Autumn Festivals & Events

Sheng Kee mooncakes

These pretty moon cakes made for the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (aka Moon Festival) are from Sheng Kee bakery in Taiwan.  They can be ordered from, but since the festival starts on September 22, you might want to go to the Asian Food Market in Plainsboro, or the Great Wall in Franklin Park, and shop in person – I am always fascinated by the selection and over-the-top packaging of moon cakes, although I confess that I’m not so interested in actually eating them, except for maybe the ones with the nut fillings.  (Also note that the Asian Food Market in Plainsboro is having a Japanese food sampling weekend Oct. 2-3, 10am-6pm.)

There are many other ways to celebrate fall of course.  Sophie’s Bistro in Somerset announces their Crêpe Festival with lots of tempting savory and sweet crêpes.  It starts September 22 and runs through Sunday, October 3.  I urge you to try Sophie’s if you haven’t already, it is one of my favorite places.

Meanwhile, don’t forget about Dine Out New Jersey, September 19-25, when hundreds of restaurants offer incentives to consumers who dine out during New Jersey Restaurant Week.

Mrs. G’s TV & Appliances is celebrating 75 years in business with a special gala celebration on September 25, 2010, 1-4pm.  My friend and colleague Pat Tanner will, as usual, be emceeing, and I know she’ll be in fine form!  The event features a presentation by celebrity chef Glenn Lyman, personal chef to NBA stars like LeBron James. Lyman will also be joined by 2 local culinary talent: Chef Matt Sytsema of Griggstown Farm, demonstrates how to prepare an easy and healthy turkey for the holidays, and Ruthie Bzdewka, owner of House of Cupcakes in Princeton, conducts a cupcake lesson.  (By the way, click here to read Pat’s interview with recent Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga, from Rat’s Restaurant.)

And the very next day, on September 26 is the Epicurean Palette at Grounds for Sculpture, organized by Rat’s Restaurant.  It’s the Palette’s tenth anniversary, and if you’ve never been, it is a truly lovely afternoon of delicious food and fine wines (and other goodies) in a spectacular art park setting.  I anticipate a fast sellout of this event now that Kevin has been declared the Top Chef champ!

Over that same busy weekend is the Mercer County Italian American Festival, September 24, 25, and 26 at Mercer County Park.

It’s never too early to sign up for the annual Autumn Culinaire to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mercer County. It’s October 21, 6:00-9:30pm, at the Trenton Country Club, and you’ll enjoy tastings from twenty of the area’s finest restaurants along with an eclectic collection of fine wine and international beers from Glendale Liquors.

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