by Brenda Ty
I would take a Dishcrawl over a Pubcrawl any day of the week. For food enthusiasts, a night to sample scrumptuous bites from some of Jersey City's local restaurants is the place to be.
The idea is simple; food tasting, four restaurants, $45. Earlier this week, Jersey City's Dishcrawl ambassador, Alessia Arons, assembled a walking tour of Newport's waterfront section eateries: VB3, Michael Anthony's, Skylark on the Hudson, and All Kinds of Whoopie.
The menu included delicious and satisfying bites. At VB3, our first course was a perfectly toasted slice of bread, grilled ramps with prosciutto di parma and shaved parmigiano reggiano. Next, arancini - rice balls stuffed with gooey mozzarella cheese and peas served with an orange saffron aioli. Lastly, and, in my opinion, the BEST item of the evening, the ravioli di ouvo. Served with favas, morels and truffle, while stuffed inside the homemade ravioli was a farm fresh egg, that when you cut into it, a perfectly runny egg oozed out; absolutely superb!
Located right on the waterfront, Michael Anthony's quartet plate included: filet mignon bruschetta, a thinly sliced medium rare filet served on a garlic crouton with fresh mozzarella and topped with a tomato basil balsamic bruschetta. Light and delicate, which is to be expected of filet mignon, it delivered. A side beet salad: fresh beets, gorgonzola cheese, pistachio nuts, golden raisins and baby arugula tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette. A sesame encrusted salmon with Asian sesame ginger sauce, although slightly undercooked for me, the flavor was spot on. Finally, a chicken francese sandwich with fresh mozzarella. The portions were substantial, in fact, I found myself struggling to finish and we were only at the second restaurant!
Our last stop on the tour was Skylark on the Hudson. First course was grilled halloumi cheese with piquillo pepper sauce, EVO on an herb crostini. If you're not familiar with halloumi cheese, it's texture is somewhat rubbery, but thinly sliced and grilled, it was well cooked. Next course were a couple of domestic lamb meatballs served with a summer pea puree and tzatziki sauce. Very Mediterranean in flavor, the lamb was delicate and delicious. Finally, cracklin' mac & cheese with smoked bacon, scallions, chef's artisan cheese fondue and pork rinds! Whomever thought to put cracklings on mac & cheese is a genius. The added texture and flavor these simple pork rinds provide is pure perfection.
To round out our satisfying meal, dessert was provided from an online bakery called, All Kinds of Whoopie. The owner and baker, Adriana Jaworski, brought banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting topped with chocolate chips and chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting. Freshly made, super moist and absolutely divine, a perfect way to end the evening.