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It’s a big tent event, and a last chance to RSVP, as the Sandy Hook Foundation returns to the North Beach area of the peninsula Friday evening for the annual End of Summer Party fundraiser.

Granted, summer doesn’t officially sigh its last for a couple of weeks — and all those familiar with the rites of Local Summer know that there’s plenty of life after Labor Day here on the New Jersey Shore. But when the Sandy Hook Foundation declares the End of Summer, people take notice and listen — to the extent that the nonprofit’s annual “beach chic” outdoor benefit gala remains one of the most glittering events of the sand-in-your-shoes social calendar.

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Left to right: “Guest shucker” Lance “Chick” Cunningham joined Lusty Lobster owner Doug Douty and Kevin Guerin at the raw bar for the recent Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser at Salt Creek Grille. The April 6 event raised over $90,000 for the locally based nonprofit 180 Turning Lives Around. (photo by Karen J. Irvine)

Press release from Salt Creek Grille

On April 6, the 14th Annual Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser event at  raised over $90,000 in funds for 180 Turning Lives Around, a not-for-profit organization providing services to individuals and their families affected by domestic violence.

Salt Creek Grille also reached its $1 million mark in total funds raised for local charities through the annual event, which began in 2004 to celebrate what was then the Rumson restaurant’s fifth anniversary.

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Left to right: presenting the flag in preparation for the annual Salt Creek Grille wine and martini tasting benefit are Lynn Lucarelli, 180 Director of Development; Robert Fouratt, 180 Board President & Managing Partner of The Curchin Group; Cindi Westendorf, Program Cooridinator of 180’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program; Anna Diaz-White, 180 Executive Director; Robin Fitzmaurice, VP Two River Community Bank (Presenting Sponsor); Rob Habel, Beverage Manager; Steve Bidgood, Co-Owner, Salt Creek Grille and Mark Shopene, General Manager. (photos by McKay Imaging)

Press release from Salt Creek Grille

In the state of New Jersey, an act of domestic violence happens every 7.29 minutes and, alarmingly, in 31 percent of all domestic violence offenses children are involved or present.

Based in Monmouth County, 180 Turning Lives Around is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in our community. It has served individuals and families who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence since 1976 — and on Thursday, April 6, the organization will be the beneficiary of an annual fundraising event at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille.

Since 2004, Salt Creek Grille’s Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser has raised approximately $900,000 for a variety of charitable and nonprofit organizations in the local area, with the restaurant designating a different beneficiary each year. With this year’s 14th annual event, co-owner and local philanthropist Steve Bidgood’s goal is to reach the $1 million mark of funds raised for local charities.

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111516saltcreek2A plate of baby back ribs from Salt Creek Grille’s happy hour menu.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


WFL what's for lunch?Timing is everything, especially when it comes to grabbing a good meal. Sometimes, the afternoon just gets away from us and before we know it, lunch is an unfulfilled yearning. What to do?

Salt Creek Grille, the craftsman-style restaurant at the foot of the Oceanic Bridge in Rumson, shows a 5 p.m. opening on its website. But happy hour is served from 4 p.m. to 6:30, and it’s a terrific bargain.
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Michael's Feat Salt CreekMembers of the Michael’s Feat Board of Directors and Advisory Board are pictured with Salt Creek Grille owner Steve Bidgood at the recent benefit for the local charity. Standing, left to right: Peggy Bertorelli, Patty Reiff, Tracy Bean, Kaitlyn Reiff, Bidgood, Amy Krok, Greg Acquaviva, Tom Reiff, Cristina Olsen, Rebecca Reiff, Kristin Belger, Susan Hudome. Sitting: Adam and Dana Puharic and Tara Cadet. (Photo by Tom Zapcic Photography)

Press release from Culinary Communications

In a sold-out event hosted at Salt Creek Grille on April 27, the 13th Annual Wine and Martini Tasting Fundraiser raised $52,000 for Michael’s Feat, a local charity that provides support to families carrying and caring for seriously ill newborns.

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van riemsdyk 073015 5
van Riemsdyk 073015 4Chicago Blackhawks player Trevor van Riemsdyk, who grew up in Middletown, brought his own silverware to dinner in Rumson Thursday night: the Stanley Cup. 

Van Riemsdyk’s team won this year’s National Hockey League championship over theTampa Bay Ligthning. The league allows each player on the winning team to take custody of the cup for a day, and the 24-year-old defenseman used his day to show off the cup to fans across Monmouth and Ocean counties – as detailed in this video by Shore Sports Zone – before ushering it by boat across the Navesink River to a private party at the Salt Creek Grille.

Among the more than 100 wellwishers on shore was Middletown resident Michael Kessig, a friend of van Riemsdyk’s older brother, James, who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The excitement for the family was “through the roof,” Kessig said, after shooting a selfie with the trophy, above right. “Trevor got his shot this year, and we’re hoping James can have his soon, too.” 

(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)van Riemsdyk 073015 3


KRFEventCommitteeDSC_3675Press release from Salt Creek Grille Rumson; photo by Amy Pinard

The recent Wine and Martini Tasting fundraiser at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille raised nearly $115,000 for pediatric brain cancer research, on behalf of this year’s designated beneficiary, The Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF). Generous support at the sold-out event helped the Oceanport-based foundation hit the million-dollar mark in cumulative donations to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

To date, over $845,000 has been raised by Salt Creek Grille’s Wine and Martini Tastings, an annual event for which a different locally based charity is specified each year. One hundred percent of the proceeds have gone directly to the organizations, thanks to donations of goods and services made by Salt Creek Grille and its purveyors (including Sickles Market, Lusty Lobster and The Bobby Boyd Trio).

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020115 saltcreek habel3An Old-Fashioned at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille, above. Below, Rob Habel muddles fruit for the cocktail.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


020115 saltcreek habel2Blended to shades of cherry red and bright orange, an Old-Fashioned made by Rob Habel at Rumson’s Salt Creek Grille reminds PieHole of the stunning sunsets you might see over the Navesink River just out the window.

“My grandfather showed me the classics,” says Habel, 33, the newly appointed beverage manager at the riverfront favorite. “I love old-fashioned drinks, and might bring back some of the old school.”

His favorite “old-fashioned” cocktail to make? An Old-Fashioned.

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Salt CreekRaising the flag for the annual Wine and Martini Tasting event at Salt Creek Grille — a benefit for the Kortney Rose Foundation — are Lori Missig, Jennifer Egan, Rich Gillette, Ina Kichen, Pam Ruoff, Nancy Phillips, Kristen Gillette, Suzie Mazzei, and Salt Creek co-owner Steve Bidgood.

Press release from Culinary Communications

Each year, the Salt Creek Grille in Rumson hosts a Wine and Martini Tasting that ranks among the most popular annual events at the Rumson restaurant. Several wine vendors pour premium wines for attendees, and a spirits vendor serves up specialty martinis for the occasion, while the Salt Creek kitchen provides passed hors d’oeuvres, pasta, carving stations and more.

The tasting sessions also represent a fundraising vehicle that benefits a selected nonprofit organization — and over the course of 11 years, the event has raised over $730,000 for 11 locally based charities that serve children’s needs, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the charity, thanks to the generous support and donations of goods and services made by Salt Creek Grille and purveyors.

The 12th annual Wine and Martini Tasting will take place on Thursday, April 16 — with this year’s edition benefitting The Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF), an Oceanport-based nonprofit that helps to fund research and treatment for children who have been diagnosed with brain tumors. The foundation was established by Kortney’s mother, Kristen Gillette, to honor Kortney’s memory and celebrate her life — and more than 95 percent of every dollar donated to KRF goes directly to the life-saving research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, specifically their Large-Scale Genome Project and the new world-class Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium.

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Press release from The Community YMCA

CYMCA 1The Borough of Red Bank — and several local individuals — were acknowledged for their long-time support of The Community YMCA, when the organization celebrated its 140th anniversary on September 27.

During the gala event at Camp Arrowhead in Marlboro, CYMCA president and CEO Rhonda Anderson gave homage to Red Bank, longtime host site of the organization’s Maple Avenue facility, by presenting the Community Partner Award to Mayor Pasquale Menna and the members of the Borough Council. Ms. Anderson is pictured at center, with (left to right in photo) Councilman Ed Zipprich, Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, Mayor Menna, and Councilwomen Juanita Lewis and Kathleen Horgan.

More than 200 people attended the annual benefit, which raised over $150,000 to support the Y’s mission to ensure that everyone — regardless of age, income or background — has access to life-changing YMCA programs and services.

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cortez cigarsLuis Cortez will be rolling cigars at Salt Creek Grille in Rumson on Tuesday night. (Photos by Laura Koss. Click to enlarge)


morsels mediumFor some Scotch drinkers, a tumbler of neat single-malt around an outdoor fire pit overlooking the Navesink can only be improved upon by the addition of a good cigar.  

If that’s your bag, Salt Creek Grille in Rumson is the place to be Tuesday evening.

Local cigar maker Luis Cortez has a new line of cigars called “Navesink” that he’ll be lighting up around the fire pit at  Salt Creek Grille on Tuesday, May 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. Cortez and his staff will be there to hand-roll cigars and answer questions about the new blend.

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brendan_2Brendan Kirchner, a Rumson-Fair Haven graduate and employee of Salt Creek Grille, will be taking part in the NJ Marathon on April 27, in an effort to raise funds for Hope For Children Foundation of New Jersey.

Press release from Salt Creek Grille

Since his days at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Brendan Kirchner has nurtured an ongoing passion for running. From cross-country, to local 5k races to marathons, Brendan, now 25, has steadily improved his times, focused his training regimen, and even managed to place first in a few races. On April 27, Kirchner will be racing for something other than his best time, when he runs the New Jersey Marathon to raise money for children in need.

A few weeks ago it occurred to Kirchner that he’s been running “only for myself,” he said. “I thought, “Maybe I can help someone, a local organization, with my running.”

Soon after, he went to his job as a server and bartender at Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, and approached his boss, Steve Bidgood. “I knew that Biddy (Steve Bidgood) had raised a lot of money for local charities and I thought he could give me some ideas.”

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There’s still time to reserve a place at Salt Creek Grille’s 2014 Wine & Martini Fundraiser, scheduled for the hours of 7 to 10 pm on Thursday, April 10 at the riverfront restaurant in Rumson.

Established  eleven years ago by Salt Creek Grille managing partner Steve Bidgood, on what was then the fifth anniversary of the popular American grill at the foot of the Oceanic Bridge, the event is dedicated each year to a different, locally based nonprofit organization. To date, more than $620,000 has been raised for ten local charities that serve children’s needs. All proceeds go directly to the charity, thanks to the generous support and donations of goods and services made by the restaurant and purveyors.

The beneficiary for 2014 will be the Hope For Children Foundation of New Jersey, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) charitable organization of young professionals, entrepreneurs and parents in Monmouth County working together to raise funds to make a difference in the lives of children and their families. Each year, HFCF identifies charitable organizations and individuals that will benefit from monies raised from various fundraisers, and to date, HFCF has donated close to $2 million to local charities and families in need of assistance.

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woody's 1 011812Woody’s Ocean Grille in Sea Bright is one of several restaurants on the Green participating in Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)


Jersey Shore Restaurant Week kicks off this Friday, and runs through next Sunday, April 13. Participating restaurants will be offering fixed price menus at $20.14 (think about it…) and $30.14 (…but not too much).

To help you get out and explore the Green’s local eateries on the cheap, PieHole has assembled this handy list for you. Go make some reservations and try something new.

morsels medium

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A month of elbow-to-elbow good eatin’ kicks off tonight at the Molly. (Click to enlarge)


It’s beginning to give way to Spring around the greater Green, and as our stocks of winter provisions dwindle down to the last few scraps of venison jerky and home-canned jars of okra, we emerge from our dwellings in search of our foodie fix.

Fortunately, March has traditionally sounded a call to action for local merchants of fine food and drink. This week, a go-getter group of restaurateurs around Red Bank and Rumson (as well as Middletown, Little Silver, Sea Bright and Shore points south) are roaring into gear with tonight’s return of the event known as A Taste of the Two Rivers, the continuation of Rumson Restaurant Month, and the kickoff to Red Bank Flavour Fixe.

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