The Chatterbox employees Stephanie Carpenter, and Gabrielle Carpenter, served a variety of items for event-goers. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
The Newton Theatre announced the Taste of Newton, and their open house, on their marquee. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Happy Birthday announcement for The Newton Theatre. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Dan Flynn with Sarah Medore at the Taste of Newton. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Elisa and Chip Schaffer, longtime Sussex County residents who will be opening up The Seven Acre Baker on Spring Street. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Evin Joyce, with Sydney Joice-Casey, serve up Chicken Pot Pie for O'Reilly's Pub. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Attendees mingle and eat on Spring Street. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Peter Freund of Cliff's Ice Cream scooped out four flavors of the establishment's homemade ice cream. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
"Wry Toast" performing at the event. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Attendees enjoying the evening at the Taste of Newton. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Kayla Paskas and Liz Couser of Krave Caterers, offered a cranberry giner rice pudding, and Tamarind Chicken with Red Grape. This was Couser's seventh Taste of Newton event with Krave. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Tim Harder dishes out Butternut Squash Soup, while Jamie Harder serves "Grandma's Pie", a specialty pizza made by their restaurant, Pizza Bistro. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Newton Celebrates With The Taste Of Newton And First Birthday Of The Newton Theatre: Area Residents And Restaurants Participated
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 • 6:16pm
NEWTON, NJ - More than 400 people from around the area converged on Newton's Spring Street last night for the annual "Taste of Newton" fundraising event, and The Newton Theatre’s celebration of its first year in the town.
Many stopped by to The Newton Theatre before, or after the Taste of Newton, for a free concert, and birthday cake.
“We’re trying to let people come here who haven’t been here before to see what it’s like,” said Jonathan Peirce, the theatre owner.
At the Taste of Newton, the attendees enjoyed culinary delights, from soups to desserts, from the 27 restaurants and caterers that participated.
The event, sponsored by the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce, which attendees forked over between $50 to $60 per person to attend, was a fundraiser for the chamber's culinary scholarship, and for the town's decorating fund.
"It's a great showing for the night, Newton can't ask for better vendors," said resident and Town of Newton Councilman, Dan Flynn.
"It's nice to see people here from other towns," said Sarah Medore, who also attended.
"It's delicious, there's so much food, I can't get to it all," said Dana Mooney of Green Township.
Participating restaurants and caterers included: All In the Icing of Netcong, Andre’s Restaurant of Newton, Applebee’s of Newton, The Chatterbox of Augusta, Cliff’s Ice Cream of Ledgewood, The County Seat of Newton, Down to the Bone of Stanhope, Forno of Sparta, Georges Wine & Gourmet Gallery of Branchville, Happy Wok of Newton, Jilly’s Country Store of Newton, Krave Café & Caterers of Newton, Krogh’s Restaurant of Sparta, O’Reilly’s Pub of Newton, Perona Farms of Andover, Pizza Bistro of Sparta, Romancing Desserts of Newton, Seven Acre Baker of Newton, Shop Rite of Newton, Springhouse Creamery of Newton, Stadium Bar & Grill of Newton, Texas Smoke BBQ of Jefferson, Thai Nam Phet II of Newton, Trinity of Newton, Tuscany Bistro of Newton, and Villa Capri of Hampton.
Ideal Farms supplied the flowers, haystacks, and cornstalks that helped to decorate the event.
“Wry Toast” provided the musical entertainment from outside of the Newton Fire Museum.
Wine, beer, and mixed drinks were also available for separate purchase that evening to accompany the gastronomic experience.
"Hi, I hear this is wonderful," one attendee told Evin Joice of O'Reilly's Pub and Trinity, as she was serving up Chicken Pot Pie on behalf of O'Reilly's Pub.
Forno restaurant will be opening up in Sparta on Woodport Road, also attended, and is owned by the same group that owns Trinity and O'Reilly's.
Another business coming to Newton that debuted at the Taste of Newton was The Seven Acre Baker, officially opening on 183 Spring Street on Friday, September 21.
“We are finding a need for a hometown bakery, and we’re looking to fill the void,” said Chip Schaffer, who is opening the bakery with his wife, Elisa.
Jilly’s Country Store is another establishment that is newer to the area, and in the former location of The Tea Hive. They serve up fare such as quiche and Panini sandwiches, as well as pots of teas, all at what the owner considers reasonable prices.
Visitors can also browse an old time general store, with such items for sale as jewelry, and scarves.
“It’s a cool place to hang out,” said owner Jill Hendershot, who had Cream of Zucchini Soup at the Taste of Newton, as well as varieties of fudge for tasting, and for sale, local honeys, jams, and jellies.
The Chatterbox is a standard favorite of the Taste of Newton that returned yesterday evening. Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad, Lobster Roll, barbecue pork, and chili were the selections available, and received rave reviews by those who returned to the establishment's table for seconds.
"It's some new faces this year," said Stephanie Carpenter, an employee of The Chatterbox who served up the items at the event, along with her sister, Gabrielle. "It's busy, everyone's do nice, it's always a great experience."
Texas Smoke BBQ, which has a new location on Route 15 South in Jefferson Township (formerly The Thirsty Moose), served up sllced brisket, pork ribs, and other barbecued specialties, which so many enjoyed, Eddie Loviano, the co-owner said, they ran out of food. The establishment has been voted best barbecue the last two years by New Jersey Monthly. It is BYOB, and, Loviano said they went from four tables in their previous location to 112 at their new restaurant.
Peter Freund of Cliff’s Ice Cream was a favorite stop at the end of Spring Street closer to the square. Freund scooped out Pumpkin Pie, Betwixt, Brown Butter Crunch, and Chocolate Cupcake Ice Creams throughout the night.
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream made its annual preview at the Taste of Newton, since it’s normally unavailable until the first day of fall, when Cliff’s releases five fall flavors of its homemade ice cream.
“It’s a fun time of year,” said Freund. “It’s a wonderful fundraiser, and it’s fun to be a part of it.”
Town of Newton Mayor Sandra Diglio walked around, and enjoyed the event.
“It has gone spectacularly,” said Diglio. “There are well over 400 people, everyone seems to be having a good time.”
“It’s another great event in the town,” said Thomas S. Russo, Jr., Newton’s Town Manager. “Luckily, we had wonderful weather, and it’s just cool enough so people can enjoy themselves. It’s a nice showcase for the town. Hopefully visitors will come back next year, and for other events.”
“It’s a cool crisp evening, with great conversation, and great food,” said Dennis Mudrick, one of the candidates for Sussex County Freeholder.
Sussex County Freeholder Richard Zeoli was another familiar face at the event.
“People don’t realize sometimes what a dining mecca Sussex County is, especially for our tourists,” said Zeoli. “If they want world class cuisine, they can find it here.”
Assemblyman Gary Chuisano (R-24), agreed with Zeoli.
“It’s a great time for the various restaurants to showcases their talents, and for good friends to get together,” Chiusano added.
“We’ve had a huge crowd, and beautiful fall weather,” summarized Nancy Woods, Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director. “It’s been a great night.”
Click here for the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce website, for more information and upcoming events.