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April  30

Licking Rita

Ritagelati2_1  If you've driven down Broad Street lately, you may have spied the throngs outside the new Rita's Ices, located directly across from Bloomfield's beloved Holsten's. The two are completely different dessert experiences. Rita's, like Starbucks, is going to teach us a new vocabulary. The shakes are called Misto, which is jarring for me, because it sounds more like an entree on an Italian menu. The confection seen here is called a Gelati, which is actually a layered dessert in a cup.

First they put frozen custard, then an ice flavor (in this case it was fudge brownie) and then more custard on top. You create your own; some folks were doing vailla custard with lemon ice in the center. What distinguishes Rita's is the chunky ices -- pieces of fruit, or in the case of the brownie ice, chunks of brownie and chocolate chips. Once I got past the name (again, nothing like gelato), it was fun and tasty. I'd go for the ices more than the frozen custard (the chocolate didn't have as rich a flavor as you'd expect), but mixing the two together is novel and the whole scene is a fun summertime addition to the Baristaville creamery offerings. Just don't take away my Holsten's mint chip.

April 30, 2005 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (7)

Something About Herb

SquarepotsBeen hearing raves about the Montclair Historical Society Herb Sale, open today and tomorrow. Plants for sale include scented geraniums (orange, rose, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate!), as well as a wide variety of herbs including  pineapple sage, lemon mint, rosemary and lavender. If you need something to inspire you to plant, we like these simple square pots made in Ghana, from World Pottery.

April 30, 2005 in Seen around town | Permalink | Comments (2)

Shameless Plugs

Godeb While we're on the subject of great Mother's Day gifts, let me remind you that our own Debra Galant is part of The New Jersey Women's Experience, a day exploring the three L's (learning, laughing and lunching). Treat the mom in your life to a day with Deb (we promise she won't talk with food in her mouth). Besides lunch, there's the all-important morning coffee and two workshops. And if Mom's the type who's more apt to work on her kitchen than herself, there's always this...

Lizbook_1 A book by yours truly, on getting the kitchen of your dreams. Since fantasy is often better than reality (and a lot cheaper!) this book indulges the kitchen lust that lies in the hearts of many of us, offering picture after picture of kitchens we'd love to have, but probably can't afford. Lots of great ideas, it's a wish book of sorts for planning that dream kitchen and yes, I'm still fantasizing about mine.

April 30, 2005 in Brand New | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Meeting of the Creative Minds

The press release describes it as one of those classic "Montclair stories" you always hear about...

Two creative folks are introduced to each other at a Montclair function and when these two creative minds get to talking about what it is they do (one is a producer who is in the process of creating a kids travel DVD; the other a kids rock music writer and performer) they decide they might work together and well, the rest is history.

Ivanrebbeth2bn_1The creative minds in question are Eric Ritter, vice president of Banyan Entertainment, and Rebecca Frezza. The end result is Are We There Yet? Starring Miles The Goose, a new kids travel DVD. Frezza groupies can view it at a DVD release party on May 7th (for details, go to Thrills).

Just for fun, show your creativity by posting your very own "classic" Montclair story, real or imagined.

April 30, 2005 in Only in Montclair | Permalink | Comments (1)

Countdown to Mom Day

Baristamomii001Do not let us catch you ordering flowers from an 800 number! Head over to the Brookside Garden Center, and surprise Mom with a small tree! (We do love those tiny Japanese Maples, and our very own mother was moved to tears many Mother’s Days ago when we planted her a baby Magnolia tree.) Or, grab a couple flats of annuals and plant them for her. 551 Broad Street, Bloomfield

Anything from Kiehl’s would be truly appreciated (trust us, it would!) – Chelsea Square carries the whole line, and lots of other wonderful-smelling goodies. 601 Valley Road, Upper Montclair

Baristamomii004We’re loving the home furnishings at Nicole’s Place – what mom wouldn’t adore a set of nested toile boxes? Incidentally, most of their apparel is on sale right now (in season) at 50% off. 593 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield

D. Marie is having an enormous sale this weekend – and they have lots of great housewares, serving pieces and home décor at rock-bottom below-wholesale prices. 20 South Park Street, Montclair

And please, whatever you get for Mom, skip the bow, and tie on a Very Dark Organic Chocolate Bar available at the Montclair Bread Company – (dark chocolate is the latest health food). 113 Walnut Street, Montclair

April 30, 2005 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (2)

May Day, May Day

349_upper_mountain_2It's May tomorrow and the number of homes on the market for the big spring push has increased dramatically. The flurry of open houses tomorrow alone should constitute listing as a May in Montclair event. If you're outside Baristaville and trying to get in by summer, we've got some advice from the newsletter of realtor Roberta Baldwin

"As I tell all my buyers, especially when they get depressed, try to love a house that has escaped the affection of others. It's the best buy and you can fix it up and make it fabulous!"

Who knew there was a lonely hearts club for real estate? As of today, there are more than 20 homes in Baristaville priced at a million or higher (five of which are located on Upper Mountain). Will these escape the affection of others or sell like hotcakes? Stay tuned.

April 30, 2005 in Buzz | Permalink | Comments (11)

daily dish

April  29

Cheaper Than Broadway

Critics have weighed in with mixed reviews for Broadway's latest take on A Streetcar Named Desire (seems some were hoping for a hunkier Stanley Kowalski). Here in Baristaville, we've got a slew of new opens, including...

3cardmonte_2_1Topdog/Underdog This darkly comic fable opened yesterday at Luna Stage. A tale of brotherly love and family identity, it tells the story of two brothers haunted by the past and forced to confront the shattering reality of their future. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $20 - $30.

A world premier new musical, Journey, will be performed at Mount Hebron School in Montclair this weekend. The music and lyrics are by Grammy-Award winning composer Michael Huseman of Montclair. The book and lyrics are by Kathleen Kellaigh of Clifton. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $15 - $20.

The Bawdy Babes of Broadway, a new musical review, recounts the lives of three former Broadway Gypsies. It will premier at the Theater Under the Stars in West Orange this Friday and Saturday at 8pm. The Bawdy Babes of Broadway is here for two nights only, before moving to NYC. Tickets are $15.  Update:  This show has been rescheduled due to illness.  The new dates are May 20 & 21.

At 12 Miles West in Bloomfield, see Celebration 2005: Visions of the Near East performed by Mosaic Dance Theater Company of Glen Ridge. Featuring nine Middle Eastern dancers and live musical accompaniment, the show includes dances from Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Morocco. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are $25.

Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre in South Orange presents a staged reading of Melissa Jane Martin’s new play You Don’t Say! followed by an open discussion between the audience, playwright, director, and actors. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $10.

April 29, 2005 in Theater | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sample This

Chorizos Pigged out at Whole Food's monthly free-for-all yesterday (chorizos, Mexican wedding cake, fajitas, a salted virgin margarita, you get the picture). Funniest overheard comment -- a sophisticated boy about 12, eating Manchego cheese and telling his mom, "I've been waiting for this day to come." In related news, liquor disappears from the store soon.

The distibution license will go to the Middletown Whole Foods, which apparently has more space. In yesterday's Montclair Times, an approved transfer of Whole Food's liquor license went to Sharon A. Sevrens, who is said to be scoping out locations in Montclair for a new liquor store. We happen to know Sevrens is a sommelier. We tasted Rieslings with her at an Essex County Wine Society event and she's got quite a palate. Maybe she'll shake things up and do a wine/cheese style shop or something unique. We'll follow up.

April 29, 2005 in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (45)

More Big Doings

Tonight, high school students from Baristaville and neighboring towns get to showcase their art at Montclair State University's Life Hall Art Gallery, at the 16th Annual Congressional Art Show and Competition. Hosted by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.), the show spotlights student artists from area high schools.

The competition is part of a nationwide program held in congressional districts around the country. First place artists in each district get their work hung in the U.S. Capital for one year. The runner up to this year's competition will have his/her art work displayed in Pascrell's district office. To attend, enter at the Normal Avenue entrance and park in parking deck (free parking vouchers available!)

April 29, 2005 in Culture Club | Permalink | Comments (3)

There's a Time and a Place ... for Skateboarding in Glen Ridge

You'd think that somebody might have considered the timing. It's spring break in Glen Ridge. But the Carteret Park Skate Park, a town rec supervised offering that runs on weekends and after school in the spring and fall, doesn't open until tomorrow.No_skateboarding_1 Signs and chain link, however, didn't deter boarders, who plied their sport outside the fence yesterday (and probably all week).

Meanwhile, some skateboard parents are irked by a sign that recently went up on the Linden Ave. School playground, banning their kids.

Official skate park hours: 11 to 4, on weekends starting this Saturday through June 18, and Aug. 20 through Oct. 1. Weekdays from 3:30 to 6:30 pm during the same period. Headgear, knee pads and elbow pads required. Carteret Park is at the corner of Chapman and Lorraine Sts. in Glen Ridge.

April 29, 2005 in Buzz | Permalink | Comments (9)

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