Food & Drink

Press Releases

Verve Restaurant Celebrates Mardi Gras in Somerville with Charity Auction of Masks, Gumbo Cook Off and Specialty Dishes from New Orleans, Brazil and Venice

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Maks made by the students and residents at Matheny School in Peapack will be displayed and sold at auction during Verve's Mardi Gras celebration. Credits: Courtesy Matheny School
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Credits: Dina Portik/Raven Design
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Credits: Dina Portik/Raven Design
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Credits: Dina Portik/Raven Design
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The window box outside Verve Restaurant, 18 E. Main St., Somerville, is decorated for Mardi Gras. Just wait until you go inside! Credits: Rod Hirsch
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SOMERVILLE, NJ - A silent auction of Mardi Gras masks created by students and residents at the Matheny School is just part of the fun at Verve Restaurant in the days leading up to Fat Tuesday.

Owner Rick St. Pierre is busy creating a little bit of the culinary decadence and gaudy indulgence that defines the New Orleans Mardi Gras spectacle on Bourbon Street and in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

The five-day celebration of Mardi Gras in Somerville begins Thursday, Feb. 4 with special menu selections, a Gumbo Cook Off, prizes, plastic trinkets, beads and libation and concludes on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 9.

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Verve will donate money rasied from the auction of masks and the Gumbo Cook Off to the Matheny Medical and Educational Center in Peapack, a residential and out-patient facility for adults and children with developmental disabilities. Art therapy instructors work with the residents to create the masks that will be sold to the highest bidders.

The specialty menu includes dishes like Feijoada Receita, a Brazilian black bean stew with pork; Cajun catfish, Crawfish stuffed with crabmeat, Gumbo stew and bourbon glazed pork chops.

Bartenders will be busy mixing and serving Sazerac, a New Orleans-inspired cocktail with either cognac or whiskey mixed with bitters and sugar.

The Gumbo Cook Off is featured on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7, from 1-5 p.m. In previous years, St. Pierre has had five or six entrants bring in their Cajun-style or Creole-style home cooked gumbo for the contest. 

Those interested in entering the contest must bring two gallons of gumbo to the restaurant no later 1 p.m. that day. Diners can partake of the different gumbos by paying $10 to eat from the Gumbo Buffet and still get home in time to watch the 50th Anniversary Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

The Mardi Gras celebration culminates with Fat Tuesday on Feb. 9, the final day to submit a bid for any of the masks. Winners and their highest bid will be revealed that night.

A video filmed last year showing the masks being created at Matheny, as well as preparations for the Verve Mardi Gras celebration can be seen at www.facebook.com/vervestyle/posts.

Fat Tuesday occurs on the day before Ash Wednesday and is translated from the French term. Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday."  Traditionally, Fat Tuesday is the last night for eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season which begins Ash Wednesday.

Reservations are requested during Verve’s celebration of the Mardi Gras season. Call 908-707-8655 or go online at www.vervestyle.com. Verve is located at 18 E. Main St., Somerville.

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Union

Union Rec to Host Instructional Co-Ed Basketball Clinic

July 15, 2018

UNION, NJ - The Union Recreation Department will host an instructional, co-ed basketball clinic Wednesday, Aug. 15 and Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Davis Park, 940 Arcadia Place.

The clinic, featuring fun drills and games, will run from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for participants in third- through fifth-grade and 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

Participants must be Union ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:t

Monday, 7/09

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
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Adult Prize Bingo, 2:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
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The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 7/02

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Let's Create: Sharpie Watercolor Canvases, 1:00 p.m., Union Public Library
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Connect, Explore & ...

Upcoming Events

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Mon, July 16, 2:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, Union

Lunch and a Movie: The Glass Castle

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Mon, July 16, 7:30 PM

Ehrhart Gardens, Union

Union Municipal Band Concert

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Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

First Baptist Church of Vauxhall, Vauxhall

Free Diabetes Self-Management Workshop Series

Education Health & Wellness

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Tue, July 17, 12:30 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, union

Tai Chi - Free Exercise Program For Mature Adults

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The Township Committee and I are excited to announce that the second phase of the Streetscape Project has begun.  After the successful completion of phase one that yielded great results, we have already seen an increase in foot traffic, which is essential in jump-starting Union Center and bringing in the higher caliber retailers that residents are looking for in the Center.

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Stacy Fortes of Union Graduates from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child

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Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child is a ...

Union Native Jaclyn Yoselevich Named to Dean's List at Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY -- Jaclyn Yoselevich, an Ithaca College student from Union was named to the Dean's List for the spring 2018 semester.

Founded in 1892, Ithaca College is a residential college dedicated to building knowledge and confidence through a continuous cycle of theory, practice and performance. Home to some 6,500 students, the college offers more than 100 degree programs in its ...

Herbert F. Orbann, formerly of Union, Passes Away

Herbert F. Orbann Jr. 82, formerly of Union a resident of Union passed away on June 27.

 

Herb was very active with the Republican Party, Masonic Lodge, Community, and Connecticut Farms Church in Union. After moving to Toms River, Herb also served as a Sergeant of Arms for Trenton’s Senators until his passing.

 

Services for Herb will be on Monday July 2 from ...

Roselle Man Charged in Animal Cruelty Case      

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ELIZABETH, NJ — The Roselle man found with more than 40 dogs living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last month has been charged with more than 30 criminal offenses, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Evelio J. Calderon, 40, is charged with two 3rd-degree animal cruelty offenses, 14 counts of 4th-degree animal ...

Rahway Mayor Giacobbe to Attend Grand Opening of First Wawa Store in Rahway; Free Coffee Offered Through July 16

RAHWAY, NJ - Rahway Mayor Raymond A. Giacobbe will be on hand to cut the ribbon at 10 a.m. Thursday. July 12, for the new Wawa store's grand opening at 280 St. Georges Avenue in Rahway.

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Former Linden Police Chief to be Appointed as Union County Undersheriff

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As a member of the Linden Police Department for nearly 25 years, Parham has served in each rank from Officer to Captain before his promotion to Chief in September of 2016. 

During his first month as Chief, Parham along with other Linden Police ...

Westfield to Hold 3-Day ‘AddamsFest’ Celebrating Charles Addams and His Creations This Fall

July 14, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It’s creepy. It’s kooky. And it’s taking over Westfield from Oct 26 to 28. AddamsFest, a town-wide celebration honoring Westfield native Charles Addams and his most famous creations, The Addams Family, will be a destination event this fall with family-friendly activities, lectures, exhibits and film screenings, the town announced Thursday.

Watch the ...

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The 23 bands performing were selected from a record-high 109 applicants in 2018, who radiate from Maplewood/South Orange to other musical ...

Video: Mail Truck Careens into Warinanco Park Pond

ELIZABETH/ROSELLE/LINDEN, NJ - Police, Fire, and Rescue units responded to a U.S. Mail truck that drove head-on into the pond in Warinanco Park on Thursday afternoon. 

Sometime after 2 p.m. responders were called to the scene to find the mail truck in the water. A park worker said that while he did not see the truck go into the water, he did arrive just in time to see who he believed to ...

Springfield's Meisel Field Turf Project Almost Complete

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UPDATE: Scotch Plains Woman Injured in Plainfield Shooting Has Died

PLAINFIELD, NJ -- The female victim of a double shooting that took place in Plainfield the weekend of June 23-24 has died due to her injuries, Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr. announced Monday.

The victim has been identified as Shavonne Young, 25, of Scotch Plains. The shooting, which took place around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 24, at the corner ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Festival Continues July 18 at Echo Lake Park Featuring 5 Against 1

July 13, 2018

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday July 18, with the band 5 Against 1 taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free series is presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. It is held at Echo Lake Park during July and moves to Oak Ridge Park in Clark during August.

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FLEEK Program Provides a Summer of Art and STEM for Union County Students 

Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholder Angela R. Garretson visited students and teachers at the Future Leaders Excelling in Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (F.L.E.E.K) Summer Youth Enrichment Program at The Patrick School in Hillside earlier this week. They were joined by Nathalie Hernandez, the Coordinator of the Union County Office of Community Engagement & ...

Union County Students Invited to Experience a Unique Silent Party

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How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

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The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

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Columns

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

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'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

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What Union is Reading: Month ending June 2018

July 6, 2018

It is summertime and a great time to get in some reading! Many great new books have topped the list in June. The top circulating print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in June 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category; download the app today and start borrowing books from home to read or listen on your phone or tablet at the ...

Body Pulled From Delaware River

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Letters to the Editor

Letter to Residents of the 20th Legislative District

July 3, 2018

To the editor,

When I decided to run for state Senate, I committed to make the residents of the 20th Legislative District my top priority in Trenton.  I am proud of the FY 2019 budget and believe it is the product of a pledge I made to my constituents.  This budget is a reflection of how hard I have been working to increase funding for our schools, our municipalities and our ...