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Oct 22, 2010 11:16 AM

Birthday 'Day' of Culinary Fun in NJ/NY area??

Hi all~

Im looking for somewhere in the north Jersey area to take my husband for the day. We love to eat, love to garden, into canning, local foods/meats/produce... into the whole scene I guess you could say. Im looking for something to do for my husband's birthday. . . dont mind to drive an hour or two either.

Any restaurants/towns/activities would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks in advance~

Ps Just found this sight and Im loving it! Lots of great info

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    1. re: MichelleM131

      I was going to suggest Eataly also. Just be forewarned kmoore7, there are a lot of disparaging remarks on this site about the place (to include mine!) but then there are also a lot of kudos for it to (to include mine!). It is a very confusing mish-mosh of a place, but once you let yourself go with the flow, you'll enjoy it. I did just that and have enjoyed the experience since.

        1. re: bgut1

          I have to second Blue Hill - not because I've ever been there, but because visiting hte place is a personal fantasy of mine:)

          1. re: bgut1

            CH really needs a simple LIKE button a la Facebook. Rhinebeck and the Greater Hudson Valley have become our go-to location for a quick getaway.

            (I know this is OT and out of region, but if you get to the area, head up to Woodstock/Bearsville and hit The Bear Cafe. NJ foodies could only dream of such a place here. Hope the CH gods will leave this comment here just long enough to be read...)

      1. for a jersey fresh adventure:
        I'll suggest Valley shepard creamery- in Longbranch...great cheese, get to pet the sheep...then a treck over to Alba winery for some tastings and dinner at that Raritan (backwards) place (90 acres) or Eno Terra in kingston...

        Eno Terra
        4484 Route 27, Kingston, NJ 08528

        2 Replies
        1. re: sixelagogo

          From a logistics point of view it would make more sense to go to Ninety Acres rather than trek cross country to Kingston.

          Valley Shepherd Creamery is a great place to visit and tour but please note that it's in Long Valley, not Long Branch.

          Valley Shepherd Creamery
          50 Fairmount Rd, Long Valley, NJ

          1. re: ambrose

            keep getting my longs confused- what ambrose said

        2. Not sure if you're looking for a local farm-type experience, or shopping, but if you're into the idea of interesting shopping/sights, have you been to Corrado's and the markets in Paterson? How about to Edgewater to the huge Japanese markets? Then again, a ride out to Long Valley and/or to Bobolink Dairy is nice too...! And Blue Hill at Stone Barns really is stunning. I was a tad disappointed by the meal I had there, but the setting is stellar!

          Bobolink Dairy
          369 Stamets Road, Milford, NJ 08848

          3 Replies
          1. re: Curlz

            Wow thanks for all the info, i really appreciate all the replies!

            Curlz~ we got to Carraods every Sat morning so thats out for a day trip, but you understand the flavor im searching for. its great there, making the grocery shopping experience enjoyable (aside from the crazy crowds of course, but we beat that by going early). they allow you to sample cheeses, olives, proscuitto, etc. good prices and unbeatable variety. i absolutely love it there.

            ambrose~ looking at the creamery site now and its awesome! weve also been doing some research on cheesemaking (husbands mom used to make homemade cheeses and labnah- an arabic creamed yogurt) so this is definitely an option!

            bgut~ ur options look great also! this is such helpful info, im so excited to plan now! his bday is mid-Nov so I have a bit of time, but its our first birthday celebration as husband and wife so i want it to be extra-special!

            thanks to all!

            1. re: kmoore7

              "its our first birthday celebration as husband and wife so i want it to be extra-special!"

              You sound like a very thoughtful wife, kmoore7. Have fun!

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Hi all,

                I stumbled across this post from ages ago and realized I had never given an update, just wanted to let the people who offered ideas know what we ended up doing. So we went to Valley Shepard Creamery in Long Valley, NJ and it was definitely a nice little road trip! We went in November (for my husbands birthday) and so it was alittle chilly but we are tough folk so it was just fine for us.
                I packed a little picnic basket for us since I knew we would purchase some cheeses from their shop. If my memory serves me correct, we bought a strong bleu, a parmesan, and some hard cheese with stinging nettles in it (our wildcard cheese!) and they were all AMAZING!!! Not to mention we sampled virtually every single cheese in the display case with the help of their very sweet and knowledgable girls behind the counter. They offered us lots of great recommendations. We also got a local cured meat, I think a spicy sopressati, from their shop which was also great. And I brought a bottle of wine from home.
                We went down the road (beautiful drive looking at the Fall foliage!) to a nearby farm that offered a market and a petting zoo (since it was around Halloween they had a corn maze and stuff for the kiddos) and this is where we ate our picnic, they had a few tables outside. We also bought some fresh produce from them because their stuff was great!

                Only thing I would recommend is calling ahead regarding the tours, we missed it by two hours :/ and really would've liked to have seen it. PLus every year they have a sheep sheering party/carnival that is open to the public. Sounds really fun!

                Anyways, thanks again for the info to all who helped!!!