Category Archives: Scene & Heard

Get the scoop on New Jersey’s hottest and hippest places to see and be seen. From the trendiest fashions and most stylish shopping spots, to delectable dining and eclectic events, Hip New Jersey breaks down the best places to shop, socialize, wine and dine in the Garden State. With sneak peeks at everything you need to know to stay in vogue, #HipNJ exposes everything our beautiful state has to offer.

#HipNJ: Author Lauren Pizza’s New Book, “Meant to Be”

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino sat down with author Lauren Pizza to discuss the interesting background into her new book “Meant to Be: The Lives and Loves of a Jersey Girl”. The story behind this book might shock you!

Two years ago Lauren went to a palm reader who told her she needed to start developing her writing. The reading confused Lauren because she had never really written before, but when Lauren got home she started writing. “Long story short, I wrote a book”.

Lauren tells #HipNJ that when she was thirteen years old she had a near death experience when she was caught underneath a sailboat. “My soul left me” she says. After she was rescued she knew it was meant to be she didn’t die. In her book, “Meant to Be” Lauren chose to write about her loving husband and family she was able to have.

To Lauren there is no such thing as coincidence in life and “we are where we are for a reason”. You can find Lauren’s book at your local Barnes & Noble or Don’t hesitate to check it out!

Dough Artisan Pizzeria

If you’re on the hunt for a #HipNJ place to eat, Dough Artisan Pizzeria in Caldwell may be the hidden gem you’ve been searching for!

This homey spot puts the “garden” in “Garden State“.  Owner and chef Ed Simmons has adopted a  “farm to table philosophy”, which means sourcing the finest & freshest local ingredients for their unique dishes.  Dough partners with local farmers, and strives to promote sustainability within the community.

“I feel I separate myself with my passion [for hand-crafted cuisine] and creativity,” Ed explained.

#HipNJ’s Peter Falzo got an exclusive tour of Dough and experienced their authentic dining experience firsthand.  Peter sampled Dough’s exquisite ricotta gnocchi in their fresh house sauce (“Excellent, not too sweet!”) and mouth-watering, brick oven pizza.

The two chatted about why Ed chose Caldwell as his business’ home.

“Caldwell is a great town, lots of families.  [It] has great plans for downtown, and I have a good feeling it’s going to be the next Montclair,” Simmons predicted.

To learn more about Dough, visit their website.

Jersey Fest featuring Mr. Cory’s Cookies

From food trucks to concerts, this year’s Jersey Fest at the new Meadowlands Racetrack had a little something for everyone, and #HipNJ was there to capture all the festivities!

This year, Jersey Fest featured the Food Truck Mash-Up– among other vendors across the Garden State- to showcase the best #HipNJ has to offer.  Furthermore, 2014 marked the first year that Jersey Fest was held in the new Meadowlands Racetrack grandstand, which completed it’s $88 million dollar renovation in November of last year.

“Jersey Fest is a celebration.  It’s a time to come out and showcase the businesses from our state,” said T.H. Waldman, manager of Exposure, the company’s events division.

#HipNJ’s Kelly Dillon spoke to many of the vendors and attendees, including Internet sensation Cory Nieves,  the remarkable ten year old who owns Mr. Cory’s Cookies.

Cory proclaims: “My cookies are all natural, and they’re the best cookies because they are made with love.”

Jersey Fest also gave back to the state.  The Center for Food Action collected non-perishable items, and attendees donated used sneakers to the Max Cure Foundation, which raises money to help pediatric cancer.

For more information on all of Jersey Fest visit, please check out their website.