new jersey

Olivella Opens in North Bergen

Olivella, a new Italian restaurant in North Bergen is on the cusp of opening. The first New Jersey project from chef Salvatore Olivella, one of the country’s top pizza makers, the new Olivella in North Bergen will serve brick oven pizza and a full menu of antipasti, pasta and entrees on a busy stretch of Bergenline Avenue, just steps from James J. Braddock Park. The restaurant will have its soft opening next week, but there is no hard date.

Show your State Pride with Just Jersey Goods

Just Jersey is just, well, Jersey. As it sounds, this store features the finest handcrafted products from all around the state. Originally, Tina Bologna created Just Jersey as a school fundraising concept, and the idea flourished. In 2014, co-owners Tina Bologna and Paul Miller opened a pop-up shop with 35 vendors, and the store concept took flight. Now, as of their anniversary on Jan. 21, there are about 200 vendors from all over the state represented. 

Relax & Rejuvenate at Ocean Place's Newly Redesigned Spa

Maybe it's the ocean views, as the resort fronts the Atlantic Ocean with a stretch of sandy beach. Maybe it’s the amenities—think 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Or, maybe it’s the convenience, since it’s only one hour south of Manhattan by car, train or ferry. Whatever the reason, Ocean Place Resort & Spa has been a favorite of leisure and business travelers alike for 27 years.

Don’t Just Eat Local; Drink Local Too

Are you looking for a fun way to incorporate local flavor into your next event? Check out some of the local New Jersey wines. Located in Hightstown in central New Jersey, Working Dog winery has some of the best bottles in the state. In fact, in a blind taste test, Working Dog wines beat some of the top European competitors. Read that again: A New Jersey winery is producing wines that best the European ones! It’s a fun talking point and ice breaker for groups to do a wine tasting. Eating local foods is a much-talked-about trend, but drinking locally is quickly catching up.

Show Appreciation with Hidden Spring Lavender Farm Gift Baskets

Hidden Spring Lavender Farm is a hidden gem in Skillman. For owners Steve and Marie Voorhees, growing lavender started off as a passion project to brighten up their fields, but it turned into something much more. 

Six years ago, the Voorhees began growing lavender. They started with only 1,000 plants, but have now expanded to over 5,000. Three years ago, they opened the lavender shop, which became Marie’s full-time job in 2015. The experience, as she says, has been delightful and satisfying.

Signature Drink: Coconut Key Lime Swizzle

The Orange Squirrel takes chef Francesco Palmieri’s philosophy of serving simple, but not simplistic global comfort food using approachable, wholesome ingredients. The accessible menu features quirky, creative takes on comfort classics.

The Orange Squirrel accommodates groups with special menus customized specifically to their needs. Seated dinners are for 35-40 people, while cocktails/buffet-style events can be up to 50. 

Catering That Does More than Taste (Really) Good

Whether you’re bringing in lunch for the team or scheduling a lunch and learn, office catering isn’t usually something that sparks a big conversation. Grateful Bites catering, however, will inspire a conversation because this nonprofit café in Flemington has a very special story behind it. As the mother of a son with developmental disabilities, Karen Monroy knew that Zachary’s options for employment were limited once he graduated from high school. She began thinking about what kids with autism and other developmental disabilities enjoyed, and cooking came to mind.

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