Zod Arifai Offers Special Sandy Aftermath Menu at Restaurant Blu, Next Door and Daryl

by Melody Kettle in

Beginning this Tuesday, November 13th, Zod Arifai, owner and executive chef at the acclaimed Blu and Next Door in Montclair, and Daryl Wine Bar in New Brunswick, will be offering two courses plus a bite of dessert for limited-time menu at all three of his restaurants, priced at just $19.50 (beverages, tax and gratuities not included).
If you've never had the opportunity to dine at one of Zod's restaurants, this is the perfect opportunity to experience his cuisine.
Arifai wrote:
In the wake of the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy and the following Nor’easter, thousands of lives have been disrupted.  Simple things we take for granted, like electric, gas and food, have been in short supply.  In light of these circumstances, many people have expressed that they would enjoy an inexpensive, quick, casual, hot meal, without any fuss.
Read More

Northern Hospitality: Montclair Restaurants in the Aftermath of Sandy

by Melody Kettle in

*Also published in the Montclair Times

Outside, the smell of wood burning fireplaces, the hum of generators and a haunting sense of déjà vu filled the damp air.  Trees stood shattered or lay uprooted across yards and roads, while phone and power lines hung dangerously low.  Inside, eighty percent of Montclair homes were dark and cold, while the refrigerators, ironically, were warm. 

In the aftermath of Frankenstorm, residents scrambled for blankets and batteries, while Montclair restaurateurs gathered staff, organized deliveries and opened their doors. In a food-town, like Montclair, it’s easy to take these open doors for granted. 

Read More

Vite, French Food Fast at Epernay in Montclair

by Melody Kettle in

French Food Fast comes to Epernay.

Read more on Montclair Restaurant News!

Five Acre Farms Butters Me Up

by Melody Kettle in

I've had a life long affair with butter.  I love to smear it, spread it, melt it, brown it, and most especially, I love to make it!

But, as any butter enthusiast knows, your butter is only as good as the cream you made it with. The better your cream, the better your butter!

I recently received a personal delivery of Five Acres Farm milk and cream, being told that Five Acres cream makes "the best" butter.

Read More

Words To Eat By : Gastropub and Gastrolounge

by Melody Kettle in ,

In the most simple definition, a gastropub or gastrolounge is a dining establishment that serves both high-end food and beer.

Gastropub is derived from the words: gastronomy,  love of the art or science of food;  and pub.  Nary 20 years old, the term has evolved from its origins and has become so much more - even taking on uniquely American characteristics.

The first gastropubs appeared in London in the early 1990's when young chefs, tired of traditional pubgrub, offered food of a higher caliber. During the “cool Britania” era of Tony Blair all things British found their way to America bringing the new Mini, Doctor Who, Colplay, and Gastropubs to colonial shores. The most recognized of the early US gastropubs is the Spotted Pig in Manhattan.

Read More

Toni's Kitchen Summer Berry Bake-Off To Feed The Hungry In Montclair

by Melody Kettle in

Call for Entries! Toni’s Kitchen invites the community to its first annual Summer Berry Bake-Off and Bake Sale.

The highly competitive judging panel from our favorite local bakeries – Gina’s, Le Baker’s Dozen, The Little Daisy Bakeshop, and the Montclair Bread Company, will decide 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes for each category. All entries in the Summer Berry Bake-Off must be a type of baked good using berries.

Read More

The Knowles Family Legacy: Local Sustainability at Highlawn Pavilion

by Melody Kettle in ,

On March 11, 2012, the Sunday Business section of the Star-Ledger published an ad announcing a  "Business Opportunity" at "Eagle Rock Reservation."  It read:

"The County of Essex is seeking a fine dining restaurant operator for the Eagle Rock Restaurant, located in the Essex County Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange, NJ[.]  A Request for Information (RFI) has been issued to find an operator interested in developing and operating a fine dining restaurant."

The rumor mill went swirling!  The most important question proffered was: is Highlawn Pavilion, the renown fine dining and banquet establishment, closing?  The Knowles Family, owners of Highlawn Pavilion, responded to the buzz on the Highlawn Pavilion website:

Read More

Team #HFTK Wins First Place in Montclair Fourth of July Parade

by Melody Kettle in , , ,

Three days of work, four hundred and twenty three feet of glitter garland, a whole bunch of crepe paper, and some stuffed pigs and chickens did the trick: Hot From The Kettle won first place for best float yesterday at Montclair's annual Fourth of July Parade.

Team #hftk, Mike Sondey, John Lee, Elizabeth Palmer Starnes, Mr. Hot, and myself, send a patriotic "congratulations" to all participants in the parade.  What a legendary day!

Photo Credit: Cristin Kettle-Sondey

Here are some great pics Fourth of July pics from John Lee!

Fourth of July Parade Montclair 2012 from Melody Kettle on Vimeo.

Tweet your parade pics @melodykettle or @johnleesandiego with hashtag #hftk.

Montclair Dining: Albert's Food for the Soul

by Melody Kettle in , ,

Fried Chicken at AlbertLast week, Cafe Amici bid adeiu to Church Street, and Albert's officially took up residence.

FYI, they've got pretty *&^%$#@ perfect fried chicken!  Read more on Montclair Restaurant News!

So You Want To Be A Food & Wine Blogger Panel

by Melody Kettle in ,

Bloggable knowledge was exchanged last at night at  "Fuzzy" Furlong Fieldhouse where the Adult School of Montclair hosted a panel entitled, "So You Want To Be A Food & Wine Blogger."

The discussion was moderated by Karen Diaz-Schloss of DSC Communications. Panelists included Peter Conway of Mano a Vino, Rosalie Saferstein of Table Hoping With Rosie, Deb Smith of Jersey Bites, Sharla Blanz of Off The Vine, Sue Guerra from Gary's Wine & Marketplace, and myself.

Read More