Archive for the Uncategorized Category

NEW BYOB WILL SOON ARRIVE IN SWEDESBORO, WOOLWICH TWP.

Posted in New Restaurant Coming to Swedesboro, NJ, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 29, 2012 by ballymote

 

The man standing in front of his brick oven at Toscana in Mullica Hill, NJ is Chef Mimmo. Four of us had a wonderful dinner there on Friday evening and learned, among other things, that Chef Mimmo is planning on opening a new restaurant on the site recently vacated by Barone’s Tuscan Grill in Swedesboro, Woolwich Township.

As I have mentioned many times on this blog, Barone’s Tuscan Grill has been, and continues to be, the most read article on this blog. After two years I still have no idea why so many people flock to that article. It was a restaurant serving mediocre food with a history of service complaints by both customers and employees. Those may have been reasons for its recent demise but they still don’t explain the interest by my readers.

I am not certain when the new restaurant will be open, I am guessing it should be a fixture there by this summer. The name looks like it will be “a Pizze” and it will be a BYOB with some special features that we won’t mention at the moment but, suffice to say, there will be many nice things about this eatery that will focus on excellent customer service

This is certainly an area of constant growth even now that will grow more as we come out of the housing crisis. It is apparent that the residents are starved (no pun intended) for good places to eat and I am betting that Chef Mimmo’s restaurant will quickly become a” foodies” favorite.

WINE SHIPPING UPDATE

Posted in Info on Wine, Uncategorized with tags , , on January 10, 2012 by ballymote

 Yesterday, the New Jersey Assembly passed by a vote of 58 – 19 a bill allowing wine shipments into and out of New Jersey. The bill now sits on Governor Christie’s desk awaiting his signature. I will keep you informed.

BIG DAY TOMORROW (MONDAY 1/9/12) FOR WINE LOVERS IN NEW JERSEY

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8, 2012 by ballymote

 

  With a little bit of luck New Jersey will change colors on the this map tomorrow. The “gold” color that indicates wine shipments into and out of the Garden State are prohibited by law may change to the “grape” color reflecting approval on direct shipments of wine. The NJ State Assembly is scheduled to vote tomorrow on the bill sponsored by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a Gloucester County Democrat.

 While most of you will feel little or no impact by passage of this legislation, there are two groups that are keeping both fingers and toes crossed in hopes of approval. The first are the local NJ wineries. Passage of the bill will allow them to ship cases of their wines to customers throughout the country. The other group is folks like me who love wine, seek out wine stores that carry unique wines and have long decried the fact that we were unable to buy some of California’s small production wines that because of the small number of cases made,  never make it to the stores on the East Coast. As an example, if you were in San Francisco on vacation and made a side trip to the Napa Valley to visit and taste at some wineries, you are currently unable to have wines that you may have enjoyed shipped back yo your residence in NJ.

 Opponents of the legislation claim passage will hurt local wine stores. Their argument lacks strength as the states that already allow direct wine shipments have experienced no decrease in wine sales. In reality, it’s the wine distributors (the middlemen) who want their cut of all wines sold. The bill makes sense, will create jobs and will give local New jersey wineries a better shot at competing with the big boys. Come on, Senators, pass this bill!

 

MANNA RESTAURANT – MARGATE, NJ – mini review

Posted in Manna Restaurant, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 12, 2011 by ballymote

 Several of us had been wanting to get back to Manna for some time after being there for a wine tasting a couple of year’s ago.

The food is excellent and it was a fun time for ten of us. The menu is eclectic with small plates (tapas) and large plates (think entrees). All of us found so many dishes we thought sounded great that it was difficult to limit our choices.

We had a nice selection of wines including a 2009 Cakebread, Sauvignon Blanc and a 2007 Ridge, Zinfandel.

 

 

 Once again, because of the time-lapse, I’m not certain what everyone had to eat. I do know that a few in our party enjoyed the Our Paella with jumbo shrimp, lump crab, clams, rice, chicken, chorizo, saffron and tomato. It looked delicious.

 

 I do recall that I had the Vanilla-Maple Laquered Chicken breast and it was excellent with house made truffled fries.

  The eight ounce filet in a port wine reduction was another favorite as was the

                                                                                                      Lamb Chop with a Caribbean Salsa .

Manna is definitely a restaurant that deserves more than one visit and hopefully, we will be back there soon. Do yourself a favor and click on the link to check out their awesome menu.

HOW DO YOU SPELL RESTAURANT INCOMPETENCE?

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2011 by ballymote

Last night, it was spelled  A R U G U L A on Egg Harbor Rd. in Washington Township, NJ. Four of us arrived at 7:55 P.M. for our 8:00 P.M. reservation and were told that our table was being cleaned. From our vantage point in the lobby we could see an empty table of four ready for seating with no activity around it. We didn’t mind the first ten minutes of the wait, the second ten minutes was only mildly disturbing but, at the 30 minute mark, when we observed a party of two decide to take their business elsewhere, we knew we should be doing the same. As they headed for the door they were informed their table was ready, as we headed for the door we were told our table was ready. Too little, too late. During the entire 30 minute wait no one approached us to apologize for the delay. We have eaten there before and, quite frankly, the place just isn’t good enough to display such arrogance.

We drove down the road and had a nice dinner at Pasta Pomadoro and probably saved $80.00 per couple.

I am not saying you shouldn’t dine at ARUGULA, I’m simply saying you should have a big meal prior to arriving. It will make the wait much more comfortable.

ANOTHER 9/11 TRIBUTE REMEMBRANCE

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2011 by ballymote

 AS WE PAUSE TO REMEMBER THE TRAGIC EVENTS OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, I CAN’T HELP BUT RECALL THE EMOTIONAL TURMOIL OF THAT DAY AND THOSE THAT FOLLOWED.

ONE OF MY MOST VIVID MEMORIES OF THAT TIME WAS AN EDITORIAL THE NEXT DAY IN THE MIAMI HERALD BY A WRITER NAMED LEONARD PITTS. THE POWER AND STRENGTH OF HIS WORDS MOVED ME THEN AND REMAIN WITH ME NOW ON THIS 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THAT INFAMOUS ATTACK.

MANY OF YOU HAVE PROBABLY ALREADY READ THIS ARTICLE AT SOME POINT BUT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT, OR FOR THOSE WHO HAVE AND WOULD LIKE TO REMEMBER IT, I OFFER IT HERE AS MY TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO PERISHED AND TO THE FAMILIES WHO HAVE STRUGGLED TO SURVIVE THEIR LOSS.

GOD BLESS AMERICA.

 

 

 

Sept. 12, 2001: We’ll go forward from this moment

XMUltra
 
 
 

By LEONARD PITTS JR.

It’s my job to have something to say.

They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward’s attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause? You just damned your cause.

Did you want to make us fear? You just steeled our resolve.

Did you want to tear us apart? You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We’re frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae – a singer’s revealing dress, a ball team’s misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We’re wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though – peace-loving and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people – you, perhaps – think that any or all of this makes us weak. You’re mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.

IN PAIN

Yes, we’re in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We’re still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn’t a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn’t the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You’ve bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there’s a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We’ll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.

THE STEEL IN US

You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don’t know us well. On this day, the family’s bickering is put on hold.

As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that’s the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don’t know my people. You don’t know what we’re capable of. You don’t know what you just started.

But you’re about to learn.

A WEAK EXCUSE FOR MY LACK OF BLOGATIVITY

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 27, 2011 by ballymote

It’s been over a month since I posted my full review of Luke Palladino’sNorthfield,NJ restaurant. Somehow, only one-third of my review was published while the final two-thirds disappeared into the nether world of lost blogs

It should not have been the end of the world, or the reason for my recent disappearance from the blogasphere. Yes, it did mean that a few hours of work had been negated and I certainly had a reason for a momentary lapse of productivity. Instead, it has turned into a month of literary surrender.

In all honesty, I thought seriously that after two years and well over 100 reviews it was the right time to end South Jersey Wine and Dine. Yes, there were a few days during this spell when I had a slight urge to return to the keyboard but it wasn’t difficult to find reasons to resist that temptation. Through an entire postless month, my readership never decreased. I felt bad that they would venture on to my blog day after day and find nothing new. It was enough to have now inspired me to try my best to get back to regular posts. I hope to have some new reviews in the next few days.

My sincere thanks for staying with me.

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