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Side Dish

by Erica Bauwens

Quick Bite: Bombas
Elena Wu Restaurant and Sushi Bar
Every time we dine here we can’t resist ending the meal with one of these sweet treats, which are coated in a rich white chocolate and then filled with a fruity sorbet. It’s the perfect way to cap off a delicious meal and we can’t think of a more seasonally appropriate dessert for the summer.

Key Ingredient: Corn
We wait and wait all year long for the peak of Jersey corn season, when you can find ears by the dozen at farm stands all across the state. But don’t drive yourself crazy with the same corn on the cob night after night. Instead, mix things up with some help of local restaurateurs.

Arepa Corn Cakes with Shredded Chicken El Sitio, Collingswood

Corn and Parmesan Risotto Blueplate, Mullica Hill

Corn Chowder with Lump Crab Bonefish Grill, Marlton

Lunch Under $15: The Cherry Hill Mall
Has your shopping spree made you hungry? Make sure to find some time to try the mall’s restaurants and cafés. With sit-down service or bites on the go, it’s not hard to find a meal that doesn’t cut into your shopping budget.

1. Versailles Salad. Freshen up with some French inspiration—baby greens get topped with wet walnuts, roasted apples and toasted brie, then tossed in a light Balsamic Vinaigrette. $9 at Bistro at Cherry Hill

2. Gnocchi and Italian Sausage. Fill up with this savory gnocchi and diced sausage, bathed with tomato vodka cream sauce and topped with chopped basil. $14.95 at Maggiano’s Little Italy

3. Spicy Chicken Chile Relleno. Chicken breast gets a light twist when served on a bed of spinach with tangy goat cheese and pico de gallo, all finished alongside housemade corn cakes. $8.95 at Seasons 52

4. Thai Chicken Pizza. This unconventional pizza is topped with chopped chicken, shredded carrots and mozzarella cheese then mixed with chopped peanuts and cilantro all over spicy peanut sauce. $13.59 at California Pizza Kitchen

5. The Miami Burger. Chef superstar Bobby Flay channels the classic Cubano sandwich in this juicy beef burger, topped with fine-sliced ham, melted cheese and pickles all on a toasted sesame seed bun. $7.95 at Bobby’s Burger Palace

Drink This: Summer Shore Seasonals
With summer finally here, you’ll find us hitting the Shore for way more than just the sun and sand. That’s because craft breweries have been popping up all along the coast, making our beaches a destination for beer lovers everywhere.

We took a look at the seasonal beers the Jersey Shore breweries are tapping this summer. You’ll find tons of light, crisp brews made just for the season, featuring tons of fresh flavor, local ingredients and beach inspiration. Grab a growler and check out these tasting rooms next time you head down the Shore.

Marshallville Wit
at Tuckahoe Brewing Co. in Oceanview

Tower 23 Berliner Weisse
at Cape May Brewing Co. in Rio Grande

Mason’s Wheat
at Pinelands Brewing Co. in Little Egg Harbor

Beach Haus American Pleasant
at East Coast Beer Company in Point Pleasant Beach

Tasting: Roll Up Your Sleeves
A nice evening out on the town is always a good idea, but there’s more to the South Jersey food scene than white tablecloths and waiters. These days, cooking classes and specialty cooking lessons are becoming more popular than ever. Diners and foodies alike are stepping into the kitchen to get an up-close-and-personal look at their favorite meals, cooked by some of their favorite South Jersey chefs.

We took a look at a few of our area’s cooking classes to see just what tasty lessons you can learn this year.

Nunzio’s Ristorante Rustico
These classes may be hard to come by, but they’re worth the wait. Chef Nunzio Patruno serves up a lesson in fine dining, including homemade pasta plates, seafood and shellfish preparation, and seasonal cooking tips. Guests get the full experience watching in the kitchen and get to enjoy the chef’s handiwork, then leave with a list of recipes to try at home. 706 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-9840

In the Kitchen Cooking School
Chef Kathy Gold opens up her school for weekly lessons that teach guests everything from breakfast to dessert, with everything in between. You can take your pick from participation classes, which get you in the kitchen and working, or demonstration classes, which give guests the chance to sit back and observe. Either way, the evening ends with a full meal for students to enjoy. 10 Mechanic St., Haddonfield, (856) 489-1682

Burlington County College Culinary Arts Center
You don’t have to worry about making the grade at BCC’s culinary workshop courses. The school has a selection of one-time courses, including lessons on basic knife skills, bread making, and vegetarian cooking, for non-students looking to learn tips that they can bring into their own kitchens. 21 Mill St., Mount Holly, (609) 894-9311

Viking Cooking School
If you’re heading down the Shore, take a stop at Harrah’s in Atlantic City to try your hand at this school. The Viking Cooking School offers classes almost daily, with seasonally appropriate courses, couples’ date nights and classes that will take you on a culinary trip around the world. It’s never the same thing twice, but beware: These popular classes sell out quick, especially on the weekends. 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Atlantic City, (609) 441-5228

Fast Food

Westmont’s iconic Crystal Lake Diner burnt to the ground in an overnight blaze at the start of June in what is believed to be a basement fire.

The Cherry Hill Whole Foods has opened its doors after more than a year of construction.

McCormick and Schmick’s and William Douglas Steakhouse, both in Cherry Hill’s Market Place, have closed.

Founding partners Linda Catelli Rosanio and Jan Talamo have announced that they have sold the Voorhees-based Catelli Duo to Mustang Foods.

Cherry Hill’s Le Café Creperie has announced plans to open a second location in Marlton.

Also new to Marlton is Paradise Biryani Point, an Indian chain that will take over the former Pho Xinh space.

SJ Hot Chefs is bringing back its annual Farm to Fork Week, July 20-26, featuring 45 South Jersey restaurants running four course meals ranging from $25 to $35. The restaurants will be using locally harvested produce on their menus.

Collingswood BYOB Indeblue has announced a new brunch menu to be served on Sundays. Brunch specials will include a Masala Omelet, Chicken Tikka Wrap and a Paneer Bhurjee scramble.

The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa has opened its Borgata Baking Company. The bakery will feature 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays and a 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday service under the direction of Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois.

Food Network star and chef Guy Fieri has announced plans to open a steakhouse at Bally’s in Atlantic City at the end of the summer.

Toni Walton, one of the co-owners of Haddonfield’s Sweet T’s Bakeshop, recently placed second on the Food Network’s show ReWrapped. She competed against three chefs on a challenge about Tastykake’s Butterscotch Krimpet.

DiBartolo Bakery’s Al DiBartolo and Manny Agigian have been cast on TLC’s The Next Great Baker, where teams of two compete to win a chance to work for Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 4 July, 2014).
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