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LINCROFT: ALEO’S MOVEABLE FEAST

121215aleo3The helpful employees at Aleo Italian Specialties get customer orders out quickly. Below, some of the many gourmet takeout options.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121215aleo4Stepping into Aleo Italian Specialties in the Acme shopping center on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, PieHole was immediately hit with a feeling of deja vu.

The aroma of cheese and garlic surrounds you, calling to mind Arthur Avenue, the famous Little Italy shopping area in the Bronx. Then there’s the sight of food — everywhere. Hanging salami and cheese; shelves filled with rustic fresh breads from Brooklyn; imported dry pasta; and deli counters teeming with house-made delicacies. Your mouth waters and you forget what you came in for.

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LITTLE SILVER: BARN RESTORATION STALLS

parker barns 070915 2No work has been done on the barns at Little Silver’s Parker Homestead in months. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

parker barns 070915 1One year after it began, work to restore three decrepit old barns at the Parker Homestead site in Little Silver has been stalled for months, and may be heading to court.

Neither town officials nor the contractor, Nickles Contracting, would discuss the reason for the inactivity, or even say when the stoppage began, leaving the structures a patchwork of braces and plywood coverings.

“It’s kind of in the hands of our attorneys,” Mayor Bob Neff told redbankgreen, citing the possibility of the matter winding up in litigation for his reticence on the matter.

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LITTLE SILVER: COOKIE TIN YIELDS GEMS

PH Cobb set A collection of baseball cards from 1909, including two feauring Ty Cobb, found among the possessions of a former Parker family member will be on display Sunday. (Photo above by Liz Hanson. Click to enlarge)

[CORRECTION: The original version of this article incorrectly reported that there may be thousands of baseball cards in the collection. That estimate refers to postcards, not baseball cards.]

By JOHN T. WARD

LS parker 121613 1Sunday may be Flag Day, but at the historic Parker Homestead in Little Silver, it will also be a day for baseball.

Old-time baseball, that is, in the form of a rare set of baseball cards discovered recently in a cookie tin among piles of possessions from the historic house on Rumson Road.

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RUMSON: BUTLER’S IS BACK

060415butlers1The familiar pastel-colored Adirondack chairs are back at Butler’s Market in Rumson. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

060415butlers3Lifelong borough resident Paul Stout owned and operated Butler’s Deli in a strip mall on East River Road in Rumson for 15 years. Two and a half years ago, he was ready for a more leisurely life, he thought, and so he closed the business and gave retirement a try.

Locals Creative Fresh Takeout took over the space, and made a stab at the sandwich trade, but threw in the towel earlier this year.

Stout, realizing that “retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” decided to re-open Butler’s in the same space.

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RED BANK: MARKET OPENS SUNDAY

rb farm mkt 061514 12 rb farm mkt 061514 16A week later than its customary Mother’s Day opening, the Red Bank Farmers’ Market returns Sunday to kick off its 16th run through summer and fall.

Among the returning vendors – but not right away – is the nationally regarded Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck, which recently lost its rights to do curbside business in New York City over permitting issues. The Snail’s return to the farm market was uncertain, but a post on the farm market’s Facebook page says the truck is expected to be back “later this month.”

Pets are no longer allowed at the market, which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Galleria, at West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: PARK IT HERE, JAZZ LOVERS

johnny jazz park 051115 1John Gatta wields giant scissors as he dedicates the new park named for his late brother, Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz’ Gatta Jr. (seen below), as Councilwoman Linda Schwabenbauer applauds. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ralph johnny jazz 2006 1For 47 years, while cutting meat and selling boxes of rice and cereal, Red Bank butcher Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz’ Gatta Jr. preached the gospel of an American musical art form he deeply loved, and wanted his customers to hear as he heard it.

On Monday night, borough residents showed they had heard, and had been touched by both his love of jazz and his generosity as a grocer.

At a brief ceremony tinged with fondness, humor and a bit of live jazz, the site at the corner of Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard was named in honor of the late jazz-enthralled butcher.

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RED BANK: PARK TO GET JOHNNY JAZZED UP

rb jazz 082214 2ralph johnny jazz 2006 1Anyone who ever had the pleasure of getting an earful of bebop – and a history lesson in jazz – while picking up a pound of ground chuck at the now-gone Johnny’s Jazz Market in Red Bank should consider stopping by the pocket park on Shrewsbury Avenue at Drs. James Parker Boulevard tonight at 6:30 p.m.

That’s when borough officials will officially rename the park for the late butcher and irrepressible jazz maven Ralph ‘Johnny Jazz‘ Gatta Jr., who ran the shop for almost 50 years – always with his beloved jazz playing in the background.

Gatta, a lifelong borough resident, died in 2011. The park is the site of a series of summer jazz concerts hosted by the borough.  (Photo above by Trish Russoniello; below, by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

LITTLE SILVER: TASTES OF (LITTLE) ITALY

121614 ferruccis2Sandy and Paolo D’Amico behind the counter of Ferrucci’s Gourmet Delicatessen. Below, buffalo milk butter from Parma, Italy.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

121614 ferruccisShopping at Ferrucci’s Gourmet Delicatessen in the Prospect Plaza strip mall in Little Silver is like stepping into a classic Italian grocery store, according to a customer who stopped in to pick up pizza dough brought in from Brooklyn. It’s as good as Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, he said.

Mixed New York boroughs aside, there is something about New York city tap water that makes pizza dough and bread taste better. And the bread at Ferrucci’s is delivered daily from Brooklyn along with the dough. It’s also a consistent daily sellout, says owner Sandy D’Amico.

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RED BANK: PARK TO HONOR JOHNNY JAZZ

ralph johnny jazz gatta 2006

By JOHN T. WARD

rb jazz 082214 1 He presided over what had to qualify as one of the quirkiest neighborhood grocery stores in the history of retailing, let alone Red Bank.

Now, four years after his death, the beloved jazz-enthralled butcher known to all as “Johnny Jazz” is to about to get a neverending solo.

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LITTLE SILVER: KEEPIN’ IT LOCAL FOR PARKER

091314 parkerhouse16 091314 parkerhouse7More than 250 attendees braved drippy tents for a “farm to table’ fundraising dinner at the Parker Homestead in Little Silver Saturday night. The menu, crafted by celebrity chef  David Burke, included New Jersey wines and cheeses, Barnegat bay shellfish and bushels of locally grown vegetables.  The $250-per-plate event benefitted the Parker Homestead – 1665 restoration project and the Monmouth County Historical Society. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

091314 parkerhouse2

 

 

RED BANK: MARKET BEGINS DOG-FREE ERA

rb farm dogs 051213 2A ban on dogs at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market becomes the rule with this Sunday’s edition of the 15-year-old open-air emporium.

After ordering the ban a week ago in response to a report of a dog urinating on food for sale, inspectors from the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission #1 this week informed the owners of the Galleria, which hosts the market, that restricting dogs to areas where food is not displayed would be permitted. But the idea was “deemed not to be workable,” MCRHC director Dave Henry tells redbankgreen. So now, let those puppies… sleep in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: DOG BAN IRKS FARM MARKETERS

rb farm dogs 061514 2A ban on dogs at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market appears to have been triggered by a complaint about a dog urinating on a watermelon, the mayor says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See Update at end of article]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A sudden ban on dogs at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market caught vendors and local officials by surprise Sunday.

The ban, by the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission #1, appears to have outraged some shoppers, who told vendors they would not return unless their dogs were welcome at the market, which is held weekly in a parking lot at the Galleria at Red Bank on West Front Street.

News of the ban came within 24 hours of reports that the health commission warned vendors at the Red Bank Community Block Party on Drs. James Parker Boulevard that they would be shut down if they didn’t comply with agency rules, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

In neither case had the borough administration gotten any communication about the actions from the commission, which Menna called “unacceptable behavior.”

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SEA BRIGHT: WEEKLY FARM MARKET DEBUTS

sb parking 2 052714The market will set up in the municipal beach lot every Thursday through October, with a finale one week before Thanksgiving, an organizer says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

morsels mediumCan you beat this: shopping for fresh Jersey corn, tomatoes, blackberries and more, just yards from Atlantic Ocean, in summer?

With an OK from the Sea Bright borough council this week, a group called Community Green Market Organizers begins a weekly farmers’ market in the borough parking lot Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m.

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RED BANK CUTTING FARM VENDOR FEE

RB farm mkt 1 051213Red Bank officials introduced an ordinance amendment this week that will allow food vendors at the Farmers’ Market to obtain yearlong health department licenses for $350, instead of paying $50 per week. A vote on the measure, which Mayor Pasquale Menna said would also reduce paperwork at borough hall, was scheduled for April 23. Here’s the amendment: RB 2014-10

The Farmers’ Market, based in the Galleria parking lot, returns on Mother’s Day, May 11, and runs into mid-November.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: BARNS TO BE AGE-TESTED

ls parker 1 040814Archaeology students from Monmouth University plan to conduct tests on the barns at Little Silver’s Parker Homestead Friday to determine the ages of the structures. A similar examination was done on the site’s farmhouse, and founding indications that dated it back to 1720, making it one of the oldest houses in America.

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