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.

st. joseph's children's hospital

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Eighth Annual Cooking for Kids

#HipNJ’s Kimberley Merlo joined 50 of the metropolitan area’s food and drink elite for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Eighth Annual Cooking for Kids: Gourmet Fare From Everywhere!

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital marquee event was attended by over 600 guests.  A-list participants (many of whom have been featured on!) included:

Winner of the Food Network’s Chopped, Chef Ryan DePersio of Fascino in Montclair, Nico Kitchen + Bar at NJPAC and Battello in Jersey City;

Chef Eric B. Levine of Morris Tap & Grill in Randolph and Paragon Tap & Table of Clark and also a winner of Chopped;

Bravo’s Top Chef contestant Chef Ariane Duarte of Ariane Kitchen & Bar in Verona;

Food Network’s Sweet Genius contestant Chef Colleen Grapes of Oceana in New York City;

Chef Francesco Palmieri of The Orange Squirrel in Bloomfield and winner of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen;

Chef Anton Testino of the Mulberry Street Café in Waldwick and a contestant on this past season of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen;

and Chef Michael Carrino from Pig & Prince Gastro Lounge in Montclair.

Chef DePersio and Chef Duarte won the Cook-Off for the second year in a row with their pretzel0 dusted chicken with ricotta and gnocchi!

In addition, over 30 other chefs dished out samples of their signature dishes.  Gary’s Wine & Marketplace served as the event’s Beverage Sponsor, offering guests tasting pours of fine wines and spirits.

“Cooking for Kids” has raised over one million dollars for the patients and families of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Some of the  programs and projects funded include educational tutoring services for young patients; the purchase of specialized medical equipment; and funding for children and their families to participate in fun activities year-round.

For more information, visit

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza of Marlboro

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza just opened their 49th location in #HIPNJ! Partner and Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino was there to enjoy the festivities. The location in Marlboro marks their sixth location in New Jersey!

While Sunday night’s entertainment was not announced to the general public, word quickly got out that Dan Marino was there and the restaurant was buzzing. Dan, a partner in the restaurant chain, kindly obliged to take pictures and sign autographs for dozens of fans and customers alike throughout the evening.

#HIPNJ’s Kendall Zoppa got a chance to chat with owner Anthony Bruno about his business and more specifically the pizza. “What makes (our pizza) different is the authenticity of it,” said Anthony. “We keep it really simple and we have a real coal oven, which makes a difference.”

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza already has 49 locations across 5 states in only 13 years of operating.

“It’s amazing the level of excitement from the customers when they know we’re coming to town,” said Chief Marketing Officer Nick Castaldo. “Most pizza in the marketplace is middle of the road and when people hear that we’re coming and it’s the authentic coal oven pizza, they get excited.”

And it’s not just pizza that Anthony’s is known for; their buffalo wings and salad dressing are just as tasty and original as the pizza.

“We had the chicken wings and they were amazing,” affirmed customer Kevin McQuade. “Everything on the menu is just phenomenal.”

Dan believes that a big factor of his restaurant’s success is the vibe surrounding Anthony’s. “It a family atmosphere,” said Dan. “You can watch sports on TV and it’s a really comfortable place to go to and it’s been that way since we opened the first one.”

If you’re curious as to what’s next for Anthony Bruno and the gang, they plan to ship up to Boston to open more coal fired pizzerias in another big sports market.

For more information on Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, please visit

P.G. Chambers school

P.G. Chambers School’s Casino Royale

Cedar KnollsP.G. Chambers School hosted their biggest fundraiser of the year, and #HipNJ was part of the Casino Royale action!

The Park Avenue Club was home to the school’s Casino Night, which was co-chaired by Susan Lodge and Tiffany Srnensky.  The glitzy affair featured fabulous food, delicious drinks, fun games and amazing prizes.  Aston Martin Summit | Short Hills also displayed some of their newest vehicles- a perfect fit for the evening’s 007 theme!

“The magic is in the 6’s this year!” Gushed Renee Gitto, the school’s assistant director of development, to #HipNJ’s Kendall Zoppa.  “We’re celebrating the sixth year of this event and the school’s 60th anniversary, and we’ve never been more successful!”

P.G. Chambers and their state- accredited school programs have provided the most comprehensive education and therapy for children with disabilities, from birth through 22 years of age.

All children enjoy individualized instruction, the latest technology, highly qualified teachers, teaching assistants, therapists, nurses, social workers, and administrators in a safe environment.

PGCS is a leader in the field of special education and therapy services for children with developmental disabilities.  The school is one of the region’s most comprehensive educational and therapeutic service providers, serving 10 counties in northern New Jersey.

For more information, log onto or call 973.829.8484.