Originally founded by Funbars Hospitality owners Michael Sinensky and Sean McGarr, Little Town expanded from New York into New Jersey this past spring into Hoboken. Funbars partnered with Albie and Chris Manzo, the sons of Caroline Manzo, one of the recently exiting stars on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Bravo when opening their Hoboken location. I took my teenage daughter, Olivia, to the restaurant to sample a new menu from Little Town’s 25 year old executive chef, Jordan Andino.
A native of Toronto and Philippino master chef, Andino has a degree from Cornell University’s Hotel School of Administration, the nation’s leading hospitality school and credits his culinary expertise to his father, also a chef. Andino scrapped 90% of the existing Little Town menu when he was brought in to helm the restaurant a couple months ago. He replaced them with some lighter, female-friendly options although the menu has lots of man grub remaining.
The standout on my visit was braised short rib served over a taro root mash ($26) and topped with the chef’s own 9-hour prepared sriracha demi-glace. The taro root mash was buttery, smooth and loaded with nutty sweetness, a nice counter to the lush richness of the tender beefiness of the short rib. The viscous demi-glace was luxuriously flavored and textured.
The lunch menu is split up into 5 sections: Little Town Bites, which consist of appetizers including their popular Little Town Rice Balls that are the perfect size for a bite of ham and cheese on the inside of a crispy, browned exterior. Little Town Sliders and Dogs offers five types of sliders and two types of hot dogs of choice. Three sliders are served with each order. Sammy Town offers twelve sandwich options and the last two menu sections comprise soups and salads along with wings. The prices of lunch selections range from $7-$15. Caroline Manzo’s own recipe for meatballs is incorporated into the menu and is available in a sandwich version or atop red sauce with a large garlic bread slice. They were tasty and fried for a crispy exterior which gave way to a tender, beef interior.
The dinner menu offers extensions from the lunch menu. The main section of the menu consists of Little Town Big Tastes, which range from carbonara, linguini tossed in parmesan, egg, green peas, roasted garlic and pancetta ($18), a bit dry on our visit, to the braised short rib mentioned above ($26). Little Town offers a wide array of entrée options, from seafood to salmon. Entrees range from $14-26.
For guests with a sweet tooth, Andino remakes one of his childhood memories with the dessert selection, Traditional Funnel Cake. Order it “Carnival Style” and it will arrive with acombination of traditional funnel cake topped with the house-made berry compote, 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar, at no extra charge. Tell them Redhead With A Fork sent you.
Here in New Jersey, peach season is starting and ends in middle or late August. I eagerly await the summer stone fruit season each year, anticipating juicy fruit, bubbling pies, sweet smoothies and the simple beauty of a white bowl filled with peaches, nectarines, plums and other stone fruits. Peaches are quite hard to grow in New Jersey because of the humidity that envelopes the Garden State in the core summer months. Jerome Frecon, stone fruit expert with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, spoke with me recently about the ins and outs of peaches.
RWAF: I have been hearing from local farmers that this season has been challenging with the intense heat and incessant rain, creating rampant mold and fungus in crops. Is this the case for peach crops?
Jerome Frecon: The temperatures we are experiencing are great for peaches particularly if accompanied by sunshine. Sunlight causes photosynthesis and produces carbohydrates. namely sugar. The more sun the more sugar producing sweet peaches. Of course the heat causes fruit to ripen quicker, makes it more uncomfortable to pick fruit and hurts U=pick businesses. We have been able to manage the excessive moisture. Yes, it increases disease pressure but not nearly as bad as for crop growing just above the ground as annuals (vegetables). Peach season has not really started yet as of July 1, 2013.
RWAF: Roughly how many varieties of peaches does NJ grow and what are the leading varieties?
JF: We easily grow 100 varieties of yellow fleshed peaches and nectarines. Because we have not done tree fruit surveys since 1999 it is hard to tell. They are probably yellow fleshed varieties peaches that make up 85% of our production. My guess in order of ripening would be Desiree, Sentry, Glenglo, GaLa, Johnboy, Flamin Fury PF 17, Flamin Fury PF 24-007, Gloria, Messina and Flamin Fury PF 28-007. Varietal names are seldom used because there are so many and most people don’t remember them. How the peaches are picked and handled is much more important than the variety name.
RWAF: Is NJ the leading grower of peaches in the northeast?
JF: Yes, in the northeastern United Sates and 4th in the US.
RWAF: If visiting a pick-your-own, what are the best things to look for?
JF: We have very few U-Pick peach operations in NJ. The problem is the very hot weather during the ripening season. We all sweat and they are fuzzy making most uncomfortable. Picking apples and pears in the fall is much more fun and at a time of the year when it is cooler.
RWAF: What are the best ways to store peaches?
JF: When you get the peaches let them get ripe until almost soft at room temperature. Then if you want to keep them a little longer put them in the storage. Never put peaches in the refrigerator before they are ripe. Most run about 40 F and injure the fruit. If you have a 32F like growers and packer it is much better.
If you have a hankering to pick peaches in Northern New Jersey, check out local pick-your-own peach farm Demarest Farms. The farm also offers peaches by the quart and peck. At the time of writing this post, peaches were available at Demarest Farms for $9.00 a bag.
Kids activities, peach and peach-product tastings, recipe & handling brochures, & more
Atlantic County July 18
Thurs Margate Farmers Market
Peach Party…Peach Pie contest judging site
9700 Amherst Ave (Steve & Cookies by the Bay) http://www.steveandcookies.com
Peach Pie contest judging
Peach Queen appearance (tentative)
kids quiz & other activities, peach tastings & ratings,
recipe & handling brochures
Mercer County July 20 West Windsor Farmers Market
Southbound Vaughn Drive parking lot, Princeton Junction train station off of Alexander Rd. http://www.westwindsorfarmersmarket.org
NJ Peach Queen, “little chefs” cooking demonstration, entertainment by American Century, recipe & handling brochures, and more
Hudson County July 21 Riverview Farmers Market, Jersey City Heights
Peach Day…Peach Pie contest judging site
Riverview-Fisk Park, Ogden Ave (Griffith & Bowers) http://riverviewneighborhood.org
Perfect Peach Pie contest judging by Mory Thomas, director of Culinary Development at the Food Network
peachy event with live music and kids programs
Somerset County July 23-28 Gladstone Tavern, Gladstone
Jersey Peach Week
273 Main St Gladstone http://www.gladstonetavern.com
Menu offers Jersey peaches in all dishes, from appetizer and soup to main course, salad and dessert. Peaches are from Melick’s Farm, Oldwick
Reservations recommended, 908-234-9055 or via website
Gloucester County July 25-28 Mullica Hill, Gloucester Co 4-H Fair
NJ Peach Festival, Peach Pie contest judging site
275 Bridgeton Pike (Rte 77 S), Mullica Hill http://gloucester.njaes.rutgers.edu/fairfest
Peach Pie judging by Chef Jim Malaby, blueplate restaurant, July 26
Growers’ competition for the “Best Peaches”
July 26-Crowning of “Peach Queens,” in 5 competition categories in ages 5-18
Camden County July 27 Haddonfield Farmers Market
230 W. Redman Ave, Haddonfield http://www.haddonfieldfarmersmarket.org
Live music, children’s activities & of course peaches!!!..and more
Somerset County July 27 Montgomery Farmers Market
Village Shopper Parking Lot, 1340 Rt. 206 http://www.montgomeryfriends.org
“Pin the Stem on the Peach” game, other kids’ games, stories, tastings & more
Hopewell, Mercer County late July-August
Wed, Thurs, Fri The Brothers Moon Restaurant,
Peach Time at The Brothers Moon
7 W. Broad St., Hopewell http://www.brothersmoon.com
Chef Will is passionate about the beauty and taste of Jersey Peaches celebrates them with 3 & 4-course menus priced from $33-$47, featuring a variety of appetizers, soups, main courses, salads and desserts—all with peaches. Recipes will be available, by emailing email@example.com
Reservations recommended 609-333-1330 or via website
Somerset County Aug 2, 3, 4 Grain House Restaurant, Basking Ridge
225 Route 202, Basking Ridge http://www.oldemillin.com/grainhouse
Prix-fixe 3-course peach menu @ $
Menu of peach dishes. Reservations recommended
908-696 2335 or via website
Camden County August 3 Collingswood Farmers Market
“Just Peachy” Party, Peach Pie contest judging site
Between Collings & Irvin Aves. Along Patco http://www.collingswoodmarket.com
Peach Pie judging by Chef Mark Smith,
peach tastings & giveaways by Schober Orchards,, cooking demonstrations, kick-off for “Just Peachy” restaurant promotions the following week.
Morris County August 3 Chatham Borough Farmers Market
Chatham Train Station, Chatham http://www.chathamboroughfarmersmarket.com
Melick Farms peach tastings, Peach Princess and Peach Queen crowned, peach costume character, peach cooking demos
Hunterdon County August 3 Community Presbyterian Church, Chester
Peach Festival & Country Auction
220 Main St, Chester http://www.cpcchester.org
Peach pies, peach kuchens, peach cobbler, homemade peach ice cream, more peach homemade goodies, jams, jellies, and relishes . Country Auction begins @ 10 am. Call 908-879-5091 for further information.
Warren County August 3 Tree-Licious Orchards, Port Murray
Peach Party, Farm-to-Table Dinner
135 Karrville Road, Port Murray http://www.treeliciousorchards.com
Farm-to-Table Peach dinner, pick-your-own peaches, children’s activities, music, Carol’s peach cobbler for dessert.
Mercer County August 3-4 Terhune Orchards, Princeton
“Everything Peach” Festival & canning workshop
Peach Pie contest judging site Aug 4
330 Cold Soil Rd, Princeton Twp http://www.terhuneorchards.com
Aug 4- Peach Pie contest judging by area chef
Aug 3, 10 AM–Workshop by Pam Mount on canning and preserving peaches.
Children’s games, music and lots of tasty peach treats – muffins, pie, tea, ice cream. In the farm store, try our peach salsa, peach cobbler! Adults head to the tasting room for our award winning Just Peachy wine and summer peach sangria.
Morris County August 3-4 Alstede Farms, Chester
84 Route 513 (Old Route 24), Chester
GPS Address: 1 Chesterfield Dr, Chester, NJ 07930 http://www.alstedefarms.com
Pick Your Own Peaches, our own Homemade Peach Ice Cream, Peach Slushies, Peach Pies and other Peach desserts and a Peach Breakfast Sunday morning 8 to 12:30.
Camden County August 6-8 Collingswood Area Restaurants
Just Peachy 3-course all-peach menus http://www.sjculinaryevents.com
Tortilla Press, Blue Plate, El Sitio, Collingswood Blackbird/West Side Gravy. Reservations recommended. via website
Gloucester County August
6- 10 bluplate Restaurant & Holtzhauser Orchards
Peach Week Celebrating Peaches
7 S Main St Mullica Hill http://www.blueplatenj.com
3-course meal featuring Holtzhauser peaches @$25.00. Learn many uses of Jersey peaches, from the trees to the stove.
reservations recommended 856-478-2112 or via website
Middlesex County August 7 Woodbridge Farmers Market
Peach Party, Peach Pie contest judging site
1 Main St, Woodbridge http://www.twp.woodbridge.nj.us
Peach Pie contest judging by area chef
Kids activities, tastings, tie-in with local restaurant
Middlesex County August 10 Jamesburg Farmers Market
Veterans’ Park, Jamesburg http://www.ilovejamesburg.com
Kids activities, peach and peach-product tastings, much more
Essex County August 10 Montclair Farmers Market
Walnut Street Train Station parking lot http://www.montclairnjusa.org
tastings; kids quiz, games, recipe & handling brochures,
Bergen County August 11 Ramsey Farmers Market
Peach Festival, Peach Pie contest judging site
Erie Plaza Train Station http://www.ramseyfarmersmarket.org
Peach Pie contest judging by Chef Michael Volpe.
Everything “peachy,” fresh peaches, peach pies, jams, lemonades, ice teas, artisanal peach ice pops, and more
Hunterdon County August 11 Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market, Trenton
Peach Party, Peach Pie contest judging site
Dvoor Farm Rt 12 Circle, Flemington
www. hunterdonlandtrust.org/farmers-market Peach Pie judging by Chef/owner Leslie McEachem, Angelica Kitchen, NYC
Peach pies and other goodies, hand crafts in a country-fair atmosphere.
Essex County August 12 Maplewood Farmers Market
160 Indiana St, Maplewood http://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us
“Peachy” activities, tastings, recipe & handling brochures, and more
Camden County August 14 Westmont Farmers Market
Peach Party, Peach Pie contest judging site
43 Haddon Ave, Haddon Township http://www.westmontfarmersmarket.com
Peach Pie judging by area chef
Peach Glitter Tattoos, Peach Face Painting, Bobbing for peaches, Peach cooking contest , Guess how many peaches in the bushel to win the bushel, Peachey Free Balloons
Burlington County August 17 Burlington Farmers Market, Moorestown
500 Centerton Rd, Moorestown http://www.burlcoagcenter.com
Plenty of peaches, recipe & handling brochures, and more
Atlantic County August 17 Hammonton Downtown Market
209 Vine St parking Lot (across from Eagle Theatre) http://www.downtownmarket.org
2013 Peach Queen will meet her court—past Hammonton Peach Queens! Peach Recipe contest, tastings, music, giveaways sponsored by Pastore Orchards
Mercer County August 17 Trenton Farmers Market, Lawrence Twp
960 Spruce Street,Lawrence Twp.
/www.thetrentonfarmersmarket.com Peach tastings, giveaways & drawings, Peach Queen (tentative), music, much more.
Somerset County mid-August Grain House Restaurant, Basking Ridge
225 Route 202, Basking Ridge http://www.oldemillin.com/grainhouse
Menu of peach dishes. Reservations recommended
908-696 2335 or via website
Julian DeZao, RWAF Research Associate, contributed to this post.
Singles over 40 can tie on an apron (or not) at the Friday, February 8th Love at First Bite mixer and cooking class at WannaBee Chef in Englewood. The event is $65 per person and available to the first 15 men and same number of women who register by calling 201-784-1818. Registration can also be handled by clicking on the WannaBee Chef link and visiting the Events page. New Jersey’s Matchmaker Julianne Cantarella will be on hand to provide mini-consultations on love and relationships.
The annual WINE & CHOCOLATE WINE TRAIL WEEKEND will be February 9-10 at Wineries throughout the Garden State. The trail features wine tastings and chocolate samplings from noon-5 p.m. at participating wineries, showcasing the award-winning New Jersey wines being produced by the more than 40 wineries now operating throughout the state. From the Skylands in Northern Sussex County to the tip of Cape May, six different wine trails await you. Each winery along the way will offer wine tastings, tours, live music and other entertainment and special food preparation or dinners. Visitors can also ask for the New Jersey Wine Passport at their stops by bringing the passport to participating wineries to be stamped. Those having all of the pages stamped, and thus having visited all the wineries in the state, will be eligible for a drawing for a trip for two to wine country in Portugal. To access maps to the six trails and to learn what special event each winery has to offer, visit www.newjerseywinetrails.com.
Looking for a way to ward off the no-date-blues on Valentine’s Day? Join singles over 40 for a 6:30-8:00PM free Valentine’s Day mixer, Thursday, February 14th focusing on fitness and finding love at the PGA Tour Superstore in Paramus at 295 Route 17 (where Einstein Moomjy used to be). Gerard Bochese, Tenafly fitness instructor and owner of FuelFit, will give golf conditioning and fitness tips to singles looking to get “Back in the Game” while Julianne Cantarella, aka New Jersey’s Matchmaker, will give a talk about finding love after 40. This event is free; advance registration is required. Call 201-784-1818 to hold your spot.
If you are looking to stay home for a cozy evening, consider making a meal with some aphrodisiac ingredients, namely:
It’s been said that the #1 aroma in terms of stoking fires of love in men is pumpkin pie with vanilla being a close second. Here’s Paula Deen’s recipe for this Thanksgiving favorite, y’all.
And before turning in to bed, lavender, the relaxing herb, long prized for its sensuality enhancing properties, is an ideal scent to enjoy. A few drops of lavender essential oil in a warm bath or shower (aim bottle or dropper at the wall near the water spray) will usher in a good night’s sleep and maybe more…
Westwood’s 4th Annual “Green Screen” Brings Educational and Entertaining Environmental Films to Bergen County
Northern New Jersey’s First & Only Environmental Film Series Kicks Off With Reception at Bibi’z Restaurant, January 31
Westwood’s Fourth Annual “Green Screen” — a week-long festival of fascinating and informative environmental films — will kick off on Thursday, January 31, 2013 and run through February 6, 2013 at the Westwood Cinema, 182 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ and at the Westwood Public Library, 49 Park Avenue, Westwood, NJ. The Green Screen film series is Northern New Jersey’s only environmental film festival and features six award-winning, widely acclaimed films not shown in local theaters. As the festival’s premiere event, the new Sundance-winning documentary, Chasing Ice, will be shown for the first time in Northern New Jersey. Other films in the series, PLANEAT and FRESH, focus on healthy eating and sustainable farming; the latter’s free screening featuring a talk from Ramsey native and Blooming Hills organic farmer Guy Jones.
This year, in addition to the outstanding films, the Green Screen invites filmgoers to attend a pre-festival reception on Thursday, January 31st at 6:00 p.m. at Bibi’z Restaurant, 284 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ where organic and sustainably produced hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and wines will be served. The pre-festival reception is tickets-only. The price of all six films plus the Pre-Film Reception at Bibi’z Restaurant is $35. All films are priced separately or are free. For a full schedule and pricing information, or to purchase tickets, go to: http://westwoodpubliclibrary.weebly.com/4th-annual-green-screen.html.
Organized by the Westwood Public Library and Westwood Cinema along with the non-profit groups United for Earth and Pascack Sustainability, the 4th Annual Green Screen brings to Bergen County an outstanding lineup of award-winning documentaries focused on key environmental issues, from the undeniable evidence of climate change in the melting Arctic glaciers, to an emerging global sustainable food movement, to the hazards of automobile idling and plastics in our environment. Co-sponsors to the festival include: ClimateMama, Food & Water Watch NJ, and 350.orgNJ. The festival’s media sponsor is Community Life.
Chasing Ice tells the story of National Geographic photographer and former climate skeptic James Balog, who uses time-lapse cameras to capture glaciers in motion as they disappear at an astonishing rate. The film earned Best Cinematography at Sundance Film Festival and Best Documentary by the Environmental Media Association and will be shown at Westwood Cinema at 8:00 p.m. on January 31st. Co-sponsors Harriet Shugarman of ClimateMama, Aditi Sen of United for Earth, and Rosemary Dreger Carey of Pascack Sustainability & 350.orgNJ will lead a discussion after the film. Tickets for the screening are $10.
PLANEAT (72 mins.) — The story of a search for a diet that is good for our health and good for the future of the planet. Through personal interviews with a top scientist, a leading physician, world class chefs and farmers, the film explores the link between diet and disease, and how our food choices contribute to global warming, land use and oceanic dead zones. PLANEAT will be shown on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Westwood Cinema. Tickets are $10.
Dear Governor Cuomo (75 mins.) — This award-winning documentary uses music and cautionary narrative to explain the threats of the controversial energy drilling process known as “fracking” and to motivate people to rise up against the practice. With music-direction by Natalie Merchant, the film features actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, environmental biologist Sandra Steingraber, and musicians Joan Osborne, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin and Wood and The Felice Brothers. Dear Governor Cuomo will be shown on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Westwood Cinema. Tickets: $10. Co-sponsor Matt Smith of Food & Water Watch NJ will provide information before and after the film.
In addition to the films shown at Westwood Cinema, the Green Screen Film Festival will feature free documentary films and opportunities for discussion at the Westwood Public Library, 49 Park Ave., Westwood NJ:
Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic? (78 mins.) What started as a documentary about plastic bags evolved into a wholesale investigation into plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our bodies. Discussion after film will include an invitation to join the Bag It movement and decide for yourself how plastic your life will be. The film will be show on Saturday, Saturday, February 2 at 2:00 p.m. Westwood Public Library. Admission is free. Co-sponsors Pascack Sustainability & 350.orgNJ will lead a discussion after the film.
FRESH (72 mins.) celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system by forging healthier, sustainable alternatives. The film will be shown Sunday February 3 at 3:00 p.m. at Westwood Public Library. Co-sponsor Pascack Sustainability and local farmer Guy Jones of Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove, NJ will lead a discussion after the film. Admission to the film is free.
IDLE THREAT (60 mins.) is an inspiring documentary film about one man’s resilient struggle with the NYPD to enforce a 38 year-old anti-engine idling law in order to reduce air pollution and battle global warming. Against all odds, he succeeds and in the process, gets worldwide recognition, and improves the quality of life in New York. The film will be shown Monday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Westwood Public Library. Admission to the film is free.
Pascack Sustainability Group is a non-profit with a mission to raise environmental awareness and promote sustainable practices in the Pascack Valley towns of Northern New Jersey. For more information, visit http://www.pascacksustainabilitygroup.org.
United for Earth is a non-profit organization which with its subsidiary Kids for Earth offers workshops, earth fairs, and kids scouting programs that are designed to enable both young and old to embrace sustainable living habits. For more information, visit http://www.unitedforearth.org and http://www.kidsforearth.org.
Thank you for visiting Redhead With A Fork, a blog dedicated to adventures in eating, cooking, lifestyle and consumerism. Here you’ll find musings about dining out, cooking, nifty products, noteworthy places and programs and other things I stumble upon that I’d like to share. I am a mother of three, feeding two teenage girls and a 10 year old boy, all great eaters and very opinionated. By (week)day I run the boutique public relations agency I founded, tending to clients in and beyond the Garden State. But from the moment I enter my home in the early evening, I tie on an apron and (often wearily) plot and prepare dinner. With homework overseen from afar at my stove post, I, like millions of other mothers and fathers, wear multiple hats. We have a core rotation of favorite dinner mainstays, which I’ll be sharing, and I often experiment with new recipes and twists on classics.
I cook simple preparations that are going to be enjoyed. I aim for healthy and for the most part, succeed. We are omnivores. My older daughter Isabel is the most finicky of my kids, telling me she no longer eats chicken at dinner when she subsists on grilled chicken wraps for lunch. Cooking for kids can be among life’s least rewarding experiences at times. But on those occasions when everyone is happily eating around the table and the kids are getting along, I know that I am blessed and feel so appreciative of life, family and the dinner gathering.
Because my time is limited on evenings and weekends (homework, kids’ sports events, spending time with my kids, food shopping, yoga, dog walking and the occasional round of golf), I will focus here on things that I think and hope will be of value to you. Things as mundane as good organizing tools for the kitchen or a nifty shortcut to a satisfying weeknight meal will be presented.
I welcome hearing from you. If you wish to submit a review idea, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading this blog and sharing it with others you think may enjoy.