Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I’m already getting information from chefs about their special menus – but first, a word about Nassau Street Seafood’s January 24 pre-Oyster Bowl fundraiser for Komen for the Cure at Mrs. G’s, and a couple of Slow Food winter markets:
Join executive chefs from Blue Point Grill and Nassau Street Seafood for a cooking demo and sampling of recipes for Super Bowl snacks and appetizers on Thursday, January 24, 5:30 – 7:30pm, at Mrs. G’s TV & Appliances, 2960 Route 1, Lawrenceville. Tickets are $35 per person; visit www.komencsnj.org/oysterbowl to purchase. (Oyster Bowl takes place at Nassau Street Seafood/Blue Point Gill on February 3.)
There are two Slow Food Winter Farmers Markets on January 27. For our Central New Jersey Area, you’ll go to the D & R Greenway Johnson Education Center 11:00am-3:00pm, visit www.slowfoodcentralnj.org for a full list of vendors. For Slow Food Northern New Jersey, visit http://www.slowfoodnnj.org/ for information; their market is at the The Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, Noon-4:00pm.
I don’t see the menu online yet, but Chef Evan Blomgren at the Rocky Hill Inn is hard at work on a special Valentine’s Day menu. Meanwhile, their events page does feature a beer tasting menu that includes bacon or pork belly in every course, making it, really, a beer & bacon extravaganza – the man’s obsessed! (And he knows his stuff, as a recent dinner I enjoyed there attests.)
At Brothers Moon in Hopewell (photo), Chef/Owner Will Mooney is planing his twelfth Aphrodisiac menu. It’s full of divine things like oysters, asparagus, mushrooms, truffle-scented chicken, scallops with orange zest, cocoa-tomato braised shortribs, and a tour de force Dessert Tasting finish so you won’t be distracted by having to choose between sweets. Four courses plus coffee or tea, $79 + tax & service, remember to bring wine or champagne.
The Chocolate Lovers Club on State Road/206 is open now, with chocolate shop and cafe. They report their hot chocolate is getting rave reviews as is the bean-to-bar chocolate they are making on the premises. They are open daily, Monday-Thursday 10 am to 7 pm; Friday and Saturday 10 am to 9pm; Sunday 10 am to 4 pm.
And, just up the road, is the new Dessert Boutique at the Village Shoppes at Montgomery, 1378 Route 206 in Skillman (Across from ShopRite). They specialize in homemade items ranging from raspberry white chocolate cupcakes to eclairs to peach apple and cherry Danish. They are also open daily.
Sandy be darned, the LBI Chocolate Week is ON. Dozens of businesses will offer some love February 9-18. Long time favorites are back such as vacation rental open houses complimented by chocolate kisses, Chocolate Cooking Class Weekend at Minerva’s Bed and Breakfast by the Sea, free fudge demos and sampling at Country Kettle Fudge and Chocolate Turtles at the Chocolate Week Science Saturday hosted by the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. New and exciting twists this year include a complementary Hot Cocoa Chocolate Bar for guests checking into the Engleside Inn, chocolate dessert at Pinzimino Tratoria, and Tuckerton Seaport Cupid’s Chocolate Covered Arrow Murder Mystery Dinner Show. Check it out at http://www.visitlbiregion.com/.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a yummy chocolate dessert to make at home, check out the Devils Food Heart Cakes from the mother of San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, Angelina Recchiuti at thenibble.com.