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RED BANK: MORE DESSERTS DOWNTOWN

Kayla Barbuto in her newly opened Lady K’s Bake Shop. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

Cakes, tarts, ice-cream and other sweet treats: downtown Red Bank is adding to its dessert menu with the recent opening of a specialty bakery and plans for a new ice cream shop.

Read all about it in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

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RED BANK: GLAZED AND AMUSED AT LUIGI’S

Teamwork at Luigi’s Ice Cream: one person holds an open table (left) while another waits on line to order. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

In Red Bank on a late-spring Saturday night, musicians, locals and tourists fill the sidewalks, and PieHole is right there with them. First we catch a whiff of pizza, fresh out of the oven, and then of something sweet. The scene is festive, and we’re hungry.

Stopping to listen to buskers performing Irish songs, we meet a group of teenage girls holding plates of donuts covered with sprinkles. In unison, they tell us that these are no ordinary donuts, and that the place to be right now is around the corner on Broad Street. So we head over to Luigi’s Ice Creamwhere we find a throng of gourmet-minded folks of all ages seeking out their next sugar high.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? TINY SPACE, HUGE FLAVOR

Meatballs in a perfect Sunday-style sauce with grilled pesto shrimp. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

Found at the end of a short strip mall on White Road in Shrewsbury, the onetime My Sister’s Kitchen space is now home to a venture called Two Cousins Catering under new owners who are, indeed, cousins.

Stopping in on a weekend afternoon, PieHole finds Sue DellaGatta and Rob Klingebiel — whose mothers are sisters — working in a pint-sized kitchen. But the dishes they’re preparing are titanic in flavor.

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? BEST OF 2016

091316redrock3Duck confit tater tots from Red Rock Tap + Grill. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

WFL what's for lunch?Soul-satisfying soups, beefy burgers, crusty pizzas…

From a year’s worth of lunches good, bad and inedible, PieHole‘s What’s For Lunch? feature picks the Top 10 of 2016.

Click to restaurant names to see complete individual reviews.
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CRAVINGS: A LITTLE DANISH WILL DO

110216danishcafe3August Culbert stops by the Danish Café for lunch, coffee and a danish for dessert. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravings“It wouldn’t be the Danish Café without danish,” says August Culbert, a 25-year-old Fair Haven resident and owner of Apogee Technology Services, a Red Bank information technology business.

“The coffee is the best here, and they offer free refills,” says Culbert, who’s been a regular since about 2013 and has “tried everything on the menu.” But it’s the “soft, flaky European-style pastry” of the Danish’s danish that Culbert says he finds particularly appealing.

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CRAVINGS: MOM’S IRISH SODA BREAD SCONES

100816alices-sodabreadscones3Irish soda bread scones from Alice’s Kitchen in Sea Bright. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravingsWhen 23-year-old Shauna Harten gets a craving, it’s likely to be for Irish soda bread scones. And not just scones like those her mother used to make, but the genuine article.

When the Sea Bright resident was studying hospitality at Florida International University, she’d have her mom ship them down to her, she tells PieHole.

“My roommates really liked them, too,” she said. “They looked forward to the delivery almost as much as I did.”
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CRAVINGS: A BUSHEL IN A BURRITO

90516calientecantina1A fried sweet apple burrito covered in two sauces and ice cream. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

piehole_cravingsSeasonal changes can induce all sorts of fresh cravings, and with September screaming “apple season,” PieHole stumbles on a dessert so tasty, and in such an unlikely place, that sharing our bonanza is all we can do.

Read on to see where you can feast on this crave-able cinnamon-scented apple burrito.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? CREATIVE BAGELRY

051016hotbagel7A bacon cheeseburger deluxe on an everything bagel, above, and a chocolate chip bagel with a schmear of Nutella cream cheese, below, at Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

051016hotbagels1James Beard, “the dean of American cookery” according to the New York Times, once said that “too few people understand a really good sandwich.”

Nikos Zaires and Mike Gambale, owners of Hot Bagels Brooklyn’s Finest in Red Bank, understand, and they’re turning that humble sandwich into a higher art, making creative use of quality ingredients layered on fresh baked bagels and other bread varieties in their month-old deli.
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RED BANK: TIME-LAPSE OF VANISHING BREAD

NJ.com video reporter and Red Bank resident Brian Donohue and a colleague set up time-lapse cameras in the bread aisle of two supermarkets, including the SuperFoodtown on Broad Street, to capture a slice of the predictable, pre-blizzard stockup on staples Friday. Enjoy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: THANKSGIVING SIDES AND SWEETS

111715semprecannoli1Seasonal treats from Red Bank include pumpkin-filled cannolis from Sempre Cannoli, above, and pumpkin truffles from Chocolate Works, below.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

111715chocolateworks1Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner or you’ve been invited to a feast, making everyone happy can be tricky.

Were you asked to bring a side dish or dessert? Do you need a hostess gift? PieHole has you covered with a cornucopia of sweet treats and savory sides available in the pumpkin-tinged town of Red Bank.
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RED BANK: FLAVOR’S ORGANIC FOR KITCH CHEF

110515kichorganic6Kitch Organic chef Jennifer Freeman stirs a mixture of ground turkey and vegetables while Liam Splane cuts down a flat of wheat grass.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

110515kitchorganic8In the exquisite, state-of-the-art kitchen at Kitch Organic on Leighton Avenue in Red Bank, the cooks are busy preparing some extraordinary recipes.

All the food here is gluten-free and certified-organic, but that isn’t what makes it exceptional. Health benefits aside, chef Jenny Freeman is producing meals chock-full of flavor — and she’s doing it with home-grown and carefully sourced ingredients.

The 42-year-old chef went to the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York “to learn how to help heal people through food,” she tells PieHole. “I wanted to learn good nutrition and use it in my cooking.”  Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SUGGESTION IN FRENCH

101415frenchmktwfl1Perhaps lured by the aroma of baked pastries, below, customers took advantage of a crisp autumn day for lunch at the French Market this week. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON
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Open the door to the French Market on East River Road in Rumson, and the aroma of fresh baked pastry overwhelms your senses. PieHole tells you this as a favor. It’s easy to lose control and forget that you are there for a reason.

Since July, chef Laurent Chavenet has been filling the shelves of this market with his butter-enhanced flaky creations. But it’s not just pastries: a six-page takeout menu offers French specialties such as quiche, crepes and croissant sandwiches, as well as salads and a charcuterie plate.
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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? DANISH PANINI

092915danishcafe2Chicken Douglas, a panini-style sandwich from the Danish Café, a flag-festooned coffee shop. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

092915danishcafe3On any given day at Loni and Claudi Kofod’s Danish Café on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, you’ll find customers in deep discussion, their open laptops sharing table space with large cups of coffee.

But the wifi, full-bodied, European-style java and original pastries are only part of what brings customers to this light-filled, red-and-white-flag-festooned Galleria space. The lunch menu offers simple, healthy choices, as PieHole rediscovered on a recent business meeting-slash-What’s For Lunch outing.
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RED BANK: FARMERS AND CHEFS ON PUMPKINS

092015farmersmktrb2Michelle O’Connor at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market with pumpkins grown at Brookville Farms.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumAutumn has arrived on the Greater Red Bank Green, and that means we’re in for a plethora of pumpkin-flavored options in coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants.

But home cooks use them too, of course. And with that in mind, PieHole popped in at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market and a couple of local eateries to get some insights on choosing and using pumpkins.

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ON THE GREEN: ROSH HASHANAH TREATS

090915roshhashana3This week, PieHole shopped the Greater Red Bank Green for Rosh Hashanah eats, and came up with a selection that’s like to appeal to tastebuds of many persuasions. Take it here for the rundown to Sunday’s sundown, when the holiday commences (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

 

JEWISH NEW YEAR: A GOURMET ROUNDUP

090915roshhashana3Three light dessert cakes from Antoinette Boulangerie, above, and a box of honeybee and apple cake pops from Lil Cutie Pops make tasteful gifts.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

090915roshhashana4Delectable and symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah, a celebration of the Jewish New Year that begins at sundown on Sunday are popping up all around the Greater Green.

Preparing a holiday dinner for a few or many, finding the right ingredients and cooking all day can often take the fun out of the feast. PieHole has done some of the legwork for you, rounding up sources for pre-made dinners, desserts, hostess gifts and basics for a sweet new year.

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SHREWSBURY: BUNDT CAKE SHOP FILLS A HOLE

090815bundt5Maria Lewis at Nothing Bundt Cake. Below, red velvet cake samples.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

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Filling a hole that Shrewsbury didn’t know it had, Nothing Bundt Cakes opened last month in the Staples/Trader Joe’s shopping center on Route 35.

Owners Maria, Carly, and Bill Lewis are betting their franchise, the first to open in New Jersey, can succeed on a concept centered— sorry — on a single style of cake.  Read More »

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? MEETUP AT DELFINI

071715delfinis3A Buffalo shrimp salad from Delfini, above. The Big Lou sandwich shown, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

071715delfinis6Keeping lunch hour social, PieHole joined Red Bank Lunch Meet at Delfini Gourmet Catering, at the corner of West Front Street and Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, on a recent outing.

What’s Lunch Meet? Created by borough resident and redbankgreen webmaster Kenny Katzgrau, it’s a loose assemblage of epicures in which any member can suggest a get-together, whether it be for lunch, happy hour or dinner. It’s all coordinated through the group’s Facebook page.

This meetup was called by another Red Banker, Tom Musumeci. No one attending had eaten at Delfini before, but everyone came away impressed by the fresh ingredients and array of choices.

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RUMSON: FRENCH MARKET AGAIN? OUI!

071015frnchmkt1The charming facade of the newly opened French Market on East River Road in Rumson. Below,  a variety of tarts and pastries.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

071015frnchmkt4What happens when three gourmet-food-loving friends get together for a meal? In the case of Carli Windsor, Pamela Best and Robert Smith, they decide to open a store in Rumson.

And if the resulting French Market feels a little like deja vu to locals, it’s because the new owners were fans of Le Bon Panier, the French-inspired food market that previously occupied the same building at 114 East River Road.

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FARMERS MARKETS: WHERE TO GET FRESH

061815sbmkt1At the Sea Bright farmers market, Meg Paska sells locally grown produce and flowers from Seven Arrows Farm, while the Holly Hill Farm table, below, offers Rumson-grown seedlings and produce.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061815sbmkt2Options for finding locally grown produce on the Greater Red Bank Green doubled with the addition last year of a farmers’ market in the Sea Bright municipal parking lot on Thursdays.

For local shoppers, that means more variety. While both Sea Bright and the Red Bank Farmers’ Market at the Galleria on summer and autumn Sundays are dependable for farm-grown veggies, there are some characteristics that differentiate the two.

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RED BANK: ‘COCKTAILS’ AT THE COFFEE CORRAL

061715cofcorralCourtlyn Crosson makes a High Roller, seen below complete with grapefruit foam. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061715cofcorral2Tired of getting the same old latte or mochaccino from your local coffee shop? Baristas, the mixologists of caffeinated beverages, are raising the bar by creating new and interesting coffee “cocktails.”

Twenty-four-year-old Courtlyn Crosson, barista at the Coffee Corral in Red Bank, brings PieHole up to date on some of the latest innovations.

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RED BANK: PLAIN DECOR BUT GOURMET GRITS

053015inbetweengritsSouthern style shrimp and grits from the specials menu at the Inbetween Café. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

What magnetic pull does the Inbetween Café in Red Bank have that keeps loyal customers waiting to share a table with others for breakfast or lunch?

Achieving almost a cult-like status, in part because of  the gourmet fare his kitchen churns out seven days a week, owner and chef Bob Koehler may sling hash a little more slowly than some others, but that’s because he makes sure every plate comes out just right. Showing off his experienced chops, he’s not afraid to try a new recipe on his hungry legion of devoted connoisseurs.

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RED BANK: CINNAMON SNAIL, IN GLOSSY COLOR

062214 cinnamonsnaildonuts A sample of pastries from Adam Sobel’s Cinnamon Snail food truck and copies of his new cookbook, ‘Street Vegan,’ below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

051215 sobelstreetveganGet out your aprons, Cinnamon Snail fans: Adam Sobel, four-time winner of the Vendy award for food trucks has penned a collection of recipes and stories that will keep you chained to your stoves.

While awaiting the truck’s expected return to the Red Bank Farmers Market, Snail-starved disciples wondering what just goes into the making of “Mexican Hot Chocolate Glazed Twists” can now take a shot at it themselves.

Sobel shares his secrets in an often-funny, non-preachy way, with chapter after delectable chapter of addictive recipes in “Street Vegan,” all while eschewing animal products.

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LITTLE SILVER: A BETTER SALAD BAR

033115 healthfair2Chef Silvio Guzzo talks about the many cold and hot options available at Healthfair Natural and Organic Food Market, including the grab-and-go sandwiches below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

033115 heathfair5If bean sprouts and granola are all that comes to mind when you think about health food, then perhaps you haven’t been to Healthfair Natural and Organic Food Market in Little Silver lately.

A bigger-than-expected market on Branch Avenue near the Little Silver train station, Healthfair also offers a daily hot food bar, a cold salad bar, a juice bar and an organic coffee station.

On a recent weekday, right before lunch hour, the considerable parking lot was packed. Inside, customers were grabbing groceries as well as house-made meals to go.
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SHREWSBURY: NAME THAT HOME-STYLE MEAL

031715 sisterskitchen6A dish known as “Carl’s Hankerin’ Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Peas and Carrots” from My Sister’s Kitchen, where Michelle Paone, below, is co-owner and baker. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

031715 sisterskitchen4When Michelle Paone rented the space next door to her New Outlook Salon in Shrewsbury some months back, the idea was that it would house a catering business, with her sister working as the chef.

Family obligations on her sister’s side led to the deal falling through at the last minute, however, leaving Paone partner-less. But then Rich Lopazanski, a “fabulous cook” and Paone’s husband’s best friend since elementary school, stepped into the role of chef, clearing the way for the opening of My Sister’s Kitchen about two months ago.

The sister may not have stuck, but the name did – just like the old-school, stick-to-your-ribs meals the kitchen now produces six days a week.

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