A featured business in the New York Times, Alan's Orchard is an indoor market committed to better serving the community and environment by stocking their aisles with organic produce, free-range poultry, and grass-fed beef, among the assorted products of local farmers and artisans. Unlike pickles that try to sneak pandas past customs, the unsuspicious Picklelicious fresh pickles (pint $4.99, quart $6.99) are one of one of many vegetables plucked from New Jerseyan soil that complement sandwiches on bread from Baker's Bounty ($2.99-$4.99 per loaf). Cheese chasers can corral curds by the quarter-pound with a selection of organic cow cheeses ($4.99), mixed milk cow and sheep cheeses ($5.99), and pure sheep cheeses ($6.49) from Valley Shepherd and Cherry Grove.
Since 1967, the Mandreucci Family has lured in diners with the scent of bubbly margherita pizzas, sopressata sandwiches on semolina bread, and chicken, sausage, and shrimp mingling with rich sauces on plates of pasta. Tan brick and colorful murals of wholesome Italian ingredients surround families and couples as they twirl linguini around their fork tines or munch on slices of vodka-penne pizza, a specialty pizza topped with vodka sauce and diced ham. During catered events, guests can avoid eye contact with an old lab partner by preoccupying themselves with fresh fruits, antipasti, penne pomodoro, lasagna, and veal.
Un, deux, trois. Such is the simplicity of Caf? Monet?s menu, whose three-part, mix-and-match structure is the brainchild of Egyptian-born chef Wes Sawi. The child of a diplomat, Sawi spent his youth traveling the world before finding his passion in food. He studied at the New York Restaurant School and trained at notable kitchens in Paris and Lyon, all of which contribute to the global touches on his predominantly French creations.
On the dinner menu, plates under the ?un? and ?deux? sections are served in appetizer-sized portions, while the ?trois? offerings constitute full entrees. To start, a Moroccan tuile adorns mounds of crabmeat a la mango, and duck confit comes paired with wild-mushroom strudel, a creation that the New York Times hailed as ?a small masterpiece of a dish.? Merlot-braised beef short ribs and an onion ring sit atop a mint-fava-bean-potato puree, and mint essence flavors rack of lamb and a Proven?al?style vegetable tian. In addition to the egg dishes, sandwiches, and salads that populate the lunch menu, the cafe runs a patisserie that serves baked goods and gourmet coffee throughout the morning and afternoon.
Large canvases sporting colorful still-life paintings of fruit adorn Caf? Monet?s warm, neutral-colored walls, which reach down to a bare wooden floor in the cozy, 50-seat dining room. Granite tabletops separate chairs from leather banquettes, where diners sit and uncork wine they brought from home. Outside, red umbrellas shield tables as guests sip coffee and take advantage of complimentary WiFi.
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The Pino name has been a Highland Park mainstay since the inaugural Pino's grocery opened nearly 100 years ago. Its current incarnation is Pino's Gift Basket Shoppe and Wine Cellar, a specialty outfit that purveys wine, beer, liquor, and gift baskets. Here, customers can sample craft brews and internationally sourced wines at the newly opened tasting bar or take home an elegant gift basket of edible goodies, such as artisan salsas, tapenades, and popcorn.
Amid a friendly Old-World market atmosphere, the butchers of Pulaski Meat Products smoke, slice, and link an array of Eastern European meats onsite. Hoops of Kraiana kielbasa ($4.19/lb.) spin on dinner tables or the turntables of experimental DJs, and black forest ham ($6.29/lb.) fills sandwiches with its savory, salty flavor. Frankfurters ($4.79/lb.) await the grill or frying pan, and baby back ribs ($6.59/lb.) come infused with the taste of the smokehouse. Watched over by an emblem of Poland's crowned eagle, the shop's knowledgeable employees hand out samples and help customers understand the subtle differences between Ukrainian and Hungarian kielbasa and why bologna shouldn’t be used as a pillow.