Original Music School, LLC sets itself apart from other performing arts programs with one simple goal: encourage children to write and produce their own songs. The school’s unique curriculum, which encompasses private lessons, songwriting sessions, and recording time, has earned praise from Grammy-winners, VH1 hosts, and the Berklee College of Music. Beyond educational tools, Original Music School, LLC provides aspiring rockers with the studio environment and professionally trained microphones they need to produce their own tracks.
Realizing the neighborhood was already buzzing with great restaurants and a nearby community theater, owner Jun Yoon knew the only way to improve on it was to add a memorable dessert destination to the equation. With his desire to be part of an enlivened community, he opened his café’s doors to serve frozen yogurt, cakes, truffles, and organic, fair-trade Counter Culture coffee. Within the 26-seat sweets shop, Jun doles out dollops of the Italian ice-cream treat called tartufo, as well as belgian waffles, crepes, salads, and sandwiches. He specifically designed the menu to make it an ideal spot for stopping in before the theater, after dinner, during lunch, or on the way to a castle storming. Jun also welcomes the community to his friendly confines for parties and private events.
The Brick Oven of Morristown's dough-spinning doyens handcraft a menu full of crusted creations and authentic Italian eats. Commence chew-infused chats with a bowl of the pasta e fagioli soup ($6.95) before choosing one of the popular brick-oven-baked pizzas, such as the alla mare di mare ($16.95), which combines clams, calamari, and shrimp beneath a canopy of mozzarella and ricotta cheese, or the four-cheese alla jessabella, served on a sauceless crust ($10.95). Diners can also build their own customizable pie (prices vary depending upon ingredients) for a culinary construction more appetizing than a Quaker-made oatmeal cathedral. Or skip sliced fare altogether and tongue-dive into a hearty main course, such as a primo pasta ($11.95+) or the pollo della casa—boneless chicken encrusted with parmesan cheese and sautéed in white-wine sauce ($17.95). To complement meals, guests can bring their own bottle of wine or host a séance to summon the spirit of a vintage chardonnay.
At Tim Schafer’s Cuisine, Chef Fredy Umanzor dresses up New American dishes with beer-inspired finesse. Acclimate tongues to the change of pace with the Maryland lump-crab-cake appetizer ($12), a pan-fried pescatarian patty accessorized with a dash of chipotle-lime crema sauce, or the thai beef satay ($12), served on skewers with a peanut-barbecue pairing. St. Peter's fish fillet ($24) dons a pistachio-herb coat before taking a dip in a citrus-wheat-beer butter sauce, and the creole jambalaya ($30) brings together the heads of all the protein families, including sea scallops, jumbo shrimp, a trifecta of sausage relations, and tasso ham, and combines their talents with veggies and spices to carry out the greatest taste-bud heist in history. In the Twinkie-led tradition of hiding delicious within delicious, the grilled double-cut pork chop ($28) stuffs wild mushrooms, spinach and smoked gouda inside of the grilled specialty, and sets ale whipped sweet potatoes and sautéed veggies outside to stand guard.
At American & Mexican Grill, chefs prepare exactly what you would expect: American and Mexican food. Yet this straightforward, family-owned eatery might still surprise taste buds with the booming flavors that pop from bistec a la mexicana—a grilled steak topped with sautéed onions—and from the quesadillas, packed with cheese, chicken, or steak and optionally fried to a golden brown. Other Mexican specialties include chilies rellenos and enchiladas, which are smothered in either a light green sauce or a rich mole with chocolaty undertones.
North of the border, the chefs assemble a handful of half-pound burgers and wraps packed with buffalo chicken, philly cheesesteaks, or gyros. A BYOB eatery, the grill encourages patrons to pop open a bottle of wine or beer at no extra cost. Drinks in hand, diners can enjoy live entertainment and cheer as another brave soul agrees to take on the 3-foot-burrito challenge.