The Carlino family serves authentic, home-style Italian fare as well as gluten-free versions of Italian favorites to satisfy pasta-craving customers. Diners commence with a small plate of stuffed artichoke or white anchovies with green olives and capers. Postantipasti, forks delve into plates of pasta with broccoli and baby shrimp or backflip into a ball pit of tender veal meatballs with house-made tomato sauce. Hearty entrees furnish equal parts meat and Old-World nostalgia, with seafood risotto and chicken cacciatore served with mushrooms, pancetta, and herbs splashed with a white-wine sauce to conjure memories of Nona's kitchen. A gluten-free menu accommodates the wheat-weary by carefully editing Italian staples, swapping regular pasta for gluten-free penne, topping eggplant parmigiana with gluten-free breadcrumbs, and outfitting the restaurant's resident angels with synthetic wigs instead of their traditional edible strands.
Gigantic green, blue, orange, and yellow inflatables pack JumpNasium?s 13,000-square-foot playground, with some stretching all the way to the high ceiling. Within them, kids burn off energy clambering over obstacles and cascading down slides. They shoot hoops, hurl dodge balls, and kick soccer balls around the massive air-filled sports complex or knock the cover off baseballs at the inflatable T-ball park. Kids then catch their breath at the arcade with lighted air-hockey tables and video games before losing their breath once more in the hurricane simulator which blows winds up to 80 miles per hour just like the used-car salesman simulator. With five party packages, JumpNasium also make its playground an ideal spot for birthdays, winning kids over with playtime and a trip to the photo booth to commemorate the big day.
The chefs of Mardi Gras Fine Foods reach for pure olive oil and MSG-free recipes to create their Mediterranean-, Cajun-, and German-style deli foods. Freshly made main dishes, such as beef brisket and hot-pepper-jelly tortas, sit in a refrigerated deli case, ready to be packaged up and taken home. Meanwhile, bakers whip up brownies, scones, and muffins, and stack platters high with mini-croissant sandwiches and paninis.
Bent on accommodating guests' desires, the courteous staff also takes special orders to meet specific dietary needs. In addition, custom-designed catering menus feed parties from 5 to 500 atop white table linens or the backs of volunteer ghosts.
The Manor's French-trained chef crafts award-winning cuisine with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Set within 20 acres of sculpted gardens, the eatery exudes the elegance of a bygone era, like a dressy top-hat or a zeppelin made of pterodactyl bones. The sophisticated menu's first-course options include daintily slurpable Block Island oysters ($15) as well as daintily slurpable lobster bisque ($12). Fine diners can appease fine-hunger pangs with the Long Island duck breast and leg confit ($29), slice into the filet mignon, served atop truffled mashed potatoes ($38), or appreciate the nose of a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé from Burgundy ($29).
For the 32nd time, more than 100 balloons add their colors to the sky during the festival grounds during the weekend-long QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. The balloons take flight during five mass ascensions at dawn and dusk. But that isn't the weekend's only entertainment. There's also vendors and arts-and-crafts, thrill acts, and family entertainment galore. Outdoor stages also host hard-rocking performances by America, 3 Doors Down, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, as well as pop rock band Hot Chelle Rae.
For more than 40 years, Party Box's artillery of costumes, decorations, and party supplies has kept celebrants armed for good-natured squeals and screams. Ready yourself for monster mashes and whimsical bank robberies with a Supergirl ($29.99) or Batman ($29.99) costume, or trick-or-treat without fear of self-definition as a zombie rock star ($32.99). Party Box's costume selection boasts sizes from infant to XXL, enabling entire families to get in on the fun. In addition to costumes, Party Box also stocks paper and plastic ware, and decorations for a variety of themes and holidays.