Search Results for: rallo

RUMSON: RALLO TO OPEN ‘SURF BBQ’ HERE

molly maguire's 102011Restaurateur Victor Rallo plans to transform the former Molly Maguire’s Gastropub into a smoked barbecue joint. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Surf-BBQ-LogoThe Greater Red Bank Green, teeming with culinary variety but short on ribs, is about to get some finger-lickin’ fare.

The former Molly Maguire’s Gastropub in Rumson, which closed Tuesday, will reopen in January as Surf BBQ, buyer Victor Rallo tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: RALLO REPOSITIONING BASIL T’S

basil t 073014The exterior’s already gotten a facelift and one is underway inside at Basil T’s, soon to reopen as Birravino, says owner Vic Rallo Jr., below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rallo 3 090713After 27 years in business, Red Bank’s Basil T’s brewpub will close this Saturday to undergo a makeover that will transform it into Birravino.

Basil’s owner Vic Rallo Jr. tells redbankgreen he’s repurposing his Riverview Avenue eatery he founded in 1987 with his brother and late father to mirror a dining style he’s come to appreciate on repeated trips to his ancestral home for his television show, “Eat, Drink, Italy.”

Overhauling a successful restaurant, and taking a flyer on a concept that affects everything from the menu to the awnings? Is Rallo nuts? Apparently, we’re not the first to ask.

“I’ve heard it all,” Rallo said. “My friends are saying, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ Or ‘did you go bankrupt?’ ‘Are you a heroin addict? Getting a divorce?'”

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RED BANK: CRAFT BREWERY LEASES FIREHOUSE

John Cocozza and partners plan to open a craft brewery called Ross Brewing Company in the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In another sign of a possible tsunami of craft beer coming to downtown Red Bank, the former Liberty Hose Company firehouse on White Street has been leased to a startup brewery, the principals said Thursday.

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RED BANK: BEER AND MORE AT BIRRAVINO

Customers enjoy pizza, salads, wine and beer on a breezy Sunday evening at Birravino’s new beer garden.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Basil T’s Brew Pub was ahead of it’s time when it came to brewing beer in-house in New Jersey. Three years ago, Vic Rallo and partners rebranded the Red Bank restaurant and bar, naming it Birravino and giving it an updated industrial look. But they continued to brew their own beer.

The recent addition of an outdoor beer garden, built off to one side of the original structure, allows customers to wet their whistles under star-studded skies while chilling to the cool breezes coming off the Navesink River. PieHole stepped up to the window for one of the 10 local brews on tap before settling into a cherry-red Adirondack-style chair on the patio.
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RED BANK: THREE WEEKEND DEBUTS PLANNED

The paper comes off the windows Saturday at Cos Bar, a cosmetics store opening next door to Tiffany & Co. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallTwo new Red Bank businesses kick off their residencies, and the summer of 2017, with openings planned for the Memorial Day weekend, redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn has learned.

In addition, a longtime veteran of the town’s restaurant and bar scene is unveiling a new outdoor expansion.

 

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RED BANK: BASIES GO TO RFH, RBC, RBR

Phoenix Productions exec director Tom Martini — pictured fifth from left, during the 2015 ribbon-cutting of the troupe’s new Chestnut Street headquarters — was honored with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award during the 12th annual Basie Awards on Wednesday night. (photo by Rich Kowalski) 

Students and faculty from five high schools in the greater Red Bank area were honored for excellence in high school theater productions — and the co-founder of a favorite borough-based performing arts company received a Lifetime Achievement recognition — when the 12th annual Basie Awards ceremony took place at the Count Basie Theatre on the evening of May 24.

The big winner among local schools was Red Bank Catholic High School, whose nine nominations for the spring production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella resulted in three Basie wins: for Shawn Mack (Outstanding Musical Direction), Samantha Siriani (Outstanding Supporting Actress), and Kelly Gemellaro (Outstanding Choreography, shared with Jacqui Fisher for the Middletown High School South staging of The Producers).

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RUMSON: TARZAN SWINGS INTO RFH IN MARCH

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On the weekend of March 24-26, the award-winning Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will present the rollicking, family-friendly musical Tarzan at the RFH auditorium.

Adapted for the stage from Disney’s epic animated adventure — and based on the popular characters created by Edgar Rice Burroughs — the musical show features high-flying excitement as well as heart-pumping music by rock legend Phil Collins, with a score that includes the Academy Award-winning “You’ll Be in My Heart” as well as “Son of Man,” “Two Worlds,” and “Strangers Like Me.”

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RED BANK: BEER GARDEN, VEGAN PLANS OK’D

img_5866Birravino’s proposal for a 1,500-square-foot beer garden, as shown to the left of the existing restaurant in renderings below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Renderings by Michael James Monroe. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

birravino-plan-120516Two Red Bank restaurants won approvals for expansion plans Monday night.

• The borough planning board gave unanimous a OK to Good Karma Café, the only vegan restaurant downtown, to triple in size by leasing vacant retail space next door.  Read More »

RED BANK: RESTAURANT PLANS ON AGENDA

Good KarmaGood Karma Café has proposed expanding into the East Front Street space vacated earlier this year Creative Kitchens, which relocated to Mechanic Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallRed Bank’s rapidly growing restaurant scene once again dominates the attention of the borough planning board Monday night.

That’s when a vegan restaurant expansion, a beer garden addition to another restaurant, and the possible creation of a new one occupy a busy agenda.

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RUMSON: A FIVE-ALARM CHILI COOK-OFF

vic rallo 032816 2Staff from Vic Rallo’s Surf BBQ will be the judges for a Traditional Chili Cook-Off, hosted at the Rumson Fire Station on Saturday, October 22.

Purveyors of the most celebrated chili recipes often use the image of a firehouse (or a multi-alarm blaze) as a selling point for their customized take on the spicy South-of-the-Border stew — so it’s only appropriate that when the Oceanic Free Library hosts its latest benefit event on October 22, it will be a Traditional Chili Cook-Off that takes place inside the nearby Rumson Fire Station at 140 East River Road.

The public is invited to stop in at the station between the hours of 3 to 6 p.m., for a sampling of homemade chili recipes, prepared and presented by as many as 30 local contestants — all of them vying for prizes (and borough-wide bragging rights) in a hot ‘n heavy competition that promises to hit the spot for a great local cause.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BELLYING UP AT SURF BBQ

041616surfbbqsandwichesAbove, a smoked-brisket sandwich, left, and a pulled pork sandwich. Below, smoked maraschino cherries at the bar. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

041616surfbbqcherriesPieHole had been itching to try Surf BBQ in Rumson for lunch, but the newly opened East River Road restaurant and bar hasn’t yet expanded its hours and is only serving lunch on weekends.

Last Saturday, we finally made it there, and found the place not too busy at mid-afternoon, with no wait at the counter and plenty of available seating at the bar and picnic tables. Maybe everyone was attending their kids’ T-Ball games or working on landscaping, but we think we’ve found a sweet-spot in this smokin’ hot restaurant’s schedule.
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RUMSON: BBQ, BOURBON & RECYCLED AMERICA

vic rallo 032816 2Restaurateur Victor Rallo has transformed the former Molly Maguire’s Gastropub into a barbecue joint. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

surf bbq 032816 3With two Italian restaurants and a television show about the food and wine of Italy in his portfolio, Victor Rallo‘s latest venture might strike some as a sharp departure from his obsession with his ancestral homeland.

But Surf BBQ, which opened last week in Rumson, is simply the latest turn in a continuing quest for culinary “authenticity,” Rallo told redbankgreen in a recent interview.

“This is about the only true, historical American cuisine,” he said. “I wanted to open something great, but I wanted it to be true to its origins.”

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RFH DRAMA STUDENTS TO PERFORM AT NYU

BystanderPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

The Bystander: A Portrait of Apathy, a proposal submitted by Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School English teacher Suzanne Sweeney, has been accepted by the New York

University Forum on Educational Theatre. Students from Sweeney’s current RFH drama class will perform the play about teen harassment and bullying on April 24, as part of the event that will take place at NYU on April 21-24.

The Bystander: A Portrait of Apathy was submitted by Sweeney to the Forum on Educational Theatre, also known as FOET, in the fall of 2015 as a youth theatre production. Proposals need to adhere to a timeframe of 30 to 60 minutes and resonate with the three focus areas for the forum: drama in education, applied theatre, and theatre for young audiences/play production. The proposed production was accepted after what FOET describes as “a comprehensive international peer review process.”

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R-FH PLAYERS ROLL WITH BONNIE & CLYDE

r-fhPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

As the spring musical production for the 2015-2016 school year, the Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will present the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Bonnie and Clyde on the weekend of March 18-20.

A thrilling show from Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll and Hyde, Civil War, Dracula), Bonnie and Clyde provides a perfect showcase for the 45-student strong Tower Players cast. It boasts a non-traditional score that combines blues, gospel, and rockabilly styles, plus exciting song and dance numbers including the show-stopping “God’s Arms Are Always Open.” It is based on the real-life adventures of starry-eyed Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (Eli Rallo) and the outlaw Clyde Chestnut Barrow (Matt Hughes), who embarked on a crime spree across the United States at the height of the Great Depression — a story that became the basis for a landmark 1967 film that starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

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RED BANK: LOCAL SMOKE BBQ PLANS OPENING

delfini 091615 1Local Smoke BBQ plans to fire up its smoker in a building last rented by Delfini. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508Nearly two years after deciding that downtown Red Bank wasn’t for him, a highly regarded barbecue master plans to open a restaurant on the edge of town.

Local Smoke BBQ, which bailed from a possible Broad Street deal in 2014, will now set up its smoker in the former Delfini Gourmet Catering space at the corner of West Front Street and Rector Place/Shrewsbury Avenue, owner Steve Raab tells redbankgreen’s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: BASIE WHETS THE ‘APPETITE’

jacques-pepinCristianCeppasCeleb chef Jacques Pépin, above, gets things cooking at the Basie this afternoon. (Photo by Christian Ceppas)

appetiteContinuing with the ever-eclectic menu of entertainments that has distinguished and defined its audience-pleasing mission, the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank serves up a new slate of offerings under the “Appetite Chefs” series banner in coming hours and days, starting with a matinee appearance Saturday by the Original Iron Chef himself and continuing next Wednesday by a beloved master of Italian cuisine.

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RUMSON: MOLLY MAGUIRE’S CLOSING

molly maguire's 100615Molly Maguire’s, above, and Kathy Maguire on her first day as owner in 2011, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kathy-maguire-1Just three weeks shy of their fourth anniversary in the business, Kathy and Mike Maguire are closing their Rumson restaurant, Molly Maguire’s Gastropub.

The Tuesday night finale is in preparation for sale of the East River Road establishment to restaurateur Victor Rallo, owner of the nearby Undici, on West River Road, and Birravino, in Red Bank, Kathy Maguire said Monday.

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TINTON FALLS: DRIVING A GREAT PEOPLE STORY

kickstarter_20152Besides sharing his name with the always civic-minded Captain America, videographer Steve Rogers maintains a not-so secret identity as the creator, producer, host and high-mileage guy behind the wheel of Driving Jersey, the hyperlocal public television series that rolls into its fifth season on New Jersey Public Television this fall.

Like Vic Rallo’s Eat! Drink! Italy and other independently produced regional PBS programming, Driving Jersey depends entirely on the support of  regional sponsors, with a much greater emphasis on contributions from “viewers like you” than what commonly funds nationally broadcast fare like Masterpiece and Nova. And, at the start of a season that promises a portrait of “an extraordinary public music teacher from Tinton and the amazing results she gets from her students using a ‘unique’ teaching style that emphasizes courage, love and inspiration,” captain Rogers is giving a curbside call-out to area residents who appreciate the opportunity to see themselves and their neighbors in a setting that reclaims the concept of “reality TV” in a way that’s refreshingly devoid of scripting, manipulative editing and the studio-bound same-old.

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RED BANK: A FEW HAPPY HOURS

062915birravino2Happy hour choices at Birravino included organic house wine, beer and an appetizer, while at Robinson’s Ale House, below, a martini starred.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

063015robinsonsThough it’s ubiquitous in Red Bank, happy hour – that late-afternoon, discounted bar-tab menu option – should not be taken for granted. Many states, according to the National Center for State Courts, prohibit or limit what has become a traditional time of day to meet with friends and acquaintances in New Jersey.

Although most bars and restaurants offer special deals to lure customers, you might be surprised at how differently those two or three hours are interpreted. PieHole breaks down what can be considered an early bird special for the economically minded while others might call it a snack before dinner.

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RFH ENGINEERS CREATE, INVENT AND LEARN

RFH engineersEarlier this year, six freshmen from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School took part in an inaugural Mini Engineering Academy program at Neptune High School, where the aspiring engineers worked in teams to build hydrogen-powered cars, visited the township’s “green” elementary school, studied solar cells, and explored the aerodynamic qualities of surfboard design. Pictured are Reed DiCenso and Jack Rallo (front row left to right) and Chris Steinhacker, Aidan Eustace, Matthew Ramirez, and Tyler Whetzel (back row left to right).

 

RFH TEAMS COMPETE IN ROBOT CHALLENGE

RobotThe members of “Team Mystery Gang” (Helena Van Hemmen, Jenny Greener, Leigh Forsyth) and “Team Transformers” (Matt Ramirez, Reed DiCenso, John Phelan, Jack Rallo) were among the teams from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional competing in the recent NJ Coast IEEE Robot Challenge.

Press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

Seven teams made up of students from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School competed — with one RFH team achieving a third place finish — during the recent New Jersey Coast IEEE Robot Challenge, hosted at the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College.

“Team Starlords,” composed of seniors JC Liang, David Mancuso and Liam Packer, was the top RFH finisher among more than 40 teams representing 15 New Jersey high schools. During the five-hour event on Saturday, May 2, each team was required to build a robot using a kit. The teams were judged on their robots’ performance in a race, and also on oral and written reports. The 28 RFH students who took part in the competition, the goal of which is to make students aware of the requirements and workplace challenges facing today’s professional engineers, were sponsored by the school’s Scientific Frontier Club.

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RUMSON: PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ AT RFH

YoungFrank_4CPress release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School

On March 20 through 22, the Tower Players of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School will present their production of The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein, the horror-comedy tunefest based on the laugh-a-minute 1974 comedy film Young Frankenstein, and featuring music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan.

Young Frankenstein tells the story of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played by Laurence Morales), a professor at a medical school who leaves behind his fiancée Elizabeth (Eli Rallo) and travels to Transylvania to claim the estate of his grandfather – the creator of the famous Frankenstein monster. After years spent rejecting his family name, the doctor is helped by the castle’s current residents – Frau Blucher (Julia Mosby), Igor (Bailie Stypa), and Inga (Jen Andreacchi) — in bringing his own monster (Michael Shaw) to life, with hilarious results.

The RFH production features a cast of 42 students in singing, dancing, and acting roles. It is directed by RFH English teacher Suzanne Sweeney, who tailored the script for the high school-age actors and audience.

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CIAO, BASIL’S. IT’S ‘BIRRAVINO’ NOW.

091014 birravino ralloVictor Rallo in the bicycle-decorated atrium of Birravino. Below, one of the long communal, or feste, tables in the dining room.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

091014 birravino5The Old World charm of Basil T’s Brew Pub is gone, along with its popular mug club, where members had personalized mugs hanging at the bar. Remodeled and repositioned as Birravino, however, the Red Bank trattoria is just as welcoming, warm and suds-friendly as its predecessor.

Nursing a broken leg from a running accident, Victor Rallo showed up earlier this week to make sure everything was running smoothly after a makoever that included completely restructuring and redecorating his Riverside Avenue institution in about a month. Before some customers even realized  the restaurant was temporarily off-line, a new name was on the building and the changes were well underway, he said.

The result? “I wanted an industrial, rustic look like you see in the trattorias or osterias of Italy,” he told PieHole,  amid the exposed brick walls, honed wooden tabletops, galvanized metal seats and an open kitchen. “Definitely something more casual” than Basil’s, he said.

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RED BANK: MORE ON THE MENU AT ‘APPETITE’

080214 appetite8080214 appetite16They came for the wine with local restaurateur Vic Rallo and stayed for the food trucks, beer and make-your-own bloody Mary’s Saturday at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre, hosting its second annual ‘Appetite‘ food festival.

The action continues Sunday under the theme of ‘Blues and Brews,’ spotlighting  craft beers, artisanal cheeses, butcher Stew Goldstein – offering a demo on preparing a pork loin Marco roast and more. According to the National Weather Service, it’s not going to be a beach day, so why not come out? More details here.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)    080214 appetite27

RED BANK: BASIE EXCITES THE APPETITE

basie appetite 2013 16Scenes from the 2013 inaugural ‘Appetite’ event, which returns to the patio and stage of the Basie this weekend. (Photos by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

basie appetite 2013 10Its famous stage has hosted everything from Hollywood royalty and hall of fame rockers to high school revues — but Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre seems to have hit upon a fresh recipe for success, with the new breed of live shows built around celebrity chefs.

Such culinary cable stars as Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Robert Irvine and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro have done boffo box office at the Basie. And with the arrival of this weekend’s ‘Appetite: A Gastronomic Experience,’ casual fans and full-fledged foodies can feast on a two-night/two-day excursion that’s highlighted by two superstars of the video-victuals circuit.

A four-course affair running from Friday night through Sunday afternoon, the second annual edition of Appetite also features tie-ins to the good works of some popular hometown favorites.

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