics are startling, surprising, and just a little depressing. By  now you realize that I am not referring to the unemployment rate, the housing market, or the New Jersey Nets’ 2009–10 record. No, I am talking about dating. And specifically, dating post-30-something when, as the old saying goes, you’re more likely to be kidnapped by terrorists than find Mr. Right. Dating takes guts, and it is much easier to exit than to enter. If you don’t believe it, try these three numbers on for size—50, 3, 3 and 5. Around 50 percent of American singles have not been on a real date in more than two years. Human beings typically decide whether someone’s attractive within 3 seconds of meeting them. And the most common time for breakups is between 3 and 5 months into a relationship. Whether you’re newly unattached or, like me, a lifelong single, the odds may seem stacked against you. However, who’s to say you can’t tilt those odds in your favor? To do so, it helps to have a little clarity about what is—and is not—happening out there on the adult dating scene.

THE BASICS
You’ve probably heard these words of wisdom before, but they bear repeating. According to the most recent study I could find, instant dating turn-offs are bad breath, bad teeth and body odor. Followed closely by hair mistakes, raggedy nails, missing teeth, hairy nostrils, burping, flatulence, and goofy glasses. This goes for the guys and the girls—no joke! If you manage to make it past those harrowing first three seconds, remember not to talk too much about yourself or your ex, don’t bring up marriage too soon, and don’t appear to be an overeager beaver. Body language speaks volumes, so uncross your arms.

Look your date in the eyes, and gaze and hold that look a little bit longer than normal. Create an instant link to a person, and say his or her name at least twice during a conversation. Look for clues that your date is interested, and remember bits of information about a person and work that information back into the conversation. Happiness is contagious and hard to walk away from. So try to relax. Don’t worry. Be happy. In terms of gender specifics, remember that a large  majority of men are not confident meeting a woman for the first time. As a rule, men are put off by groups of loud women. So ladies, help these poor guys out and break away from the crowd. And please, help with the conversation. At the same time, avoid clinging, fishing for compliments, serial flirting, being a party girl or a drama queen. Men, stand up straight before you even utter a word—slouching gives a woman a negative first impression. Also, if you cannot decide what to wear on a date, go with blue. Studies confirm women are attracted to men in blue.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
We all know how important it is to be in the right place at the right time. Indeed, among the best places to meet other people and do some initial flirting are classes, coffee shops, gyms and shopping malls. And despite what you’ve heard, office romances have a surprisingly good track record, too. Four out of 10 result in marriage. Don’t ask about the other six. No longer taboo, no longer not talked-about, and no longer not admitted to is online dating. In fact, the online dating industry rakes in close to $2 billion dollars annually. Matchmakers and dating coaches pull in another $260 million. Goes to show you, there are a lot of people looking for Mr. or Ms. Right. Right on. The drawback of going cyber, of course, is that what you see isn’t always what you get. Statistically speaking, a woman’s biggest fear in the online dating world is meeting a serial killer. For men it is meeting someone fat. To the men I say hey, prioritize! To the women I say that only three percent of men are technically psychopaths, so the odds are with you until about the 33rd online date. Italian restaurants are the most popular on a first date. Hello—who doesn’t like pasta and pizza? Most people will kiss on the second date and consider themselves in a relationship after six to eight dates. Women feel it is appropriate to get intimate after a month, or two or three. Men feel it is okay on the third date, which also happens to be the recommended time to wait until cooking someone dinner at home. Interesting.

WAR STORIES
What do the boots-on-the-ground people have to say about New Jersey’s 30-to-50 dating scene? I convinced five friends to recount some recent experiences. Admittedly, it’s too small a sample to be scientific. But I think it’s a fairly accurate picture of who’s out there and how they’re doing.

LINDA
She doesn’t need a reason to celebrate, but a good date is cause for celebration. Linda likes to go out and have fun, and dating is a night out. The way she sees it, a night out—good or bad—is never that bad. “I go out every weekend with this frame of mind,” she says. “I am out to have fun and if I meet someone, great. If not, I am still going to have fun.” Linda has rolled the dice on the Internet dating site, Match.com. “I had what I thought were two great first dates, but both turned out to be total busts. All they were looking for was a physical relationship—on the first date. One guy lived in a boarding house in Belmar and ranted on and on about how much he hated his family. I thought about calling 911.”

DAVE
He’s 39 years young and the most fun guy I know. Dave has sworn off blind dates—they just don’t work, he says. Dave meets many of his dates in bars, where he can make the corniest opening lines sound like Shakespeare sonnets. He also finds Facebook to be productive. First dates are usually dinner, and Dave always pays. “I have found some old flames on Facebook and a lot of new ones, too,” he says. “I also meet a lot of people at weddings, but the younger women kind of get misty-eyed watching the bride. I smell commitment and usually run.”

HANNAH
She was married, a mother, and divorced before turning 30. The years leading up to and after Hannah’s divorce were trying, both emotionally and physically, and when she decided to get back into the dating game it wasn’t as simple as she thought. After many miserable and insufferable dates (almost all the results of set-ups), she tried Match.com and had substantially better luck than Linda. “I knew right away Victor was the one,” she says, sounding almost like a commercial. “We clicked. Our first date was coffee. We saw each other often after our first date, and very soon after we became inseparable.” Hannah and Victor, both in their 40s now, just celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary.

ROB
He’s what Jersey Girls call an Italian Stallion. Rob is a player—funny, smart, athletic, handsome, curious and, with some notable exceptions, fairly adept at juggling multiple dates. Suffice it to say that a glass of wine tossed in the face, a lap full of spaghetti, and getting his sports car keyed are not rare occurrences for Rob. Still, he lives and dates by a strict code. “I never let anyone I date see, hear, or know about others,” he says. “I don’t flaunt it and I am sensitive about it. Humor, discretion and comfort are very important.”

DANIELLE
She has to be the hardest working person I know, and she admits that dating isn’t easy. At 41, Danielle wonders if she will ever marry. Actually, she wonders if she will even date. “Believe me, I have tried. I am going on a singles cruise in a few months, and although I am not looking, it doesn’t mean I won’t look.”

Dating isn’t meant to be, nor should it be, a military campaign. I remember most of my dates, and yes, there are some I would love to forget. Like the time my date and I shared a dinner table with his friend and his friend’s girlfriend one Labor Day weekend. This couple argued throughout the entire meal. Finally, my date asked them to calm down. The other woman threw a drink in his face, he got angry, and then his friend punched him in the face and broke his nose. We spent the evening in the emergency room. I guess, in this case, love really was a battlefield. Most of my dates haven’t been catastrophes. My best, my favorite, and the date I still remember with longing and nostalgia, consisted of a long bike ride around the park, a messy soft-serve vanilla cone, a dinner of pizza and Pepsi, and watching a sky full of fireworks. Sparks flew that night. They certainly did.

Editor’s Note: In researching this story, Diane explored the worlds of dating “events.” Log onto edgemagonline.com to read an extended version of Love Is a Battlefield and get her take on Lock N Key and 7 in Heaven.

 

Cooking with Fire

A day together in the kitchen can be great couples therapy. Or a recipe for disaster.

Couples searching for something to do together frequently settle for spending a few hours at a nice restaurant. By definition, this serves the purpose—they’re doing something and they’re together. So why, after they pay the bill and argue about whether the tip was adequate (and was that last Sambuca really necessary?), does the sense of isolation remain?  Because
they haven’t really “done” anything; the experience was essentially passive. Now, if they were to cook the dinner together, they might enjoy being creative and productive, working toward a common, pleasurable goal. Assuming, of course, that no one gets sick afterward. First, let’s establish some ground rules. These evolve from my thirty years of marriage (no reprieve in sight) and almost that many years as a professional chef.

They don’t apply when one of the partners has serious cooking experience and the other doesn’t. Habits developed in restaurant kitchens die hard, and never remembering to turn off the burners can be a problem. Unless you both think liverwurst on rye with onions constitutes dinner, you should begin planning your menu at least a week ahead. Write it all down. No unilateral last minute changes. (“Uh, I thought we could throw a couple of habaneros in the stuffing.”) Start a notebook. Keep track of your meals à deux. If you’re really into it, take some pictures. Don’t keep insisting on foods that make him break out in hives. He may be a Neanderthal, but he’ll get the message eventually. Settle on how, as well as what, you want to make. “What? My mother always put cream of mushroom soup in the sauce. I suppose that’s not good enough for you?”

Avoid including Mom’s, or Nonna Esmeralda’s or Tanta Rifka’s specialties. Avoid tricky, last-minute preparations. No hollandaise, no soufflés, no deep-frying, no molten chocolate cakes. Pick a make-ahead first course. A salad or a soup would be perfect, and believe me, if you think making a great soup is too easy, you’ve never made one. Put together a platter of antipasto, and remember to take it out of the fridge an hour or two before you eat, so the cheese doesn’t taste like polystyrene.

For a main course, roast a leg of lamb, or do a baked pasta, or a casserole. Forget the veal piccata for now. And if neither of you can wield a carving knife properly, cook something that doesn’t require a surgeon’s touch. Watching him wrestle with a roast chicken, or, worse, a roast duck, will lead to merriment (yours) and resentment (his). If neither of you can bake…don’t bake. Baking is unforgiving. Many professional chefs dislike the weighing and measuring and fussing. Learn a foolproof recipe for tiramisu or a fruit cobbler and make it the day before. This isn’t a cooking show, and you don’t get extra points for creativity. Simple and successful is the goal. Just in case, have a couple of pints of ice cream in the freezer. Shop the day before, if possible.

Have some alternatives in mind, just in case all the asparagus is yellowish and limp, or your grocery is out of pancetta. Make sure you have all of the equipment you need. This is a good time to invest in a decent chef’s knife, or an enameled cast-iron casserole, or even a good pair of tongs. Looking for a pastry bag in the local drugstore on a Saturday night is a total bummer. Establish a timeline. Candles and cut flowers are optional, but leave enough time that you can shower and change. If one (or both) of you smells stronger than the cheese, you’re not going to enjoy dinner. Take it easy on the cocktails and keep them simple. A bottle of wine, maybe two, is fine. Three strawberry mojitos before dinner is just wrong. And don’t hurry. No one’s waiting for your table. Enjoy eating what you’ve cooked, and compliment each other’s efforts. Save the competitive juices for the tennis court. Is there one unbreakable rule? Yes, and it may not be an obvious one. Scrub the cookware; empty the dishwasher; wipe down the counters; take out the garbage. Before you eat.

The whole exercise is pointless if you come down for breakfast and there’s a heap of greasy pots in the sink and the house smells like garlic. The concept is to eat dinner and then follow your fancies. Or your fantasies. Ever met anyone whose fantasy life revolves around unclogging the garbage disposal the morning after? Many of us spend our days tapping away on lifeless little plastic squares. A day spent together in the kitchen provides contact with the textures and colors of nature. We get our hands dirty, and maintain the focus needed to work safely with hot pans and sharp knives. With a little forethought, you might have a pleasant afternoon followed by a memorable meal. After all, feeding and being fed by another person is an act of—almost—unrivaled intimacy.

Hot Spots

A Dozen Dazzling Places to Say ‘I Do’

Toss out your bridal magazines. Delete those online wedding bookmarks. Tell your party planner to take a walk. This is New Jersey! If you’re in the market for an unforgettable wedding, you’re already in the right place. You just have to know where to go. I’m not talking Weird New Jersey here. On the contrary, every venue on this list lends itself wonderfully to traditional ceremonies and receptions. That being said, if you are looking for something simple, special, lo-tech or alternative, you can also count on these places to shine under virtually any circumstances. Finally, don’t fret if you’ve never heard of these nuptial hot spots. Each, in its own way, is one of the state’s best-kept wedding secrets.

The Great Outdoors
These wedding venues take advantage
of New Jersey’s awesome natural beauty.


ANIMAL MAGNETISM
Back-to-nature types love the Mountain Lake House, which offers the ultimate in seclusion and privacy just a few minutes from ritzy Nassau Street in Princeton. Don’t be surprised if Bambi and Thumper join the festivities. Wedding parties are the interlopers on this 90-acre nature preserve; the furry full-time residents merely tolerate their presence.

TAYLOR MADE
Spring and Autumn wedding dates fill up fast at the Taylor-Butler House in historic Middletown. The breathtaking Victorian-Italianate structure sits on five wooded acres and has been lovingly restored to offer eight ornate rooms in which to hold your service and reception.

FARM TEAM
When you’re talking “blast from the past,” there may be no better wedding site in the state than the 1761 Brearly House, which sits in a meadow at the end of a winding, unpaved road in Lawrenceville. The hinges hadn’t even started squeaking on this lovely Georgian brick home when the colonials started taking potshots at the redcoats. Of course, those musket balls wouldn’t have been coming from Brearly. It was a Quaker farmhouse during the Revolution.

TAKE IT TO THE BANK
Before the Cooper River joins the Delaware, it ambles past

the Camden County Boathouse in Pennsauken. It serves as the launching point for some of the state’s finest crew teams. Add them to the people pulling for couples as they recite their vows on the balcony overlooking the river and the natural beauty beyond. It’s like getting married in a Monet painting.

HIGH WATER MARK
No other spot in New Jersey combines sea and sky like the Water Witch Club in Monmouth Hills (above). It offers a sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean, New York City and Sandy Hook Bay, and is the highest place on the Eastern Seaboard where couples can tie the knot. Nestled in a neighborhood recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Water Witch Club Casino has been in continuous use as a gathering place for performances and celebrations longer than any other in the state.

ANCHORS AWEIGH
For pure firepower, nothing can compete with the battleship New Jersey in Camden. Launched in 1942 and converted to a museum and memorial in 2001, she is the Navy’s most decorated battleship. The New Jersey (aka BB62) has her own events staff to ensure that everything’s shipshape for the nuptials.

ON THE WATERFRONT
If you prefer New York over Philly as your river view, then you’ll want to contact the folks who run the boathouse at Hoboken’s Shipyard Marina. An emerald lawn stretches right to the water’s edge, where guests can arrive by limo, ferry or—for that cousin who still owes you money—PATH train.

Classic Charm
These wedding spots feed the need for timeless tradition

FLOWER POWER
Anyone getting hitched at Liberty Hall in Union (right) will tell you that a rose garden by any other name would not smell
as sweet. There’s just something about an outdoor wedding at this historic site—with its 23 manicured acres and breathtaking architecture—that truly transcends the mere traditional.

HOME JAMES
Catering halls may be off your radar if you’re looking for something beyond the ordinary. However, don’t be too quick
to eschew the James Ward Mansion in Westfield. While it offers the bells and whistles you’d expect from a traditional
wedding spot, it outdoes itself (and the competition) in terms of Old World elegance and sophistication. No smoked-glass
chandeliers here.

THANK HEAVEN
For most soon-to-be-marrieds, it’s an article of faith that the cost and commitment involved in the staging of a glorious
“church wedding” will come in on the steep side. Not so at the Kirkpatrick Chapel in New Brunswick (right). From the
towering candelabras to the chest-rattling pipe-organ music, it’s everything you dream of—only without the religious trappings or the big price tag.

Artful Dodges
A great way to avoid the obvious is to embrace
the creative side of the wedding equation

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
Looking to class up the in-laws on the big day? Look no further than the Newark Museum, which offers three different venues boasting priceless paintings and sculpture. You deliver the guests and the elegant Engelhard Court, the plush Ballantine House and the beautiful Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden supply the cultured surroundings.

WORK OF ART
Bringing form to your function is a specialty of the Grounds for Sculpture, located at the Seward Johnson Center for the
Arts in Hamilton. A favorite spot for exchanging vows is the Nine Muses by Carlos Dorrien, but with so much to serve as
an artistic backdrop, brides and grooms are encouraged to get creative. EDGE

 

NJ2012

According to the Mayan calendar, on December 21, 2012, the world will come to an end. Deep down, no one really buys into this apocalyptic vision. However, it would be nice to think that New Jersey is moving away from impending doom, rather than towards it. So, the question is: Are we?

When out-of-towners think of New Jersey, they tend to picture belching smokestacks, floating medical waste and other less-than-complimentary images. Unfair as that may be, the state does have a reputation for contributing more than its fair share to the world’s pollution problem. More and more, however, we hear that New Jersey is actually a leader in the Green Movement. Everyone, it seems—from cities to businesses to individual citizens—is focused on reducing our collective carbon footprint, protecting our precious resources and promoting sustainability. Granted, there is often a credibility gap between saying you’re green and putting your money where your mouth is. But as this snapshot of “where we are” shows, in many important (and surprising) ways, the Garden State really is living up to its name. Change is never easy, especially when it comes with a price tag. And make no mistake, the initial cost of going green can be steep. Yet slowly but surely, what was once a polarizing issue is becoming a foundational one. The poster child for environmental sustainability no longer sports a beard and sandals. More often than not, it’s a guy like Mike Kerwin. Kerwin is the CEO of the Somerset County Business Partnership and founder of the state’s first Energy Council. He has been at the forefront of leading the effort to make New Jersey green. Whether it’s convincing people to walk, bike, use mass transit, bring their own bags to the grocery store or reuse water bottles, he has been committed to teaching the masses how to live more environmentally friendly. Kerwin himself sees the change. Where he once found himself lecturing people on why it’s important to live green, he now spends a lot of time providing answers to inquisitive New Jerseyans on how to embrace a cleaner, healthier and more environmentally responsible lifestyle. While everyone is still watching their pennies these days, there is a general acceptance that the added cost (and effort) required to achieve these goals is worth it in the long run. “I definitely notice that younger people—starting with my own kids—seem to embrace it,” says Kerwin of going green. “I think it’s going to be a generational shift. I think ultimately there is going to be a demand for some lifestyle changes. And I think the older generation will follow suit. The case has been made that change has to be made.”

OLD DOGS, NEW TRICKS One of the most daunting obstacles to the greening of New Jersey is breaking old habits. The same person who dutifully recycles plastic bags or keeps their tires perfectly inflated may be completely resistant to a resource-preserving technology that simply rubs people the wrong way. Ted Carey knows all too well what it feels like to bump up against logic-defying behavior. His Hillsdale company, C&C Service, markets and installs LaundryPure, a device installed above the washing machine that uses the hydrogen contained in tap water to eliminate the need for hot water and laundry detergent. It saves money. It saves energy. It extends the life of clothing. And from a cost-to-benefit standpoint, the $450 LaundryPure amortizes itself in less than two years. You’d think by now every home would have one, and that Carey would be sipping Mai Tais on some beach overlooking a secluded tropical lagoon. There is just one problem.

“The promise that the unit makes is so great, that there is a natural skepticism,” he says. “Madison Avenue has indoctrinated us to believe that you need bleach and detergent in order to have clean clothes. And when something seems too good to be true, we have a tendency to move away from it.” “We need to give a unit to Oprah,” Carey laughs.

GRIP IT & RIP IT The verdant Hyatt Hills Golf Complex, situated on the borders of Clark and Cranford, was once a condemned brown site. Now it counts among its accolades the NJTA’s Environmental Stewardship Award. Hyatt Hills was reclaimed and transformed into a destination for golfers and their families, with first-rate teaching pros and fine dining.

CAR TALK Perhaps the ultimate test of our willingness to flip the switch on the status quo is the environmentally friendly automobile. America’s car culture is deeply embedded in New Jersey. Look around the next time you’re stuck at a stoplight. Almost everyone is driving something smelly, noisy, big—or some combination of the three. At what point will Garden Staters embrace hybrids like the Prius or Volt, or the batterypowered Leaf? (Note to Nissan: Real men may not drive a car called the Leaf.) The numbers are too premature to draw any lasting conclusions, but what does exist may raise a few eyebrows. Toyota dealerships like the one in Cherry Hill reported that they were having a hard time moving the Prius—and that was before the mother company’s PR nightmare. In 2008, New Jersey ranked 11th in hybrid vehicles sold, with 6,072, despite being the 9th-most populous state. According to the salespeople in Cherry Hill, the vast majority of New Jerseyans are still in love with their SUVs, and have a hard time with the concept of plugging in a car at night. The idea of not being able to go out and just start your car immediately is still viewed as a hassle versus a benefit. Not to mention that there are conversion steps the average home must undergo before it can support a hybrid vehicle.

GROWING PAINS We are what we eat. Countless studies support this old axiom. Although only a small percentage of fruit, vegetables and dairy grown in the Garden State is organic, that number has been rising dramatically as New Jersey consumers are becoming wise to the real cost of food grown with the help of chemicals, or trucked in from thousands of miles away. Business is booming at the state’s beloved produce stands, many of which feature organic goods. Meanwhile, the major grocery chains are devoting more and more space to these products. Some even have organic house brands. All told, sales of organic foods have seen double-digit percentage increases each year for more than a decade, with some years well over 20 percent. It’s a drop in the bucket, of course, but anything that heightens consumers’ awareness of the bigger environmental picture—especially in such personal terms—is a step in the right direction. Stephen McDonald would certainly agree. He founded Applegate Farms, a Bridgewater-based natural foods business, 22 years ago. Back then he and his peers seemed to be fighting a losing battle against that other McDonald’s. Today, Applegate Farms has grown from a niche market in the health-food category to mainstream markets all across the state. McDonald credits the growth of his business and others like it to the fact that New Jersey shoppers are making informed choices about what they feed their families—significantly more informed than even a decade ago. “When you walk into a store you want to understand how it was made, and what’s in it and what is not in it,” he explains, adding that “you can eat less and eat better, and it doesn’t have to cost you any more money. And it’s better for your diet. What excites us is that people are learning and becoming more engaged.”

LEARNED BEHAVIOR

Of course, a major component of changing our longterm relationship with the earth depends on setting a good example for our children. In this regard, New Jersey schools are getting with the plan. Most if not all of the major additions and renovations that have occurred in recent years have embraced some aspect of green sensibility. One of the early trend-setters was the Willow School in Peapack-Gladstone, built from the ground up in 2001. Most of the school was constructed with salvaged and recycled materials. From the wooden beams that hold up the walls to the stonework that graces the steps, much of the physical plant is experiencing a second coming of sorts. Solar pane ls have cut energy bills by as much as 70 percent, while rainwater is recycled in a filtering tank and stored for everything but drinking water. The school even has a lunchtime garden on-site. Head of School Kate Walsh is quick to point out an added benefit to going green: an enhanced learning environment. “There’s sort of a peaceful easiness in our classrooms,” she says. “We keep cool with a lot of natural air and natural light. We don’t have a lot of sickness. It’s a very healthy environment. There are no toxins, so the kids are basically healthy and the energy is really nice. What we teach our children is that they need to be responsible decision-makers as they live in the world.”

FINDING THE RIGHT MIX

Ultimately, the agent for green change in New Jersey will be a mix of common sense and economic survival. As Randall Solomon, Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers, points out, “We want to make sure the foundation of our economy and our standard of living is built on a stable foundation that will last into the future.” As for the Mayans, one might be tempted to say that they could have used a smart guy like Solomon to give them a heads-up when their society began crumbling. Then again, New Jersey might do well to take a hard look back at the lessons learned by that vanished civilization. There are some haunting parallels. Yes, we’ll make it past 2012 all right. But the next time you find yourself complaining about food and water shortages, skyrocketing fuel prices, overbuilding and overpopulation, it might be worth remembering that in responsible, proactive stewardship of the environment lies the key to the future of the state.

Editor’s Note: Zack Burgess is the Assignments Editor for EDGE. He decided to tackle this assignment himself—with assists from architect Bob Kellner and transportation Expert Josh Leinsdorf. For more information on the energySMART program call (866) NJ–SMART.

 

 

Century Mark

New Jersey was a state of “firsts” way back in 1921!

Hangar Number One is constructed at the Naval Engineering Station in Lakehurst as a base for military airship development. Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1968, it is one of the few surviving structures of its kind in the world.

 

 

 

The first class of New Jersey State Police officers graduates from training in Sea Girt. Only 81 of the original 116 men selected survive the rigorous three-month course designed by superintendent Norman Schwartzkopf, Sr.

The Newark-based Carrier Engineering Company develops the first AC unit capable of cooling offices, stores and theaters. The company’s Centrifugal Chiller revolutionizes the air conditioning industry.

The State Theatre, designed by architect Thomas Lamb, opens in New Brunswick. Admission is a quarter and the first film screened is White Oak, starring cowboy hero William S. Hart.

New Brunswick stride piano pioneer James P. Johnson records four historic songs—“Harlem Strut,” “Keep Off the Grass,” “Carolina Shout” and “Worried and Lonesome Blues”—that bridge the gap between Ragtime and Jazz.

 

Atlantic City hosts a Golden Mermaid beauty pageant to attract tourists during Labor Day week. Margaret Gorman of Washington DC is the winner, with audience votes counting for 50% of the final score. A year later, the competition is renamed Miss America.

 

The first “Million Dollar” prizefight is held in Jersey City between world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and world light heavyweight champ Georges Carpentier. More than 80,000 fans squeeze into a specially constructed arena to watch Dempsey score a fourth-round knockout.

The Port Authority is created to coordinate activity of New Jersey and New York ports, bridges, highways and tunnels. The need for centralized oversight became obvious when military troop movement choked the region’s infrastructure during World War I.

All-American Arthur Loeb leads the Princeton Tigers basketball team into battle in what proves to be their first conference-championship season. Loeb’s 203 successful free throws would stand as a school record for more than four decades.

Curtain Call

UCPAC is a blast from the past.

By Mark Stewart

The year was 1928. Nearly 1,500 people settled into their seats on a Tuesday evening to hear the first notes played by the great Chet Kingsbury on central New Jersey’s newest entertainment attraction, a $20,000 Wurlitzer pipe organ. Above the audience sparkled a magnificent, 13-foot tiered-crystal chandelier. Before them was a full orchestra pit, its musicians ready to accompany the two films scheduled to play, one starring Dolores Costello and Conrad Nagel, the other Myrna Loy. It was opening night of the million-dollar Rahway Theatre.

Later that evening, as patrons exited the building under the 2,500-light marquee, it was difficult to imagine the fun would ever end. The Rahway Theatre was a state-of-the-art entertainment palace built at the height of the Roaring ’Twenties. It could accommodate moving pictures, vaudeville revues, stage plays and concerts. No expense was spared. It even had a nursery to look after children while their parents were enjoying a show.

Upper Case Editorial Services

And yet, there were changes in the wind. The stock market crashed, movie studios started turning out talking pictures and vaudeville died. The Rahway Theatre soldiered on, providing an inexpensive diversion during the Depression and World War II. It hosted rock n roll shows in the 1950s and continued to thrive as a movie house well into the 1960s. Little by little, however, the venue lost its glittering opulence and fell into disrepair. By the 1980s it was in danger of falling to the wrecking ball.

In 1984, title to the Rahway Theatre was transferred to Rahway Landmarks, Inc. A major restoration effort was initiated and one year later it was renamed the Union County Arts Center. First the interior was restored. Next the façade underwent a facelift. As the theatre regained its footing, the city’s Arts District grew up around it. Now called the Union County Performing Arts Center, the theatre is actually one of three performance venues under the UCPAC umbrella—including the 60-seat blackbox-style Loft and the plush 199-seat Hamilton Stage down the street.

“This theatre has served as a community cornerstone for nearly nine decades,” says UCPAC executive director Lawrence McCullough. “Our mission is to present programming that is diverse and accessible and fosters the new generation of young artists and audiences.”

First-time visitors to the old building today have the same reaction as audiences did back in the 1920s: a sense of wonder and awe at its golden-age grandeur. And yes, the old Wurlitzer is still there. It sounds better than ever.

Editor’s Note: For a schedule of upcoming events at all three performing arts center venues, log onto ucpac.org or call (732) 499-8226.

The Chef Recommends

EDGE takes you inside the area’s most creative kitchens.

The Office Beer Bar & Grill • Truffled Tots

728 Thompson Ave. • BRIDGEWATER 32–34 Chestnut St. • RIDGEWOOD 1–7 South Ave. • CRANFORD 61 Union Pl. • SUMMIT
619 Bloomfield Ave. • MONTCLAIR 411 North Ave. West • WESTFIELD

Not your average tater tots, these are handmade tater tots infused with herbs and fried until they are crispy golden brown. They are served with white truffle aioli and sprinkled with sea salt.

Paragon Tap & Table • Beer Brined Pork Chop

77 Central Ave. • CLARK
(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

Our pork chops are brined for thee days and served on top of a creamy bacon mac and cheese. It’s one of the highlights of our gastropub menu.

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

The Black Horse Tavern & Pub • Goffles Farm Chicken Breast

1 West Main Street • MENDHAM
(963) 543–7300 • blackhorsenj.com

Prosciutto wrapped Goffles Farm Chicken Breast with roasted new potatoes, marsala herb butter & crispy sage. 

— Kevin Felice, 40North Executive Chef

Piattino Neighborhood Bistro • Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon

88 East Main Street • MENDHAM
(973) 543-0025 • piattinonj.com

Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon paired with a lemon herb risotto, piccata butter and crisped baby arugula.

— Kevin Felice, 40North Executive Chef

George and Martha’s American Grille • Crispy Jumbo Lump Crab Croquettes

67 Morris Street • MORRISTOWN
(973) 267-4700 • georgeandmarthas.com

Crispy Jumbo Lump Crab Croquettes with Lemon infused Aioli and Roasted Corn Relish.

— Kevin Felice, 40North Executive Chef

The Office Tavern Grill • Maryland Blue Crab Dip

3 South Street • MORRISTOWN
(973) 285-0220 • officetaverngrill.com

Maryland Blue Crab Dip Sour Dough Bread Bowl filled with Jumbo Lump Crab Dip, served with Old Bay Flour Tortilla chips.

— Kevin Felice, 40North Executive Chef

Daimatsu • Sushi Pizza

860 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE
(908) 233-7888 • daimatsusushibar.com

This original dish has been our signature appetizer for over 20 years. Crispy seasoned sushi rice topped with homemade spicy mayo, marinated tuna, finely chopped onion,  scallion, masago caviar, and ginger. Our customers always come back wanting more.

— Momo, Chef

Publick House • Roasted Long Island Duck Breast

899 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE
(908) 233-2355 • publickhousenj.com

New to our menu this season is the roasted long island duck breast. The duck is seasoned with salt and pepper and slowly roasted to temperature. Paired with creamy, sweet celery root puree and earthy oven roasted portobello mushrooms, the balance of flavors compliments the fat of the duck breast perfectly.

— Bernie Goncalves, Owner

Morris Tap & Grill • Tuna Tartare Flat Bread

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH
(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

Fresh ahi-grade tuna tossed in a light ginger scallion sauce served on top of a wasabi brushed lavash crisp.

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

Thai Amarin • Duck Rad Prig

201 Morris Ave. • SPRINGFIELD
(973) 376-6300, (973) 376-6301 • thaiamarinnj.net

A customer favorite, our crispy boneless duck topped with a sweet and spicy chili and garlic sauce is unique only to us. Topped with aromatic basil and lime leaves, our Ped Rad Prig will have you wanting more.

— Amy Thana, Owner

Café Z • Hot “Z” Shrimp

2333 Morris Avenue • UNION
(908) 686-4321 • CafeZNJ.com

Jumbo shrimp encrusted with panko bread crumbs served with our hot and spicy marinara sauce that we make here.

— Patricia Inghilleri, Owner

Chestnut Chateau • Black Seabass

649 Chestnut Street • UNION
(908) 964-8696 • chestnutchateaunj.com

As the cold weather is in full swing, everyone bundles up and likes to stay warm. I embrace the cold and use the best fish caught in the deep blue waters of our east coast. Black seabass is great whole or filleted. The flaky white meat is served with a browned butter sauce that’s garnished with capers, baby croutons, parsley and lemon supremes.

— George Niotis, Chef

Mario’s Tutto Bene • Vinegar Pork Chops

495 Chestnut Street • UNION
(908) 687-3250 • mariostuttobene.com

Our vinegar pork chops feature three thin-cut Frenched chops that are coated with Italian breadcrumbs and sautéed with sweet vinegar peppers, prosciutto and garlic. They arrive with house-made roasted or mashed potatoes. Our regulars love this entrée.

— John Garofalo, Owner

The Manor • Surf and Turf

111 Prospect Avenue • WEST ORANGE
(973) 731-2360 • themanorrestaurant.com

I pair pan-seared prime filet mignon with a butter-braised lobster, along with fresh seasonal vegetable accents. An airy shellfish emulsion and the creamiest mashed potatoes you will ever taste make for the perfect partners to this classic dish, which has helped The Manor successfully define the art of fine dining for over a half-century.

— Mario Russo, Chef de Cuisine

EDGE is not responsible for any typos, misprints or information in regard to these listings. All information was supplied by the restaurants that participated and any questions or concerns should be directed to them.

It Is What It Is…

…and 21 other expressions that drive me crazy.

By Mark Stewart

I have issues with I have issues. In my career as a writer and editor, I find myself sideswiping people in the financial, legal, medical, tech, sports, publishing and public relations industries who subject me to what I consider to be an inordinate number of expressions that either don’t say what they mean, don’t mean what they say, are utterly redundant or are subject to serial misuse.

I’m not talking about industry-specific jargon; that at least has a cultural component. The words and phrases that burrow under my skin are ones we all employ on a regular basis without even listening to the jibberish spilling out of our mouths. Perhaps the most annoying aspect of these overwrought expressions is that I catch myself using them all the time. Like the rest of the world, I have my lazy, semiliterate moments—even though I am paid not to.

So here are my Top 20. How many do you hear in a given day? Be honest…how many are you guilty of using?

Absolutely!

This is often the one-word response to something that requires nothing more than the word Yes or even a simple head-nod. I’ve noticed that a lot of service people have started using the word. “May I have some water when you come back to the table?” Absolutely. It’s become a kissing cousin to the word Obviously, which people use when something is not at all obvious.

At the end of the day…

I don’t know about you, but the end of my day rarely brings resolution to anything other than being awake. I wonder, do people who work the night shift ever say At the end of the day…? If so, wake me up so I can slap them. Actually, this expression has some history behind it: In the early 1800s, when the day ended, there was only (poorly lit) night, so everyone had to stop whatever they were doing until it was light again.

At this point in time…

Just to be clear, this is really code for Until I tell you otherwise, because it covers way more time than a single point in time.

Everything happens for a reason.

Well, technically this is true. My issue with the phrase is that, while brilliant minds like Einstein and Hawking spend their lives trying to express this concept in mathematical terms, the rest of us dullards use this old saying when we have no clue what the reason for something is.

If I would have…

This is a tense with which I am unfamiliar. It’s like a mad twisting of the subjunctive. In truth, it’s not a tense at all. The correct construction is either Had I… or If I had…

I have to say…

Fine. Go ahead. You don’t need anyone’s permission.

I have issues with…

If these issues are important topics of debate, I’m all for a lively discussion. If these issues are only inside your head, work them out and get back to me.

I mean…

Wait. Did you just say something you didn’t mean?

I’m not comfortable with…

Your comfort is not my concern, so find another way of saying I disagree or That’s a bad idea.

It is what it is…

Annoying because it relieves the utterer of any responsibility for analyzing or responding meaningfully to a situation. Doubly annoying because often it is not what it is, but something entirely different.

It’s all good.

Rarely, if ever, is it all good.

No-brainer

So are you saying this is a good idea or a stupid one? Or that it’d be stupid not to think it’s a good idea? Or that giving it more thought would require no brain? Now my head hurts.

No worries!

I’m sorry. Are you Australian? I didn’t think so. For future reference, It’s okay or Don’t worry will do just fine.

Old school

The more I think about this adjective, the more it annoys and confuses me. First of all, it should be hyphenated, yet never is. Second of all, its meaning is different when a young person uses it and an old person uses it. Third of all, let’s face it, young people have almost no concept of what old people were doing when they were young. And fourth of all, if you took courses at the New School in New York City back in the 1980s, is everything you learned now considered Old School?

Personally…

C’mon, is this any way to start a sentence? I assume whatever observation or opinion you are about to offer is personal, because you are saying it.

Same difference

Thankfully, people don’t use this much when they’re being serious because, seriously, does anyone really understand what it means?

Thanks in advance…

I am guilty of using this phrase in the manipulative way it was intended, as a means of saying to someone In case you were thinking of not doing this annoying thing I want you to do, forget it—you now have no choice because I’ve already thanked you. It’s like warning someone not to go back on a promise they haven’t even made yet.

That’s a great question.

This is a very “versatile” response. It can mean Wow, I never thought of that and I probably should have or That question was idiotic, but you’re my boss or client and I’d rather not be fired today. Often, it is a way of drawing someone timid into a group conversation, which I guess is a fairly benign use of the phrase. Ironically, there is one time when you almost never hear people say, “That’s a great question”—when someone actually asks a great question.

To be honest…

Hold on a second. At what point were you not being honest? When I hear someone say this, I instantly assume that some part of what they are about to say might be a lie.

What’s done is done.

Technically true, but that’s no reason to give up on something you might still be able to change or fix.

With all due respect…

There are certain people who’ll begin a sentence with With all due respect… and you just know that what’s coming next is going to be the most disrespectful thing you have heard all day. Admit it, you know at least one person like this.

YOLO

Short for You only live once. I don’t hang out with people who actually use this word, but it irritates me just to know that these people exist. I wonder if Hindus ever say YOLO…because I’d have an issue with that.

Editor’s Note: In case you were wondering, the author’s #23 most annoying expression was My bad. Visit the EDGE Facebook page to add your pet peeves to the list—including Pet peeve (which came in at #32).

The Chef Recommends

EDGE takes you inside  

the area’s most creative kitchens.

 

Grain & Cane Bar and Table • Miso Glazed Salmon 

250 Connell Drive • BERKELEY HEIGHTS

(908) 897-1920 • grainandcane.com

Our savory Miso Glazed Salmon—accompanied with jasmine shrimp, fried rice and an aromatic citrus yuzu coconut sauce—is one of many sensational seasonal menu items. Order online!

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Pork Tenderloin Special 

1-7 South Avenue W. • CRANFORD

(908) 324-4140 • thirstyturtle.com

Our food specials amaze! I work tirelessly to bring you the best weekly meat, fish and pasta specials. Follow us on social media to get all of the most current updates! 

— Chef Rich Crisonio

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Brownie Sundae  

186 Columbia Turnpike • FLORHAM PARK

(973) 845-6300 • thirstyturtle.com

Check out our awesome desserts brought to you by our committed staff. The variety amazes as does the taste!

— Chef Dennis Peralta

 

 

The Famished Frog • Mango Guac 

18 Washington Street • MORRISTOWN (973) 540-9601 • famishedfrog.com

Our refreshing Mango Guac is sure to bring the taste of the Southwest to Morristown.

— Chef Ken Raymond

 

 

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Pork Belly Bao Buns 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

Tender pork belly, hoisin sauce and pickled cucumber served on a Chinese bun. 

 

 

 

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye 

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD 

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

Join us for our “speedy affordable lunches” or dinner. We suggest you try our fresh, never frozen, 18 oz. bone-in Outlaw Ribeye—featuring juicy marbling that is perfectly seasoned and fire-grilled by our expert Grill Masters. Make sure to also try our amazing chicken and seafood dishes, as well.

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern • House Carved 16oz New York Strip Steak 

1075 Morris Avenue • UNION 

(908) 977-9699 • ursinosteakhouse.com

Be it a sizzling filet in the steakhouse or our signature burger in the tavern upstairs, Ursino is sure to please the most selective palates. Our carefully composed menus feature fresh, seasonal ingredients and reflect the passion we put into each and every meal we serve.

 

Support Our Chefs! 

The restaurants featured in this section are open for business and are serving customers in compliance with state regulations. Many have created special menus ideal for take-out,  delivery or socially distant dining, so we encourage you to visit them online. 

 

Do you have a story about a favorite restaurant going the extra mile during the pandemic?  Post it on our Facebook page and we’ll make sure to share it with our readers! 

‘Tis the Season

Fresh out of ways to stay busy at home this winter?  These products will get you thinking outside of the box. 

Growth Spurt 

If you live in New Jersey, finding farmstand-fresh garden herbs and vegetables during the winter months can be an exercise in futility. And a decent tomato? Soul crushing. Which is really all the convincing you should need to check out one of the new artificially intelligent indoor produce-growing devices. We like the Smart Garden 9 by Click & Grow, a company run out of San Francisco (with a second office in Estonia—we don’t know why). It features a professional-caliber grow light and nano-material “smart soil”  that releases nutrients, oxygen and water to as many as nine different plants. The product also comes with little biodomes to fast-track sprouting.   

Image Conscious 

Your phone is filled with great photos. You’ve got boxes of old-school color prints somewhere and, oh yeah, all those albums. Hey, don’t forget the family archives of black-and-white ancestors. What to do with all of these pictures? A number of companies will make blankets, throws and other large decorative products featuring a collage of your most cherished, unforgettable images. Collage.com is a good starting point. It has actually become a competitive business, which is good for you. Pay attention to the quality of fabric you’re ordering—that makes a difference in terms of usability and durability. Done well, these blankets could just be the hit of the holiday gift-giving season. Done poorly, they will embarrass your sensitive teenager for years. In other words, you win either way!  

Scrap Collector 

Every home, it seems, has that one closet shelf piled high with material scraps and random textiles from  the ghosts of projects past, present and future. Well, could there be a better time than now to pull them together into a killer quilt? Coronavirus has pretty much ruled out the quilting-bee option, which means you’re on your own. Before you begin, consider a sewing machine built with quilting specifially in mind. There are a lot of choices at a wide range of price points, starting in the hundreds and creeping into the thousands. One  of the more popular and affordable machines is Brother’s HC1850. It comes pre-programmed with 185 different stitching patterns and a wide table for quilting, plus—and this is important—free access to an actual human to answer quilting questions for  as long as you  own it.  

Be Still My Heart 

Tempting as it may be, day-drinking is never a good idea. But making your own booze anytime is now an option with one of the new-fangled high-tech home stills that are on the market. We’re talking moonshine, of course, a product that has found its way out of the hills and into the suburbs in recent years as a liquor of choice. Among the many food-grade home “hobbyist“ kits on the market is the Stainless Steel Stovetop Still made by How to Moonshine, a Canadian company doing brisk business in the United States. It’s a five-gallon, food-grade piece of equipment that can produce three liters in a couple of hours, and works on a gas burner, induction cooktop or electric hotplate. Yes, it’ll make your kitchen look a little like Walter White’s cook room, but creating your very own batch of firewater to your own particular taste sounds like a lot of fun.     

Tunnel Vision 

Are you one of those Why should I do all the work people? Perhaps one of Wall Colony’s Woodframe Ant Farms is calling your name. These relentless tunnelers create an ever-changing natural landscape and are a  daily reminder of what can be accomplished when  we all work together. The frames come first—in walnut, oak or cherry—and the ant colony follows a few days later after you’ve done a simple set up.     

Where’s the Beef? 

Have you noticed that the quality of meat at your local grocer has improved over these last few months? Where “choice” was often the best choice, now “prime” cuts are showing up—often at choice prices. With so many restaurants either shuttered or working at low capacity, meat purveyors have had to forge new relationships with supermarkets. Who knows how long this will last? One way to take advantage of this fortuitous glitch in the supply chain is to use these prime cuts to make delicious jerky. To do that, you’ll need a machine. Some are big, bulky and expensive. But others are not. Unless you plan on opening a side hustle, then the Nesco Snackmaker Pro will do just fine. It’s technically a dehydrator, which means you can use it for fruits and vegetables if you like, but jerky aficionados give it solid reviews. You’d be surprised how many closet jerky lovers there are out there, and with retail prices soaring for even the most modest portions, you may want to increase production once friends and family find out what you’re up to. This model is actually expandable, so no problem there.

Chef Recommends

EDGE takes you inside the area’s most creative kitchens.

Grain & Cane Bar and Table • Maine Lobster Benedict 

250 Connell Drive • BERKELEY HEIGHTS

(908) 897-1920 • grainandcane.com

Butter poached lobster, cage-free poached eggs and bernaise sauce. The flavors combine to create a beautifully silky dish that will be a weekend brunch favorite.

The Thirsty Turtle • Pork Tenderloin Special 

1-7 South Avenue W. • CRANFORD

(908) 324-4140 • thirstyturtle.com

Our food specials amaze! I work tirelessly to bring you the best weekly meat, fish and pasta specials. Follow us on social media to get all of the most current updates!  

— Chef Rich Crisonio

The Thirsty Turtle • Brownie Sundae  

186 Columbia Turnpike • FLORHAM PARK

(973) 845-6300 • thirstyturtle.com

Check out our awesome desserts brought to you by our committed staff. The variety amazes as does the taste!

— Chef Dennis Peralta

 

The Famished Frog • Mango Guac 

18 Washington Street • MORRISTOWN (973) 540-9601 • famishedfrog.com

Our refreshing Mango Guac is sure to bring the taste of the Southwest to Morristown.

— Chef Ken Raymond

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Pork Belly Bao Buns 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

Tender pork belly, hoisin sauce and pickled cucumber served on a Chinese bun. 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye 

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD 

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

Join us for our “speedy affordable lunches” or dinner. We suggest you try our fresh, never frozen, 18 oz. bone-in Outlaw Ribeye—featuring juicy marbling that is perfectly seasoned and fire-grilled by our expert Grill Masters. Make sure to also try our amazing chicken and seafood dishes, as well. 

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern • House Carved 16oz New York Strip Steak 

1075 Morris Avenue • UNION 

(908) 977-9699 • ursinosteakhouse.com

Be it a sizzling filet in the steakhouse or our signature burger in the tavern upstairs, Ursino is sure to please the most selective palates. Our carefully composed menus feature fresh, seasonal ingredients and reflect the passion we put into each and every meal we serve.

Support Our Chefs! 

The restaurants featured in this section are open for business and are serving customers in compliance with state regulations. Many have created special menus ideal for take-out,  delivery or socially distant dining, so we encourage you to visit them online. 

Do you have a story about a favorite restaurant going the extra mile during the pandemic?  Post it on our Facebook page and we’ll make sure to share it with our readers!  

 

Bending, Not Breaking

In COVID-19 times, it’s business as UNusual in New Jersey. 

By Christine Gibbs 

At 1,200 people per square mile, New Jersey is America’s most densely populated state. We paid the price for that honor in disrupted and lost lives when COVID-19 struck. New Jersey’s 800,000 businesses, which employed nearly a quarter of its 8.9 million residents when the pandemic arrived, felt this pain deeply, too. The numbers won’t be pretty when it is all said and done, but the state’s economy is resilient and our people are tenacious and talented. Indeed, amid the crushing reports of store closings, bankruptcy proceedings, and other bad news, there seems to be a new story every day about innovative thinking or inspired action that has enabled a business here to survive and even thrive in the face of the most daunting conditions.     

Under normal circumstances, it would be difficult to draw a through-line connecting a noodle shop, a church, a college, a dog groomer, a barbecue rub, and a brewery. But here we are in the new normal, and these are some of the folks who refused to let the virus stand in their way. 

Photo courtesy of Ani Ramen

USING HIS NOODLE   

A few years back, EDGE ran a glowing review of Ani Ramen, an authentic Japanese noodle house that opened in Montclair and added a second location in Jersey City in 2017. When the coronavirus arrived in March, founder Luck Sarabhayavanija was up to five restaurants with four more on the drawing board. When dine-in privileges were revoked, he quickly switched gears in order to support the staff and the greater community. Luck recast Ani as a nonprofit “pop-up” to provide for the hungry, the needy, and first responders. The result: Rock City Pizza Company and Bang Bang Chicken shops, from which customers could order Detroit-style pizza or Chinese-style rotisserie chicken…and get another one at half price to donate. These new ventures were an immediate success, but demands from patrons of Ani’s original ramen chain prompted the opening of Ani Express, a takeout location featuring some of the company’s top-selling bowls. Customers picked up easy-to-assemble kits (to avoid cold or soggy noodles) to bring home, reheat, and Slurp-Sip-Repeat—Ani’s recommended technique for fully embracing the Japanese noodle experience. Ani’s noodles are alive and well thanks to its unique, outside-the-box response to COVID-19. The non-profit is humming along and Luck is already thinking ahead to reopening his original five restaurants and resurrecting his tabled plans for four more when the pandemic passes. 

Photo courtesy of Carton Brewing Company

BEER NECESSITIES    

“We are just keeping the lights on, surviving not thriving…in this business, you have to be nimble, you have to hustle, you can’t waste time just believing, you have to start thinking.” So says Augie Carton of the Carton Brewing Company, one of the top craft beer producers in the state when the pandemic struck. With bars and restaurants shuttered, he and cousin Chris Carton immediately started thinking local. They ramped up production of a beer named 077XX—those three numbers start the zip codes of most Jersey Shore towns—which they had already been developing based on a “flavor commonality” that had emerged during extensive market research. Carton Brewing focused on what would appeal to the most common denominator among local beer drinkers—so no, not for the careful consideration of an educated palate (as with their other products) but for consumption by the “most drinkers possible.” Devotees old and new have been heading to the company’s new facility in Atlantic Highlands to   fill their personal growlers and crowlers with their new flagship beer, the aforementioned 077XX, ever since. 

Photo courtesy of Liquid Church

LIQUID GOLD 

Houses of worship and other places of spiritual gathering have had a particularly hard go of it during the pandemic. The very qualities that bind their adherents—community, fellowship, and physical proximity— threatened to unravel once everyone was ordered to keep their distance and shelter in place. Among the numerous examples of resilience, sacrifice and clever work-arounds is one church that seemingly has gone viral thanks to the virus. Liquid Church, headquartered in Parsippany, is not your typical church (you probably guessed that from the name). Its goal is to “provide a religious experience that is the most refreshing opportunity on the planet to quench the spiritual thirst for a religious grounding, especially in these trying times,” according to lead pastor Tim Lucas. The church opened its doors in 2007 and also offered online services through CHOP, the Church Online Platform. When the pandemic arrived in New Jersey, Pastor Tim shut the doors in all three in-person worship locations and concentrated on Facebook and YouTube. Within months, the congregation grew from a robust 5,500 to a digital audience of more than 12,000. Liquid Photo courtesy of Liquid Church Church was also able to turn its Parsippany property into a makeshift warehouse, distributing “Boxes of Hope” to tens of thousands of residents in the surrounding towns. Unsure of when and how a reopening will be possible, Lucas focused on planning “re-gathering” efforts over the summer, including a safe-distancing “Liquid On the Lawn” BYOB (Bring Your Own Bible) event that prompted some people to assume, he laughingly admits, “we were either a cult or a drinking fraternity.”  

Photo courtesy of Stevens Venture Center

NOTHING VENTURED 

“Startups and the entrepreneurs behind them are like indestructible weeds that will survive and grow despite all obstacles, even COVID-19.” Strong words from David Zimmerman of the Stevens Venture Center (SVC) at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. To be sure, in chaos and uncertainty, opportunity often flourishes. Zimmerman, the Director of Technology Commercialization at SVC, acknowledges that start-ups are never easy, even under the most favorable economic and social conditions. Add the overwhelming pressure of having to launch a fledgling venture in the throes of a pandemic and that only adds to the uncertainty. That is why the Venture Center has been a beacon of hope, a “safe house and sanctuary” for preserving and elevating the spirit of community-conscious innovators and entrepreneurs. “We are here to help daring innovators commercialize their vision into something spectacular,” he says.  The response to the pandemic under Zimmerman involves the popular Hackathon, a marathon of budding tech superstars and promising mentors and sponsors, who convene in teams to define a specific problem and then sprint to find a breakthrough that has the potential to become a commercial reality. It’s now known (at least temporarily) as the COVID Health Hackathon. 

Photo courtesy of Stevens Venture Center

DOGGED PERSISTENCE 

You know who made out like bandits when we were all told to stay home? Dogs. Suddenly and without warning, dog owners were home all day, talking to their pets (because who else was there?) and walking them two or three or four times between sunup and sundown. It was a great time for Canine-Americans. Not so great, however, for dog groomers and other hands-on pet-related businesses. When the world began to reopen, so did my local dog salon, Shampoochies. Owner Sherri Amador was faced with a steady stream of horrendous home grooming disasters and a large number of dogs that were channeling the fear and stress of their stay-at-home owners. In addition to minimum-contact drop-off and pickup practices, her groomers began offering soothing massages to stressed-out pups and added a dog training option as another creative add-on to make up for the loss of vital revenue from the sale of treats, leashes, and other impulse items. Sherri confirmed the fact that her staff has upped the ante on TLC—both for dogs and their owners—and has corrected a number of strange grooming attempts by her clients. These tweaks and their great results helped Sherri recapture 70% of her business, which has enabled her to keep three full-time groomers busy. And tips are up from grateful customers, she adds. 

SPICE GIRL 

One of the changes in the air, literally, for New Jersey during the pandemic has been the smell of grilling. The summer of 2020 (and the spring and the fall, too) may one day be remembered here as the golden age of the backyard barbecue. That explains, in part, how

Photo courtesy of Dr. Dor’s BBQ

Dr. Dor’s BBQ expanded from a friends-and-family worst-kept secret to a bona fide international brand in the span of six months. The Dr. Dor’s line encompasses 10 rubs now, is included in monthly barbecue subscription boxes, and has customers throughout North America and Europe. That success, however, is just one part of a bigger story. Dr. Dor is Doreen Rinaldo, a longtime radiation therapist at Trinitas and unrepentant “barbecue geek.” She’s not a doctor; it’s a nickname bestowed upon her by her pals when she entered the medical profession 25 years ago and she just stopped fighting it after a while. When the COVID-19 crisis began in March, Rinaldo realized that first responders, emergency staff and other nightshift workers had no way of obtaining a hot meal. “I was stuck at home with nothing to keep me occupied, so I put together a food event and asked local restaurants and foodies like me for help,” she recalls. “The goal was to raise money to feed first responders and also keep the restaurants in business. We fed around 50 people in the Trinitas Emergency Department that first night, plus the Roselle Fire and Police Departments.” Long story short, the Trinitas Health Foundation got behind Rinaldo’s idea and, over the spring and summer, the Feed the  Heroes program resupplied the hospital every day of the week, serving north of 20,000 meals in all. Rinaldo continued doing outside events, as well, and the list of participating restaurants and individual donors would fill up a couple of pages of this magazine. By the end of August, the hospital celebrated its first week with no new COVID patients (from a high of 200 a week) and the program ended. Rinaldo, who reported for duty in Elizabeth throughout the coronavirus battle, says she is spending her off hours filling holiday orders, including a big one for Barbecue Rub Club. She would love to retire as the “Queen of Barbecue” someday, but for now, like the rest of us, she is focused on maintaining an even keel and just having fun again. “This started as something to keep my mind focused during a pretty intense, frightening time,” Rinaldo says. “I love that  it ended up being something that brought a lot of  people together.” 

SO, WHAT NEXT

The common thread connecting these success stories involves creative rethinking, gritty determination, and gutsy projections into post-pandemic markets. Many small businesses have chosen to “do good” until they start doing well again, and in the process discovered that they had deepened the connection to the community and their customers. Restaurants and farmers are delivering to local food banks; doctors and medical staff diagnose patients through telehealth conferencing; gyms, trainers and physical therapists stream healthy workouts. And while no one can honestly say they have overcome all of their COVID-related challenges, many can claim to have made impressive progress.  

Shifting Gears

Within days of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting New
Jersey, Trinitas found itself on the front lines,
scrambling to understand the virus and working around the clock to combat its deadliest effects acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure. Physicians and researchers at the hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center jumped into the fray and bringing their unique perspective to a potentially overwhelming situation, helped to turn the tide with inspired cutting-edge treatments and fast-tracked clinical trials. For instance, Trinitas was one of the first to put a stem-cell therapy developed by Viti Labs into play- assembling an interdisciplinary team that included hematologists, oncologists, and emergency department doctors in real-time. Patients with COVID-19 were infused with antibody-rich plasma from coronavirus survivors to help fight the virus. “We had positive responses with a subgroup of our plasma patients which was amazing considering the challenges we had to face,” says Dr. Michelle Cholankeril, Division Chief of Medical Oncology at Trinitas. The team’s groundbreaking work continues.

Adaptive, outside-the-box thinking has long been a hallmark of successful businesses in New Jersey. Life will no doubt be different in the new, post-pandemic normal. However, that is one thing that is unlikely.   

John Slattery

Fox Broadcasting Company

There is an art to delivering a scripted line and John Slattery has all but mastered it. When his characters speak, we not only listen. We want to know everything about them. As Roger Sterling on Mad Men, he offered a window into the brand-building culture of 1960s America and, as Paul LeBlanc in the new Fox series neXt, he is our guide to the chilling prospect of artificial intelligence run amok. Gerry Strauss was curious about the origin of Slattery’s talent for boiling down big television and film concepts into elegant, intimate and often funny moments. Not surprisingly, it was honed live on stage.            

EDGE: What drew you to acting as a young man? 

Broadway.com

JS: I watched a lot of movies and TV when I was a kid and, somewhere in there, I realized that people were actually doing this as a job…and maybe I could do that. I had to apply to college somewhere and there was a school—Catholic University in Washington, DC—that my sister had gone to. I was not a very good student and my options were probably not that great. It was the only place I applied. If I didn’t get in there, I was going to have to figure something else out. I got in and they had a theater department, so that’s how I started. 

EDGE: Your stage résumé is very extensive. Do you actively pursue theater work in between your television and film projects? 

JS: Absolutely. One of my favorite things is to be able to do various disciplines. There are different rhythms to all of them. When I went to New York, my first legit jobs were commercials and stuff like that—which are great jobs to have and you learn a lot. But as far as acting, I learned on the stage. It’s thrilling and difficult in a different kind of way. It tests you and your ability to repeat the whole process every night and rehearse for a sustained period of time. So it’s just completely different than anything involving a camera. Hopefully, that is something that people will still be able to do. 

EDGE: How did John Slattery become Roger Sterling? 

JS: Matt Weiner saw me in a play. I was doing Rabbit Hole on Broadway with Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly.  I went in to read for the part of Don Draper; that’s because the part of Roger didn’t have a lot to do in the pilot. And then, after I read a couple different times and did my homework and prepared, he said, “Well, here’s the thing…[laughs]…we have that guy already.” That actually happened. Matt claims that I was in a bad mood the whole time we shot the pilot because I didn’t think that my part was good enough, and my nose was out of joint because he made me read for Don Draper.   

EDGE: Were you in a bad mood? 

JS: I don’t know. But I probably had one foot out the door, because no one knew what Mad Men was going to turn out to be, since AMC hadn’t done very much original programming. Anyway, Matt promised me it would be a great part…and it was.  

EDGE: When the series concluded, were you concerned that future projects might not meet the untouchable quality standards that you’d become accustomed to as a part of that show? 

JS: No, not even a little bit. I’m not looking for Mad Men. I’ve done that and I had a great time doing it.  I never expected it to happen in the first place, and I don’t expect it to happen again. That said, I went on and did Spotlight, which was pretty great—great circumstance, great people. I just try to find the material that speaks to me. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s okay, too. If you can find something that satisfies you, then I’m good with that. 

EDGE: You’ve played a lot of bosses and high-ranking employees. Does each take a particular kind of preparation? 

Upper Case Editorial

JS: I’ll do my research, the required homework in order to make myself as convincing as possible. But people are in positions of authority for all kinds of reasons, whether they know their job, or whether they they’re just good with people, or whether their brother-in-law runs the company. For example, in Mad Men, I played a guy whose name is on the building, but it’s because his father founded the company. However, If you said that to him, he’d say, “What does that have to do with anything? Are you trying to tell me that I don’t know how to do my job?” There isn’t any one quality that is required to have that job. 

EDGE: neXt has been quite the addition to Fox’s lineup this season. What appealed to you about the concept of the show? 

JS: The character appealed to me because this guy created this artificial intelligence, and he immediately recognizes the potential dangers of and tries to lock it away. In his absence, it’s unlocked and plugged into the internet and it starts to run amok, and he’s trying to warn people how dangerous it is. I was interested in exploring how do you describe exponential growth and tell someone the planet’s burning?  So he’s trying to describe to people how super intelligence works and why it’s dangerous. You give this thing an order on Friday and over the weekend it learns the 20,000 years of human history—you think it might take issue with you being its boss on Monday morning? I say a line in the show—“You know, in your lifetime, you’ll kill maybe 100,000 bugs with your car. You don’t mean to…they’re just in the way. That’s what we are to this thing.”  

EDGE: People look at your character Paul like he’s crazy. 

JS: Because he is kind of crazy. He has this brain disease, and he’s hallucinating and he’s paranoid and he’s anxious. People are put off by him and don’t really want to listen to what he has to say. So it’s that combination that made the whole role a really interesting exercise—and makes it a thrilling show. You asked the question about how I approach playing people in positions of authority? So I don’t know anything about super intelligence. I read a couple of books and watched Sam Harris give a couple of lectures. I listened to Elon Musk and Bill Gates trying to explain it. You go So how do I do that? I had to learn how to get my mouth around some of the technical terms that that need to be second nature to my character and I have to communicate with a degree of authority—as well as an off-handed quality—that really smart people have [laughs].  

EDGE: With so much streaming content that gets binged and forgotten until a new season drops, do you think there is a benefit to having series like neXt air one episode a week—so that suspense builds, storylines develop and buzz gets generated? 

Fox Broadcasting Company

JS: It’s a good question. I just finished watching a show called The Bureau. It’s a French spy show. They had already made four seasons of it, so I binged four seasons of it. I thought there were five and was expecting to watch the fifth next, and then I realized that the new season hadn’t come out yet. Then, the fifth season was on week to week [laughs] so I had to watch the thing every week and wait for them one at a time. I was kind of pissed in the beginning, but it didn’t keep me from turning it on. You can binge something and you can crank through the story in a couple of days, which is great. But there still is that anticipation if you know how to hook the audience. You’ve got to have a good couple of shows up top, kicking the thing off and setting the hook as it were to the audience—which I think we do. You’re not trying to manipulate anybody, but you’re trying to get them interested in the story you’re telling. There’s so much entertainment out there, and people’s lives are so filled with media of one kind or another, that it’s hard to make a dent. I think this show does. I really do. And I think it’s more timely now than when we made it six months ago.  

Marvel Studios

Iron Man’s Dad

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe know John Slattery as Howard Stark, Tony Stark’s father, a character presented in flashbacks since he was murdered before the current-day setting. How did John land this role?  

I wasn’t a big comic book fan—not since I was a kid, so I really didn’t have that much of a pull towards it. I got a call from Jon Favreau, who directed the first two Iron Man movies. “Do you have any children?” I said, “Yeah…”, and he said, “You have to do this then. I mean, how are you going to tell your kid that you had a chance to play Howard Stark and you turned it down?”  

When I did scenes with Robert Downey, there’s a script and we rehearse it and then we change it. It wasn’t like a total improv, but there was a lot of stuff that we were just trying to figure out. You have to figure out the best way to tell the story of the film and try to figure out where the scene lives. It was really fun to do that with Downey and the Russo brothers, who are such smart guys. 

Amazon Studios/Prime Video

The Spice of Life

Is it fun for you to pop into an episode of The Romanoffs or a film role that doesn’t involve a long-term commitment? 

Yeah! Variety is part of the reason I went into this business. You can play different people and learn to do a variety of different jobs, but you don’t have to actually stick with them. Sometimes the short assignment can be preferable, depending on where my life is at the moment. Sometimes it’s tricky because you don’t have as much information about the story to go on. Then again, you have to remember that because a show like Mad Men happens one scene at a time, so you don’t really know a character in its entirety until you get to the end.    

 

Chef Recommends

Grain & Cane Bar and Table • Maine Lobster Benedict

250 Connell Drive • BERKELEY HEIGHTS

(908) 897-1920 • grainandcane.com

Butter poached lobster, cage-free poached eggs and bernaise sauce. The flavors combine to create a beautifully silky dish that will be a weekend brunch favorite.

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Pork Tenderloin Special

1-7 South Avenue W. • CRANFORD

(908) 324-4140 • thirstyturtle.com

Our food specials amaze! I work tirelessly to bring you the best weekly meat, fish and pasta specials. Follow us on social media to get all of the most current updates! 

— Chef Rich Crisonio

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Brownie Sundae

186 Columbia Turnpike • FLORHAM PARK

(973) 845-6300 • thirstyturtle.com

Check out our awesome desserts brought to you by our committed staff. The variety amazes as does the taste!

— Chef Dennis Peralta

 

The Famished Frog • Mango Guac

18 Washington Street • MORRISTOWN (973) 540-9601 • famishedfrog.com

Our refreshing Mango Guac is sure to bring the taste of the Southwest to Morristown.

— Chef Ken Raymond

 

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Pork Belly Bao Buns

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

Tender pork belly, hoisin sauce and pickled cucumber served on a Chinese bun. 

 

 

 

Daimatsu • Sushi Pizza

860 Mountain Avenue • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-7888 • daimatsusushibar.com

This original dish has been our signature appetizer for over 20 years. Crispy seasoned sushi rice topped with homemade spicy mayo, marinated tuna, finely chopped onion,  scallion, masago caviar, and ginger. Our customers always come back wanting more.

 

 

Garden Grille • Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 232-5300  • hgispringfield.hgi.com

Beet and goat cheese salad with mandarin oranges, golden beets, spiced walnuts, arugula, with a red wine vinaigrette.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

Join us for our “speedy affordable lunches” or dinner. We suggest you try our fresh, never frozen, 18 oz. bone-in Outlaw Ribeye—featuring juicy marbling that is perfectly seasoned and fire-grilled by our expert Grill Masters. Make sure to also try our amazing chicken and seafood dishes, as well.

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

 

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

901 Mountain Avenue • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 467-9095 • outback.com/locations/nj/springfield

This is the entire staff’s favorite, guests rave about. Bone-in and extra marbled for maximum tenderness, juicy and savory. Seasoned and wood-fired grilled over oak.

— Duff Regan, Managing Partner

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Japanese Taco

23A Nelson Avenue • STATEN ISLAND, NY

(718) 966-9600 • partyonthegrill.com

Choice of Tuna with wakeme, Kobe beef with sushi rice or Rock Shrimp with pineapple. Served in a crispy wonton shell, Asian slaw, topped with spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce.

 

Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern • House Carved 16oz New York Strip Steak

1075 Morris Avenue • UNION

(908) 977-9699 • ursinosteakhouse.com

Be it a sizzling filet in the steakhouse or our signature burger in the tavern upstairs, Ursino is sure to please the most selective palates. Our carefully composed menus feature fresh, seasonal ingredients and reflect the passion we put into each and every meal we serve.

 

 

Support Our Chefs!

The restaurants featured in this section are open for business and are serving customers in compliance with state regulations. Many have created special menus ideal for take-out,  delivery or socially distant dining, so we encourage you to visit them online.

Do you have a story about a favorite restaurant going the extra mile during the pandemic?  Post it on our Facebook page and we’ll make sure to share it with our readers!

EDGE is not responsible for any typos, misprints or information in regard to these listings. All information was supplied by the restaurants that participated and any questions or concerns should be directed to them.

 

A Cut Above

Classic jewel heists…from the historical to the hysterical.

By Mark Stewart

Last November, a pair of thieves in Germany made off with a group of priceless artifacts from the Green Vault Jewelry Room in Dresden’s Royal Palace. When asked to actually put a price on the haul, experts estimated the value of the theft at over $1 billion, making it the largest caper of its kind in history. Three sets of 18th-century jewelry were taken, each including dozens of precious gems. The theft was an old-school “hack”—the thieves smashed through the museum showcases with an ax.

The lure of gems and jewelry has proved irresistible to scores of get-rich-quick criminals over the centuries, dating back to tomb-robbers in ancient Egypt (and perhaps farther back than that). No less alluring to the rest of us are the details of these crimes, particularly the most imaginative ones…and sometimes the most unimaginative ones. Here are some of my favorites:

United Kingdom Government

1671 • NOBLE GESTURE

The “Holy Grail” of thievery targets might just be the Tower of London, which has housed the British royal family’s crown jewels for centuries. One of the loopiest schemes to make off with them was concocted by Thomas Blood, who spent a great deal of time and money creating a fake identity so he could pass himself off as an English nobleman. Blood befriended Talbot Edwards—the official Keeper of the Jewels—and promised that his rich nephew would wed Edwards’s as-yet unmarried daughter, elevating both into high society. Since they were practically related, Edwards agreed to give Blood and some fake-noble buddies a private viewing of the king’s bejeweled crown and scepter. Once in the inner sanctum, they knocked out Edwards, broke up the crown and scepter with a mallet, stuffed the pieces down their pants and ca-chinged down to the bottom of the tower—where they were immediately apprehended by the guards. Blood expected to lose his head, and probably should have, but when King Charles II heard the story he couldn’t stop laughing. He rewarded the counterfeit noble for his chutzpah with a genuine title and a country estate in Ireland.

 

 

American International Pictures

1964 • MURPHY’S LAW

One of the legendary party animals of the 1960s was Jack Murphy, aka Murph the Surf, a concert violinist, tennis pro and national-champion surfer who lived for the next adrenaline rush and had absolutely no impulse control. He also was known to help himself to the odd piece of jewelry to finance his hedonistic lifestyle. One evening while passing the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Murphy noticed that a number of gallery windows on the building’s top floor were cracked a couple of inches for ventilation. He knew this gallery very well: It housed the J.P. Morgan Collection of gems and minerals. On the night of October 29th, Murphy and two accomplices scaled the outside of the castle-like structure, entered the gallery and discovered to their delight that the alarms on the cases all had dead batteries. They helped themselves to gemstones by the handfuls, including the Star of India (the world’s largest sapphire) and climbed back out the window completely unnoticed. The theft, discovered the following morning, was a national sensation. Murphy and his pals upped the ante on their partying, arousing suspicion, and were arrested at their hotel three days later. They had already sold several diamonds, including the famed 16.25-carat Eagle Diamond, which was never seen again. Free on bail, Murphy was rearrested for robbing Eva Gabor and later convicted of a Florida murder. In 1975, he was the subject of the movie Live a Little, Steal a Lot, starring Robert Conrad and Don Stroud. Murphy was paroled in 1986 and became an ordained minister.

1989 • DUST DEVIL

It is common knowledge among thieves that members of the Saudi royal family diversify their oil wealth by stashing away significant quantities of high-end gems and jewelry. Kriangkrai Techamong, a Thai gardener working at the palace of a Saudi prince, scaled the outside of the building, jimmied open a cheap wall safe, and helped himself to 200 pounds of loot (which included a blue diamond the size of an egg). He hid his booty in the dust bag of a vacuum cleaner, which he wheeled calmly past the prince’s security team and out of the palace. Techamong shipped the jewels to himself before boarding a plane back to Thailand. The fencing part of the operation was not as well-thought-out, however. Some of the unique pieces started showing up in photos of Thai politicians and their spouses, prompting the Saudis to send a trio of investigators to Thailand. All three were murdered.

www.istockphoto.com

2003 • REALITY BITES

In a heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven (or Twelve, or Thirteen), a highly skilled team assembled by criminal mastermind Leonardo Notarbartolo successfully ran a gauntlet of security systems and made off with over $100 million in gold, jewelry and precious stones from a vault two stories beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center in Belgium. Operating out of a small office they had rented in the building, the thieves made copies of master keys, conquered a lock with millions of possible combinations, evaded an array of motion and heat sensors, penetrated an 18-inch steel door and swapped security tapes on their way out to erase video evidence of their crime. Notarbartolo, who managed to fence the bulk of his booty, was shocked when the authorities quickly cracked the case and arrested him—even though they never did figure out how he did it. The clue linking him to the crime was DNA recovered from a half-eaten salami sandwich. No more spoilers here—J.J. Abrams optioned the story so one day you’ll see the whole thing on the silver screen.

2008 • TUNNEL VISION

The Academy Awards are “showtime” for the world’s top jewelers, and Italian design group Damiani is no exception. Workers in the company’s Milan store were preparing for an Oscars party when seven men dressed as police officers inexplicably appeared on the other side of a sophisticated security system, scooped up $20 million in jewelry, and disappeared down a staircase, never to be seen again. The thieves had spent weeks in the basement of the adjacent retail space, which was unoccupied, tunneling through a wall that was nearly 30 feet thick. Fortunately for Damiani, its best items had already been shipped to the U.S. and were adorning the necks of celebrities gliding across the red carpet.

2012 • EASY RIDERS

The Brent Cross Shopping Centre holds the distinction of being the first “American-style” shopping mall in London. It was also the scene of one of the most brazen heists in British history. A few minutes after the mall’s opening on an otherwise normal Tuesday morning in November, shoppers had to dodge three motorcycles roaring across the upper walkway— each vehicle carrying a driver and a passenger. The motorcycles stopped in front of Fraser Hart Jewelers, the three passengers hopped off and crashed through the store window with axes and baseball bats, got back on the motorcycles and sped off with more than $3 million in jewelry and high-end watches. The bikes were recovered hours later but the thieves were never caught. Unfortunately, the surprising presence of baseball bats in a cricket-crazed culture offered no useful clues.

Photo by Holman

2013 • GONE IN 60 SECONDS

The Carlton Hotel in the French seaside resort of Cannes hosted an exhibition of jewels belonging to Lev Leviev, a crony of Vladimir Putin’s known as the “King of Diamonds.” In the brief moment when the jewels were being moved discreetly from a secure carrying case into an even more secure showcase by three unarmed security guards, a gun-toting thief entered the otherwise empty room from an unlocked terrace and compelled the guards to hand over 34 high-carat, unblemished gems worth more than $130 million. The operation took less than a minute from beginning to end, drawing comparisons to the fabled Pink Panther for its stealth and ingenuity. Ironically, the Carlton was where Alfred Hitchcock filmed the 1955 Cary Grant/Grace Kelly classic To Catch a Thief.  EDGE

www.istockphoto.com

2015 • PEARL JAM

The Academy Awards broadcast is also “showtime” for the world’s celebrity fashion-watchers, where designers get to strut their stuff on the red carpet. In 2015, the most head-turning creation was a Calvin Klein dress worn by Lupita Nyong’o, which was adorned with 6,000 hand-sewn pearls. The actress, who won an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave the year before, called her dress a “timeless, priceless work of art.”

 

The Chef Recommends

EDGE takes you inside the area’s most creative kitchens.

Paragon Tap & Table • Pan Seared Mahi Mahi 

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

This rustic dish—Pan Seared Mahi Mahi served on ginger garlic bok choy stir fry, scallion jasmine rice topped with pickled lotus root—is a dish I created to take our guests on a culinary journey. The hearty texture of the fish balanced with the subtleties of the bok choy and jasmine rice make this dish a unique dining experience.

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

A Toute Heure/100 Steps Supper Club & Raw Bar

232 Centennial Avenue / 215 Centennial Avenue • CRANFORD

(908) 276-6600 • localrootscranford.com

In the heart of the winter season, the local waters are perhaps the best source of our seasonal favorites…from briny clams and oysters to amazing local catch you simply can’t go wrong.   

— Andrea & Jim Carbine, Owners

BoulevardFive72 • Grilled “Chermoula” Organic Salmon

572 Boulevard • KENILWORTH

(908) 709-1200 • boulevardfive72.com

This Mediterranean-inspired, signature dish is served with fingerling potatoes, roasted golden-beet puree and a whole grain mustard sauce. The Salmon is sourced from the North Atlantic’s Faroese Island Fiords by Boulevard’s own seafood company.

— Scott Snyder, Chef/Owner

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

8 oz. filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and tempura onion ring.

Daimatsu • Sushi Pizza

860 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-7888 • daimatsusushibar.com

This original dish has been our signature appetizer for over 20 years. Crispy seasoned sushi rice topped with homemade spicy mayo, marinated tuna, finely chopped onion, scallion, masago caviar, and ginger. Our customers always come back wanting more.

— Momo, Chef

Publick House • Kobe Short Rib   

899 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-2355 • publickhousenj.com

Our Kobe short ribs are slow roasted, until the meat is tender enough to literally melt in your mouth. Served with garlic whipped potato purée and sautéed spinach, this dish is the perfect comfort food to escape any cold day.

— Bernie Goncalves, Owner

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • House Made Mafalda Pasta Inverno Style

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Our goal is to give our guests a pleasurable dining experience, with fresh ingredients and personable service in a beautiful Tuscan décor complete with fireplaces. Our house-made Mafalda pasta features slow-braised artichoke crowns, cipollini onions and oven-dried tomatoes in a saffron cream broth. Luciano’s is available for dining and private parties of all types.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

Morris Tap & Grill • BBQ Braised Pork Shank with Corn Hash

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

With the winter here we have created this amazingly deep and rich dish for you to enjoy. This dish embodies the rustic cuisine that I am known for while creating textures.

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

Thai Amarin • Goong Ma Kham

201 Morris Ave. • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 376-6300, (973) 376-6301 • thaiamarinnj.net

Batter fried jumbo shrimps with a tasty house made tamarind sauce,  topped with roasted almonds and served on a bed of stir-fried spinach.  

— Amy Thana, Owner

Spirit: Social Eatery and Bar • Jersey Breakfast Bar Pie

250 Morris Ave. • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 258-1600 • mclynns.com

Get in the Spirit! Our Jersey Breakfast Bar Pie features potatoes, Taylor ham, cheddar cheese and onions. It doesn’t get more Jersey than that! 

— Mark Houlker, Chef

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Volcano Roll 

23A Nelson Avenue • STATEN ISLAND, NY

(718) 966-9600 • partyonthegrill.com

Hot-out-of-the-oven, crab, avocado and cream cheese rolled up and topped with a mild spicy scallop salad.

The Manor • Petite Filet Mignon & Short Ribs

111 Prospect Avenue • WEST ORANGE

(973) 731-2360 • themanorrestaurant.com

Our hearty petite filet mignon, accompanied by oh-so-rich short ribs that have been braised to tender perfection are ideal for the season. Add to that grilled baby leeks, forage mushrooms scented in bordelaise sauce, caramelized cipollini onions, and a delightfully-presented potato purée in a crisp potato basket and you have a taste of winter well worth the visit.

— Vincent Raith, Executive Chef