Events, events, events!

Michael ColamecoWhat ever happened to relaxing in the summer?  There’s more to do each year, so give that hammock a rest and enjoy some of the events below.

Gift idea alert!  Try out A-1 Limo’s Dine in Style promo, which includes dinner at a participating restaurant, and (natch!) chauffeured transportation. Woo hoo!

If you’re in the Montclair area, be sure to check out the Chef’s Lab, which opens on June 5. It’s a combination of retail and educational activities, with an education area packed with cookbooks and other reference materials, in addition to offering a varied cooking class curriculum aimed at home cooks.  Learn, shop, eat.

Princeton Eats: Cooking With Local Ingredients.  This Tuesday morning series of cooking classes kicks off at the Princeton Public Library on June 8, in tandem with the Thursday Princeton Farmers Market, which moves to the Alfred Hines Plaza right outside.  The idea is that the chefs (Christopher Albrecht of Eno Terra, Denis Granarolo of Witherspoon Bread Company, and other chefs in the Terra Momo group) will scout out ingredients at local farmers markets, then present recipes using them in the Tuesday Classes.  A nice way to get culinary inspiration during the hot ‘n’ hazy days of summer.

Chill out with Polar Cocktails at the American Museum of Natural History on June 8 – this event is based on the discovery of whiskey bured where Ernest Shackleton camped a century ago.  Internationally recognized cocktail connoisseur David Wondrich and master mixologist Don Lee of Momofuku Ssäm Bar will discuss specialty “explorer” drinks as well as the importance of ice in creating a perfect cocktail.  Tastings of drinks popular a century ago will be included.

Enjoy the traditional foods and wines of Provence and Languedoc at Mediterra Restaurant on June 9.  Call to reserve, 609-252-9680. (This’ll fill up fast.)

Happy Hour at Rat’s Restaurant runs Tuesdays-Fridays 5:00-7:00pm, with $5 wine and $2 appetizers, and a revolving selection of special drinks.  What a great setting for unwinding at the end of the day!

Join the Fresh From Zone 7 Dinner on the Farm series as it kicks off on June 11 with a private tour and dinner at Terhune Orchards, with chef Scott Anderson of Elements. For more information or to register, call 609-206-0344 or visit www.freshfromzone7.com.

Chinese stakeout!  The Asian Food Market in Plainsboro (660 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, 609-799-1828) offers “An Asian Food Adventure – a Festival Exploring Asian Cuisine” on Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13, from 10:00am to 6:00pm. More than 20 vendors will offer free food samples.  Your chance to try some new foods.

I get regular emails from Magma Pizza & Pita, and remember being impressed by their eggplant pizza when they first opened.  They have this revolving, very high heat, volcanic stone oven that crisps your pizza in minutes.  The Middle Eastern owner had a jar of mild, pickled eggplant from Lebanon that he was using as topping.  It sure was good.  That particular topping might not have been quite mainstream enough for a place located in Nassau Park (near Sam’s Club), but it does seem they’ve evolved nicely into offering a mix of Middle Eastern food (fattoush salad, homemade hummus and baba ghannouj) and pizza.  Got to get back there soon…

He’s baaaaack.  That would be Mike Colameco in the photo above.  Get ready for this summer’s East Coast Food & Wine Festival;  it’s back(with Mike) and bigger and better than ever, on June 26 and 27, at Hopewell Valley Vineyards.  I attended last year and had a ball, suggest you buy tickets in advance for this one (on the website).

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