Tag Archives: gourmet

cupcake

Happy #CupcakeDay!

Hey #HipNJ cupcake lovers! Today is #CupcakeDay, so let’s take a look at 5 of the best cupcake shops in the Garden State!

1. Crowley’s Cupcakes, Madison

This bakery offers a wide range of tasty treats—cakes, cookies, specialty breads, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and of course, cupcakes! Here’s just a few of their flavors—Mint Brownie, Pink Lemonade, Nutella, M&M Candy, and Cafe Mocha. Sounds tasty!

2. House of Cupcakes, Princeton, East Brunswick, Clifton

The name of this bakery says it all as they feature an eclectic mix of cupcakes. With flavors such as Boston Creme, Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Pina Colada, you really can’t go wrong here!

3. Blue Sheep Bake Shop, Somerville

This Central Jersey bake shop is home to many kinds of desserts including specialty cakes and cupcakes, macarons, sugar cookies, cake pops and more. Here’s a few of their cupcake flavors: Death by Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup, Birthday Cake, Toasted Coconut, and Chocolate Covered Strawberry. Yum!

4. Ava’s Cupcakes, Rockaway

Ava’s Cupcakes produces their cupcakes using seasonally-sourced ingredients. Known for more exotic cupcakes, they offer flavors such as Beer & Pretzels, Blueberry Cheesecake, Cinnamon Pumpkin, Pink Champagne and Strawberry, and Key Lime Pie. This is a great place to test out some very uniquely flavored cupcakes!

5. Baking Grace, Hawthorne

This bakery claims “life is too short for cheap desserts” and we couldn’t agree more. Home to an awesome selection of cupcakes and cakes, Baking Grace only prepares their desserts with fresh ingredients and in small batches to assure you excellent quality. Some of their cupcake flavors include German Chocolate, Oreo, and Red Velvet, Bavarian Creme, and Orange Cheesecake. Wow!

Satisfy your sweet tooth this #CupcakeDay with any one of these fine bakeries!

foods

Francesca Gourmet Foods Opens in River Edge

Welcome Francesca Gourmet Foods to the #HipNJ neighborhood!

The River Edge gourmet market features a vast array of prepared foods from around the world—with a focus on classic Italian fare—made fresh daily, along with a selection of artisanal products.

The 6,000 square foot space borrows its name from owner Keith Alliotts’ young daughter, and also pays homage to his Italian American roots. Francesca Gourmet Foods showcases various individual stations within the space, such as a live mozzarella-making booth, a rosticceria carved meat station—featuring prime rib daily—sandwich/panini bar, build-your-own salads, and seasonal soup, as well as a central counter featuring dozens of rotating gourmet dishes.

In addition to the prepared foods, a retail component offers an assortment of artisanal products such as imported oils, vinegars, spreads and jarred specialties, alongside fresh baked breads from Balthazar, cheeses from around the world, packaged pastas and more. Grab and go options are also available, including premade soups, sauces, salads and baked specialty items.

Francesca offers 30-seats to sit and enjoy food on-site, or quick and easy service to grab something and be on your way. The space was designed by Manning Design Group in Asbury Park, NJ, and has a rustic, farm to table feel, creating a warm inviting atmosphere. Blue and white imported ceramic Sicilian tile greet guests as they enter, while reclaimed wood is found throughout the space. Additional design elements include a hand-cranked prosciutto slicer imported from Italy, hand-painted signs, and a reclaimed barn door in the dining area.

“We will strive to make Francesca Gourmet Foods a place the community can count on to deliver fresh and delicious food prepared with love – a place one can drop by at anytime, whether for a quick bite on-the-go, to pick-up a delicious dinner for the family on your way home from work, or to assist with hosting that big holiday party,” said Owner Keith Alliotts. “We’re excited to be open and are looking forward to getting to know our customers, and becoming part of the neighborhood.”

While Alliotts brings expertise and a diverse background in commercial real estate to the table, he is joined by a team with vast experience in the restaurant industry. Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Mike Matonti, who brings twenty years’ experience in the industry, having worked at Bergen County’s best restaurants including Café Panache and The Saddle River Inn.

Overseeing the day-to-day is Robert Anton, who serves as Director of Operations for the Francesca brand. Anton was previously with The Hillstone Restaurant Group, where he managed outposts across the country, including Los Angeles, Scottsdale, New York City and Hackensack, equating to twenty-five years of experience in top-tier management positions.   Also on the team is general manager, Mike Byrne, assisting Anton with operations. All four grew up in Bergen County and still call Northern New Jersey home.

Francesca Gourmet Foods is open Monday through Friday from 10:00AM to 8PM, and Saturday – Sunday from 10:00AM to 6PM. The team plans to launch a catering program in the coming weeks. For more information please visit FrancescaFoods.com, or call 201-678-1188. For social media, use Instagram and Twitter: @francescafoods or Facebook.