By Taylor Smith 

Serving lunch, dinner, brunch, and cocktails in quaint New Hope, Pa., since 1978, Karla’s Restaurant at 5 West Mechanic Street features a European flair and an open-air setting that offers plenty of opportunities for people watching. Yelp reviewers repeatedly recommend both the outdoor seating and sunroom dining experiences. 

Tasty brunch offerings include a quiche du jour and house salad, Bananas Foster French Toast, multiple variations of Eggs Benedict, and a tantalizing lineup of omelettes (fresh herb and cream cheese, anyone?). more

Photo Courtesy of Russ & Daughters

By Taylor Smith 

It’s hot in New York City, but have no fear — Russ & Daughters’ (https://www.russanddaughters.com) original Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches are available at their shop at 179 E Houston Street, and at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (141 Flushing Avenue), for $7. The sandwich treats can also be purchased after 5:30 p.m. at their Cafe at 127 Orchard Street.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Tickets for the 2019 New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF), to be held October 10-13, are on sale now at https://nycwff.org. 

Since its beginning, NYCWFF has raised over $12.5 million to help fight hunger. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the event benefit Food Bank for New York City and the No Kid Hungry Campaign to end childhood hunger in America and the five boroughs of New York City. Every year, NYCWFF raises nearly $1 million for these charities, effectively aiding in the quest to end the hunger gap in our country.  more

Photo Credit: Point Lobster Company in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ

By Taylor Smith

Something about ocean air and salt water brings to mind the satisfaction of enjoying a cold drink and tasty meal on the boardwalk. Before the summer ends, be sure to take advantage of these upcoming food festivals at the Jersey Shore! more

By Taylor Smith 

Trish Pepe Lauden and Diane Aemisegeo are two moms who wanted to be able to craft a fresh, natural, non-syrupy or sugary cocktail at home. Both admittedly enjoy the challenge of cooking locally and seasonally, and wanted this to be reflected in at-home drink offerings. Tired of having to frequent the same restaurants for a health-conscious cocktail, the two women created ROOT, which uses all-natural, organic ingredients to formulate the perfect cocktail (or mocktail) for your next neighborhood barbeque.  more

By Wendy Greenberg

A sure sign of summer is when tables and chairs are set outside at restaurants, frequently brightened by colorful umbrellas and accompanied by succulent summer menus. Whether you prefer an awning, an old-fashioned porch, or are a purist who shuns any barrier to the elements, now is the time to take advantage of the many alfresco options offered in the Northern New Jersey area.

One patron put it this way: “Why would I want to sit and eat in a place with artificial lighting, when I am in an office all day?” Area restaurateurs report that they field many requests for reservations at tables in the open air, even when clouds hang low.

“Alfresco dining creates a different energy and vibe,” says Chris Perez, general manager of Albariño in Shrewsbury. “It’s a more natural, rustic space in which to break bread.” more

By Taylor Smith 

Pizza in New York City is a hotly-contested subject, as everyone has their favorite. However, a Roman-style import on the Upper East Side is winning over new fans for its airy, crispy, square pies. 

PQR (Pizza Quadrata Romana), at 1631 2nd Avenue, uses “high hydration and long fermentation” to create a chewy, delightful pie crust that is based on the pizza of Rome. The mastermind behind PQR is Angelo Iezzi, who also happens to be president of the Associazione Pizzerie Italiane. more

By Taylor Smith 

Located south of Ocean City and just north of Stone Harbor and Avalon, Mike’s Seafood and Dock Restaurant has been a Jersey Shore staple in Sea Isle City since 1911.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Tucked away in West Cape May, Beach Plum Farm is a 62-acre working farm that produces over 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables, as well as chickens, eggs, and Berkshire hogs. Produce from Beach Plum Farms is used by a number of popular Cape May restaurants including Blue Pig Tavern, The Ebbitt Room, Louisa’s Cafe, the Boiler Room, and the Rusty Nail. The Farm is also home to a large market, farm kitchen, fine dining, and cottages. Visitors can easily spend an afternoon shopping, eating, and wandering the grounds, or even an entire weekend, to disconnect from the rushed pace of everyday life. Beach Plum also welcomes weddings and private events.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine Bar, located at 2 Whippany Road in Morristown, offers New American cuisine, a sushi and raw bar, and more than 70 wines by the glass. The culinary farm-to-table experience is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with an extended breakfast on Sundays until 1 p.m. more

By Taylor Smith 

Hoffman’s Ice Cream & Yogurt — with branches in Spring Lake Heights, Point Pleasant Beach, Little Silver, and Long Branch — seems to scream summer at the Shore. 

Beginning in 1955, Hoffman’s Ice Cream operated as one of the first Carvel Ice Cream stores in New Jersey. When the franchise expired in 1976, the owners changed the name to Hoffman’s and grew a reputation of their own. The store’s original location was, and still is, in Point Pleasant Beach. more

By Taylor Smith 

Slamwich Scratch Kitchen at 143 Main Street in Madison, N.J., was founded by Sam Freund and George Braun IV with the intent of perfecting the American craft of a handmade sandwich. Armed with the passion and understanding of what a delicatessen should be, the two founders pride themselves on making everything from scratch, including the cured pastrami, house bread, pickles, and condiments. The sandwiches are elevated enough, in terms of quality and taste profile, that Slamwich is actually a fantastic spot for a night out.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Located at 33 Bridge Street in historic Frenchtown, Early Bird Espresso has grown into a beloved coffee stop, particularly among the cycling community. With long daily hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Early Bird is seemingly always open for a quick pick-me-up. Early Bird’s roaster, Counter Culture (a very chocolate-driven, nutty brew), is complemented by Trickling Springs Creamery, a premium organic and non-GMO dairy in Chambersburg, Pa. more

By Taylor Smith 

Located on the Jersey Shore, Long Branch is a happening place with close proximity to New York City, NJ Transit trains, and Northern New Jersey. New to the area is Wave Resort, an extension of the recently-built Pier Village, which has become a shopping and dining hub for day trippers. Located at 110 Ocean Avenue, Wave Resort is a hotel and upscale spa. Visitors can lounge on the pool deck and take in expansive views of the Atlantic. There is also a swim-up bar and an upscale Mediterranean-inspired restaurant known as 1000 Ocean.  more

By Taylor Smith 

With over 20 unique frosting flavors and a variety of fresh and decadent toppings, Cinnaholic is not your average cinnamon roll dessert shop. As seen on ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank, all of Cinnaholic’s products are made with 100 percent plant-based ingredients and are dairy and lactose free, egg free, and cholesterol free.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Chatham Bagels at 260 Main Street in charming Chatham, N.J., has many things going for it. 

In terms of quality, area residents state that the bagel shop rivals the best bagels in New York City. The shop is known for its huge bagels and chewy, satisfying texture. All bagels are made fresh in-house daily, so there is never a question of whether or not you will be able to purchase a hot bagel early in the morning. The gluten-free bagels have also won over fans, with many people stopping at the shop from neighboring towns to get their favorite wheat-free bagel fix.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Many neighborhoods, one Middletown!

The sprawling township of Middletown borders the Monmouth County communities of Atlantic Highlands, Colts Neck Township, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Red Bank, Rumson, Sea Bright and Tinton Falls. The Sandy Hook peninsula is also within Middletown Township, though it is not connected to the township by land, but can be accessed along Raritan Bay by boat.  more

Photo Credit: @smorgasburg

By Taylor Smith 

Spring is upon us, which means more sunshine, longer days, flowers blooming, and the desire to get out and explore! The North Jersey area offers a roster full of spring happenings, from foodie adventures to shopping opportunities and the celebration of nature. Here are a few to check out. Time to mark your calendar! more

By Taylor Smith 

Situated on Church Street, the latest bakery to hit downtown Montclair is decidedly French in scope and personality. 

Owner and head baker Arben Gasi makes special effort to use New Jersey-sourced ingredients for the regional French menu. The majority of food products are from an urban farm in East Orange, and all of the cheese is made in the Garden State. “We use organic, stoneground flour so we minimize the loss of nutrients,” says Gasi.  more

By Taylor Smith 

Located at 179 East Houston Street in Manhattan, Russ & Daughters was founded in 1907 by Joel Russ, who had recently immigrated from Poland. He began his life in New York City by selling herring out of a barrel on the Lower East Side to crowds of hungry and homesick Eastern European Jews. Over the course of seven years, Russ graduated from a barrel to a pushcart. Soon, the popular pushcart became a horse and wagon operation, and in 1914 Russ had saved enough money to open a physical store. While the original business was located on Orchard Street, Russ moved the store to nearby 179 East Houston Street in 1920, where it has remained ever since.  more

The Jersey Shore’s original acai shop now has more than 50 locations nationwide

By Taylor Smith 

With multiple locations in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Morris, Union, and Essex counties, Playa Bowls (https://playabowls.com) is now a big part of the New Jersey food scene. 

If you’ve visited towns like Belmar, Red Bank, Asbury Park, Seaside, or Toms River during the summer months, chances are you’ve known about Playa Bowls for a long time. What originally started out as a food truck is now a popular staple in New York City, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with 20 more locations planned in the near future.  more

By Taylor Smith

Want to heal your gut, boost immunity, and improve the quality and texture of your hair, nails, and skin? Then bone broth might be the answer to your winter weather woes. Thanks to the Paleo diet and other gluten-free, low-carb trends, bone broth has earned a spot on many functional nutritionists’ lists. So, what exactly is bone broth and why is it so healing? The answer lies in the wealth of gelatin, which breaks down into collagen in the body. Collagen has many nourishing properties, not least of which is more youthful looking skin. This is particularly helpful during the cold and drying winter months when skin, hair, and nails are most in need of moisture. 

 more

By Taylor Smith 

From stocking stuffers to wedding favors, try Whimsy & Spice for a memorable holiday treat.

Husband and wife duo Mark Sopchak and Jenna Park began their baking company Whimsy & Spice at the launch of the Brooklyn Flea in the spring of 2008. In the years since, Whimsy & Spice has grown, thrived, and expanded. A trained pastry chef influenced by the flavors of international travel, Sopchak handles the baking-side of the company’s operation, while Park manages the graphic design and marketing end, shooting much of the photography for the brand. Viewers will be struck by the New York design sensibility combined with unusual flavors. more

By Taylor Smith 

With locations on the Upper West Side and in the West Village in New York City, RedFarm is a collaboration between Joe Ng and restauranteur Ed Schoenfeld. Chinese by birth, Ng was raised by a Jewish family in Brooklyn. As an adult, he was drawn to Chinese food flavors and developed the idea of bringing “Chinese cuisine with a greenmarket sensibility” to the New York population. more

By Taylor Smith 

Feature image courtesy of: Elizabeth Anne Designs

Expecting the entire family this Thanksgiving and looking for a convenient and delicious solution to your conundrum? Dine out at anyone of these New Jersey restaurants and be delighted by the tastes, flavors, and atmosphere around you. The majority of the restaurants feature a pre-set price, and reservations are required. Many of the restaurants also specialize in locally grown flavors and influences (some distinctly Italian). So hurry — don’t delay in finalizing your plans for the big day! more

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Enter for a chance to win tickets to The Second Annual Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival.  
 
PRIZE: 2 winners will be randomly chosen. WINNER NUMBER 1 will receive: TWO tickets for the Opening Night Event on Thursday, April 12, 2018, and WINNER NUMBER 2 will receive: TWO tickets for the Closing Night Film on Sunday, April 15, 2018. 


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Winners will be chosen on April 11, at noon EST.


The Second Annual Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival organizers are thrilled to announce this year’s opening night feature film is 
BLAZE (2018), co-written and directed by Ethan Hawke, starring Ben Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, and Charlie Sexton. 

BLAZE is inspired by the life of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. The film weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze’s past, present and future. The different strands explore his love affair with Sybil Rosen; his last, dark night on earth; and the impact his songs and death had on his fans, friends, and foes. The braided storyline terminates in a bittersweet ending that acknowledges Blaze’s profound highs and lows, as well as the impressions he made on the people who shared his journey.

JTIFF will present 93 films from 17 countries, eight world premieres, 16 East Coast premieres, 30 Pennsylvania premieres, and eight Lehigh Valley premieres on a 30-foot screen. The selections were culled from more than 750 submissions of every genre and subject – from gritty underground and experimental fare to bigger Hollywood level films.

For more information about the festival visit:

Image by Robin and Sue Photography and Styling (http://www.robinandsue.com/)

By Doug Wallack

In early September, a glowing three-star review from New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells vaulted the Jersey City pizzeria Razza Pizza Artigianale to new heights of acclaim. Dan Richer, who opened Razza in 2012, is no stranger to critical accolades; in its first five years of operation, Razza won over the Star-Ledger, and a video by food. curated highlighting Richer’s meticulous use of gently fermented butter and naturally leavened bread attracted the attention of Eater and even the New York Times itself. In August of this year, NJ.com named Razza one of the top ten pizzerias in the state. more