NJ Dining: Aleppo Restaurant (UPDATED)

February 26, 2010

Note: This article originally appeared as “Off the Broiler Economic Stimulus Dinner II”. With the recent review of this restaurant in the New York Times, we thought it would be appropriate to raise it to the foreground and update several photos.

Aleppo Restaurant
939 Main Street, Paterson NJ
(973) 977-2244

ESD II Collage by you.

For our second in our series of Economic Stimulus events, we enlisted former Bergen Record restaurant writer and fellow food blogger Victor Sasson to arrange a lunch for us at one of South Paterson’s best Syrian restaurants, Aleppo, after which we went shopping at some of the local bakeries and markets.

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Gumbo Z’herbes for Superbowl Sins

February 9, 2010

In celebration of this year’s Superbowl, we sinned. As did probably everyone else, including the entire city of New Orleans — which deservedly should celebrate their victory with all of their wonderful food and drink.

But some of you, like myself, are probably feeling like you overdid it. Like you need to cleanse your body. Like you want to eat something that is wholesome and not bad for you.

You may be thinking “I should do an herbal cleanse or do a high calonic and go on a three week juice diet”. No, heavens no. Don’t do that.

The Creole and Cajun people of Louisiana developed a cure for sinning many years ago, and it’s much more pleasant than a high calonic. It’s called Gumbo Z’herbes.

Big ol’ bowl of Gumbo Z’herbes, served with Brown Rice, Louisiana Hot Sauce and File Powder.

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Keiles BaconBowl 2010 Re-Cap

February 8, 2010

Okay, the Saints won. WHO DAT! But more importantly, WHAT DID WE EAT? Here’s the play-by play for the most incredible (and insane) Superbowl party I have ever attended.

Are you ready to attend the ultimate bacon bacchanal of Superbowl parties that has ever been seen by the likes of man? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Ultimate Chef Bergen County 2010: Battle Cranberry

January 16, 2010

That’s right folks. It’s time again for your favorite culinary battle competition, Ultimate Chef Bergen County, sponsored by Chef Central in Paramus, New Jersey. For the opening round, Chef John Marsh of Green Door Cafe in Tenafly went up against Chef Jesse Jones of Heart and Soul Catering.

Click Here to view High-Res Photo Slide Show.

The ensuing battle was a clash of titans, a 40 year veteran of the New York restaurant scene with a classic cooking style versus a Southern style, North Carolina down-home cook. As with with many of these TV-style competitions, the focus was on a “Secret Ingredient”. For the opening round this year, it was Cranberries.

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NJ Dining: Bennies

December 1, 2009

Note: with the recent review of Bennies in the New York Times, I decided to feature one of my favorite local restaurants. I’ve updated the post with a bunch of new photos from a recent meal.

Bennies Englewood
54 E Palisade Ave, Englewood, NJ
(201) 894-5700

Web Site: http://www.benniesofenglewood.com

When I’ve been eating hardcore pizza and hamburgers and meats for a couple of days, I crave refreshing Mediterranean cuisine that is dominated by vegetarian dishes. My favorite place to indulge in this is Bennies, a family-run Lebanese restaurant on Palisade Avenue in Englewood.

IMG_4634.JPG

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NJ Dining: Arturo’s Osteria

October 25, 2009

Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria
188 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood NJ
(973)378-5800

Web Site: http://www.arturosnj.com

Dan Richer, Chef/Owner of Arturo’s Osteria in Maplewood.

After meeting the young and food passionate Dan Richer at the recent New Jersey Les Marmitons beer dinner, I knew that this was a guy who’s restaurant I needed to go eat at.

Richer, who has no formal culinary training but who has a passion for cooking Italian cuisine, purchased Arturo’s from the original owners (which opened in 1991 as a wood fired pizzeria) in 2006. Richer has staged at many restaurants in Italy, frequently travels to Europe and has taken what he has learned and brought it back to his small Maplewood restaurant, which has a focus on pasta, pizza, and locally sourced ingredients. While Arturo’s retains a basic menu of pasta dishes, salads, small plates and artisan pizzas, Richer has gained quite a following from his regulars and has introduced tasting menus where everything is completely off-menu and seasonal.

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Hangin’ with Les Marmitons de Jersee Nouveau

October 17, 2009

Dinner with Les Marmitons, Oct 9 2009 by you.

I recently had the opportunity to be the invited guest of the president of the New Jersey chapter of Les Marmitons, an international social cooking club for male epicureans that has been in existence in North America for 32 years.

The October 12th dinner, which was held at the Don Bosco Knights of Columbus Hall in Port Reading, was a Beer-themed event in the spirit of Ocktoberfest, but with an Italian twist. The chef who prepared the menu for the evening was the young and energetic Dan Richer, proprietor of Arturo’s Osteria in Maplewood. Dan is something of a beer fanatic and was the perfect choice to select the dishes for the Marmitons to prepare.

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