Restaurant Review: Red Bank Diner (Red Bank, NJ)

Even with good food, sometimes service can be the difference between a 3 and a 4. My mom and I were looking for a place to have lunch after a busy day closing our house for sale last week. Mentally, we were exhausted. It was an odd time of day, just after two in the…

Restaurant Review: The Chowda House (Red Bank, NJ)

The Chowda House ran out of Chowda! That’s what my friend Roy and I were told the moment we walked into the Red Bank seafood establishment on a rainy Thursday afternoon. He had been wanting to take me there for some time, and assured me that the Lobster Bisque was even better than their chowder,…

Photo of the Day: March 6, 2018

This is the scene when I’m in my element. Mis en place for chicken which would be stuffed with cheddar cheese and asparagus. On the side are rolls and my homemade garlic butter, stuffed peppers, and mashed sweet potatoes. And a vodka and cranberry, of course, to help get in the zone.

The Dinner that was Closure

As you all know, my dad passed away in June. On Father’s Day, of all days. Without going into too much detail, it took from that moment until late November for my mom and I to know if we would be able to keep the house, my childhood home for 23 years, or not. When…

Photo of the Day: February 13, 2018

The first of three pictures from Nonna’s in Englishtown begins today. As a bread-loving Italian, there is no better way to start off a meal than with a spread like this. Homemade, warm, crusty bread, and a dish with two kinds of olive oil, butter, and tapenade.

Restaurant Review: J.J. Bitting Brewing Company (Woodbridge, NJ)

Where do you go when you have a craving for quesadillas? Why, the J.J. Bitting Brewing Company, of course! All kidding aside, this was the first time I had eaten here in over two years. When I worked in Perth Amboy once upon a time ago, coworkers and I were here at least once a month….

Photo of the Day: January 29, 2018

I’d probably weight 50 pounds less if I did not have a love for bread. Who in their right mind could look at that and not want to dive in? Esposito’s Pizza and Pasta, Matawan, NJ.

“Liver…AND ONIONS!” (Part 2)

 “We talk, drink wine, have the first course, talk, drink wine, second course, talk, drink wine, main course, drink wine, talk, dessert, and more wine. Did I mention wine?”- Walter on dinners he hosts for his friends. If you survived the first installment and have come back for more, we shall proceed. We began the…

The Recipe Book: A Taste of Purgatory

Eggs in Purgatory, that is. This is the classic Italian peasant breakfast (and hangover cure) that is remarkably simple to make. I first learned of its existence on an episode of Parts Unknown last season, where Nigella Lawson cooked it for Anthony Bourdain. If you can get your timing right, poaching the egg just enough…

Photo of the Day: January 4, 2018

This is what it looks  like when you want even your leftovers (from Sahara 34) to look presentable. I made myself some garlic-lemon spinach to go with the other ubiquitous middle eastern condiments.

Photo of the Day: December 3, 2017

Isn’t this a beautiful scene here? A sandwich from Taliercio’s with imported prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and balsamic vinegar on crusty Italian bread with a glass of Federalist Cabernet.

Photo of the Day: November 29, 2017

Another killer appetizer from Brothers’ Pizza, the place that served up the best God damn stuffed mushrooms I’ve ever had in my life. Clams here, roasted to perfection, and drenched in a wonderful garlic sauce. Needed a second loaf of bread for this one.