The Chef Recommends

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

 

Paragon Tap & Table • Beef Ramen

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

As we constantly introduce new flavors from around the world to our customers at Paragon Tap and Table we have added an Asian inspired Noodle Dish with a touch of the south. Our beef ramen noodle showcases all the characteristics of a traditional ramen but twisted with the smokiness of the smoked beef brisket.

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE
(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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.

— Chef Momo

The Barge • Cioppino

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY
(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com
Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of
clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive
oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become
one of your favorite dishes.

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Pan-seared scallops over butternut squash risotto and wilted spinach, finished with a brown butter emulsion. This is one of the signature dishes featured on our menu since we opened 10 years ago.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

Morris Tap & Grill • The Monster Burger

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH
(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com
As the leader in the gastropub world in New Jersey, Morris Tap and grill has been
providing creative, quality, fresh certified burgers for over 6 years. Here’s an example of what we do creatively with our burgers, The Monster Burger. Two certified angus beef burgers topped with chorizo sausage, slaw, bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried egg!

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Garden Grille • Grilled Chicken Paillard

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

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

Grilled chicken paillard with roasted corn, asparagus, cauliflower, baby arugula and grape tomato, extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD
(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com
LongHorn Steakhouse of Springfield is celebrating its One Year Anniversary. Come celebrate with us! Join us for Lunch 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.
— 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 • 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.

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.

 

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide?

Call us at 908.994.5138

The Chef Recommends

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

Paragon Tap & Table • Beef Ramen

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

As we constantly introduce new flavors from around the world to our customers at Paragon Tap and Table we have added an Asian inspired Noodle Dish with a touch of the south. Our beef ramen noodle showcases all the characteristics of a traditional ramen but twisted with the smokiness of the smoked beef brisket.  

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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. 

— Chef Momo

The Barge • Cioppino 

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bruschetta

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Jumbo lump crab cake bruschetta, finished with virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction has been one of Luciano’s signature appetizers since we opened. 

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

Morris Tap & Grill • The Monster Burger

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

As the leader in the gastropub world in New Jersey, Morris Tap and grill has been providing creative, quality, fresh certified burgers for over 6 years. Here’s an example of what we do creatively with our burgers, The Monster Burger. Two certified angus beef burgers topped with chorizo sausage, slaw, bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried egg! 

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse has opened in Springfield, and we are looking forward to meeting all of our future guests! When you visit us, 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.  

— 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 • 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.

 

 

Galloping Hill Caterers

Galloping Hill Road and Chestnut Street • UNION

(908) 686-2683 • gallopinghillcaterers.com

Galloping Hill Caterers has been an incredible landmark for nearly sixty years. We pride ourselves in delivering “over the top” cuisine, impeccable service and outstanding attention to detail. That is the hallmark of our success! Simply, an unforgettable experience. Pictured here is one of our crepes flambé that really creates lots of excitement!

— George Thomas, Owner

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.

Vine Ripe Markets • Filet Crostini with Horseradish Cream Sauce 

430 North Avenue East • WESTFIELD

(908) 233-2424 • vineripemarkets.com

Savory, tender, with a touch of aromatic and toasted flavors that tantalize the senses! Filet Mignon served rare and shaved onto homemade Garlic Crostini, topped with our Horseradish Cream Sauce is a medley of tender and crispy textures perfect for sharing with family and friends, any time of year!

— Frank Bruno, Chief Culinary Officer

The Chef Recommends

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

Paragon Tap & Table • Beef Ramen

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

As we constantly introduce new flavors from around the world to our customers at Paragon Tap and Table we have added an Asian inspired Noodle Dish with a touch of the south. Our beef ramen noodle showcases all the characteristics of a traditional ramen but twisted with the smokiness of the smoked beef brisket.

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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.

— Chef Momo

The Barge • Cioppino

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Pan Seared Scallops

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Pan-seared scallops over butternut squash risotto and wilted spinach, finished with a brown butter emulsion. This is one of the signature dishes featured on our menu since we opened 10 years ago.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

Morris Tap & Grill • The Monster Burger

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

As the leader in the gastropub world in New Jersey, Morris Tap and grill has been providing creative, quality, fresh certified burgers for over 6 years. Here’s an example of what we do creatively with our burgers, The Monster Burger. Two certified Angus beef burgers topped with chorizo sausage, slaw, bacon, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg!

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

Garden Grille • Roasted Garlic & Herb Rubbed Grilled Sirloin

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

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

Tender sirloin grilled to mouthwatering perfection with a chimichurri sauce, served with buttery whipped potatoes and wilted spinach.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse has opened in Springfield, and we are looking forward to meeting all of our future guests! When you visit us, 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.

— 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 • 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.

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.

Vine Ripe Markets • Filet Crostini with Horseradish Cream Sauce

430 North Avenue East • WESTFIELD

(908) 233-2424 • vineripemarkets.com

Savory, tender, with a touch of aromatic and toasted flavors that tantalize the senses! Filet Mignon served rare and shaved onto homemade Garlic Crostini, topped with our Horseradish Cream Sauce is a medley of tender and crispy textures perfect for sharing with family and friends, any time of year!

— Frank Bruno, Chief Culinary Officer

The Chef Recommends

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

Paragon Tap & Table • Beef Ramen

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

As we constantly introduce new flavors from around the world to our customers at Paragon Tap and Table we have added an Asian inspired Noodle Dish with a touch of the south. Our beef ramen noodle showcases all the characteristics of a traditional ramen but twisted with the smokiness of the smoked beef brisket.

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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.

— Chef Momo

The Barge • Cioppino

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

The warm goat cheese salad with tender greens and a mulled cabernet dressing and toasted pine nuts is a signature appetizer at Luciano’s, where fresh ingredients and personable service in a beautiful Tuscan décor create a fine dining experience. Our menus are seasonally influenced to feature the best of what’s available in the market.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

Morris Tap & Grill • The Monster Burger

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

As the leader in the gastropub world in New Jersey, Morris Tap and Grill has been providing creative, quality, fresh certified burgers for over 6 years. Here’s an example of what we do creatively with our burgers, The Monster Burger. Two certified angus beef burgers topped with chorizo sausage, slaw, bacon, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg!

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Garden Grille • Grilled Chicken Paillard

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

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

Grilled chicken paillard with roasted corn, asparagus, cauliflower, baby arugula and grape tomato, extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse has opened in Springfield, and we are looking forward to meeting all of our future guests! When you visit us, 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.

— 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 • 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.

 

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.

 

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide?

Call us at 908.994.5138

 

Crazy Good Inventions

Back in grade school, you learned about New Jersey’s most famous inventions, from Edison’s light bulb and Stevens’ steam locomotive to DuPont’s Teflon and Parker Brothers’ Monopoly board game. Here are a few that probably didn’t make it into your textbook…

SKINS GAME

Band-Aids • New Brunswick

The horrors of World War I heightened America’s appreciation for the importance of sterile wound care. In 1921, Johnson & Johnson debuted Band-Aids, which incorporated an absorbent pad with an adhesive strip. By the mid-1920s, the company marketed them in the familiar tin box. J&J has sold over 100 billion Band-Aids since then. The original idea belonged to one of the company’s cotton buyers, Earle Dickinson. His young wife was plagued by cuts and burns in the kitchen, so Earle simply combined two existing Johnson & Johnson products—sterile gauze and surgical tape—with a removable sheet of protective tape.

FORE THOUGHT

Golf Tee • Maplewood

Methods for raising a golf ball off the ground are as old as the sport itself, but it was not until 1922 that the familiar wooden tee was mass-produced by Dr. William Lowell, a Maplewood dentist. Popularized by top golfers including Walter Hagen, the Reddy Tee (it was stained red) became the industry standard by the end of the decade. Invention of the wooden tee is sometimes credited to a Harvard professor, George Franklin Grant, but he carved them for personal use and never thought of bringing them to market.

GOT MILK?

Bosco • Camden

Bosco chocolate syrup was invented by a Camden pharmacist. The William S. Scull Company, makers of Boscul brand coffee, acquired the rights to the formula in 1928 and called the product Bosco. It was advertised in the 1930s and 1940s as a “milk amplifier.” Bosco was aggressively marketed on television in the 1950s and 1960s and was a major rival of Nestle’s Quik chocolate powder. The color and consistency of the syrup also made it a popular choice for movie blood. Bosco, in fact, was used in the shower scene in Psycho. The Bosco Products company is still located in New Jersey, in Towaco.

NOTORIOUS RGB

Color TV • Camden

On February 5, 1940, at the RCA plant in New Jersey, a group of FCC officials witnessed the first “modern” color television broadcast. Prior to this demonstration, color transmission had to be sent on three different frequencies—one for red, one for green and one for blue—then recombined on the receiving end, which was notoriously difficult. The RCA breakthrough was to simply reverse the process used to separate the colors in the TV camera. Of course, it was anything but simple. It would be another decade before the first color broadcasts were made, by CBS in New York, using its one and only color camera.

SWEET SCIENCE

M&M’s • Newark

Forrest Mars, heir to the Mars candy fortune, was not one to sit still. An entrepreneur and adventurer, he noted during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s that soldiers were gobbling down Smarties, little English chocolates coated with sugar to prevent them from melting. In 1941, Mars received a patent for his own version of the confection and went into production in a factory in the Clinton Hill section of Newark. The M’s in M&M stand for Mars and Murrie; Bruce Murrie, heir to the Hershey’s company, had a 20% stake in the business. Hershey controlled the nation’s chocolate supply during World War II. Today, the company makes more than 2 billion M&M’s each week.

 

POP CULTURE

Bubble Wrap • Hawthorne

Did you know that bubble wrap started as a decorating product? In 1957, a couple of Passaic County inventors— Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes—were attempting to make 3D wallpaper by creating sheets of trapped air. The idea never caught on, but Fielding realized they had come up with a next-generation packing material and, in 1960, he founded the Sealed Air Corporation. The company trademarked the name Bubble Wrap and, in 2015, announced that it planned to offer a “nonpoppable” version—creating an uproar among its millions of devotees.

 

BARRIER BREAKER

Antitheft Tag • Livingston

In 1987, Dr. Phillip Anderson, president of Identitech, used amorphous metal made by partner company Allied Signal to create the article surveillance system based on large plastic “tags” that were clamped on to garments and other retail items. The metal strip within the plastic tags vibrated when it passed between magnetic sensors positioned at store exits. Anderson went on to teach Physics at Ramapo College. He retired with over 100 international patents for security devices using amorphous metals.

 

The Good, The Mad, and The Ugly

What happens when the scientific method goes off the rails?

By Luke Sacher

The fine line between genius and madness, it turns out, isn’t so fine at all. Over the last decade a number of studies have linked people with a high degree of intelligence and creativity to a gene variant associated with psychosis, depression and other mental disorders. That certainly explains a lot. But does it account for the 20th century’s most infamous “mad” scientists? Indeed, can their cruel, misguided scientific experiments and theories be attributed to diseased minds…or was there something else in play? The eight Mad Scientists in these pages do have a few things in common. For example, they all rocketed to the top of their fields as young men (one, in fact, was a rocket scientist). Additionally, each was held in great esteem by his colleagues—some until the bitter end. Alas, each took that fateful first step down the rabbit hole and, in some cases, never came back.

Exactly where and why they went wrong is anyone’s guess. As for their life’s work, however…well, it leaves little to the imagination. 

Upper Case Editorial

Monkey See, Monkey Don’t

Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov

Biologist • 1870–1932

The Good: In the early 1900s, Ivanov—a professor at Kharkov University in current-day Ukraine—perfected artificial insemination for horse breeding. This enabled one stallion to safely and successfully fertilize hundreds of mares, and was hailed as a sensation at the time. Ivanov became a leading light among Eastern European scientists, even as Communism enveloped his home country of Russia. He went on to study the science of hybridization, producing a zebra-donkey, bison-cow and various combinations of rodents and rabbits.

The Mad: During the 1920s, dictator Joseph Stalin became intrigued with a paper Ivanov had presented in the pre-Soviet era at the World Congress of Zoologists, which suggested that humans and primates might one day be hybridized. Stalin ordered Ivanov to start working on a “humanzee” super warrior: “I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat.” Ivanov and his son traveled to West Africa, to see if this was actually possible. The experiment was a failure.

The Ugly: The problem, concluded the Ivanovs, was that they probably had it all backwards. So in 1929, they decided to reverse the process. With the backing of the Soviet Society for Materialist Biologists, they found five Russian women who volunteered to participate in this insane plan. In a final, bizarre twist, the experiment was shut down thanks to pressure from the Ku Klux Klan, which caught wind of the deal before the genetic material could be shipped across the Atlantic. An enraged Stalin concluded that Ivanov was a counter-revolutionary and sentenced him to five years in a Kazakhstan gulag in 1930. Ivanov died there of a stroke in 1932. His obituary was penned by behavioral scientist Ivan Pavlov, of “Pavlov’s Dog” fame.

A Long, Strange Trip

Sidney Gottlieb

Chemist • 1918–1999

The Good: Gottlieb, who received a Ph.D. in chemistry from Cal Tech, had the pedigree of a can-do problem solver. A stutterer from childhood, he went on to earn a master’s degree in Speech Therapy. Born with a club foot and declared 4F during World War II, he nonetheless had a lifelong passion for folk dancing. In 1951, Gottlieb, anxious to serve his country, joined the CIA as leader of the agency’s Technical Services Staff.

The Mad: Two years later, CIA director Allen Dulles appointed Gottlieb to supervise its MKULTRA mind control program, which focused on the application of LSD and psychiatric research to develop “techniques that would crush the human psyche to the point that it would admit anything.” One operation of the program involved dropping doses of LSD into unwitting people’s drinks and observing the effects. Gottlieb and his team mostly targeted prostitutes, drug addicts, petty criminals, prisoners, vagrants and the mentally ill as guinea pigs.

The Ugly: Under Gottlieb’s direction, MKULTRA also ran tests on paid volunteers—including a group of seven who were given LSD for 77 consecutive days. They also spiked the drinks of fellow CIA agents, just for laughs. Gottlieb also supervised the engineering of clandestine lethal poisons and delivery technologies (earning him the nicknames Black Sorcerer and Dirty Trickster). He was the man behind the plots to kill Fidel Castro with a poisoned fountain pen, wetsuit and cigar, as well as an exploding conch shell. Gottlieb retired from the CIA in 1972 and was awarded a Distinguished Intelligence Medal for his two-plus decades of service. In 1973, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered almost all records pertaining to MKULTRA to be destroyed.

Russian Academy of Medical Sciences

Fetch Me Another Subject

Sergei Brukhonenko

Biomedical Scientist • 1890–1960

The Good: In 1926, Brukhonenko invented the world’s first practical (albeit crude) heart-lung machine. The Autojektor, developed at the USSR’s Research Institute of Experimental Surgery, paved the way for the first open heart operation performed behind the Iron Curtain, in 1957. He was posthumously awarded the prestigious Lenin Prize, the Soviet equivalent of the Nobel, in 1960.

The Mad: Heart-lung machines sustain life artificially. Ergo, the only logical way to test and prove one is by hooking it up to something alive. In 1939, Brukhonenko conducted a series of experiments on dogs, which were documented in the film Experiments in the Revival of Organisms. You can Google the video, but be warned: It is not dog- or doglover friendly. Brukhonenko removed various body parts and vital organs, and was able to keep his test subjects alive and functioning for hours. Brukhonenko kept pushing the envelope, killing a dog by draining all the blood from its body—and then reviving it by pumping the blood back in. The effect of this procedure on brain function was not measured, although any junior-high science student can make an educated guess as to the outcome.

The Ugly: Brukhonenko’s work was hailed as revolutionary by his supporters; his detractors painted him as a dog-torturing Dr. Frankenstein. Keep in mind that the USSR did not place a high value on human life during the rule of Joseph Stalin—and that the Soviets definitely did not build things to sit idle. Which makes a display at Russia’s Museum of Cardiovascular Surgery especially disquieting. It’s a 1930s Autojektor…designed specifically for humans.

Los Angeles Times

Big Bang

Jack Parsons • Rocket

Scientist • 1914–1952

The Good: On the surface, one could easily envision Jack Parsons—a brilliant young researcher at Cal Tech— as a real-life version of the character played by Jim Parsons on The Big Bang Theory. He went on to co-found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Aerojet Engineering in Pasadena, and developed the first practical JATO (jet assisted takeoff) engines for the Army Air Corps during World War II.

The Mad: There, the similarity to Sheldon Cooper ends. By night, Parsons practiced black magic. He was convinced that “magical sex energies” were every bit as legitimate a scientific field as the ones he was busy pioneering by day. His mentor was none other than legendary crackpot Aleister Crowley, who created Thelema, a pseudo-Satanic quasi-religion. He was also pals with L. Ron Hubbard. The military contracts with JPL made Parsons a rich man. He purchased a mansion (dubbed The Parsonage), which welcomed witches and warlocks, and hosted science fiction writers, poets and Manhattan Project scientists.

The Ugly: By the late-1940s, The Parsonage had become ground zero for hedonism in Southern California (which is saying something). There were orgies in coffins and attempts to summon sex goddesses from the great beyond, as well as a number of other activities that cannot be printed in this magazine. We know this because the FBI was keeping a close eye on Parsons, suspecting that he might become a threat to national security. And, in fact, his security clearance was eventually rescinded. Parsons kept busy after that as a consultant and pyrotechnician to the movie industry. In 1952, while working with volatile chemicals in his home laboratory, he blew himself up.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Harry Harlow

Behavioral Psychologist • 1905–1981

The Good: Harlow sought the scientific answer to one of the most unscientific existential questions: What is this thing called Love? He based his research on the hypothesis that there’s no stronger bond of love than that between a mother and her child. You may remember from high-school science class Harlow’s studies on rhesus monkey mothers and babies, which he used as models for human beings to obtain objective quantitative data on the nature and agency of love itself. On paper, it was a noble ambition.

The Mad: In practice, it was anything but. Using the scientific method of deduction, Harlow constructed a group of devices engineered to isolate his monkeys from all physical sources of comfort and security, including something called the “Pit of Despair”—a lightless solitary confinement chamber in which baby monkeys were held for up to a year. All of his test subject went mad and never recovered.

The Ugly: Long after these experiments had yielded definitive results, Harlow persisted. In the words of one of his colleagues, he “kept this going to the point where it was clear to many people that the work was really violating ordinary sensibilities, that anybody with respect for life or people would find this offensive.” Indeed, why would anyone other than a sociopath seek to construct a mountain of empirical data proving the self-evident truth that torture causes psychosis? And what did any of this have to do with love? The silver lining to this dark cloud was that Harlow’s work helped to spark the Animal Rights movement and the humane treatment of lab animals.

May I Pick Your Brain?

Walter Freeman • 1895-1972

The Good: In 1936, Freeman set out to build on the promising work of a Portuguese neurologist, who had shown that severing nerves in the cerebral cortex could mitigate neural hyperactivity. Freeman performed the same operation on a housewife in Kansas; he and a colleague dubbed it the perfrontal lobotomy. By 1946, Freeman had perfected the 10-minute procedure, performing as many as 25 in a day.

The Mad: Prior to the invention of antipsychotic drugs, and with mental asylums filled to overcapacity, doctors were desperate for therapies. In the 1950s and 1960s, more than 40,000 of Freeman’s “ice-pick” lobotomies were done in the U.S. alone. Ironically, Germany, Japan and the USSR—the era’s global “villains”—banned the procedures as “contrary to the principles of humanity.”

The Ugly: Derided as a showman by other physicians and neurologists, Freeman and his procedure fell out of favor with the medical profession by the 1960s. In 1967, he performed his final lobotomy—the third one on the same chronic patient, who suffered a hemorrhage and died. He was banned from operating ever again.

Let ’Em Eat Bark

Trofim Lysenko

Agronomist &Biologist • 1898–1976

The Good: As a student, Lysenko investigated the effect of temperature variation on life cycles of plants, which led him to consider how to convert winter wheat into spring wheat. He named the process “vernalization.” His experimental research in improved crop yields earned him the support of Joseph Stalin, especially following the loss of productivity resulting from forced collectivization in several regions of the Soviet Union in the early 1930s

The Mad: In 1940, Lysenko became director of the Institute of Genetics at the USSR Academy of Sciences. He espoused “soft inheritance”—the hypothesis that an organism can pass on characteristics acquired during its lifetime to its offspring. Rejecting the work of Mendel and Darwin as politically reactionary, Lysenko concocted his own pseudoscientific theories, which he named Lysenkoism. The false biology, tainted by Marxist philosophy, asserted that plants were self-sacrificing— they didn’t die from lack of sunlight or moisture, but altruistically deposited themselves as fertilizer over the growing roots of the next generation. It was a convenient theory for explaining away the famines that killed millions of Soviets.

The Ugly: Dissent from Lysenko’s theories was formally outlawed in 1948. Scientists who refused to denounce Mendel and Darwin were fired from their posts and left destitute. Many hundreds were imprisoned and several were sentenced to death as enemies of the State. Lysenko, meanwhile, played an active role in prolonging the food shortages that killed millions. After China adopted Lysenkoism in the late-1950s, its peasants were reduced to eating tree bark and bird droppings. At least 30 million Chinese starved to death. Ironically, Lysenko’s influence on Soviet agricultural practices was already in rapid decline at this point.

Occasion to Pause

Jose Delgado

Professor of Physiology • 1915–2011

The Good: In 1946, University of Madrid professor Jose Delgado began a fellowship at Yale University to study electrical brain stimulation. His research extended into the 1960s. Delgado developed the Stimoceiver, a device implanted in the brains of cats, monkeys and primates that operated with a remote control. He famously implanted a Stimoceiver in a bull, and then entered the ring in Plaza Del Toro in Cordoba, Spain. He stopped the animal in full charge using the remote.

The Mad: Delgado also wired up more than two dozen human subjects, many of whom were mental patients. His goal was to generate and/or control specific behaviors and emotions (aka mind control). His own words left little doubt as to where these experiments were headed: “We must electronically control the brain. Someday armies and generals will be controlled by electric stimulation of the brain.” Unfortunately for Delgado, his device only proved effective in moderating aggressive behaviors.

The Ugly: During the 1970s, Delgado—who, incidentally, was lauded by many of his peers—became an impassioned prophet for a new “psycho-civilized” society. His detractors pointed out that controlling people by radio command might have some fundamental drawbacks, like extinguishing human freedom and integrity. Undaunted, Delgado spoke glowingly of a future when ESB (electrical stimulation of the brain) would produce happier, less destructive and better-balanced people. Assuming we could all figure out how to work the remote.

WAIT…WHAT?

Because most of the research records were shredded, the scope and impact of the MKULTRA program may never be known. Among the supposed participants— both witting and unwitting—were Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unambomber, who volunteered for an MKULTRA study while at Harvard, and author Ken Kesey, who authored One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Robert Hunter, lyricist for the Grateful Dead, was part of an MKULTRA study at Stanford in the early 1960s. And according to the lawyer for Sirhan Sirhan, his client was part of an MKULTRA experiment at the time he assassinated Bobby Kennedy.

Harold Blauer, a former pro tennis player, received a massive injection of the drug MDA while at a mental hospital. He was battling a bout of depression after his divorce. The facility was part of the MKULTRA program. Blauer died after the injection. Thirty-five years later his family was awarded $700,000 in damages from the government.

The most well-known victim of MKULTRA was Dr. Frank Olson, an army scientist working on a CIA weapons program. At a retreat, a group of agents were given LSD without their knowledge; soon after, Olson began suffering from paranoia and had a nervous breakdown. He fell to his death from a New York City hotel room under very suspicious circumstances. Though the CIA never admitted foul play, Olson’s family was handed a check for $750,000.

Photo courtesy of EarlyMornin

WAIT…WHAT?

Unethical and inhumane experiments can’t always be pinned on an individual scientist, mad or otherwise. Indeed, some of the most troubling examples were outgrowths of government programs, our own government included. In the 1800s and early 1900s, the incarcerated and the mentally ill were considered fair game for experimentation in “medical studies” of various diseases, including bubonic plague. Two of the most infamous examples of government-sanctioned mad science were the four-decade Tuskegee syphilis experiment (involving over 300 impoverished African- American men) and, closer to home, the vaccine studies done on mentally disabled children at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island in the 1950s and 1960s. Both ended after being exposed by the press.

In 1950, the U.S. Navy unleashed large quantities of what it thought was a benign bacteria over the city of San Francisco in order to simulate and study a biological warfare attack. Operation Sea Spray sickened a large number of city residents, at least one of whom died. Five years later, the U.S. Army secretly air-dropped 300,000 mosquitos from high altitude over parts of Georgia to see if they could survive to bite humans—and thus become carriers of future biological weapons. This was called Operation Big Buzz. In the 1960s, the New York City subways and Chicago “L” system were infected with harmless bacteria to track how a harmful strain might spread in a biological attack. And you thought the graffiti was annoying.

The Chef Recommends

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

Paragon Tap & Table • Beef Ramen

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

As we constantly introduce new flavors from around the world to our customers at Paragon Tap and Table we have added an Asian inspired Noodle Dish with a touch of the south. Our beef ramen noodle showcases all the characteristics of a traditional ramen but twisted with the smokiness of the smoked beef brisket.  

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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. 

— Chef Momo

The Barge • Cioppino 

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.    

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

The warm goat cheese salad with tender greens and a mulled cabernet dressing and toasted pine nuts is a signature appetizer at Luciano’s, where fresh ingredients and personable service in a beautiful Tuscan décor create a fine dining experience. Our menus are seasonally influenced to feature the best of what’s available in the market. 

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

Morris Tap & Grill • The Monster Burger

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

As the leader in the gastropub world in New Jersey, Morris Tap and grill has been providing creative, quality, fresh certified burgers for over 6 years. Here’s an example of what we do creatively with our burgers, The Monster Burger. Two certified angus beef burgers topped with chorizo sausage, slaw, bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried egg! 

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

 

Garden Grille • Grilled Chicken Paillard

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD 

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

Grilled chicken paillard with roasted corn, asparagus, cauliflower, baby arugula and grape tomato, extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse has opened in Springfield, and we are looking forward to meeting all of our future guests! When you visit us, 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.  

— 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 • 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.

 

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.

 

The Chef Recommends

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

 

Paragon Tap & Table • Craft Burgers

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

Craft burgers are one of the amazing dishes featured at Paragon Tap & Table. Along with our extensive craft beer and craft cocktail lists, I have created an extensive craft burger section featuring our signature Bacon-Eater which has been featured in USA Today’s top 50 burgers in America. 

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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. 

— Chef Momo

 

Publick House • Street Tacos  

899 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-2355 • publickhousenj.com

Our street tacos are part of our happy hour menu at Publick House. Made with fresh ingredients, and changing daily, they are the perfect pairing for a pint of $5 New Jersey craft beer.

— Bernie Goncalves, Owner

 

The Barge • Cioppino 

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.    

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

 

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

The warm goat cheese salad with tender greens and a mulled cabernet dressing and toasted pine nuts is a signature appetizer at Luciano’s, where fresh ingredients and personable service in a beautiful Tuscan décor create a fine dining experience. Our menus are seasonally influenced to feature the best of what’s available in the market.

 — Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

 

Morris Tap & Grill • Cut Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

With every season at Morris Tap & Grill the menu changes in many ways, but the classics always remain. I like to showcase local and sustainable ingredients keeping it fresh and fun. This pasta is a reflection of just that. Featured here is  Cut Rigatoni with homemade chicken sausage, local broccolini, white beans and finished with garlic herb broth. 

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

 

McLynn’s: 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

 

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

901 Mountain Avenue • SPRINGFIELD 

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

This is 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 • 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.

 

Galloping Hill Caterers

Galloping Hill Road and Chestnut Street • UNION

(908) 686-2683 • gallopinghillcaterers.com

Galloping Hill Caterers has been an incredible landmark for nearly sixty years. We pride ourselves in delivering “over the top” cuisine, impeccable service and outstanding attention to detail. That is the hallmark of our success! Simply, an unforgettable experience. Pictured here is one of our crepes flambé that really creates lots of excitement!

— George Thomas, Owner

 

Vine Ripe Markets

430 North Avenue East • WESTFIELD

(908) 233-2424 • vineripemarkets.com

For some, drinking coffee is LIFE! What about cooking with it? Next time you’re making baby lamb chops or a bone-in ribeye, try a coffee rub! Finely grind a rich coffee bean (like espresso or French roast) and blend with EVOO, coarse herbs (like rosemary), salt and pepper. You’ll get a paste-like spice rub perfect for grilling. Slather over the beef or lamb and chill for up to 6 hours before cooking. The results are a fantastic, rich flavor explosion! 

 

Old Home Week

A look back at the Home Alone phenomenon.

By Luke Sacher

Home Alone, the highest grossing live action comedy motion picture in history, is now 27 years old. For those of us who saw it when first released in theaters, that’s half our lives or more ago. Writer/producer John Hughes initially sold his screenplay to Warner Brothers, who flipped it to 20th Century Fox for a tidy profit. Alas, that proved to be one of the most shortsighted decisions in Hollywood history

Against a production budget of $18 million, Home Alone grossed $285.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $190.9 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $476.7 million—a return on investment of 2,650 percent.      

From its release on November 16, 1990, Home Alone was #1 at the box office for 12 straight weeks, and remained in the Top 10 until well past Easter. After nine months in U.S. theaters, it had earned 16 times its debut weekend earnings, and sold nearly 70 million tickets. Worldwide, it was the third-highest grossing picture of all time, behind only Star Wars and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The movie siphoned off so much box office from competing pictures that screenwriter William Goldman coined the verb “Home-Alone’d”—now an industry expression—after receipts for his film Misery (starring Kathy Bates and James Caan) fell short of studio projections

The premise of Home Alone (the McCallister family is jetting to Europe before they realize that eight-year-old Kevin has been forgotten) stretches the limits of credulity. What made the movie was the performance of adorable Macauley Culkin and the misadventures of two bumbling burglars, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern

“The last 44 pages of Home Alone were written in eight hours,” Hughes once admitted. “All that physical stuff. It was a roll as fast as I could type. I was inside that movie. Anything I did was right. When you get in there, it’s a tremendous feeling because you’re not planning it, it’s just happening. And it’s all subconscious.”

Hughes suggested to director Chris Columbus that they cast Culkin as Kevin after Hughes directed the young actor in Uncle Buck, starring John Candy. After interviewing dozens of other young actors for the part, Columbus finally met with Culkin, and agreed that he was the right choice. By law, Culkin could only work until 10 p.m. This created logistical problems for the crew because of the movie’s many night scenes. On top of that, shooting the live-action stunts was truly nerve wracking

“Every time the stunt guys did one of those stunts it wasn’t funny,” Columbus recalled. “We’d watch it, and I would just pray that the guys were alive.” Stunts were prepared and rehearsed with safety harnesses, but performed without them on camera because of their visibility. CGI technology hadn’t been invented in 1990.

Initial reviews of Home Alone were mixed. Variety remarked on the top-notch performances of its cast. Jeanne Cooper of The Washington Post praised it as pure, unpretentious entertainment. Hal Hinson, also of The Washington Post, lauded Chris Columbus’s direction and Culkin’s acting. Caryn James complained that the film’s first half was “flat and unsurprising” in her New York Times review, but applauded the second half for its old-school slapstick humor and genuine sentimentality. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave Home Alone 2.5 out of a possible 4 star rating. He pointed out that Kevin’s booby traps would take a team of special-effects experts to set up and said the plot was “so implausible that it makes it hard to really care about the plight of the kid.” Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly hated the film, giving it a D and scolding it for its “sadistic festival of adult-bashing.”

Fast-forward to 2017. Home Alone is now a holiday staple, often ranked among the best Hollywood Christmas films of all time, including Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story and the Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Hughes admits he was inspired by Capra and his portrayals of honest, everyday Americans prevailing in the world over the no-goodniks. Like Capra, Hughes and director Chris Columbus were meticulous in their casting, and it shows. All these years later, it is difficult to imagine anyone better occupying any of the key roles: Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, Joe Pesci as Harry Lime, Daniel Stern as Marv Merchants, John Heard as Peter McCallister, Catherine O’Hara as Kate McCallister, Roberts Blossom as Old Man Marley, John Candy as Polka King Gus Polinski and Hope Davis as a Paris-Orly Airport receptionist

How did they come to Home Alone? Where did life take them in the years that followed? Where are they now? I thought you’d never ask…

Hughes Entertainment/20th Century Fox

Macaulay Culkin (August 26, 1980) was born and raised in New York City, and began acting at the age of four. Named after Lord Macaulay of India, he is the paternal nephew of actress Bonnie Bedelia (Heart Like a Wheel, Die Hard). In 1989, Culkin appeared in John Hughes’s Uncle Buck and went toe-to-toe with John Candy as dead-panning Miles. After Home Alone, he was hailed as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple—ranked #2 on both VH1’s 100 Greatest Kid-Stars and E!’s 50 Greatest Child Stars.

Around the time of shooting Home Alone, Culkin became close friends with pop icon Michael Jackson and appeared in Jackson’s “Black or White” music video. When Jackson stood trial accused of sexual abuse, Culkin testified on his behalf, and reported he had slept in Jackson’s bedroom on countless occasions. He explained that Jackson’s bedroom was arranged over two floors, and that Jackson had never sexually molested him or touched him in any improper way. Culkin referred to the allegations as “absolutely ridiculous

In 1991, Culkin hosted Saturday Night Live and starred in  Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in 1992. In 1993, while a student at the School of American Ballet, he danced the title role in a filmed version of The Nutcracker, staged by Peter Martins from George Balanchine’s 1954 New York City Ballet production. Culkin retired from acting in 1994 and married actress Rachel Miner in 1998, but the marriage broke up and they were divorced in 2002. He dated actress Mila Kunis for several years and they remain friends.

Photo by Judy Clements-Turner

Culkin returned to acting in his mid-20s with generally good reviews, including a hilarious appearance on Will and Grace as an immature lawyer. He also did voice-over work. In 2010, he appeared alongside actors Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, and Jon Cryer in a tribute to the late John Hughes. He also fronted a band called The Pizza Underground, a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground parody-tribute group. In 2015, Culkin starred in a dark and brilliant five-minute YouTube video as a troubled Uber driver complaining about the impact of a traumatic childhood episode when his family left him at home and he had to defend himself against a pair of criminals.

John Hughes (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was born in Lansing, Michigan. He grew up in Grosse Pointe, a toney Detroit suburb, and in Northbrook, IL, outside Chicago. His experiences in Northbrook and at Glenbrook North High School became the grist for many of his movies, as well as his literary satire

“I grew up in a neighborhood that was mostly girls and old people,” he told an interviewer. “There weren’t any boys my age, so I spent a lot of time by myself, imagining things. And every time we would get established somewhere, we would move. Life just started to get good in seventh grade, and then we moved to Chicago. I ended up in a really big high school, and I didn’t know anybody. But then The Beatles came along…changed my whole life. And then Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home came out and really changed me. Thursday I was one person, and Friday I was another. My heroes were Dylan, John Lennon and Picasso—because they each moved their particular medium forward, and when they got to the point where they were comfortable, they always moved on.”

After dropping out of the University of Arizona in 1969, Hughes began selling jokes to comedians, including Henny Youngman, Rodney Dangerfield and Joan Rivers. He worked in advertising and became the youngest Creative Director in the history of Leo Burnett Worldwide. His work often took him to New York, where he got to know the folks at National Lampoon and began writing for the magazine (secretly) on the side. His story “Vacation ’58” was the basis for the hit 1983 movie National Lampoon’s Vacation. That script, plus the one for Mr. Mom, earned Hughes a three-picture deal with Universal Studios. He went on to direct a string of popular films set around upper middle-class American high schools, including Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty In Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. He also directed Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Uncle Buck before Home Alone. Hughes also authored screenplays for Maid in Manhattan, Drillbit Taylor and the Beethoven films.

Hughes was deeply shaken by the death of John Candy (below) in 1994 and pulled back from the movie business. He suffered a heart attack on West 55th in New York in 2009 and died at the age of 59.

Hughes Entertainment/20th Century Fox

Hughes Entertainment/20th Century Fox

Catherine O’Hara (March 4, 1954) started her career in 1974 in her hometown of Toronto as a cast member of the legendary Second City comedy ensemble. She was an understudy for Gilda Radner until Radner joined the founding cast of Saturday Night Live. Two years later, Second City created the sketch comedy show SCTV, with O’Hara as a regular performer. In 1981, when SCTV was between network deals, she was hired to replace Ann Risley when Saturday Night Live was being revamped. However, she quit the show without ever appearing on air, and returned to SCTV when it signed with NBC. Her position at SNL was filled by longtime friend Robin Duke.

O’Hara’s work at SCTV brought her fame in Canada and the US as both an actress and writer, winning an Emmy for outstanding writing and two nominations for comedy performance. She made her feature film debut in Double Negative, which co-starred SCTV regulars John Candy, Eugene Levy and Joe Flaherty. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she appeared in a number of supporting roles, including Martin Scorcese’s After Hours and Nora Ephron’s Heartburn with Meryl Streep. Her most memorable cinematic roles were in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and, of course, Home Alone and its sequel. O’Hara also starred in four of Christopher Guest’s “mockumentaries”—three of which earned her awards and nominations: Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration. Her role in the 2010 HBO biopic Temple Grandin earned her three major nominations, including a Primetime Emmy and Screen Actors Guild award.

Courtsey Canadian Broadcast Company

O’Hara is currently starring alongside fellow SCTV alum Eugene Levy and his son, Daniel, on the CBC comedy/satire Schitt’s Creek—a runaway favorite of Netflix viewers. She won Canadian Screen Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016 and 2017 as the washed-up soap star Moira Rose

Hughes Entertainment/20th Century Fox

John Heard (March 7, 1945 -July 21, 2017) was born in Washington, D.C. to John Matthew Sr. and Helen Heard.

He attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Catholic University of America in D.C., planning initially to be a drama teacher. By the early 1970s, Heard was earning critical acclaim for his acting and by the end of the decade his stage work in New York earned him roles in movies and on television. His early films include Cutter’s Way, Cat People and C.H.U.D., in which he co-starred with future Home Alone cast member Daniel Stern. In 1988, about the time he was cast in Home Alone, Heard was in three hit films: The Milagro Beanfield War, Big and Beaches.

See our interview with John Heard on page 87.

Hughes Entertainment/20th Century Fox

Joe Pesci (February 9, 1943) was born in Newark and raised in neighboring Belleville. He was acting by the age of four and by age 10 was a regular on a TV program called Startime Kids, which also featured Connie Francis. Pesci knew Frankie Valli and Tommy DeVito growing up and, in 1959, introduced them to songwriter Bob Gaudio, leading to the formation of The Four Seasons. In the 1960s, he began his own musical career, playing guitar for several bands, including Joey Dee and the Starlighters (he was replaced by Jimi Hendrix!). In 1968, Pesci released an album of contemporary pop hit cover songs titled Little Joe Sure Can Sing! as Joe Ritchie. Later, he and Frank Vincent put together a music/comedy act that caught the eye of Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorcese, who were casting Raging Bull. Pesci and Vincent both earned starring roles, with Pesci snagging an Oscar nomination.

Prior to his side-splitting portrayal of Harry Lime in Home Alone, Pesci appeared in a number films, including Easy Money, Once Upon a Time in America, Lethal Weapon and Goodfellas, which was released five weeks before Home Alone. Pesci won the Best Supporting Oscar for Goodfellas, during which he stomped Vincent’s character to death in one of the most enduring scenes in the annals of mob movies.

Photo by Yausser

Pesci continued to shine in both dramatic and comedic roles after Home Alone. He had memorable performances in JFK, My Cousin Vinny, Home Alone II, The Public Eye, Casino and The Super. By the late-1990s, the starring roles being offered to Pesci tended to be in low-brow or low-quality pictures, so in 1999 he decided to take a hiatus from the cinema and stage to revive and pursue his musical career

Hughes Entertainment/20th Century Fox

Daniel Stern (August 28, 1957) was born in Bethesda, Maryland, where he caught the acting bug as a teenager. He starred in several high-school productions and applied for a job as a lighting engineer for a Shakespeare Festival in Washington. Instead, he was hired as a walk-on in a production of The Taming of the Shrew, starring Glenn Close. Stern dropped out of high school in his senior year and soon moved to New York, where he found parts in Off Broadway and Broadway productions, including True West with Gary Sinise

In 1979, Stern made his film debut as Cyril in Breaking Away and had a small part in Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories a year later. His breakthrough role came in 1981 as “Shrevie” Schreiber, the obsessive-compulsive record collector, in Barry Levinson’s Diner. In 1985, he appeared in Woody Allen’s Hannah and her Sisters and in 1988 he began a six-season run as the adult voice of Kevin Arnold in The Wonders Years. After playing Murchens in Home Alone, Stern played Phil Berquist in City Slickers and City Slickers II and directed the baseball film Rookie of the Year. Recently, Stern played nuclear physicist Glen Babbit in 15 episodes of the critically acclaimed series Manhattan, about the building of the atomic bomb during World War II. He also directed two episodes.

Courtesy of Mingle Media TV

Stern is an accomplished fine artist, particularly in bronze sculpture. He has created works for public art projects in San Diego, Pasadena, Palm Desert, Temple City and Agoura Hills, as well as many private commissions, gallery exhibitions and art fairs. He is currently an artist in residence at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo, California. His brother is television writer David M. Stern, and his son is California State Senator Henry Stern.

Hughes Entertainment/ 20th Century Fox

Roberts Blossom (March 25, 1924 – July 8, 2011), who played Old Man Marley—Kevin’s next door neighbor in Home Alone—was born in New Haven, Connecticut. His father, Robert, was Athletic Director at Yale. Blossom grew up in Cleveland and attended Harvard for a year before enlisting in World War II. After the war, he found his way into acting and earned high praise from critics during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s—winning an Obie in each decade. Blossom worked steadily on and off Broadway, as well as appearing in numerous television series and soap operas, in which he often played villains

Beginning in his 40s, Blossom began playing eccentric and cantankerous old oddballs on the silver screen, with roles in Slaughterhouse Five, The Great Gatsby, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Escape from Alcatraz, Doc Hollywood, Christine, The Last Temptation of Christ and The Quick and The Dead

Hughes Entertainment/ 20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

Chris Columbus (September 10, 1958) was born in Spangler, Pennsylvania and raised in the Ohio town of Champion. He attended New York University’s film school at the Tisch School of the Arts, where he was classmates with writer/director Charlie Kaufman and actor Alec Baldwin. Columbus neglected to renew his scholarship after his freshman year and had to work a factory job back home to afford his sophomore year tuition. In between shifts he worked on his first screenplay, which would become the hit movie Gremlins. Steven Spielberg optioned it and also hired Columbus as a screenwriter. He wrote two more scripts for Spielberg—The Goonies and Young Sherlock Holmes—and made his directorial debut in 1987, with the teen comedy Adventures in Babysitting. John Hughes wanted Columbus to direct National Lampoon’s Vacation, but Columbus didn’t see eye-to-eye with Chevy Chase and did not get the job. Hughes saw to it that Columbus was on Home Alone.

After Home Alone, Columbus directed a dozen more movies, including Home Alone II, Mrs. Doubtfire, Stepmom, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Pixels. In 1995, he founded 1492 Pictures and produced Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and The Help, for which he received an Academy Award nomination.

Photo by Nightscream

Like Hughes, Columbus embraced the ethos of directors like Frank Capra. “I can understand the validity of showing people the ugliness of the world,” he once said, “but I also think there is a place for movies to leave people with a sense of hope. If your film isn’t going to do that, I just don’t think it’s worth making.”  

 

The Chef Recommends

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

 

Paragon Tap & Table • Sweet Potato Gnocchi

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

At Paragon Tap and Table the menu always takes a shift with each passing season. The fall is my favorite time of year; it brings out the comfort dishes. This is reflected in our Sweet Potato Gnocchi with braised lamb shoulder. It’s the perfect fall dish to pair with one of our local craft beers.  

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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. 

 

Publick House • Tuna Crisp 

899 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-2355 • publickhousenj.com

Our take on a spicy tuna roll, the Tuna Crisp has been our most popular app since we opened. Sushi grade tuna is mixed with a spicy mayo and spread on top of crispy sushi rice. Topped with soy gastrique wasabi aioli and scallions, this dish will satisfy sushi lovers and non-sushi lovers alike.

— Bernie Goncalves, Owner

 

The Barge • Cioppino 

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.    

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

 

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Jumbo Lump Crab Cake Bruschetta

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Jumbo lump crab cake bruschetta, finished with virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction has been one of Luciano’s signature appetizers since we opened. 

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

 

Morris Tap & Grill • Pan Seared Scallops

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

At Morris Tap and Grill we always change the menu with every season. The fall is no exception. I work with local farmers, fish mongers and butchers to ensure the best quality and the best season for all that is on the menu at Morris Tap and Grill. Featured here is the new Pan Seared Scallops with horseradish edamame risotto, mustard demi and tempura snow peas. 

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

Costa’s Italian Ristorante & Catering • Paglia Fieno Mimosa

120 Chestnut Street • ROSELLE PARK

(908) 241-1131 • costasitalianrestaurant.com

Our Paglia Fieno Mimosa features spinach and egg fettuccine in a brandy cream sauce with peas, mushrooms and prosciutto.

— Nicola & Brian, Hosts

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse has just opened in Springfield, and we are looking forward to meeting all of our future guests! When you visit us, 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.  

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

 

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.

 

Galloping Hill Caterers

Galloping Hill Road and Chestnut Street • UNION

(908) 686-2683 • gallopinghillcaterers.com

Galloping Hill Caterers has been an incredible landmark for nearly sixty years. We pride ourselves in delivering “over the top” cuisine, impeccable service and outstanding attention to detail. That is the hallmark of our success! Simply, an unforgettable experience. Pictured here is one of our crepes flambé that really creates lots of excitement!

— George Thomas, Owner

 

Vine Ripe Markets

430 North Avenue East • WESTFIELD

(908) 233-2424 • vineripemarkets.com

During the holidays, do you strive to serve authentic holiday favorites, but rarely have the time to do so? Our gourmet catering department tirelessly works to provide the best authentic dishes, at the right price. Whether it is a perfectly roasted Thanksgiving turkey, or a complete journey through The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Festa dei sette pesci), our catering team has you covered.

— Frank Bruno, Chief Culinary Officer

 

The Chef Recommends

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

 

Paragon Tap & Table • Avocado Fillet Salad

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

Light, fresh and local is a key factor to our Spring menu at Paragon Tap and Table. We offer a fun, seasonal, multi cultural menu which is evident in the dish. This our Avocado Fillet salad which has local frisse, tomatoes, red onion finished with Chanadal which is an indian spiced dried lentil finished with a lemon oil and fresh mango. Light, refreshing and delicious. In addition to our seasonal and locally focused menu we also are home to one of the top craft Beer programs in NJ.

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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. 

— Chef Momo

Publick House • Char Grilled Octopus 

899 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-2355 • publickhousenj.com

Our Char Grilled Octopus is becoming one of our best selling appetizers. It is braised for hours in herbs and spices until tender and then grilled to order to create a caramelized, crispy exterior. Served with a spicy chickpea puree and herbaceous pesto, the balance of textures and flavors proves to be a winning combination you don’t want to miss.

— Bernie Goncalves, Owner

The Barge • Cioppino 

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.    

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY

(732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

The warm goat cheese salad with tender greens and a mulled cabernet dressing and toasted pine nuts is a signature appetizer at Luciano’s, where fresh ingredients and personable service in a beautiful Tuscan décor create a fine dining experience. Our menus are seasonally influenced to feature the best of what’s available in the market. 

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

Morris Tap & Grill • Steak and Egg Mac and Cheese

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

We are known for innovative, local and sustainable foods, which l always make creative, fun and tasty. This twisted mac and cheese features local eggs and beef to create our Steak and Egg Mac and Cheese. In addition to our nationally recognized food (I’m a Featured Chef at the James Beard Foundation) MTG offers one of the top three Craft Beer menus in New Jersey.  

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

McLynn’s: 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.

 

Galloping Hill Caterers

Galloping Hill Road and Chestnut Street • UNION

(908) 686-2683 • gallopinghillcaterers.com

Galloping Hill Caterers has been an incredible landmark for nearly sixty years. We pride ourselves in delivering “over the top” cuisine, impeccable service and outstanding attention to detail. That is the hallmark of our success! Simply, an unforgettable experience. Pictured here is one of our crepes flambé that really creates lots of excitement!

— George Thomas, Owner

Vine Ripe Markets

430 North Avenue East • WESTFIELD

(908) 233-2424 • vineripemarkets.com

Summer cooking should be filled with easy to make, flavorful recipes. Grab your favorite shellfish, (i.e, lobster, clams, mussels or shrimp), add them to an aluminum tray with cherry tomatoes, red onion, corn, garlic, butter and a bottle of pinot grigio. Cover it tight and throw it on the grill! IT’S THAT SIMPLE! TIP: Cut a loaf of Italian bread in half, smother w. fresh garlic and butter then add to your grill for 5 minutes to get a nice crusty bread to dip in the broth!

— Frank Bruno, Chief Culinary Officer

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured 

in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide? 

Call us at 908.994.5138

The Chef Recommends

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

Paragon Tap & Table • Crispy Skin Pan Seared Salmon

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

Paragon has been ranked in the top 10 gastropubs since it opened in 2014. In addition to our elevated craft experience we also offer local and sustainable foods such as this Crispy Skin Pan Seared Salmon from Farro Island. I am always looking for new, inventive and seasonal ways to create and pair foods with uncommon balance.

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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. 

— Chef Momo

 

Publick House •   Publick House Fish & Chips 

899 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-2355 • publickhousenj.com

Our fish and chips have been a staple dish since we opened, and one our guests have come back for them time and time again. The secret lies in the delicate beer battering, coating the fish just enough to provide a crispy exterior, while not masking the flakey, delicate cod. With a large pile of our hand-cut, double-fried house fries, this is the perfect dinner any day.

— Bernie Goncalves, Owner

 

The Barge • Cioppino 

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.    

— Alex Vosinas Chef/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 • Grilled Eggplant with Portobello

500 Route 10 West • RANDOLPH

(973) 891-1776 • morristapandgrill.com

In addition to our signature burger featured in the Top 50 Must-Have Burgers in the USA, we also offer vegan options such as this Grilled Eggplant with Portobello, roasted tofu and tomato basil sauce. Our 50 tap lines feature some of the top beers in the country. Keep an eye on our social media and website for upcoming events. 

— Eric B LeVine, Chef/Partner

 

Spirit: Social Eatery and Bar • Double Cheddar Infused Burger

250 Morris Ave. • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 258-1600 • mclynns.com

It doesn’t get better then a double cheddar infused burger from the new Spirit: Social Eatery and Bar.  

— 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.

 

Galloping Hill Caterers

Galloping Hill Road and Chestnut Street • UNION

(908) 686-2683 • gallopinghillcaterers.com

Galloping Hill Caterers has been an incredible landmark for nearly sixty years. We pride ourselves in delivering “over the top” cuisine, impeccable service and outstanding attention to detail. That is the hallmark of our success! Simply, an unforgettable experience. Pictured here is one of our crepes flambé that really creates lots of excitement!

— George Thomas, Owner

 

Vine Ripe Markets

430 North Avenue East • WESTFIELD

(908) 233-2424 • vineripemarkets.com

Fresh mozzarella is not just for caprese salads and pizzas! Try to pair it with flavors and proteins that accentuate its beautiful texture and subtle flavor. I recommend our store-made fresh mozzarella wrapped with prosciutto di parma and topped with a fig demi-glaze. The saltiness of the prosciutto, paired with the subtle sweetness of the fig sauce provides for a perfect salty/sweet bite every time! Available daily in our deli.

— Frank Bruno, Chief Culinary Officer

 

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide? 

Call us at 908.994.5138

What Could Possibly Go Wrong

Necessity may be the mother of invention,  but invention’s children are somewhat less predictable. 

By Luke Sacher

One of the best movies I’ve seen in years is David O. Russell’s Joy, a biopic starring Jennifer Lawrence as Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop, holder of over 100 patents and one of America’s top contemporary industrial entrepreneurs. “I watch somebody struggle with something,” she explains, “and it instantly triggers something in me. I start to think, ‘There is a better way. It’s going to help so many people.’ I become laser-focused on getting to that. I do not stop until I figure out the solution.”      

Library of Congress

Thomas Edison said almost exactly the same thing: “I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it. There’s a better way, I shall find it.” Obviously, comparing the hands-free mop to Edison’s phonograph, incandescent light bulb, stock ticker or motion picture camera is a false equivalency. But let’s give the lady credit where it’s due. She and the Wizard of Menlo Park are kindred spirits, sharing personality traits common to all inventors, including imagination, initiative, persistence and a vision of a future where the human experience is more efficient and enjoyable. 

Edison (above) also famously noted that genius is “one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” And he was correct. Invention can be a sweaty, dirty and sometimes dangerous business, especially when short-term results are the driving motivator. If you think about it, this is the basic plot of every Roadrunner cartoon. Plus, invention is full of economic uncertainty, for it involves pushing knowledge forward into places where little or no knowledge exists. “We do not know what it is that we do not know,” economist Israel Kirzner once observed. Additionally, we do not know the true cost of finding out what it is that we do not know—or whether it is even worthwhile knowing. “That is where entrepreneurship comes in,” Kirzner concluded.

In other words, not only do inventors have to get the idea and execution right to gain traction, there must also be a sound business plan behind it, too. This is why the scientists, technologists and innovators who do succeed deserve our undying admiration.

That is, until their inventions start killing us. 

Alas, history is littered with big ideas that turned out to be perfectly horrible in the long run. Their costs can be measured in human lives. Fortunately, there are many more small flashes of inspiration that blossomed into true game-changers. When confronted with the products and technologies that promise to change our lives for the better today, I find it helpful to take a look back at the good and the bad. 

CAN DO 

National Gallery of Art

War, claimed the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, is the “father of all things.” We have war to thank for the tin can. In 1797, Napoleon Bonaparte (right) conscripted virtually every able man in France into the first modern mass army and launched it across Europe. A mob of more than one million undisciplined illiterate sans culottes, deployed from the English Channel to Switzerland, rolled over French opponents by sheer force of numbers. But an army marches on its stomach, and the Grande Armée spent more time foraging for food than fighting. On the eve of the first major battle against the Austrians, while consuming a “pot luck” dinner made from whatever his chef could scrounge up in the surrounding village, Napoleon decreed a massive prize to anyone who could devise a way to preserve and package rations for his troops. In 1810, after 15 years of experiment, Nicholas Appert claimed that prize—on the condition that he make his invention public. That year, he published The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances. Appert lived in Epernay, the home of champagne. He modified the heavy bottles as storage containers by shortening the necks to widen the opening. He then filled them with various foods, placed them in boiling water for 30 minutes, and sealed them with corks and wire cages. Ironically, he had also accidentally invented pasteurization—30 years before Louis Pasteur made the scientific connection between heat and killing bacteria! 

 

Science Museum of London

Meanwhile, across the Channel, a pair of Englishmen, Bryan Donkin (right) and John Hall, acquired the patent for a lighter, unbreakable container, the tin-plated steel can. In 1813, they built the world’s first commercial canning factory in London, and produced their first tin-canned goods exclusively for the Royal Army and Navy. Soon all the other European Empires adopted the tin can to provision the ranks of their own armies and navies. But there was just one fly in the ointment, so to speak. This advance in food preservation and portability was not without its setbacks. Early tin cans were crudely sealed with a 50/50 tin and lead alloy solder. Troops in the field and sailors on the high seas would customarily reheat their contents while still in the cans, exposing the lead alloy to acid and dissolving the lead in the food. It’s disconcerting to think that all of the soldiers and sailors in the armies and navies of Europe might have been half-crazy from lead poisoning during the mid-1800s. It might be part of the reason why the Crimean War (1853–1856) is well remembered for its “great confusion of purpose”

Upper Case Editorial

and “notoriously incompetent international butchery.” 

Fortunately for the civilian population, canned foods were not mass-produced until the final decades of the 19th century. That happened after William Lyman invented the can opener in 1870, and the crude technique of soldering cans shut with globs of lead had been discontinued. Today, 40 billion cans of food are consumed in just Europe and the United States, according to the Can Manufacturers Institute. The tin can revolutionized how, what and when people could eat—not at all a small contribution to the growth and health of the global population.  

THE COLOR PURPLE

Mauveine. Never heard of it? Think “mauve” and settle in for a roller-coaster ride through a century of innovation. It begins around 1800 with James Watt, whose improvements to the steam engine in the 1780s triggered the Industrial Revolution. William Murdoch, a research assistant at Watt’s steam engine works in Birmingham, England, realized that coal could be used for something other than engine boiler fuel: Heat coal up in a kiln and it emits flammable gases that could be collected, stored, and used as fuel for illumination. Eureka…gas light was invented. Within a few years, complete gaslight piping networks were built in London and other major cities in Great Britain.

Engraving by Edward Burton

What remains of the coal after the gases are cooked out of it? Coal tar. Sticky muck, reeking of ammonia. What to do with it? It was the Industrial Revolution, remember, so the short answer was throw it into the rivers. Enter a man from Glasgow named Charles Macintosh (left), a clothing and dye maker who needed the ammonia as a solvent and bleach. After a bit of fiddling, he managed to extract another solvent from the tar, naphtha, which turned out to be the perfect solvent thinner for a newly imported material from the Orient: rubber. He sandwiched the thinned rubber between two layers of fabric and in 1824 invented a game-changing raincoat, the Mackintosh!

People interested in chemistry began asking themselves what else might be extracted from coal tar. The British, who were facing a malaria crisis in their Far Eastern colonies, hoped that the only remedy for the mosquito-borne disease, quinine, might somehow be synthesized from coal tar. In 1856, a young British chemist named William Perkin (above right) tried for months without any luck to coax quinine from coal tar. One day, he tossed another of his failed solutions

A History of Chemistry

into the sink, where it mixed with water and turned bright Royal Mauve. By complete accident, he had stumbled upon the world’s first artificial aniline dye, which he named Mauveine. This “invention” made him a fortune thanks to the emerging middle class of the industrial age, who were keen to emulate Queen Victoria’s sartorial splendor. Ironically, Perkin’s luck appeared to run out when he attempted to persuade British academia and the investor class of the potential for progress and profits to be realized by creating a full industrial chemical industry. They were happy to keep building railroads and textile mills. So he approached academics and investors in Germany, where intellectual merit counted for more than family ancestry. By 1870, German chemical corporations like Agfa, BASF, Hoechst, and Bayer had left the rest of Europe in their wake, inventing everything from dyes to aspirin to artificial fertilizer to high explosives. All derived in one way or another utilizing coal tar. 

Upper Case Editorial

In 1882, German pathologist Paul Ehrlich accidentally spilled some mauveine dye into a petri dish only to notice that it selectively stained only one kind of bacteria. Ehrlich continued his research and, 17 years later, invented Salvarsan, the first chemical treatment for syphilis. Ehrlich became the father of a new science, which he named Chemotherapy. In 1908, he won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

THAT CERTAIN GLOW

Upper Case Editorial

In 1898, Marie (left) and Pierre Curie discovered radium. In 1903, they were both awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Marie was the first woman ever to win the prize. Eight years later, she received a second Nobel, for isolating radium, discovering a second atomic

element, polonium (named after her home nation of Poland), and her groundbreaking research into “radioactivity” (a word she invented). By then, radium was being industrially refined and Marie Curie was convinced that it had potentially “magic” healing properties. Indeed, for many years, she wore a pendant around her neck containing pure radium. 

Upper Case Editorial

Madame Curie was not alone. Burk & Braun’s Radium Schokolade chocolate bar and Hippman-Blach bakery’s Radium Bread, both made with “radium enriched” water, were very popular and profitable. They were both discontinued in 1936. The Revigator stored a gallon of water inside a bucket with an enamel lining impregnated with radium. Its manufacturers claimed that drinking Revigator water could cure arthritis and reduce skin wrinkles. Toothpaste containing both radium and thorium (radium’s “grandfather” element) was sold by Dr. Alfred Curie. He was no relation to Marie or Pierre, but seized upon the opportunity to capitalize on their common name. Alfred Curie also manufactured Tho-Radia cosmetics, a line that ecompassed powders, creams and lipsticks that promised to rejuvenate and brighten ladies’ faces.

Early 20th century physicians produced radium suppositories, heating pads, and coins used to “fortify” single glasses of water. They were meant to treat rheumatism, weakness, malaise, and almost any health complaint for which their hypochondriac patients sought miracle cures. Before Viagra and Cialis, impotence was treated with radioactive “bougies” (the French word for candles)—wax rods inserted into the urethra—and athletic supporters containing a layer of radium-impregnated fabric. A popular treatment called the Radioendocrinator involved a small “portefeuille” holding a number of paper cards coated in Radium, worn inside underwear at night. Its inventor died of bladder cancer in 1949.

Soapbox Productions

Perhaps the most famous misuse of radium occurred between 1917 and 1936, when the U.S. Radium Corporation employed more than a hundred workers—mostly young women (below) just out of high school—to paint watch and clock faces with their patented “Undark” paint. As many as 70 women were hired to mix the paint, which was formulated of glue, water, and radium sulfide powder. Workers were taught to shape paint brushes with their mouths to maintain a fine point, and after work hours, painted their nails and teeth with the glow-in-the-dark paint for personal amusement. The company encouraged the young women to ingest the dangerous mixture, while its management and research scientists (who were aware of the danger) carefully avoided any exposure themselves. Five “Radium Girls” sued the U.S. Radium Corporation and won a large settlement in a landmark case involving labor safety standards and workers’ rights. There are no verifiable records of exactly how many suffered from anemia, inexplicable bone fractures, bleeding gums, and necrosis. Though many of the factory’s workers became ill, cases of death by radiation sickness were initially attributed to diphtheria, and even syphilis, in an attempt to smear their reputations.  

CHEMICAL ATTRACTION

National Academy of Sciences

Every so often, a brilliant solution to one problem will create an even larger one. An inventor hailed as a hero during his or her time ends up being recast as a villain by history. Meet Thomas Midgley, Jr. (right), inventor of leaded gasoline and Freon. If you didn’t know he was a real person, you’d think he was a character from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Over the course of his career, Midgley was granted over 100 patents, including those for tetraethyl leaded gasoline (commonly called TEL and trademarked as Ethyl), and the first chloroflurocarbons (commonly called CFCs and trademarked as Freon).

Midgley began working at General Motors in 1916. In 1921, he discovered that the addition of tetraethyl lead to gasoline prevented engine “knocking.” GM named the substance Ethyl, and made no mention of lead in its reports and advertising. Oil companies and auto makers, especially GM,

Upper Case Editorial

which owned the patent jointly with Midgley, promoted the additive as a superior alternative to ethanol, on which there was very little profit to be made. In 1923, the American Chemical Society awarded Midgley the Nichols Medal for the Use of Anti-Knock Compounds in Motor Fuels. He then took a prolonged vacation in Miami to cure himself of lead poisoning.  

Later in the decade, Midgely was assigned to another GM division, Frigidaire. The modern, self-contained plug-in refrigerator had existed for almost two decades by then, but it used refrigerant chemicals that were not only toxic and corrosive, but occasionally explosive, including ammonia, chloromethane, propane, and sulfur dioxide. Midgely was tasked with finding a safer alternative. His research team incorporated fluorine into a hydro-carbon and synthesized dichlorodifluoromethane, the first chlorofluorocarbon (CFC). They named it Freon. Freon soon became the standard refrigerant, and was later used in aerosol spray cans and asthma inhalers (!) as a propellant. In 1937, The Society of Chemical Industry awarded Midgley the Perkin Medal (named after Henry Perkin, aka Mr. Mauveine) for his invention.

Upper Case Editorial

Though recognized as a brilliant chemist, Midgely can claim two of history’s most environmentally catastrophic inventions. The release of large quantities of lead into the atmosphere has been linked to long-term health problems, including neurological impairment in children and increased levels of violence and criminality in major population centers. The ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas effects of CFCs only became widely known 30 years after Midgely’s death. Author and scholar Bill Bryson summed Midgley up beautifully when he remarked that he possessed “an instinct for the regrettable that was almost uncanny.” Environmental historian J.R. McNeill said that Midgley “had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history.”

BRIGHT, SHINY  OBJECTS

Say what you will about the law of unintended consequences, but it is most definitely an equal-opportunity destroyer. But a good invention gone bad doesn’t always harm people. Sometimes it only demolishes an industry. In 1981, the compact disc hit record stores, the very thing it would inadvertently kill. The 5” CD replaced LP records and audio cassettes. Its size rendered music packaging unimportant, ending an era of album-cover art that brought some of the world’s most gifted artists and photographers into our homes. The quantum leap in audio quality CDs delivered—which did not erode over time as vinyl and magnetic tape did—fulfilled the promise of the early digital age. 

For the next 20-or-so years, the CD was one of the best things that ever happened to the record industry. Baby Boomers, grown older and wealthier (and less interested in new music), were all too happy to re-purchase their favorite albums, even at double the price of the old LPs. Industry revenues soared. Record company executives, keen on generating foolproof profits, were delighted to sell their existing catalogs in a new package. At the same time, they also poured big money into recording contracts with established superstars and the overnight sensations created by that other thing that began in 1981, MTV. A lot of that cash came out of the budgets traditionally earmarked for promising acts that needed more career nurturing. They were put on starvation diets and pressured to produce hit videos instead of developing loyal audiences. The result was a mix of aging, bloated artists and one-hit wonders.    

Photo by Santeri Vinamaki

I was a part of the industry during this period, having contributed to over 100 music videos as an assistant cameraman and camera operator from 1983 to 1995. I worked with Van Halen, Joe Jackson, Guns ’n Roses, Anita Baker, The Beastie Boys, Kenny G, Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, James Taylor, Willie Nelson and dozens more. Most of the shoots were great fun, 20-hour days notwithstanding. The few that were pure misery were mostly caused by despicable talent managers, producers and “A&R men” who would squeeze every last bit of production value out of both crewmembers and stage or location expenses. I was almost seriously injured (and possibly killed) more than a few times. On the continuous spectrum of business ethics, you can find promoters and managers of pop music artists somewhere south of people who look after the best interests of professional boxers.

Industry executives had been warned by their engineers since Day One that digitizing music in the form of a CD would, one day, mean a loss of control of their content. Although they had been reaping profits from digital technology for nearly two decades, they were still analog thinkers. The chickens came home to roost in 1999, when personal computers like the iMac, with plug-and-play capability, arrived. The new generation of desktops and laptops were configured with built-in Internet and drives that not only could play CDs but also “rip” them as MP3 files. The industry had reduced its product to digital data, and now anyone with a computer could take it for free. Even a novice user could become an audio engineer after a few days of online tutorial, ushering in an era of anonymous, shame-free theft through file-sharing sites like Napster

Music piracy, a minimal concern until then, cratered the industry. In the ensuing years, more than 370,000 jobs were eliminated. Music companies and artists lose more than$50 billion annually. A generation ago, bands toured to promote album sales, which climbed into the hundreds of thousands or even the millions. Today, they hit the road to survive, and for all but a fortunate few, music sales barely pay the catering bill.

SHIFT F7…BANG!

If you could make almost anything—and I mean anything—from a chess piece to a heart valve to a gun, all by yourself, in your garage…what would you make? Today’s most intriguing wait-and-see invention has to be the 3D printer. Known as additive manufacturing (AM), this technology creates three-dimensional objects by successive layering of material under computer control. 3D printers use an Additive Manufacturing file (AMF) created with a 3D scanner, or a camera with special “photogrammetry” software, or a computer assisted design (CAD) package. The machine itself uses a number of different production technologies, which frankly are so beyond my personal knowledge that I can’t even begin to describe them: Binder Jetting, Directed Energy Deposition, Material Extrusion, Material Jetting, Powder Bed Fusion, Sheet Lamination and Vat Photopolymerization.

3D printers support almost 200 different materials in four basic categories: plastic, powder, resins, and “other.” Other can include titanium, stainless steel, bronze, brass, silver, gold, ceramics, chocolate, glass, concrete, sandstone and gypsum. Printers capable of producing household chemicals, pharmaceutical medications, and even living tissue cultures for transplant organs are currently in an experimental stage. Their developers envisage both industrial and domestic use for this technology, which would also enable people in remote locations to be able to produce their own medicine or replacement parts for other machines

Just as nobody could have predicted the profound cultural impact of the printing press in 1450, the steam engine in 1750, or the transistor in 1950, it is impossible to predict the impact of 3D printing.  However, 3D printing makes it possible to produce single items for the same unit cost as producing thousands, thus undermining a foundational law of mass production: economy of scale. It will almost certainly have as profound an effect on the world as the advent of the production line and the factory did more than a century ago. Futurist Jeremy Rifkin has claimed that 3D printing marks the beginning of a third industrial revolution.

What will that revolution look like? By the end of the decade, you will be able to create many of the things that now require a special trip to a store on an affordable home 3D printer. Just download the file, push print. Sounds like fun, right? Well, consider the fact that in 2012 a Texas company posted design files for a fully functional plastic gun that could be produced by anyone with a 3D printer

Modern Readers

The U.S. Department of State made the company take down the file after several months, but if you learned anything from the CD story in this article, you know the genie was long out of the bottle by then

According to a memo released by Homeland Security and the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, “significant advances in 3D printing capabilities, availability of free digital 3D printable files for firearms components, and difficulty regulating file sharing may present public safety risks from unqualified gun seekers who obtain or manufacture 3D printed guns…[and] proposed legislation to ban 3D printing of weapons may deter, but cannot completely prevent their production. Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these 3D printable files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files.”

The memo overlooks a key problem with 3D firearms. You could murder someone and then pop your gun into the microwave, melting any evidence of the crime. Who knows? Maybe the unintended consequence of 3D printing will be an entirely new branch of forensics. This could get interesting

EDITOR’S NOTE: Luke Sacher has another connection to this story. He served as cinematographer for the 1987 film Radium City, and met many of the “Radium Girls.” In her New York Times review, Janet Maslin wrote: “The film is about the desire for independence that led those teen-age girls to the plants in the first place, about facing up to hardship and about the dangers of being too well-bred to ask questions—it is a story too important to be ignored.”

The Chef Recommends

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

 

Paragon Tap & Table • Homemade Italian Sausage with Herb Risotto and Heirloom Tomatoes

77 Central Ave. • CLARK

(732) 931-1776 • paragonnj.com

I have created a hearty dish that represents the Craft Experience that Paragon Tap & Table is known for. My winter menu also features street fair tacos, steamed selection, award-winning burgers and of course creative and seasonal large plate entrees. 

— Eric B. LeVine, Chef/Partner

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon 

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a tempura onion ring. 

 

Daimatsu • Grilled Oyster

860 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-7888 • daimatsusushibar.com

Fresh jumbo Pacific oyster grilled with homemade miso sauce, fried northern puffer fish marinated in light ginger soy coated in potato starch, with deep-fried crunchy veggie on the side.

— Momo, Chef

 

Publick House •   Publick House Rigatoni 

899 Mountain Ave. • MOUNTAINSIDE

(908) 233-2355 • publickhousenj.com

It’s cold outside and our rigatoni pasta with braised short ribs is the perfect entree to warm up to. Short ribs are a labor of love, but seeing the customer’s face light up after the first bite makes the process worth it. The rigatoni and short rib are enhanced with sautéed kale and stewed tomatoes, and finished with creamy, herbed ricotta.  

— 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

 

Costa’s Italian Ristorante & Catering • Paglia Fieno Mimosa

120 Chestnut Street • ROSELLE PARK

(908) 241-1131 • costasitalianrestaurant.com

Our Paglia Fieno Mimosa features spinach and egg fettuccine in a brandy cream sauce with peas, mushrooms and prosciutto.   

— Nicola & Brian, Hosts

 

Spirit: Social Eatery and Bar • Double Cheddar Infused Burger

250 Morris Ave. • SPRINGFIELD

(973) 258-1600 • mclynns.com

It doesn’t get better then a double cheddar infused burger from the new Spirit: Social Eatery and Bar.  

— 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.

 

Galloping Hill Caterers

Galloping Hill Road and Chestnut Street • UNION

(908) 686-2683 • gallopinghillcaterers.com

Galloping Hill Caterers has been an incredible landmark for nearly sixty years. We pride ourselves in delivering “over the top” cuisine, impeccable service and outstanding attention to detail. That is the hallmark of our success! Simply, an unforgettable experience. Pictured here is one of our crepes flambé that really creates lots of excitement!

— George Thomas, Owner

 

The Barge • Cioppino 

201 Front Street • PERTH AMBOY

(732) 442-3000 • thebarge.com

Our Cioppino, the signature dish of San Francisco, features a fresh, healthy selection of clams, mussels, shrimp, Maine lobster and Jersey scallops—drizzled in Greek virgin olive oil, with fresh garlic and white wine—over homemade Italian linguini. I know it will become one of your favorite dishes.    

— Alex Vosinas Chef/Owner

 

Want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide? 

Call us at 908.994.5138

Operation Hollywood

Laughter may be the best medicine… but in Tinsel Town medicine isn’t always a prescription for laughter.

By Mark Stewart

There is nothing inherently funny about doctors and hospitals. Their business is deadly serious, no pun intended. Perhaps that is why, over the past century, Hollywood has churned out just a handful of feature-length medical comedies—and why the good ones are truly few and far between. Television has had somewhat better luck with this genre. Half-hour sitcom scripts don’t leave room to delve too deeply into the grim reality of trauma and illness, enabling a show like Scrubs to bang out nine successful seasons. Even so, it’s worth noting that the show’s main plot device was to explore the daydreams of Zach Braff’s character, Dr. Dorian. His reality?Not so much.      

The best medical sitcom, by almost any measure, was M*A*S*H*. It lasted 256 episodes over the course of 11 seasons thanks to a superb ensemble cast and a stable of thoroughbred television comedy writers. More than 125 million viewers tuned in for the final episode in 1983. That was before anyone had a DVR and, speaking purely from personal experience, before most folks figured out how to program their VCRs. 

So it should come as no surprise that the film that tops the list of all-time Top 5 medical comedies is that very same anti-war doc-pic. What do the five movies have in common, other than their watch-ability? Not a one actually takes place in a traditional hospital setting. 

Interesting, don’t you think?

20th Century Fox

1) MASH (1970)

The concept was deliciously brilliant: Use the Korean War to make a biting mainstream satire of the Vietnam War. Director Robert Altman cast some of the top young actors of the day in the now-iconic key roles: Donald Sutherland (Hawkeye), Elliot Gould (Trapper John), Robert Duvall (Major Burns), Tom Skerritt (Duke) and Sally Kellerman (Hot Lips). Their understated performances coupled with the gritty cinematic style of Harold Stine gave this film a gripping reality that made the subversive, anti-authority wit and humor scalpel-sharp. And yet it was silly when it had to be. MASH won the grand prize at Cannes and went on to earn the Golden Globe for Best Picture and five Academy Award nominations, winning an Oscar for Ring Lardner Jr.’s adapted screenplay of Richard Hooker’s 1968 novel. 

Little Known Fact: The lyrics of the movie’s (and TV show’s) theme, “Suicide is Painless,” were written by Mike Altman, the director’s 14-year-old son. Mike made more from the song’s royalties than his dad did for directing the film. 

20th Century Fox

2) High Anxiety (1977)

After his runaway hits Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks took on suspense thrillers for his next parody, High Anxiety. His character, Dr. Richard Thorndyke, starts a new job as head of the Psycho-Neurotic Institute for the Very Very Nervous. We know something’s not quite right at the Institute when he meets his staff, which includes Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman, two of the great comic kooks. Thorndyke suffers from vertigo, one of many tips of the hat to Alfred Hitchcock, including an unforgettable scene inspired by The Birds. He must overcome his affliction to save his love interest, played by Madeline Kahn. The shower scene from Psycho is also parodied. 

Little Known Fact: Mel Brooks actually worked with Alfred Hitchcock on the screenplay for High Anxiety. After the film was released, Hitchcock sent Brooks a case of 1961 Chateau Haut-Brion. 

USA Films

3) Nurse Betty (2000)

The charm of this comedy—besides the spot-on performance of Renée Zelweger in the title role—is that it is utterly unpredictable and follows its own rules. That’s a tribute to Neil LaBute, a playwright-turned-director who maximized the skills of an eclectic cast that includes Morgan Freeman and Chris Rock (as ruthless hit men), Aaron Eckhart (as a sleazy car salesman), Allison Janney (as a Hollywood producer) Crispin Glover (as a small-town newspaper reporter), and Greg Kinnear (as a soap opera doctor). After witnessing the murder of her husband, Betty enters a fugue state and becomes a character in her favorite daytime drama, A Reason to Love. Kinnear’s send-up of a shallow, self-absorbed Hollywood actor is priceless. Zelweger won a Golden Globe for her work.

Little Known Fact: Wizard of Oz fans who spotted references to the 1939 film in Nurse Betty weren’t imagining things. Production designer Charles William Breen said he was inspired by the classic movie, and Renée Zelweger clearly channeled Dorothy in her portrayal of Betty.

Paramount Pictures

4) A Day at the Races (1937)

Author Norman Cousins (a New Jerseyan, for what it’s worth) famously cured himself of ankylosing spondylitis with mega doses of vitamin C and a steady diet of Marx Brothers movies and other comedies. A Day at the Races is considered one of the brothers’ best. Standish Sanitarium faces ruin when Mrs. Emily Upjohn, its wealthiest patient, is deemed sane enough to be discharged. Enter Dr. Hugo Hackenbush (Groucho Marx), who is hired as Chief of Staff to personally treat Mrs. Upjohn. Hackenbush is actually a veterinarian, but Harpo and Chico help him escape detection. Meanwhile, the fate of the sanitarium hangs on the performance of a racehorse named Hi-Hat, piloted by Harpo in a wild final ride.

Little Known Fact: Many of the movie’s best scenes—including the classic Tutsi-Fruitsy Ice Cream exchange between Groucho and Chico—were perfected on the Vaudeville stage by the Marx Brothers in the months prior to filming

20th Century Fox

5) Dr. Dolittle (1998)

Eddie Murphy plays John Dolittle, a San Francisco physician who had the ability to talk to animals as a boy. But that was then and this is now—he’s a family man and partner in a lucrative practice that’s about to be sold for big bucks. A bump on the head restores Dr. Dolittle’s unusual powers, and he begins communicating with a sarcastic dog (voiced by Norm McDonald), a sassy guinea pig (voiced by Chris Rock), a wounded tiger (voiced by Albert Brooks) and a variety of other creatures. The movie got a PG-13 rating for its ceaseless scatological humor, but was marketed by 20th Century Fox as a family film. Among the other voices you’ll recognize are Jenna Elfman, Gilbert Gottfried, John Leguizamo, Julie Kavner, Garry Shandling, Paul Reubens, Ellen DeGeneres and Brian Doyle-Murray.

Little Known Fact: The late-1990s marked the beginning of Eddie Murphy’s transition from movies aimed at adult audiences to family-friendly fare. The Nutty Professor (1996), Dr. Dolittle and Shrek (2001) revived his box office power. In 2007, Murphy won a Golden Globe and was nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar for playing R&B star Jimmy Early in Dreamgirls.  EDGE

SHORT STUFF

Two of history’s most uproarious medical comedies were 18-minute “two-reelers” that were screened between the main movie-house features.  Interestingly, both were set in traditional hospitals.

In County Hospital (1932), Stan Laurel plays the all-time worst hospital visitor, arriving in the room of Oliver Hardy, who is in traction with a broken leg. Billy Gilbert, whose mere appearance on the screen generated peals of laughter in the 1920s and ’30s,

plays Ollie’s doctor. He throws them both out after a near-death experience.

Columbia Pictures

If the Three Stooges turn you on, Men in Black (1934) is one of their most important short films. Larry, Moe and Curly play a trio of doctors who graduate from medical school with the “highest temperatures in their class.”  

The boys received their Columbia Pictures lone Oscar nomination for Best Short Comedy for Men In Black, which was meant to be a spoof of Men In White, a serious film starring Clark Gable and Myrna Loy.  

20th Century Fox

NOT THAT BAD

Steve Guttenberg fans will argue that Bad Medicine (1985) should sneak into the Top 5 and they may have a point. Guttenberg plays a slacker who attends medical school in Central America and finds himself—both as a doctor and a solid citizen. The school is run by autocratic Alan Arkin and the students learn more from Marcus Welby reruns than from their professors. A fun movie that was largely ignored at the box office and video rental stores…hey, remember video rental stores?

EDITOR’S NOTE: An unnamed EDGE staff member suggested that Mother, Jugs & Speed be reconsidered as a Top 5 medical comedy for this story. He is no longer permitted to speak at editorial meetings. Mark Stewart has authored two “Top 10” books on film: Ultimate 10 Movie Blockbusters and Ultimate 10 Movie Characters, both in 2009.

The Chef Recommends

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

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 • Sushi Tacos

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE (908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

Crispy wonton taco shells—featuring your choice of tuna, salmon, shrimp or crab—with rice, cucumber, red onions, avocado, cilantro and lime juice, topped with spicy mayo.

 

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.

— Chef Momo

 

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Pan Seared Scallops

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY (732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Pan-seared scallops over butternut squash risotto and wilted spinach, finished with a brown butter emulsion. This is one of the signature dishes featured on our menu since we opened 10 years ago.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

 

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

LongHorn Steakhouse of Springfield is celebrating its One Year Anniversary. Come celebrate with us! Join us for Lunch 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.

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

 

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

901 Mountain Avenue • SPRINGFIELD (973) 467-9095 • outback.com

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 • 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.

 

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.

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide?

Call us at 908.994.5138

 

What Planet Are You On?

In 2020, that’s a question worth asking when you make choices that involve environmental impact and sustainability. Here are four bright ideas that could improve the odds for the blue marble we call home…

WINNING UGLY 

Misfits Market

Tired of overpaying for organic, non-GMO produce? Annoyed that—in a state where food stress and food deserts are real issues—more than a third of fruits and vegetables grown for your store end up in the dumpster because they are “imperfect” in some way? Too big, too small, shaped like a space alien—or too expensive for anyone to buy in the produce aisle. Misfits Market is one of several companies looking to narrow the waste factor by bringing quality food to your door. A box of “ugly” just-picked fruit and vegetables averaging 20 pounds will set you back $35 including shipping—so a good thing for the planet and a relative bargain. There are other options (and smaller sizes), plus you can stage deliveries so you never have too much, or run out. Each shipment comes in an eco-friendly box and contains a mix of leafy greens, vegetables, and fruit. And Misfits often throws in something new and wonderful you might not encounter unless you find it at an upscale eatery. 

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

Watergen

The drinking water that comes out of your home tap has been in the news a lot lately, and not for good reasons. New Jersey is one of those states that keeps popping up on lists we don’t want to be on. There are filters you can screw onto your kitchen faucet and filtered pitchers you can keep in the fridge. Many people opt for home delivery of expensive and cumbersome jugs of filtered water. These solutions are all less than perfect. Watergen, an Israeli company that knows from water solutions, is rolling out a machine it calls GENNY. It pulls moisture out of the air—in your home, your office, wherever—and purifies both the water it dispenses and the air it pumps back into the room. The technology, which has a thumbs-up from the EPA, has also got the World Health Organization excited. GENNY dispenses premium-quality hot and cold water, doubles as a dehumidifier and can be controlled if you like with a smartphone app. 

SPECIAL DELIVERY 

TerraCycle

The issue of single-use waste—what some of us call the “packaging problem”—has become overwhelming for a lot of consumers. You try to recycle as much as possible and maybe use some of the big boxes for storage, but end up throwing away a huge percentage of the stuff that other stuff comes in. A company right here in New Jersey, Trenton-based TerraCycle, has made strides in alleviating this problem, which impacts our homes and, obviously, the environment. Loop is a line of durable and reusable packaging and containers made largely of upcycled materials that you send back to the company when you’re done with its contents. It might be a detergent container or a juice bottle or the little box deodorant or toothpaste comes in. TerraCycle cleans it up and puts it right back into circulation. Among the corporations that have already “in the Loop” are Procter & Gamble, Nestle, and Unilever. Consumers pay a refundable deposit to get in on the program. 

SAFE AND SOUND 

The Container Store

As single-use plastic bags disappear from supermarkets and other retail stores, you can bet environ-mentalists will take aim next at disposable food-storage bags. As well they should. Most end up in a landfill or, in increasing numbers, the ocean. Which is why the reusable silicone bag is finally catching on. They’ve been around for a while and there are at least a dozen companies making them around the world. But Stasher may be the product to watch in 2020. The product was developed by Berkeley grad and plastic-free pioneer Kat Nouri a couple of years ago and got a boost from Mark Cuban on an episode of Shark Tank. Stasher reusable, airtight microwave-safe bags are made from “platinum-grade” silicone with no chemicals (e.g. BPA), fillers or petroleum byproducts and can be heated without leaching harmful toxins. An added benefit is that Stasher is ideal for sous vide slow-cooking.

To learn more about these products, visit these web sites: 

  • misfitsmarket.com • terracycle.com 
  • watergen.com • stasherbag.com
The Chef Recommends

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

Grain & Cane Bar and Table • Grilled Salmon Tikka with Herb Salad

Grain & Cane Bar and Table • Grilled Salmon Tikka with Herb Salad

Grain & Cane Bar and Table • Grilled Salmon Tikka with Herb Salad

250 Connell Drive • BERKELEY HEIGHTS (908) 897-1920 • grainandcane.com

Scottish salmon marinated in yogurt, spices and flash grilled. Served with a tossed salad of tender herbs, pickled onion and a light citrus vinaigrette. A beautiful early winter dish that has a warm spice finish and pairs beautifully with a light red wine.

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Pork Tenderloin Special

The Thirsty Turtle • Pork Tenderloin Special

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

The Thirsty Turtle • Brownie Sundae

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

The Famished Frog • Mango Guac

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

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Pork Belly Bao Buns

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Pork Belly Bao Buns

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE (908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

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

 

 

 

Daimatsu • Sushi Pizza

Daimatsu • Sushi Pizza

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.

— Chef Momo

 

 

Garden Grille • Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

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

 

 

Outlaw Ribeye

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

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

 

 

Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

901 Mountain Avenue • SPRINGFIELD (973) 467-9095 • outback.com

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

 

 

 

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

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Japanese Taco

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

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

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.

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide?

Call us at 908.994.5138

 

The Chef Recommends

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

The Thirsty Turtle • Tacos

1-7 South Avenue W. • CRANFORD (908) 324-4140 • thirstyturtle.com

Look out for our tacos as they bring the flavors of the South West to the North East.

— Chef Rich Crisonio

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Wings

186 Columbia Turnpike • FLORHAM PARK (973) 845-6300 • thirstyturtle.com

Our wings make the mouth water and always wanting more!

— Chef Dennis Peralta

 

The Famished Frog • Assorted Desserts

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

Our unique desserts will satisfy any sweet tooth.

— Chef Ken Raymond

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Sushi Tacos

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE (908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

Crispy wonton taco shells—featuring your choice of tuna, salmon, shrimp or crab—with rice, cucumber, red onions, avocado, cilantro and lime juice, topped with spicy mayo.

 

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.

— Chef Momo

 

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Pan Seared Scallops

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY (732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

Pan-seared scallops over butternut squash risotto and wilted spinach, finished with a brown butter emulsion. This is one of the signature dishes featured on our menu since we opened 10 years ago.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

 

Garden Grille • Cauliflower Steak

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD (973) 232-5300 • hgispringfield.hgi.com

Sautéed cauliflower steak, blistered grape tomatoes, roquette and lemon supreme sautéed in extra virgin olive oil.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD (973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse of Springfield is celebrating its One Year Anniversary. Come celebrate with us! Join us for Lunch 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.

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

 

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

901 Mountain Avenue • SPRINGFIELD (973) 467-9095 • outback.com

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 • 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.

 

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.

 

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide?

Call us at 908.994.5138

The Chef Recommends

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

The Thirsty Turtle • Pretzel Burger

1-7 South Ave E. • CRANFORD (908) 324-4140 • thirstyturtle.com

Our mouthwatering burger is topped with American cheese, bacon, shredded lettuce, and Russian dressing on a soft pretzel bun…this classic evokes nostalgia.

— Chef Rich Crisonio

 

The Thirsty Turtle • Irish Nachos

186 Columbia Turnpike • FLORHAM PARK (973) 845-6300 • thirstyturtle.com

These special nachos are made with potato crisps, bacon, cheddar and Monterey Jack, scallions and Guinness sour cream…truly a house favorite!

— Chef Dennis Peralta

 

The Famished Frog • Assorted Flatbreads

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

My unique spin on the California flatbread was inspired by my work with world-famous chef, Wolfgang Puck.

— Chef Ken Raymond

 

Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse • Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon

1230 Route 22 West • MOUNTAINSIDE (908) 518-9733 • partyonthegrill.com

We prepare a crusted 8-ounce filet mignon served with gingered spinach, shitake mushrooms, and a 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.

— Chef Momo

 

Luciano’s Ristorante & Lounge • Warm Goat Cheese Salad

1579 Main Street • RAHWAY (732) 815-1200 • lucianosristorante.com

The warm goat cheese salad with tender greens and a mulled cabernet dressing and toasted pine nuts is a signature appetizer at Luciano’s, where fresh ingredients and personable service in a beautiful Tuscan décor create a fine dining experience. Our menus are seasonally influenced to feature the best of what’s available in the market.

— Joseph Mastrella, Executive Chef/Partner

 

Garden Grille • Grilled Chicken Paillard

304 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD (973) 232-5300 • hgispringfield.hgi.com

Grilled chicken paillard with roasted corn, asparagus, cauliflower, baby arugula and grape tomato, extra virgin olive oil & aged balsamic.

— Chef Sean Cznadel

 

LongHorn Steakhouse • Outlaw Ribeye

272 Route 22 West • SPRINGFIELD (973) 315-2049 • longhornsteakhouse.com

LongHorn Steakhouse of Springfield is celebrating its One Year Anniversary. Come celebrate with us! Join us for Lunch 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.

— Anthony Levy, Managing Partner

 

Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

Outback Steakhouse • Bone-In Natural Cut Ribeye

901 Mountain Avenue • SPRINGFIELD (973) 467-9095 • outback.com

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 • 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.

 

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.

 

Do you own a local restaurant and want to know how your BEST DISH could be featured in our Chef Recommends restaurant guide?

Call us at 908.994.5138