LITTLE SILVER: A BARNYARD CELEBRATION

ls-barns-101616-10About 100 Little Silver residents, joined by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagnols-barns-101616-4, celebrated the completion of restoration work on the three barns at the Parker Homestead Sunday.

The structures, the oldest of which is believed to have been built in the 1790s, and the Parker farm site on which they sit are “as important as Jamestown” in the history of America, Mayor Bob Neff told the crowd.

The restoration, funded with a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, was completed after a dispute with a contractor was resolved and a second contractor, Drill Construction, came on board in January, said Keith Wells, a trustee for the nonprofit Parker Homestead 1665 Inc., the nonprofit that oversaw the project. Two carpenters, Joe Rubel and Mike Cerniglia, were credited for work.

Click the “read more” for additional photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.”

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: FIRST WALK THROUGH HISTORY

ls parker 122213 2

ls parker 122213 3Dozens of visitors toured Little Silver’s Parker Homestead, which opened to the public Sunday for the first time since it was deeded to the borough in 1996. Among the displays was a Parker family genealogy tree hung on a door, at right. The Rumson Road farmhouse, dating to the early 1700s, and three barns built in the 1800s are facing extensive restoration. (Click to enlarge)

LITTLE SILVER: DOOR TO HISTORY OPENS A BIT

LS parker 121613 2A large hearth, uncovered during recent repairs, is among the historic features on display on a tour of the Parker Homestead on December 22. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

LS parker 121613 1For centuries, it was a family’s home. Nothing more than that.

Starting out in the early 1700s as a single-room domicile, it grew out, and up, outlasting all but a few homes in the nation it preceded. Eight generations of Parkers warmed themselves in rooms framed by hand-hewn timbers – when they weren’t working the surrounding land, or harvesting ice from the pond just off the front porch.

“These people weren’t rich, or aristocrats,” Little Silver resident and preservationist Keith Wells said of the Parkers, who arrived here from Rhode Island in 1665. “They were just farmers.”

That simple fact may be lost to the thousands of motorists who have passed by in recent decades, perhaps aware only that the stately home on Rumson Road in Little Silver was for some reason “historic,” an entry on national and state registers of such structures.

But on Sunday, December 22, for the first time ever, the public will get to see the inside of the Parker Homestead, now entering what Wells and others hope is an era of significant repair and restoration. redbankgreen got a sneak peek, of course.

Read More »

RUMSON: MARKET OUT (AGAIN), CUPCAKES IN

cups and cakes (3)Denise Kelleher, owner of Cups and Cakes. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

PIEHOLE logoTime for a little Rumson Churn, as the latest iteration of Rumson Market packs it in – killed by taxes, the owner says – and Cups and Cakes prepares to move in from just a few doors away, broadening its menu.

Read all about the East River Road shuffle today in PieHole, redbankgreen‘s buttery-good food page.

RUMSON: CUPS AND CAKES GOES UPMARKET

cups and cakes (1)Breakfast, homemade baked goods and a juice bar will fill the space vacated by Rumson Market when Cups and Cakes moves in from its current location two doors down. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

After three years on East River Road in Rumson, Denise Kelleher is ready to expand her bakery, Cups and Cakes.

She plans to take over the space two doors down left vacant when Rumson Market abruptly closed its doors in September.

Bad news for the market, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Kelleher.

Read More »

RED BANK: PERKY, FREE-RANGE EGGS, CHEEP

hauser eggs
Hauser Hill Farms eggs are among the best bargains as the Red Bank Farmers’ Market closes out its 2013 season Sunday. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumOne of PieHole‘s favorites at the Red Bank Farmers Market this season was a late discovery: the eggs from Hauser Hill Farms.

These eggs have some of the brightest yolks we’ve seen, a good indication that the chickens are eating good stuff. Crack two into your frying pan for a pair of sunny-side ups, and the yolks tower over the whites with the perkiness of a cheerleader on game day.

They’re also an incredible bargain.

PieHole spoke to farmer John Hauser to make sure he’d have plenty at his table this weekend, and to get some details on his hens. Take it here for all the details.

BTW, if you’re savoring our food coverage, be sure to make friends with our PieHole Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, where you’ll start seeing stuff that may not appear on redbankgreen‘s home page – cuz, you know, our cup do runneth over with culinary goodness.

RED BANK: THE SEASON’S LAST LOCAL YOLKS

hauser_eggsPerky-as-heck eggs from Hauser Hill Farms. Get ’em Sunday or pine all winter.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumOne of PieHole‘s favorites at the Red Bank Farmers Market this season was a late discovery: the eggs from Hauser Hill Farms.

These eggs have some of the brightest yolks we’ve seen, a good indication that the chickens are eating good stuff. Crack two into your frying pan for a pair of sunny-side ups, and the yolks tower over the whites with the perkiness of a cheerleader on game day.

PieHole spoke to farmer John Hauser to make sure he’d have plenty at his table this weekend, and to get some details on his hens.

Read More »

RED BANK: SQUASH FOR CHRISTMAS & BEYOND

farmersmarket7Laura Dardi and Lisa Bagwell explain how to store winter squashes and other vegetables. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

With the Red Bank Farmer’s Market 2013 season heading into the home stretch, the last of the year’s opportunities to shop for fresh produce at the Galleria are now on the early-dimming horizon.

Piehole checked in with Lisa Bagwell and Laura Dardi from E.R. And Sons Farm, an organic farm out of Monroe, to get the lowdown on what we can buy now and how best to store it so we can enjoy local produce through the winter.

“Right now we’ve got all types of winter squash: butternut, acorn, spaghetti and pumpkins,” said Bagwell. “Also the potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbages, beets, leeks and apples — these can all be put away.”

Read More »

RED BANK: VIA45 CHEFS GO TO MARKET

via45
Chef Claudette Herring slices some of the heirloom tomatoes she and partner Lauren Phillips picked up last Sunday at the Red Bank Farmers Market. Below, Herring and Phillips at Via 45, their Broad Street restaurant. (Photos by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

via45 (4)“We’re going to miss the tomatoes. And the corn. The corn was so sweet this year,” chef Claudette Herring of Red Bank’s Via45 says wistfully of the change of seasons. “We’re not going to have corn like that in the winter.”

Herring and Via45 chef Lauren Phillips did some shopping at the Red Bank Farmers Market last Sunday to get a read on what’s available as we teeter from summer into fall.

The chefs suggest keeping an eye out for the last of the season’s heirloom and grape- or cherry-sized tomatoes, and found some large yellow varieties at the market.

“These tomatoes are beautiful, and they won’t be around much longer,” says Herring.

Read More »

RED BANK: LAST OF THE GAGUTZ AND GARLIC

Peppers, peaches and eggplant will be peaking this weekend at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

This Sunday could be your last chance to grab a gagutz at the Red Bank Farmers Market.

“This is going to be it – the guys just went into the fields to cut the vines down,” Michelle O’Connor, who runs Brookville Farms in Barnegat, tells redbankgreen. But it may also be your last chance to grab fresh garlic, too, says O’Connor.

“It’s just about done,” she said of the harvest. “I’ve got a little bit left, and if it’s there, it’s there.”

Read More »