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LINCROFT: THE DOGS ARE BACK IN TOWN, @ BCC

the wag 072713Live music…by who else but The Wag?…provides a soundtrack to a day of pet owner services, games, raffles, demos and clinics, as the annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair hits the Brookdale campus on April 30.

Press release from The Monmouth County SPCA 

On Saturday, April 30, the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College will go to the dogs once again, as the Monmouth County SPCA hosts the 22nd  annual Spring Dog Walk and Pet Fair.

The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and presented in partnership with Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, is the organization’s largest and most successful fundraiser event, attracting over 2,000 people and their pets each year. Proceeds directly help us to provide care and find “forever homes” for the thousands of homeless animals that pass through the MCSPCA’s shelter every year.

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SEA BRIGHT, LINCROFT HAVE THEIR DAYS

thompsonYou never know who’ll be popping up this Sunday, when Thompson Park Day returns to the spacious park located just off Newman Springs Road.

Despite the best efforts of professional sports leagues and TV programmers to lure us all back into the great indoors, the extended season of fresh-air fun simply refuses to crawl into its burrow here on the Greater Red Bank Green. And this weekend promises two more all-ages events, designed to highlight civic pride and some wonderful natural assets in Sea Bright and Lincroft.

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CHIKYBOOM: COOKING WITH CUBAN ROOTS

eduardo bover 092415Though the signage still reads No Joe’s, chef Eduardo Bover is cooking authentic Cuban food in the kitchen of ChikyBoom, where the dining room features a Caribbean feel. (Photo above by John T. Ward; below by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON
092215chickyboom6

If you remember the song “Cuban Pete,” made famous by Desi Arnaz, you know the bongos and maracas playing to the rhumba beat: chick-chicka-boom.

The same might be said about ChikyBoom, the former No Joe’s coffee shop-and-luncheonette on Broad Street in Red Bank that’s now a Cuban-and-Spanish restaurant — when it’s not serving coffee and breakfast.

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LITTLE SILVER: NEW OWNER TRANSFORMS ZOE

081315zoe2Laercio Chamon at the chef’s table at Zoe, where a large window offers a view of the kitchen. Below, an octopus and a watermelon salad.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

081315zoe4With new owner Laercio Chamon at the helm, the once Greek-centric menu Zoe Bistro in Little Silver has a jazzy bossa nova rhythm now.

At 33 years old, Chamon says he’s been working in kitchens for more than half his life, starting as a dishwasher at Doris and Ed’s in Highlands when he was 14.

“I always wanted to be a part of the line,” he tells PieHole. It’s like being behind the scenes of something you see in a movie. There’s something about the adrenaline, the rush.”

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CHURN: 10TH AVE. NEARS OPENING DATE

10th ave 071415 1Signage is now up at 10th Ave. Burrito on West Front Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallWith the restaurantization of Red Bank in full swing, this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn serves up a groaning board of food news.

• The long wait for 10th Ave. Burrito Company is nearly over.

Sicilia Ristorante on Broad Street has a new owner, and he’s planning to split the business in two, sort of.

Details, and some assorted table scraps, are just around the corner.
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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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FAIR HAVEN: STREET VEGAN TO PARK IT HERE

adam-sobelAdam Sobel, the Vendy Award-winning proprietor of food truck favorite the Cinnamon Snail, visits River Road Books on Saturday to sign copies of his new cookbook “Street Vegan.” And yes, There Will Be Donuts.

72115eb9-0f89-4da9-afbb-0df9e7d5b74eWith his wildly popular food truck, the Cinnamon Snail, temporarily limited to weekly appearances at the Red Bank Farmers Market after losing its curbside spots in New York City, vegan chef Adam Sobel is scheduled to park himself for a spell in Fair Haven on Saturday.

As recently reported here in a mouth-watering feature on redbankgreen‘s PieHole food page, the Red Bank resident has just become proud papa to a cookbook, which he’ll be touting at a signing event at River Road Books. And, as if you needed anything to sweeten the deal, there will be doughnuts — Sobel’s justifiably famous ‘donuts’ — free with purchase the book while supplies last.

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SEA BRIGHT: ALL FIRED UP FOR THE FAIR

sb-fire-fair-1-2009-500x375The Sea Bright Firemen’s Fair returns Thursday for a four-night stand of rides, music, games and great views.

On paper, the four-evening Sea Bright Firemen’s Fair would seem to have pretty much exactly what you’d expect of any small-town fundraiser carnival: the trucked-in rides, the games of chance, the food vendors, the local music.

But to residents of the greater Red Bank Green, the annual fair always meant something more, signaling as it does the start of the summer fun season, every bit as much as the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair bookends the other side with one last bittersweet blast against the encroaching back-to-school blues.

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CHURN: SHREWSBURY TO GET FAST GREEK EATS

89 ns rd 033015Greek Eats has signed to take the corner space, at right above, at the three-store 89 Newman Springs Road, now under construction. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Rcsm2_010508For about five years, Red Bank restaurateur George Lyristis has been developing an idea for a casual fast-food restaurant based on his ethnic heritage, he tells redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.

Well, the time has come to make the concept real, he says. With the sale of their Zoe Bistro in Little Silver, effective Wednesday, Lyristis and his brothers Charlie and Taso are planning to open a new place called Greek Eats in Shrewsbury in coming months.

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AROUND THE GREEN: WHERE’S SANTA?

TubaXmasAbove, Tuba Christmas toots exclusively at Middletown Arts Center on  the evening of December 7 — while below, Santa (seen in a past appearance at Red Bank’s West Side Tree Lighting ceremony) will be making the scene all over the Green in weeks to come.

Santa LindnerThe first official sightings are expected to start filtering in tonight, when the Santa Express rolls out of station stop Little Silver on its way to Red Bank — but even if you miss Santa and Mrs. Claus at the annual Holiday Express Concert and Town Lighting ceremony, there are numerous other opportunities for an audience with The Big Red One in and around the greater Green, beginning as early as Saturday afternoon, November 29.

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LITTLE SILVER: SANDWICH SWAP AT GIANNI’S

111214 giannis1The Neopolitan Panini served on fresh house-baked bread at Gianni’s. Below, the spacious dining room.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

111214 giannis3Lunchtime at Gianni’s Pizzeria in Little Silver is busy. Between the hours of 11:30 and 2:30, the tables fill up with people from all walks of life. Mothers with small children stop in for a slice while truckers pull over to pick up an order of subs or a full pie.

Helping PieHole watch its waistline, Jeff Lopez, the always-smiling counterman and pizza maker, suggested the Neapolitan Panini ($8.95).

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? SANDWICHES AT EDIE’S

edies little siverThe lunch counter at Edie’s, a delicious anachronism. Below, an equally delicious hot corned beef sandwich.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

edies (1)We’d never been to Edie’s Luncheonette on Rumson Road in Little Silver – yes, shame on us – so when PieHole popped in for lunch this week, we weren’t sure quite what to expect.

In an era of focus-group-vetted lunch menus and corporate-approved hostesses, places like Edie’s, with their throwback lunch counters and morning-to-3 p.m. operating hours, are the unicorns of the restaurant scene – and we thank our lucky stars that we’ve got two standout specimens on the Green: Edie’s and the InBetween, in Red Bank).

PieHole was joined  by frequent lunch companion Brian McCourt, as well as local food truck operator Johnny “Pork Roll” Yarusi. There are a dozen or so parking spots behind the restaurant, and at 12:30pm on a Thursday we were easily able to get a spot. Inside, we saw two-top tables and a few booths (very large parties, beware); with three of us for lunch, we opted for a booth instead of the counter.

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A VERY SPECIAL DELIVERY TO LUNCH BREAK

Jon_Schwartz_hands_keys_to_Gwen_LoveOn behalf of the Monmouth County Automobile Dealers Association, Jon Schwartz of Schwartz Mazda hands over the keys to a brand new refrigerated truck, to Lunch Break executive director Gwendolyn Love.

Press release from Lunch Break of Red Bank

Thousands of neighbors in the local area have come to count on Lunch Break to deliver meals to community members in need, as well as to collect donations for their busy food bank facility. Just before Labor Day, a group of Monmouth County business leaders made a special delivery of their own to the Red Bank-based nonprofit — a donation of a brand new refrigerated truck.

Lunch Break executive director Gwendolyn Love took delivery of the truck, donated by the Monmouth County Automobile Dealers Association. Charter member Jon Schwartz personally handed over the keys to the Hino truck to the director, who said, “We are speechless.”

“This new truck will enable us to ensure we can serve fresh, quality, nutritious food to our neighbors in need,” said Love. “It will also ensure there is minimal disruption in serving meals during our expansion and transition into our new building. It’s wonderful.”

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SEA BRIGHT: TAVOLO WETS FEET AT SHIP AHOY

tavaloPatti Balderas at Tavolo Pronto in Fair Haven (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumRed Bank’s Patti Balderas, who with her husband Arturo owns and runs Tavalo Pronto in Fair Haven, tells PieHole they’ll be testing the waters in Sea Bright this summer by taking over food concession at Ship Ahoy beach club.

The couple have amassed a loyal following over the past four years at their River Road location. Balderas says running the kitchen at Ship Ahoy gives them a chance to expand without having to launch a full second location.

“It’s just half a year of another seven-day-a week-business,” says Balderas. “Plus it’s the beach, so it will be fun.”

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WEEKEND: 60 MORE HOURS OF WINTER FUN

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Above: A cast of local high school students brings A LITTLE SHAKESPEARE: AS YOU LIKE IT to young theatergoers at Two River…while below, Ms. Lauryn Hill appears to have cancelled her (already previously rescheduled) Homecoming appearance at the Count Basie. (cast photo by Ozzie Rodriguez)

laurynFriday, February 7:

RED BANK: If we’ve learned anything from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, it’s that springtime comes in turn to even the bleakest of wintry landscapes. So, with that warming thought in mind — well, that and the caveat that all events described herein are subject to change due to “no enemy but winter and rough weather” — we sally forth once more, where no groundhog dare tread.

While Two River Theater Company carries on with its vibrant and tuneful mainstage production of the Bard’s cross-dressing comedy, a talented troupe of high school performers have put together an intriguing bonus feature inside TRTC’s “black box” Marion Huber space. Adapted and directed by Jason McDowell-Green, A Little Shakespeare: As You Like It is a 75-minute version of the play, aimed at audiences age 9 and up, and designed “to fulfill the not-so-secret grand ambition of Artistic Director John Dias: to have some Shakespeare resonating in every corner of our theater, and to get everyone in our community turned on to the thrill of his exquisite language.” Red Bank Regional students Alicia Moeller and Patrick Monaghan are the lovestruck leads Rosalind and Orlando — and they’re joined in the cast by fellow RBR actors Halle Butler, Raquel Diaz and Alyssa Rogers, plus Michaela Farrell of Red Bank Catholic, and student players from several other Monmouth County high schools. Public performances, for which the actors will also be performing a score of original music by Shanna Jones, are Friday at 7 pm, and Saturday at 12 and 4 pm. Take it here for tickets ($15) and bios of the cast members — or here for tickets to the grownup version of the show that continues this weekend through February 16. 

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PIEHOLE: SOPPRESSATA, CHOWDER & BRISKET

chowda_house3PieHole ate (just) west of the tracks in Red Bank recently, tasting some tacos and chowder. 

PIEHOLE logoredbankgreen’s PieHole is all about local food and drink. If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet or followed us on Twitter, you may have missed some of these recent stories . . .

Follow the links to the stories, and check out PieHole’s Facebook page or follow its Twitter feed @RedBankPieHole for up-to-the-minute postings.

 

 

TREE LIGHTINGS TO LIGHT UP THE GREEN

sb-train-4-120512Tree lightings, such as the annual ceremony in Sea Bright, bring light therapy to the Green this weekend. Below, an archived favorite shot from the 2008 Westside tree lighting in Red Bank.

westside-tree-2008Tree lightings! We’ve got ’em, and in such quantities this weekend that you’d think they grew on trees.

Fair Haven kicks things off Friday evening with something old-school traditional — the 5:30 pm arrival of Santa Claus by firetruck, at Memorial Park (across River Road from Borough Hall), followed at 6 pm by the turn-on of the official tree, accompanied by live music from The Band of the Two Rivers. There’s also something new — a Holiday Stroll promotion in which “stores and businesses will be offering shopping, free food and beverages, attractions, and fun for kids throughout the River Road East business district” between the hours of 5 pm and 7:30.

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WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND? SO MUCH CHOICE

rb street fair 041413The Red Bank Street Fair late summer edition returns Sunday. The Count Basie Theatre, below, is home to a weekend-long food extravaganza called ‘Appetite.’ (Click to enlarge)

Friday, September 6:

basie marquee 1 090213MIDDLETOWN: The first and third Friday’s of the month mean Teen Art Club at the Middletown Public Library. This twice-monthly teen-led art session requires few tools: a drawing pad and pencil. Teen Art Club begins at 4 p.m. 55 New Monmouth Road.

RED BANK: The Count Basie 365 Cultural Series presents some cool Friday night jazz  to cool down the summer heat in the pocket park at Shrewsbury Avenue and Drs. James Parker Boulevard. The concert begins at 7 p.m.

SANDY HOOK: Celebrate the end of summer as the Sandy Hook Foundation presents local caterers, live music and auction items at the End of Summer Party. Proceeds benefit the restoration, maintenance, and education projects of the National Park Service. The farewell to summer runs from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Sandy Hook North Beach.

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WEEKEND: A RIPE, JUICY SUMMER CLOSEOUT

The final weekend of the fair plays out in Fair Haven, and giant-tomato growers weigh in at Sickles Market. (Photo below by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

Friday, August 30:

RED BANK: Halloween returns to Red Bank a little early for the Jersey Shore Ghost Tour season. Take a guided, lantern-lit stroll through the hauntingly historic sites of Red Bank, the perfect event for any paranormal fan. The tour meets in front of the Dublin House and runs every Friday through Halloween, rain or shine. Tickets are $12 ($10 for kids) and reservations are recommended. 30 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Original rock cover band Backbeat puts a modern spin on the old ’60s classics you know and love at the Walt Street Pub. The music begins at 8 p.m. 180 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: The Black River Band brings its original music and lyrics to Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn. The show begins at 9 p.m. 132 East River Road.

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WRINGING EVERY LAST DROP OUT OF SUMMER

It’s time for that week-plus-long slice of Americana known as the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, still billed as the largest firemen’s fair in New Jersey. And how about them tomatoes, below, at the Red Bank Farmers Market? (Photo above by Stacie Fanelli; below, by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

Friday, August 23:

RED BANK: It’s the last chance to get your hands dirty at the “Dig Into Reading Wrap-Up Party” at the Red Bank Library. The children of the Summer Reading Club get to create some deliciously earthy treats such as pudding “dirt” and pretzels sticks “in mud.” Featuring games, crafts and more, the party starts at 3 p.m. 84 West Front Street.

MIDDLETOWN: Catch up on “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card, a thrilling science fiction novel about an alien attack on planet Earth. “Ender’s Game” is the book of the month for the Middletown Main Library Teen Book Club. The discussion begins at 3 p.m. 55 New Monmouth Road.

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SEA BRIGHT: BREAKFAST AND LUNCH, TO GO

Former Sea Bright restaurateur Joanne Garelli leads a food truck in a cross-country reality TV race that plays out this season on the Food Network, starting Sunday.  (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

Wednesday’s Star-Ledger has a feature story about Joanne Garelli, the former co-owner of a Sea Bright luncheonette who’s turned the misfortune of Hurricane Sandy into opportunity.

Having lost Steve’s Breakfast & Lunch to the October 29, 2012 storm, Garelli recently headed up a three-person food truck that made its way across the United States as part of “The Great Food Truck Race,” a reality television series that starts its third season on the Food Network this Sunday night.

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SUMMER WINES: UNCORKING LOCAL WISDOM

Customer Kristy Niro talks wine with Tasting Room owner Anthony Faustini and manager Brendan O’Neill. (Photos by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

The Green is ripe with wine knowledge. With our celebrity chefs, acclaimed restaurants and a Napa Valley outpost in downtown Red Bank, it would be a shame to keep all that viticultural wisdom bottled up. So to help expand your warm-weather boozing options beyond a cold six of Bud Light or a bottle of Skinny Girl, redbankgreen sat down with three local wine experts, working our way into the red heart of Red Bank from Restaurant Nicholas to Basil T’s to the Tasting Room.

We’ve also got a list of great wine-tasting events down below.

Nicholas Harary, chef and owner of Restaurant Nicholas, Middletown

What are you serving at home when you’re entertaining now that it’s getting warmer?

If my dad’s coming over, there’d better be Heineken [laughs], but we serve wine. Right now in my fridge at home, I’ve got bottle of Arneis, a bottle of rosé and a Sauvignon blanc. They’re all crisp, clean, light fruit [tasting]. I don’t think of oak for a summer time wine.

You mentioned that you could taste 100 wines before finding one good bottle to offer to Nicholas Wines customers. Any advice for the less-experienced buyer to help them find that one bottle of good summertime wine on their own?

First, you want a reputable store. If you walk into a store and they’ve got the big jugs of wine right up front, you probably walked into the wrong place. But if you walk into a wine shop, just say ‘I want to spend $12 on a crisp, white wine that I’m going to be grilling blah blah blah with.’

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AUTHOR TO MEN: SAUTÉ WITH SWAGGER

Debra Picard, author of Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook for Men, says there’s nothing sexier than watching a guy cook. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

Rumson’s Debra Levy Picard thinks men and women cook differently.

“A woman might cook because she wants to prepare something to look beautiful and perfect and impressive,” she says. “A guy just wants to eat – he’s hungry, and is happy to eat out of the pot without a bouquet garni

A 52-year-old north Jersey native and lifetime foodie, Picarrd has traveled extensively in Europe, Israel, the United Kingdom – she’s lived in both England and Switzerland – and the United States, enriching her understanding off cooking and culture. She recently published a cookbook, Tastosterone: The Best Cookbook For Men, to help men “just get food from the grocery store to the plate.”

redbankgreen sat down with Picard to talk about why women are turned on by a man behind the stove, how come guys always seem to get stuck at the grill and learn what local celeb doesn’t know his way around a kitchen.

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ON THE GREEN: LINEUP FOR A JINGLY WEEKEND

A horse named Prince makes his way down Broad Street during the 2011 holiday season. Horse-powered carriage rides resume on Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 30
MIDDLETOWN: Each year, Poricy Park Nature Conservancy hosts a seasonal shop with the help of a volunteer staff. Entering its 25th season, the handcrafted holiday craft shop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December 2. Items for sale include all homemade quilts, jewelry, ornaments, jams and jellies and more. Kids can also get their picture taken with Santa for a small fee. 345 Oak Hill Road.

RED BANK: Free yoga session at the Red Bank Public Library by Amy Richardson at 1 p.m. No registration required, bring your own mat. 84 West Front Street.

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A CHANGE OF SEASON, A HAPPENING WEEKEND

Red Bank musical movers and shakers Chuck Lambert, Joe Muccioli and the Al Wright Unit’s Ruth Wright pay tribute to the late Ralph “Johnny Jazz” Gatta, in a special outdoor concert Friday.

While there’s still technically plenty of summer sand left in the hourglass, the coming of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair to the greater Red Bank Green adds an ever so slightly melancholy touch to the senior-diet Dog Days of August. We detect a nagging hint of Back to School seriousness; a wrapping up of outdoor entertainments; a change of gears and seasons that’s keynoted by a tuneful tribute, a look ahead to Halloween and a merrily Menopausal musical.

redbankgreen has assembled an even dozen diversions in this pre-Labor Day interlude, starting with a handful of things going on beneath the setting sun and stars.

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