First Night® Morris County celebrates its 25th anniversary – bigger and better than ever!

2016-12-21_10-31-52December 31, 2016 marks the 25th Anniversary of New Jersey’s biggest and brightest First Night, a New Year’s Eve family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts – with nearly 200 artists, over 85 events in 26+ venues – representing dance, theatre, music, world cultures, visual arts and children’s events.

For the last quarter century, Morris Arts has served as First Night Morris’ artistic programmer, securing topflight talents who attract thousands of people from throughout the state and beyond.  More than half of the program features new artists (or artists returning after several years), many of whom have performed at top venues (the White House, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Ringling Brothers, Madison Square Garden), won international recognition, performed on national radio/TV, in major films and/or collaborated with superstars of performing arts.

On that night, for a remarkably affordable price ($17.50-$25!), one can experience everything from Broadway stars to a comedy dog circus!

Three visual arts exhibits (displaying over 300 artworks) and two sets of fireworks top off that magical evening known as First Night® Morris County. To check out the full lineup of artists, visit:

Best of the Best: @JockeyHollowBK

The NJ Monthly’s annual list of the absolute best restaurants to eat in New Jersey. Congratulations Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen

2016-08-31_11-49-20Chef Kevin Sippel, 39, oversees one of the most multi-faceted and ambitious restaurant under one roof in New Jersey. JHBK, as staffers call it, is actually three restaurants on three levels.

All serve food as deep in flavor and steeped in tradition as it is informed by modern cooking techniques and ideals like local, seasonal ingredients, meat produced without growth stimulants and so on.

Top floor is the fine dining, mainly prix-fixe Dining Room; main floor the hip, casual Oyster Bar and Vail Bar; ground floor the German-themed Rathskeller (live music on weekends).

Delights range from a superb raw bar to entrancing pastas, a roasted carrot soup beyond all expectations, pork schnitzel with mushroom cream sauce and one of the most atavistically satisfying burgers around. All this plus terrific wine pairings—a specialty of owner Chris Cannon—and great cocktails from mixologist James Gelmi. Read the January 2015 Review. 110 South Street, 973-644-3180.

Morristown’s Downtown is Tops!

2015-09-10_11-16-25This month’s issue of New Jersey Monthly magazine names Morristown’s Downtown as their pick for “Favorite Downtown”.

Joanna Buffum reports on the social heart of our town:

The Morristown Green, established in 1715, is the heart of downtown, and adjacent South Street its main artery. You’ll find Revolutionary War landmarks throughout town and a National Historic Park, Jockey Hollow, where Washington’s troops shivered through the frigid winter of 1780, just to the south.
By day, South Street draws the local lunch crowd; at night, the area booms with out-of-towners who mingle at such watering holes as Sona Thirteen, Iron Bar,Grasshopper, Tashmoo, Hops and the Famished Frog.

The downtown is so walkable, the Morristown-based Seeing Eye has used it as a living classroom for guide dogs and their blind companions for more than 50 years. Jim Kutsch, president and CEO of the Seeing Eye, and his wife Ginger, are both blind and happily call Morristown home. The “no car, two-dog family” walks everywhere. “I really haven’t been able to do so much on foot since I was on a university campus,” says Kutsch.

Morristown has a proud history of caring for the needy. Downtown includes numerous soup kitchens and the historic Market Street Mission shelter, established in 1889.


Local Chefs Embrace Sustainability in Many Forms

Interviews with 5 chefs who will be preparing farm-fork tastings at Sustainable Morristown’s Locally Grown Gala on Sunday 9/20

2015-09-03_14-01-23Sustainability is a hot topic with the chefs who will be preparing farm-to-fork tastings at Sustainable Morristown’s 5th annual Locally Grown Gala. Five participating chefs recently shared their thoughts on sustainability as it relates to their cooking and businesses. While all place an emphasis on sourcing local ingredients, sustainability is incorporated in many other ways and includes practices such as the use of reclaimed materials for seating, implementation of a “no waste” policy for food, cooking over an open fire, and the exclusion of endangered species on menus. All will be showcasing their talents at the Gala to be held on Sunday, September 20th from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Morristown. Early bird discounts are available until September 9th.

Each chef discussed the importance of using local ingredients whenever possible and cites New Jersey as one of the top places in the country to source from. Mike Carrino, Chef and Partner of Trois Cochons, operators of Pig & Prince Restaurant and Gastro-Lounge, has worked in many other states but says “They don’t call New Jersey the ‘garden state’ for nothing. I love New Jersey. It has everything to offer from a chef’s point of view. We have the best produce, some of the best breeders, and we really have some of the best products in the country.” Similarly, Jeff Powell, Executive Chef at the Hyatt Morristown has worked in California, Hawaii, and Texas. And although “There are certain areas such as Hawaii where the land is fruitful,” in New Jersey “We have a giant network of farms within a 100 mile radius that we can pick and pluck from. We have access to the Atlantic Ocean. I have all these farms, and have local purveyors for chicken and for cheese.” Ben Walmer, Founder of Highlands Dinner Club ties the increasing availability of locally sourced products to the recent trend of New York City chefs launching restaurants in New Jersey, stating “This is very exciting and bodes well for New Jersey.” And Bill Hedge, Executive Chef for Kings Food Markets highlights the demand for freshly picked produce when talking about the company’s exclusive “24 Hour Just Picked Promise.” The program gives shoppers the benefits of a local farm stand by offering locally grown, farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs within 24 hours of being picked. Continue reading

It’s Official! Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen Honored by Wine Enthusiast!

2015-07-08_10-37-13Wine Enthusiast magazine mapped out their 100 favorite wine-savvy restaurants across the country, creating the go-to list for dining and drinking for the next year. Their list is packed with the “big dogs” from Le Bernadin, Momofuko Ko, and Del Posto.

Congratulations to Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen for being named in the top 100!

From the write-up: 

About the Restaurant

Manhattan restaurateur Chris Cannon spent four years transforming Morristown’s historic Vail Mansion into a culinary and cultural hub for north and central New Jersey. The grounds and art collection\are stunning, but your attention will be on Kevin Sippel’s tasting menus and the dynamic wine pairings.

The Wine Program

The program ranges from blue-chip trophies to “Fifty Under $50” and frequent dinners with guest sommeliers and winemakers. The list is organized by flavor profile within each region.

Favorite Pairing

Monkfish porchetta with pancetta, bean salad and cucumber crema, with Heinrich 2008 St. Laurent from Austria.

Fun Fact

Built in 1917, the Vail mansion is the former home of Theodore Vail, the first-ever president of AT&T.


Kings Food Markets Hosting “Big Cheese” Event This Weekend


Kings Food Markets (Kings) is hosting its Big Cheese Event this upcoming weekend exclusively at its Morristown  location in Morris County.

Kings will introduce shoppers to the unique tastes of the finest gourmet cheeses from all around the world, offering various tastings and samplings throughout the day.

Customers will also be invited to assist our chefs as they create the famous Croque Monsieur, an over-the-top-grilled ham and cheese, featuring French Mandrange Ham and Swiss Gruyere cheese on a brioche roll paired with grainy mustard and cornichons. For more information, visit their website!

 Morristown Location

191 South Street

Morristown, NJ 07960

Morristown Store: 191 South Street Morristown, NJ 07960

Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen Named Best New Restaurant

The upstairs Dining Room, with its prix-fixe menu, is one of the four distinct dining spaces at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown. Photo by Laura Moss

The upstairs Dining Room, with its prix-fixe menu, is one of the four distinct dining spaces at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen in Morristown.
Photo by Laura Moss

The February issue of New Jersey Monthly names Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen one of the 20 Best New Restaurants in New Jersey.

Here’s what they have to say:

The 1920 Vail mansion, with its long reflecting pool and august marble facade, had been vacant for many years when veteran New York restaurateur (and Mountain Lakes resident) Chris Cannon audaciously set out to transform it into four distinct restaurant spaces with three different menus. It took more than four years of work, from securing a crucial concessionaire’s license from the town (to serve alcohol) to finding ways to install state-of-the-art HVAC, lighting and kitchen equipment without violating the integrity of the historically protected structure. (An empty elevator shaft and a dumbwaiter shaft proved godsends.) The two ground floor spaces—the brightly lit Oyster and Wine Bar, and the clubby Vail Bar—opened in October, joined before Christmas by the German-themed Rathskeller in the basement and the high-end, prix fixe Dining Room on the second floor. Chef Kevin Sippel, who trained extensively in Italy and France before helping Cannon and Michael White earn rave reviews in Manhattan, rejoined Cannon as JHBK’s executive chef. An unabashed Italophile, he also draws from other ethnic traditions to craft a menu that’s at once upscale and down home. Take, for example, what may be the world’s most marvelous meatball, made with veal, ricotta, parmesan and eggs over rapini in an amatriciana sauce. The raw bar features ravishing crudos and, at happy hour, $1 Barnegat Bay oysters from 40 North. Upstairs, Sippel opened with delicacies like grilled cuttlefish with a potato-and-sea urchin zabaglione. Desserts are simple, yet often smashing, like the fall’s pumpkin cheesecake and apple pie with crème anglaise. 110 South Street; 973-644-3180.

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