Culinary news to chew on
• A toast is in order for Heritage Vineyards, which took home New Jersey’s Winery of the Year honors at the annual statewide competition. All told, the Harrison Township winery took home 12 medals for their locally made vino.
• Keep an eye out for Food Network darling Bobby Flay, who is set to unveil a Cherry Hill location of his Bobby’s Burger Palace, a fast casual spot where diners can opt to have their patties “crunchified” (topped with fresh potato chips).
• Sept. 15 through 25 has been designated New Jersey Restaurant Week, where fine dining establishments across the state will offer special multi-course menus ($19 for lunch or $35 for dinner). Some local eateries participating include Caffe Aldo Lamberti, Palace of Asia and Dream Cuisine Café in Cherry Hill, as well as Prime 505 in Collingswood and The Whitman in Washington Township. For more information, visit DineOutNJ.com.
• The Cherry Hill outpost of Classic Cake is hosting their annual anniversary bash on Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. The public can expect complimentary treats and an array of family-friendly activities.
It’s been well documented how much we love the food at Yokohama, but it wasn’t until recently that we discovered they also pack a pretty stellar happy hour. Monday through Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m., domestic draft beers are priced at $2, while a taste of the popular Japanese beer Kirin will cost you $3. In addition, all well drinks and select wines are available for $4. On Thursdays and Fridays, take advantage of the reduced menu at the sushi bar, where items are 20 percent off. 300 S. Lenola Road, Maple Shade, (856) 608-8812
5 Spot: All Rolled Up
It used to be that spring rolls were an afterthought, something we would grab on the side at a Chinese takeout joint, to complement the more important entree. But, these days, chefs are taking this appetizer to more creative heights by stuffing the wrappers with a mix of sweet and savory fillings that stretch the humble spring roll far beyond its Asian roots. We’ve recently chowed down on these five such concoctions, and found that each one packs a powerful flavor profile.
High Street Grill: Thai Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Roll. Spiced shrimp and vegetables pack plenty of their own flavor, but the citrus soy glaze and sweet chili sauce enhance the dish even further. 64 High St., Mount Holly, (609) 265-9199
Scaturro’s Restaurant & Bar: Scaturro’s Spring Roll. Chef David Levecchia is known for finesse in the kitchen, including on this South Philly-influenced roll filled with Italian sausage, broccoli rabe and aged provolone. It’s a signature item so good, the restaurant put its name on it. 841 Route 73, Marlton, (856) 985-4560
Barcelona Bistro: Pastelitos. The folks at Barcelona add a little Latin flair to their “Spanish spring rolls,” which are stuffed with chicken and vegetables. They come two on a plate, but good luck sharing these delights. 126 S. Broadway, Pitman, (856) 270-2352
Oh Yoko: Banana Spring Roll. Sure, the sushi is ethereal here, but we sometimes skip the main course and go for the deep-fried banana and ice cream dessert. 1428 Route 70 E., Cherry Hill, (856) 857-9050
Woksabi: Crab Rangoon Spring Rolls. Traditionally, this seasoned crab and cream cheese dish comes in the form of a fried dumpling, but here they supersize the taste by stuffing the ingredients into a wrapper. 608 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, (856) 858-6688
One day. Three meals. Total satisfaction.
Breakfast: Crepes from Lillian’s Café in Audubon. Available during the Sunday brunch service, options vary, but we’re partial to the blueberry filling.
Lunch: Lobster and crab burger from The Capital Grille in Cherry Hill. These two savory shellfish are blended for a unique seafood sandwich that comes with a side of tartar sauce made in house.
Appetizer: Smoked salmon nachos from Swedes Inn in Swedesboro. Instead of tortilla chips, here they use wonton chips, while herbed crème fraiche substitutes for sour cream.
Entrée: Green fish curry from Coriander Indian Bistro in Voorhees. Black cod that’s been simmered in a heavenly combination of coriander, mint and roasted coconut.
Dessert: Crispy zeppole from Treno Pizza Bar in Westmont. How do you make fried Italian doughnuts better? Add fruit jam and chocolate sauce to the mix.
Some drinks are so perfect that any update is out of the question. According to Ori Geshury of Cherry Hill’s Wine Mixology Institute, the Negroni is one of them. Equal parts bitter, sweet and strong, and perfumed by aromatic orange peel, the Negroni is exquisitely balanced. “This is a gentleman’s drink without the ponderous cliché of being a martini,” Geshury says.
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. London dry gin
Put all ingredients in an Old-Fashioned glass. Stir and garnish with orange peel.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 6 (September, 2011).
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