8.30.2013

pre. HEAT


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Can you guess what I made? I’ll give you a hint… it turned out absolutely delicious! Stay tuned for the reveal, recipe and more photos. In the meantime, check out and follow the foodie ventures on facebook, twitter, tumblr and instagram. If that’s not enough check out my yelp reviews.

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Need more? Well, ask for it. Let me know what you want to see, read, taste and explore. Any ideas for a collaboration or recipe suggestions? I want to know! Send me an email. I am always looking for foodie inspiration! Have a great holiday!
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8.29.2013

photo op: INSTAGRAM food photos


Granted a lot of what I put up on instagram is pretty random. Some days it's nail polish or happy hour drinks or even outfit details, but more often than not, it's food. There are fun filters for distortion and a spontaneity that reflects real life. Check out some of my food instagram shots, and follow me for more of me and my food adventures!









Don't forget twitter and facebook too! I appreciate all the support and spread the word!
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8.27.2013

second YELPing...


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I have been to 1 Republik a couple times— a late night catch-up session, a pre-brunch mimosa or two, a brunchy date turned gathering, and a pre-dinner happy hour snack fest. Each was a good time, with decent drinks, more than decent bites, and excellent company. This last visit prompted a yelp review! Check it out!

*Not from 1 Republik                                                                             RER 4.28.13

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*Not from 1 Republik                                                                                                                                               RER 4.28.13

Don't forget foodie ventures on facebook, tumblr, instagram and twitter... follow and love them all!
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8.23.2013

APPETITE: A Gastronomic Experience



Have a big appetite? Prepare to get your fill at Appetite: A Gastronomic Experience presented by the Count Basie Theatre of Red Bank, New Jersey. Billed as the “most unique food event in the State,” it will be held from September 5th through September 8th.  Appetite promises to indulge in every foodie’s fantasy—celebrity chef talks, a Food Truck Court, the Taste & Talk Tent, wine and liquor tastings, even food themed films. There also will be live music and fun activities for kids

Each night a celebrity chef will offer a different culinary experience on the Main Stage at Count Basie Theatre. On Thursday, Inna Garten, known for her Food Network show Barefoot Contessa, will share her natural approach to food through tips, stories and maybe even a few of her recipes. On Friday, Anne Burrell, from Food Network shows like Chef Wanted and Worst Cooks in America, will treat guests to a live interactive cooking demo. And on Saturday, Joe Bastianich, international restaurateur, author and judge on MasterChef USA, will judge a live pasta throw-down between Victor Rallo of Eat! Drink! Italy! and Pat Menna, the mayor of Red Bank.

The Taste &Talk Tent will feature talks and tastings that explore new trends in gastronomy and restaurants, as well as coffee, wine and craft beer.  A Taste and Tour of Italian Wine will be held on Sunday, featuring seven Italian wine producers from the Kobrand Corporation Tour. Wine is not the only adult beverage on the menu. On Saturday and Sunday there will be mixology demonstrations and lessons, as well as rum, bourbon and whiskey samplings.

And if you’re all about the food, Appetite brings together some of the most popular food trucks of the tri-state area, like the super local Red Bank Freezy Freeze and the New York City sandwich favorite, Mayhem and Stout. The Food Truck Court will have a wide array of delicious offerings from sweet confections, like ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus to the savory and smoky, like baked potatoes from Hunger Construction and BBQ from Oink and Moo.

Tickets are available a la carte or as a VIP All Access Bundle, so that you can pick and choose what interests you and what will whet your appetite.

Appetite, a mix of local personalities and big names in the culinary world, is going to be a well-rounded weekend for all kinds of foodies. It will be a great chance to learn from the best and taste new foods in the company of like-minded people.

And I am super excited to learn, taste, experience and most of all indulge. I don't know about you, but I’m always hungry!



When: Thursday, September 5  through Sunday, September 8
            99 Monmouth St, Red Bank,
            NJ 07701
Tickets: Please click here to purchase tickets or call (732) 842-9000

8.22.2013

second YELPing...

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Photos taken with phones are not always the most appealing, but sometimes they are all you got (whether you are being rude or not). However, they offer a different aesthetic, and maybe a harsher light. Phone photos feel rougher around the edges, more spontaneous and in the moment, kind of like my impromtu catch up session at Bourbon Street Bar and Grille. Check out my yelp review for the bar eatery.

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Let me have some food for thought. What would you like to see, eat and read about. Tell me about via email, in the comments, or even on the foodie ventures facebook page (which if you have not liked yet, you should get on that).
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8.20.2013

HudsonRW: Sushi Lounge


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Sometimes it takes stepping out of your comfort zone, trying something new, to figure out what it is you really like. That happened on Friday night while celebrating the last night of this summer’s HudsonRestaurant Week at Sushi Lounge.

Honestly, I can say, that it is not my go to in Hoboken for sushi; that would be Robongi. Sushi Lounge is a fierce competitor with a liquor license, loud music, and inventive sushi rolls, but it is just not the same. I went to Sushi Lounge open minded, but subconsciously knew that Robongi has a place in my heart. Little did I know, my trip would reiterate that. There was nothing bad about the experience… The food came out in a timely manner, pretty colorful, well-plated, etc., but something was missing.
 
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After going back and forth, opening and closing the menu, and falling into our usual indecision, we landed on the prix fixe plan for me, and an appetizer and a stray roll for us. I was excited for this prix fixe, after being hungry after my last HudsonRW sushi adventure at Las Olas. This deal looked like a far more substantial meal. 

We sat outside, on quiet Hudson Street, watching groups preparing for their Friday nights. The red awning protected us from the scattered showers as we saw people dancing under the raindrops, interrupting our heavy discussion of the menu and such.
 
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My Peking Duck Crepe starter was quite large; two fat rolled pancakes, stuffed with dark saucy duck, crisscrossed one another on my hoisin drizzled plate. The crepes were almost stiff, but sweet and doughy at the same time, while the fatty decadent duck served as a rich counter part to the pancake. The hoisin sauce on the plate added just enough salt to play up all the high points of the dish.
 
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The mound of Japanese Risotto did not look appealing, but tucked away in the hill of creamy rice, was a variety of textures and flavors that combined Italian with Japanese and the sea. There were stringy ribbons of crab laced throughout the grains, and an almost too strong essence of truffle dousing the dish. It secretly went well with the duck.
 
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As for rolls, I got a California roll and the Totowa roll with my prix fixe, but we also got the exotic Spicy Tempura Banana roll out of curiosity (seriously, banana in sushi?).  There was nothing extremely notable about the rolls. California rolls are already one of the most mundane and played out, but the Totowa with its multiple elements really flat-lined with no texture. It would have been much more invigorating had the textures come alive. There was no way to distinguish the flavors and feelings. And finally the last roll was the visually stunning, mystery banana roll. Which, in the end, was totally weird. It was hard to say that the warm and smushy tempura banana, meshed well with the spicy tuna on the inside and white tuna resting on the top. The tiny tobiko served as great texture, with little popping moments, almost embellishing the weirdness. But the roll created so much confusion we were unwilling to finish it.
 
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Oddly enough, the hot smushy banana element continued through to dessert, where we were obligated to chose between a predictable chocolate cake, and a hot banana’s foster empanada dessert. We went for the one that felt a little exciting, even though we were not excited by our previous hot banana encounter. And this too was a little disconcerting. There was something about the texture of the banana that made my tongue recoil. The greasy fried dough also heightened the awkward texture of the banana. At times the rum and caramel were strong, almost burned, and the bitterness intensified with dark flecks of chocolate. The combination made my stomach turn, but sweets are impossible to decline, no matter their “uniqueness.”
 
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The service was friendly, it almost too friendly. She was trying to identify with us to the point that it came off stilted. But she was fun and lively, and took care of us while there.
 
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The loud music even funneled outside from time to time, reminding us that we were somewhere, not just engrossed in our sushi dinner date and unsure faces. We recognized once again where we were. Though Robongi boasts the loud dancey music too after a certain hour, there is something more refreshing about it. Sushi Lounge did not feel as fresh or authentic, like it’s trying to be a cool, refined, trendy destination. The menu is eclectic and almost whimsical, but in the future, I will head there to dig in on appetizers and house specialty cocktails, reserving sushi rolls for Robongi.
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8.16.2013

photo op: HOBOKEN Bar & Grill


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It was one of those TGIF moments. It had been a long week; a lot of good and a lot not so easy. So we went out to celebrate the end of the week, our ups and downs, accomplishments and failures, and it was happy hour, our happiest hour. Plus Jack and cokes were, one of our old favorites, were on special for $5. It was still too early for dinner, but our stomachs were talking louder than we were, so we indulged in a small snack at the bar at Hoboken Bar and Grill. We got some itty-bitty sliders— pulled pork, sweet, soft and stringy; cheeseburger, savory, salty and melty; and buffalo chicken, tart, tangy, and crunchy with a blue cheese soaked green apple. Each was a tiny bite, just a second to taste and get the essence of the vision of the bar food. To top off our in between meal we got the totally addictive mozzarella sticks. It was a good time, a prelude to the rest of our evening.

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Check out another time we visited Hoboken Bar and Grill for a more substantial meal. Hope you like foodie ventures on Facebook, or follow along on twitter or even instagram.
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8.15.2013

not so SOLD: The Merchant


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The space was stunning at The Merchant, particularly at that time of day, just passed 11 am. A mesmerizing light flooded in from one of the giant side windows not blocked by its encroaching neighboring building. The pure late morning sun aged everything it touched adding beguiling history and mystery. The rich colors of the dark wood and red fabric on booths and chairs, deepened the space, creating an air of another place in time.

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But the food was far more straightforward— lacking the delicate beauty and effortless layers of the d├ęcor bathed in sunlight and dancing shadows. Unfortunately, I was disappointed; the menu looked promising with brunchy categories like "Hungry," "Hung-Over," "Sweet Tooth" and "Healthy," featuring a brunch burger, a full Irish breakfast and a yogurt parfait.

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None of the menu items stirred up a real curiosity; just flat brunch favorites that arrived almost as flat on the plates as the pages. The food was fine, quality was just enough but there was no whimsy and innovation as a few of the restaurants in the area are exploring. It was a pretty boring meal, nothing tickled or left me excited, except maybe the mimosas and conversation.

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