Inside This Edition: The
Grain House Restaurant in Basking Ridge, NJ; Newark Museum in Newark, NJ; Movie Review - ONE HOUR
PHOTO; 94th Bomb Group Restaurant in Fairfield, NJ,
and Feature -
Boardwalk Bullies - Playing Where America Plays in Atlantic City
Food - May, 2003
Holiday restaurant dining can be a bit
of a shot-in-the-dark. Restaurants that do a fine job of maintaining
high standards the rest of the year often lose their focus and slip down a
notch or two.
This Easter, our party of six decided
to try The Grain House in
Basking Ridge. Affiliated with The Old Mill Inn, this picturesque,
cozy restaurant more than met our expectations for a pleasing holiday
One of our main
complaints in the past has been that too many restaurants feel the need to
push in extra tables and chairs to accommodate the holiday rush. This
makes for uncomfortable seating for customers as well as providing a
difficult situation for servers. Well, this certainly was not the case
at the Grain House. Tables were comfortably placed and beautifully
appointed; the service was prompt without being intrusive.
The menu was a
price-fixed, four-course dinner. For appetizers, we were given a
choice of Caesar salad, a most interesting asparagus on greens or shrimp
cocktail - very large and perfectly poached. The next course consisted
of soup choice, rolls and cranberry scones. Entree offerings were
sliced filet mignon with roasted potatoes, rack of lamb, salmon or pistachio
encrusted chicken. Being a table pf six, we were able to evaluate each
choice and there certainly weren't any complaints.
Desserts were offered
in a room filled with every conceivable texture and taste, from fruit to
homemade carrot cake to the gooiest of chocolate cake. Our dining
experience was never rushed and was completely satisfying. We will
undoubtedly return to The Grain House again and again.
The Grain House
Restaurant - Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Treasure - May, 2003
Museum offers a nice cultural getaway in the heart of
New Jersey's own Newark. Say what you will of Newark, but amidst layers
of decay and urban blight, there is a city being slowly reborn. The
positive seeds of change have taken hold in the downtown area and time will
tell if the renewal spreads beyond the streets near the river out into the
neighborhoods. For now, Newark has established quite a unique cultural
experience down by the river. Just off the river is the Newark Museum
which offers a look into the past of the world and the past of the
city. The Ballantine
is really a mansion built for the famed beer-brewing family, serves now as
an anchor for the museum and part of Newark's rich history. This
portion of the museum is a National Historic Landmark and a very well-preserved example of Victorian architecture. The Ballantine
furnishings are on display in the rooms open to the public.
collections of traveling exhibits are on display throughout the museum
including many permanent ones. It's pretty cool to be able to see an
ancient Egyptian falcon preserved as well as the jewelry worn in those
times. Whatever your artistic or cultural interest, the Newark
Museum is bound to have something for you at some point in time.
Newark Museum -
Newark, New Jersey
Review - May, 2003
Video Rental Pick:
ONE HOUR PHOTO - Rated R - As the
saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and for Director
Mark Romanek to even be mentioned with the great Stanley Kubrick is in
itself, a remarkable achievement. With enormous clarity of vision,
Romanek brings his screenplay to life with stunning detail and impact.
Robin williams takes on his most challenging role as "Cy the camera
guy" who takes care of "his customers" at a corporate pig of
a company called SAV-MART. Cy is the perfect employee except for
taking a few liberties with extra prints of the customers pictures.
His anal attention to perfection becomes too much for management as he
is finally let go for "click counts" that don't match up.
Things never match up for Cy as he is in a constant state of loneliness
living vicariously through others and one family in particular.
The stress of being canned sets this
bright and confused individual off on a course of unpredictable
revenge. Cy's customers are really "his customers" at least
in his own mind. Cy is bright but painfully shy and unable to build a
family of his own on his own. He punishes those who need to be punished in
his own special way and by no predictable means.
This film is a must see for the
thinking filmgoer able to understand the nuances of Kubrick and how Romanek
applies his brilliance to a remarkable film. Everything in this film
makes a statement from the set design to pauses in dialogue to the big
brother video surveillance of modern corporate America. The acting in
this film is superior from the moment Robin Williams opens his mouth as Cy to
the lurid and precise portrayal of his boss at the SAV-MART.
Romanek is a true artist of enormous
potential and his ONE HOUR PHOTO is worth and hour and half of your time.
Clubs and Nightlife - May, 2003
Bomb Group Restaurant in Fairfield, NJ offers the "single and
looking crowd" a place to look on any given Sunday. Tucked beside
a small airport is the "Bomb Group" which offers nice sized rooms,
decent bar service and a restaurant. In the summer there is even a
generous sized patio to look for and maybe meet someone. I'm always on
the lookout for the best of the club and nightlife scene in New Jersey so
when a buddy of mine mentioned this Sunday night singles function I thought
it was worth a look. Mark the single guy's quote to me was "there
is something for everyone" and just after arriving I could see
why! There is quite an age range from 30 all the way into the late
50's. Imagine a group of 300 with that diversity! The music was
broad in scope this Sunday to cater to the diverse age range and there was
plenty of looking and dancing. Mark the "single guy" really
made a great suggestion to check this place out as it may very well be the
best singles spot on a Sunday in New Jersey. If you want to
know just what all those singles are looking for you will have to check it out for
yourself. I imagine that as the temperature heats up, so will the
atmosphere at the 94th Bomb Group. I know I'm looking forward to
checking out the crowd on the patio when the temps warm up a bit more!
Bomb Group Restaurant -
Fairfield, New Jersey
Feature - May, 2003
is in the air on the boardwalk in Atlantic City or as many of us
affectionately call it "AC." The snow is gone, the temps are
climbing and people are beginning to head to the beach for some afternoon
rays. The casinos buzz along all year as tourists play the odds and
take their chances at winning. AC locals and visitors spill out of the
casinos this time of year to play on the beach and the
you venture down to Boardwalk Hall you might run into a bunch of bullies,
Boardwalk Bullies that is. The Bullies are no boardwalk sideshow but
rather New Jerseys newest minor league hockey franchise. In just a few
years this team is bringing home the wins and the value for their
fans. The motto in AC is "Where America Plays" but I'm sure
that if there is a sign like that in their locker room it says "Where
America Plays and Wins!"
come to AC for all sorts of reasons such as work and play, and it is one of
New Jerseys most famous and treasured destinations. For me, the great
allure of AC is the energy and the passion of the place. The Bullies
are an extremely well-coached and well-managed organization. They are
also a very passionate team, and their product enhances AC a great deal.
visitors and entertainers will come and go to Boardwalk Hall, the Bullies
are destined to deliver their own brand of sports excellence for many years
to come. The Bullies even have a Canadian scout on the lookout for new
prospects! Many hockey seasons have come to a halt, but the Bullies
skate on in the Playoffs. Sure the Kelly Cup is not the Stanley Cup,
but you would never know that watching this team skate.
is here and AC is coming alive outside. If you hurry you may be able
to catch a game before their season ends. I'm sure the Bullies will be anchored at the Boardwalk for many years to
come, so if you miss them this year they will be back next year playing to
Boardwalk Bullies - Playing where America Plays in Atlantic City, New Jersey
by Jerry Butler
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