FAIR HAVEN: TRUCKTOBERFEST TRIES AGAIN

lighthouse-062516-2fh-trucktoberfest-logoStrollo’s Lighthouse is among the seven food trucks slated to anchor Fair Haven’s Trucktoberfest Saturday, an event that was rescheduled over the threat of rain earlier this month.

Featuring live bands, games and more at Fair Haven Fields on Ridge Road, the event runs from 3 to 9 p.m. For ticket and other info, visit the event’s Facebook page(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

FAIR HAVEN: FOOD + FALL = TRUCKTOBERFEST

johnny's pork 061514 4Johnny’s Pork Roll is among the food trucks slated to anchor Fair Haven’s Trucktoberfest Saturday.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[UPDATE, September 29: Because of rain in forecast for Saturday, this event has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 22, and starting and ending an hour earlier than originally planned.]

fh-trucktoberfest-logoOK, so the name turns out not to be as original as organizers thought, given than there was a Trucktoberfest at Monmouth Park less than two weeks ago.

Still, when the Fair Haven version of Trucktoberfest rolls into Fair Haven Fields this Saturday, it will mark the borough’s debut food festival, one with the hipster cred of chow served through a stainless-steel trimmed window.

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RED BANK: FOOD & CLOTHING POWER CHURN

theo 080216Alexander Meder’s women’s clothing store, Theo, opened at 3 East Front Street this week. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn small Two new clothing stores open. A cupcake shop adds a coffee bar as another dessert business prepares to open. One restaurant changes hands while another goes dark. And a longtime barber sweeps up the clippings for the last time.

This edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn finds the usual elevated level of change in the face and character of downtown Red Bank. Read More »

RED BANK: MR. PIZZA SLICE RETURNS

mr pizza 030316HOT-TOPIC_03After a two-month gut-job remodeling, Red Bank’s beloved Mr. Pizza Slice was back in business Thursday morning, according to a Twitter post by Red Bank RiverCenter. The fully renovated Monmouth Street mainstay features longtime owner Steve Napolitani‘s pizza recipe, as well as dishes by new owners Tom Cappello of Gaetano’s and Nick Napoletano of Whipped Bites.

Also expected to be back in business: the restaurant’s long-busted Ms. Pac-Man machine. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MR. PIZZA SLICE TO KEEP RECIPE

010916pizzaslice1Nick Napoletano shows one of the windows discovered beneath the paneling at Mr. Pizza Slice. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

HOT-TOPIC_03After getting pounded flat and spun in the air by commenters, the new owners of Mr. Pizza Slice in Red Bank have reversed course and decided to keep the old pizza recipe on the menu.

As the cheesy paneling came down inside the Monmouth Street slice-and-soda joint earlier this week, new co-owner Nick Napoletano told PieHole that longtime owner Steve Napolitani‘s pizza recipe would be preserved, along with his “signature” fries and hot dogs.

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RED BANK: MR. PIZZA SOLD; SICILIA CLOSES

mr. pizza slice 010116Two downtown restaurateurs have acquired Mr. Pizza Slice on Monmouth Street. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

retail churn smallA non-nonsense staple from the days before Red Bank became flooded with chic eateries, Mr. Pizza Slice has changed hands for the second time in two years.

This time, the buyers are the owners of two downtown restaurants. They closed the pizzeria last week for what they expect will be a month or so of interior and exterior renovations, one of them told redbankgreen’s Retail Churn Monday.

Also closed last week: Sicilia Cafe, on Broad Street, which was acquired by first-time restaurateurs just six months ago.

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RED BANK: PERFECTING PASTA AT GAETANO’S

Gaetano's class 052014Tom Cappello, second from right, above, with sous chef Miner Barquero, right, and students during a recent cooking class. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

052014gaetanos pastaSchool’s in session at Gaetano’s Restaurant on Wallace Street in Red Bank, and owner Tom Cappello is clearly in charge.

Working a dining room with 15 guests and students gathered around a long table, Cappello and sous chef Miner Barquero demonstrate how to prepare a meal from scratch. Fresh pasta is always included in the menu, this month’s choice being fettucine.

Opening up the monthly class, Cappello mixes history and practical kitchen knowledge in a lighthearted way that puts everyone in attendance at ease, asking where everyone was from, and following up with a surprised, “there are a lot of men here tonight.” One man quipped that they heard there would be food there.

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FROM THE FRUIT STAND, A LESSON IN DETAILS

capello-1Tom Cappello outside his Wallace Street restaurant. Below, a tray of gnocchi destined for local stores. (Click to enlarge)

gnocchi

In the competitive arena of Red Bank restaurants, one owner takes his work down to the molecular level.

Tom Cappello, who launched Gaetano’s on Wallace Street in 2000, has since more than doubled the size of the eatery. He’s introduced Gaetano’s brand sauces and pastas for sale in local food stores, including FoodTown and Sickles Market. He’s turned his trattoria into a classroom, offering cooking lessons for adults and children. He “merchandises the hell out of” his business, doing coupon tie-ins like the one that linked his weekly ladies’ night with the recent appearance by reality TV celeb Bethenny Frankel at the Count Basie Theatre.

And as visitors to his claustrophobia-inducing basement office sometimes come to know, it all stems from lessons Cappello learned working at a fruit stand in Brooklyn.

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