Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jersey Foodies 2010 TOP 10 FOODIE LIST!

Every year, I try to come up with a Top 10 List that talks about the most memorable new restaurants we’ve visited, or great events that we’ve attended.  Some years, I actually get around to writing this list, while other years it falls by the wayside.  This year, I actually found the time to do it, so here we go.

Many times, people will disagree with events that I list here, and that is fine.  It may not necessarily be about the best meal we’ve had, but it’s about the experience we’ve had, and the potential that this new restaurant has.  There is quite a bit of variation on this list again, but I can tell you that 2010 was one of our best years yet!  Check out the list, and let’s hear your thoughts!

Cheers, and here’s to a happy and healthy 2011!  And now, the TOP TEN:

10.  Peking Duck House – What is there to say other than the fact that there were another 2 successful Berserkerfest’s at New York’s Peking Duck House?  The first being in May, and the second being in November.  Always a great night, and always a great group coming in from all over the country.  2010 was no different, and they were indeed some awesome nights filled with great food, and great wine!  Other than Berserkerfest’s, we made it to Peking Duck House an additional 5 times.  Not bad considering we don’t live in the city!

9.  Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies – For me, tomato pies do not get any better than Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies on Hudson Street in Trenton, as well as on Route 33 in Robbinsville.  Delorenzo’s was once again Top 10 worthy, so check ‘em out at:  http://www.delorenzostomatopies.com/ and give them a visit!  Like other years, we visited Delorenzo’s over a dozen and a half times this year!

8.  Chef Jose Garces:  I can’t tell you how impressed I was by our visits to Chef Jose Garces different restaurants in Philly.  Check them out at:  http://www.grg-mgmt.com/  We had great visits his many different restaurants this year, and two that stick out are Village Whiskey and Garces Trading Co!  Both excellent, and we look forward to making it back to these and his others in 2011.  Check ‘em out at:  http://jerseyfoodies.blogspot.com/2010/11/village-whiskey-philadelphia-pa.html  and http://jerseyfoodies.blogspot.com/2010/10/garces-trading-co-philadelphia-pa-from.html

7.   The Farnsworth House – Bordentown, NJ:  What can I say about The Farnsworth House other than awesome in 2010?  One of the main reasons they made this list is because of their ever changing bar menu featuring many great items ranging from $3.95-$10.95.  This changes almost weekly, and there is always something good on there.  For the cost, they have an incredible burger, but my favorite lies in the mussels, or the salmon and asparagus.  My true favorite from the bar menu however is the Kofte kebab!  This is heaven!  Their wine list is on the up and up, and their by the glass selections are tasty for the money with the best wines by the glass in town.  The Ventisquero pinot noir is awesome, as well as the Yali sauvignon blanc.  Their wines by the bottle have come a long way as well, with great wines like Clayhouse, Cakebread, Yali, Ventisquero, and Core, many of which are distributed by the great folks at Victory Selections, another Bordentown gem....of which yours truly is a part of on a part time basis...for now!  May just be full time soon!  Finally, 24 beers on tap?  Awesome!  They added a new beer tower, and these too are changing every time we stop in.  This is a great local bar, and worth the trip for the beer list alone!

6.  Coltello Restaurant – Crosswicks, NJ: This is hands down the best Italian BYO restaurant in Central New Jersey, owned and operated by Chef Dominick of Conti’s Little Flower and Spigoli! Now Chef Dominick has his own family owned and operated restaurant, and it is our go to Italian place in this area! Great job to Dominick, Richard Sr., and Richard Jr. We look forward to many visits in 2011!

5.  Oliver-A Bistro – Bordentown, NJ:  This is another restaurant that we just cannot get enough of.  For whatever reason though, it seems like we hit Oliver for lunch more than dinner this year, which is actually kind of shocking!  But even so, I still think they have the best rack of lamb in NJ, and someday I am going to figure out to cook it as good as Chef McElmoyl does!   From Danielle running the front of house, to her husband Chef Matt in the kitchen, to Bruce, Kevin, or the rest of the gang, Oliver-A Bistro is a class act serving some of the best food in NJ.

4.  West Side Gravy – Collingswood, NJ: What is there to say about this restaurant other than awesome? We were very excited to see Chef Capasso open this venture, and even more excited to see him hire Chef Siobhan Allgood who appeared on Season 8 of Hell’s Kitchen! This was the most exciting new restaurant of 2010 that we visited, and my choice for our 2010 restaurant of the year. Kudos to the team and staff at both Blackbird and West Side Gravy. Chef Capasso has a great team at both locations, and look for some exciting things to happen as both of these restaurants are being renovated into one location on the main drag in Collingswood! http://jerseyfoodies.blogspot.com/search?q=West+Side+Gravy

3.  Speaking engagements:  this year was by far the best year for us to come and present to different organizations, and we did a numerous amount of events this year ranging in topics to food, to wine, to cooking, to grilling.  By far the most memorable event for me was the presentation we gave at the Present Day Club in Princeton.  This is a very nice organization we were asked to speak at thanks to one of their members Marge D’Amico, and we couldn’t have been any more honored.  We had a great lunch prepared by Chef Christine, and then enjoyed the afternoon speaking at their club!  What a great day, and a great excuse to be out of the office!  ;-)  The Present Day Club details can be found at:  http://jerseyfoodies.blogspot.com/2010/10/present-day-club-princeton-nj.html

2.  Stefania Wines comes to New Jersey:   It’s not often that our little town can say that a winemaker comes to visit, and this year, we were lucky enough to host Paul and Stefania Romero of Stefania Wines in our backyard with a group of about 40 friends.  They sent 3 cases of their wines our ahead of time, and Zelda put together a gorgeous menu.  I fired up the smoker for some briskets, and the Flannery sliders were a hit like always.  All I can say is that it was a great evening, and we finally met fellow Jersey bloggers John and Lisa of:  http://www.eatinginsjersey.com/ as well as Frank Nerney of:  http://ballymote.wordpress.com/   This event can be read about at:  http://jerseyfoodies.blogspot.com/2010/09/stefania-wines-tasting-backyard-bistro.html 

1.  And the number 1 memory of 2010 for us would have to be being once again featured in the New York Times in a story about New Jersey food bloggers.  This story can still be found online at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/nyregion/07dinenj.html 

Stay tuned for our TOP 10 WINE LIST to come as well!  And also stay tuned for our HUGE list of honorable mentions!  Breaking it down to 10 really is a hard task!  Cheers!


Beth Christian said...

A very nice list-looking forward to more great posts from you in 2011!
Beth Christian
Burlington County Editor
Jersey Bites

South Jersey Wine & Dine said...

F Scott

Your party for Paul and Stefania was an absolute blast. You and Zelda were the perfect hosts and the wines and food were both top notch.

Thanks for inviting me!!