NJ Dining: The Taste of Madison 2007

Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend the Taste of Madison event, which was sponsored by Gary’s Wine and Marketplace to promote the Napa Valley wineries they do business with and to pair up some of the best restaurants in Madison, which in my opinion is a town that is right up there with Montclair, Englewood and Ridgewood as a prime dining destination in Northern NJ. The event was held at the Madison hotel, giving it a similar vibe to the annual Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation events that are held there every year. 40 participating Napa Valley wineries attended, along with over 20 of Madison’s best restaurants.

A table with just a small fraction of the wineries that attended — It would be impossible to sample everything even if you were so inclined. The event was incredibly popular and all the rooms were packed.

Have a glance at the Taste of Madison. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more. 

Rod’s Steakhouse, located in the Madison Hotel itself, was one of the front runners in terms of delicious food at the event. Here we have a nice plated sample of their Mashed Potato bar, a regular offering at the restaurant.

A nice Ceviche martini, also from Rod’s.

Artichoke Pie with Parmigiano Reggiano and Romesco sauce, from L’Allegria Restaurant.

Chicken Amici, from Amici’s. A more sophisticated (and more tasty) version of Chicken Francese, but with Broccoli Rabe, Prosciutto and Mozzarella cheese.

Chicken with Balsamic Dressing and Tortellini, From Rocco’s

A giant Superbowl-Sized Submarine Sandwich from Party Divas.

A nice assortment of Punjabi-style Indian food from Begum Palace.

Gary’s Marketplace made some really nice Crab Cakes.

Garlic Rose Cafe’s Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Shrimp

Yuki Hana serving up some sushi

The Hamilton Park Hotel had a great dish, Spicy Thai Shrimp with Glass Noodles.

The Conservatory Dining Room was absolutely abuzz with people.

Comment from Rachel: “I think poorly of restaurants that bring boring dishes, like Chicken Francaise or Penne Vodka. You pay to participate in these events to attract people to your restaurant, you should showcase a dish unique to your place that will hopefully bring people in the door. Maybe add a comment like that as advice to restaurateurs when they choose to participate in events like this?”

One Response to NJ Dining: The Taste of Madison 2007

  1. alexcho says:

    Ridgewood? really? I haven’t found a single restaurant in Ridgewood that I’m really impressed by. Well maybe the Brooklyn Pizzeria?

    I do agree with Montclair being great for food. But have you tried Allendale?

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