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  • Chef Todd Villani Joins Vesta Wood Fired

    Beginning Mother’s Day with brunch and new Spring menu mid-May, Todd Villani, one of New Jersey’s most celebrated farm-to-table chefs, joins East Rutherford’s Vesta Wood Fired, as Executive Chef. Chef Villani reached notoriety for his locally sourced New American cuisine as Chef Owner of Terre à Terre. His farm-to-table ethos is a perfect match for Vesta, which focuses on Italian and contemporary American dishes created with local and seasonal ingredients – and prepared over a wood fired grille & hearth.

    Chef Villani

    Vesta Wood Fired has been creatively preparing wood-fired dishes for almost a decade with chef/owner Frank Giampa at the helm. With the addition and take-over of Chef Villani in the kitchen, the restaurant will look to expand and elevate its menu further to include Chef Villani’s signature dishes cooked over the restaurant’s recently expanded wood-fired concept, rather than just a wood-fired pizzeria.

    “This is really a fantastic opportunity for me to experiment with new flavors that only a wood-fired hearth or grill can give you,” said Chef Villani. “We can marry seasonal ingredients with the wood-fired heat and flavor to create distinctive flavors.? We intend to bring this romantic, rustic method of cooking to ordinary dishes and combine them with my fine dining technique to create a special experience.? I’m looking forward to charring, smoking, even burning some of our dishes to bring out new flavors.”

    “The time was right for Chef Villani to join us,” said Frank Giampa, Chef Owner at Vesta Wood-Fired and local to East Rutherford. “We’ve been a local neighborhood mainstay for those who want a comfortable trattoria ambiance, and we’ve grown leaps and bounds to the point where we’re now ready for someone like Todd to step in.? More importantly, I think adding a local guy who lives walking distance, who is also super talented to lead our team is really going to further cement our reputation for serving local jersey flavor and hospitality.? If you want the genuine local pulse of Jersey, with the uniqueness of the wood-fired experience then we are certainly dishing it up unapologetically here…at Vesta Wood Fired.”

    Vesta Wood Fired – 64 Hoboken Rd., East Rutherford, NJ 07073.

    2019 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival Best Bites

    Another successful New Jersey Wine & Food Festival (https://njwinefoodfest.com) at Crystal Springs Resort is in the books. About Saturday Night I’ve been vocal about what an outstanding festival this is and beyond what others in the area can produce. One of the reasons I feel that way is the Grand Tasting on Saturday night. Where […]

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    Seoul Brothers Alementary Beer Release

    Robert Austin Cho from Kimchi Smoke (https://www.kimchismoke.com) and Blake Crawford from The Alementary Brewing Company (http://www.alementary.com) collaborated on a new beer aptly called, “Seoul Brothers.” Since 2016, Cho has brought his nationally acclaimed Barbecue (Best BBQ Joints in NJ by Food and Wine ‘18 and a face to face battle with Bobby Flay on Beat […]

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    New Jersey Restaurants Serving Easter Specials

    Eating out for Easter is a tradition and a special treat for many families. The cost, time and skills needed to properly set an Easter meal can be daunting to most people and eating out simplifies things and in many cases, costs can be comparable to cooking a feast at home. Many New Jersey restaurants […]

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    Peanut Butter and Potato Treats (Bonbons Aux Patates)

    Yes, I agree that dessert treats made using mashed potatoes are a bit weird, but it’s an old fashion recipe from Quebec where I grew up that’s really popular, especially around the holidays. It’s a great way to use those leftover mashed potatoes too…as long as they weren’t made using pepper! Ingredients: 2 pounds plus […]

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    2017 Domaine Henry Pelle Menetou Salon Morogues

    About Domaine Pellé Domaine Pellé, the largest producer in the Menetou-Salon appellation, is in Morogues, a small village to the west of Sancerre. Domaine Pellé’s history only dates back to 1959, but records show the Pellé family was making wine in the Loire region long before that. Vines grow over 40 hectares of limestone-clay soils […]

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    Quick Orecchiette in Tomato Sauce with Sausage

    In my expanding list of “there’s nothing to eat in this house’ recipes, this one is a winner. This is a one pot wonder where I cooked the sausage with the pasta to save time and it worked great. Don’t have Orecchiette on hand? Don’t fret – use any dry pasta you have in your […]

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    Free Cone at Dairy Queen on March 20

    On Wednesday, March 20, Dairy Queen fans can enjoy a free small vanilla soft-serve cone with the signature curl on top (limit one per customer, while supplies last) at participating non-mall DQ??and?DQ Grill & Chill??locations throughout the U.S. Following Free Cone Day, DQ is offering a small regular or dipped soft serve cone for 50 cents, available […]

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    Saint Patrick’s Day Leftovers Recipes

    The chefs at The Shannon Rose Irish Pub (http://theshannonrose.com) are sharing some recipes using Saint Patrick’s Day leftovers that are so delicious, you just might pick up some extra soda bread to make them. Irish Soda Bread French Toast Ingredients 2 slices Irish Soda Bread 4 Tbsp. French toast batter (see below) 4 Tbsp. butter […]

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    2017 Martin Codax Albarino

    I used to drink a lot of Rias Baixas Albari?o and loved it…not really sure why I ever stopped – it’s delicious, refreshing, food-friendly and inexpensive! I enjoyed this wine at a sea side seafood restaurant on a recent vacation and promised myself I’d go back to it after returning to the USA. Martin Codax […]

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