Food & Drink

Press Releases

'A Taste of NJ's Best' to Honor Ellen Davenport, Former Maplewood Mayor


FAMILYConnections’ “A Taste of NJ’s Best”, will take place on Tuesday, May 2, at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston. This popular evening of delicious food and fine wine will benefit over 4,000 area children, adults and families.

This year’s event honorees are:  James Laird, Award-Winning Chef of Chatham’s Restaurant Serenade, and Ellen M. Davenport, Past President of FAMILYConnections and a former mayor of Maplewood.

While FAMILYConnections’ Tasting Gala has been an Essex County fundraising favorite for over ten years, this year promises a truly exceptional array of NJ’s finest award-winning restaurants and caterers, including:

Sign Up for E-News

  • Ariyoshi, South Orange
  • Basilico Restaurant, Millburn
  • Blue Morel Restaurant and Wine Bar, Morristown
  • Chef Jesse, Chef to the Stars, South Orange
  • Fiorino Ristorante, Summit
  • Libretti’s Restaurant, Orange
  • Lickt Gelato & Sorbet, Maplewood
  • Nero’s Grille, Livingston
  • Papillon 25, South Orange
  • Restaurant Latour, Hamburg
  • Restaurant Lorena’s, Maplewood
  • Restaurant Serenade, Chatham
  • RW Delights, Home of the Heavenly Souffle, Millington
  • Slamwich Scratch Kitchen, Madison
  • Splurge Bakery, Millburn
  • Strip House, Livingston
  • The Bernards Inn, Bernardsville

In addition to fine wines and beer, this year’s Gala will also feature specialty vodka cocktails from Tree City Artisan Vodka in Kenilworth, NJ.

“This fun evening will celebrate the work that FAMILYConnections does to build strong families and communities throughout 7 counties,” says Jacques Hryshko, FAMILYConnections’ Executive Director.  “If you want to enjoy the finest food from NJ’s best while helping your neighbors in need, come celebrate with us!”

A Taste of NJ’s Best is sponsored by FAMILYConnections’ Board of Trustees led by South Orange resident, Alan P. Levine.  Jami Thall, of South Orange, and Jody Lipsky, from Maplewood are serving as Co-Chairs.  Other area residents on the Planning Committee include Nelson Troche-Hayes from South Orange and Laura Whitmire of Maplewood.

FAMILYConnections serves Essex and surrounding counties with 35 behavioral health programs for all ages, helping people overcome major challenges including domestic violence, mental illness, addiction, trauma, and poverty. Programs serving the local community include: The Loft at Columbia High School and The Hub at Maplewood Middle School.

Funds raised from “A Taste of NJ’s Best” will support these services and deliver hope and a second chance for local children and families.

To purchase tickets ($150 per person) or to learn more about FAMILYConnections, please visit or contact Nancy Wellbrock at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Feeling Lucky

Shop of the morning to you! It’s that time of year when everyone’s color is green! Stop by Sadie's to get your St. Patty’s shirt before the big day. While your here and feeling lucky check out our latest Spring styles for Men and Women. You may make your friends green with envy.

Horoscope: Have a birthday between 3/13 and 3/24? If you stumble into a ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


South Orange Police Blotter - Adult Arrests for Shoplifting and DWI Reported

March 16, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of March 16

Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Home Burglary, Burglary at DeHart Community Center Reported

March 4 - Burglary; At approximately 1:20 a.m., officers observed a male removing several items from inside DeHart Community Center. The male was identified as 22 year old Joe Carr of Irvington. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

March 6 - Burglary; At approximately 11:30 a.m., officers responded to a home on Broadview Avenue on a report of a ...

Maplewood to Hold Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, March 25

March 19, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Hop on down to Maplewood's Spring Egg Hunt! Maplewood will hold its 34th annual hunt on Sunday, March 25, from noon to 2 p.m. in Memorial Park.

An email from the Maplewood Recreation Department states to "please arrive promptly at noon with a basket or bag to make sure you don’t miss anything."

At last year's event, hundreds of kids ...

Most South Orange Maplewood Schools Plan to Participate in National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - On Wednesday, March 14, the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is organizing a National School Walkout. According to the national march website, the walkout is for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. "to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods... and to demand Congress ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, March 19, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Tue, March 20, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment Religions And Spirituality

Wed, March 21, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Conference Room A/B, First Floor, Livingston

Colon Cancer Screening Education Program at Saint ...

Health & Wellness

Members of Brick City Brims Charged for Alleged Roles in Drug Trafficking Organization

March 17, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – Six members of the Brick City Brims set of the Bloods street gang were arrested last week for their alleged roles in a major drug trafficking organization that dealt heroin in and around Newark.

Tyrone Brown, 34, Lamarr Burwell, 22, and Miles McCloud, 37, all of Newark, and Martin Pettiford, 23, of Irvington, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to ...

Millburn Township Battle Against Proposed Stop & Shop Comes to an End

MILLBURN, NJ --  Alexander McDonald, Millburn Township Business Administrator, announced that the 24-year court battle with Stop & Shop ended with a dismissal before the pending trial commenced. Originally, Millburn Township and the Board of Adjustments faced four separate suits, which was consolidated into one case for trial. 

McDonald stated: "This has been a ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Union Animal Control Officer

March 17, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Springfield Residents Cope as Power Slowly Returns

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - As of Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. Springfield is showing outage of 2,677 or 25 percent, which is down from over 40 percent in the last two hours. It is also down from 68 percent at the peak. Union County at this point is over 20 percent of JCP&L’s statewide outages. Trucks are visible on Township streets with a caravan spotted on ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - March 16 to March 22

March 16, 2018

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:

Litofish Sardines $5.99ea (Ashley Fish Market)
Total Fage Yogurt 4/$5
Aviv Passover Matzos 2/$7
Ground Beef $3.99lb (Meat)
Roasted Vegetables $7.99lb (Prep Food)
President Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Iceberg Lettuce $1.99
Serrano Ham $14.99lb (Deli)
Turkey Hill Ice Cream ...

SOMA Film Festival Starts Friday Night, March 16

The 3rd annual SOMA Film Festival is finishing up the final touches before they kickoff this weekend's event at The Woodland, Bow Tie Cinemas in South Orange, and Maplewood Theater.  

With 16 screening programs there is something for everyone. The popular Kids Program is back for two engagements with both sold out as is the Opening Night Party and Screening. 

Tickets are still ...

West Orange Elementary Teacher Succumbs to Injuries Following Accident

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Washington Elementary School first-grade teacher Patricia Villarosa, 64, of West Orange, died on Friday at University Hospital after being struck by a car on Pleasant Valley Way on Feb. 26.

Villarosa was on her way to the West Orange Board of Education meeting at the time and was struck while crossing Pleasant Valley Way near West Orange High School. The driver, a 55-year-old ...