Blog,  Reviews

Enjoying a Taste of Newton

My wife and I recently had our first baby. Needless to say, we don’t go out as often these days, but on the off chance we do, we generally avoid traveling very far and always search for great cuisine. As Newton residents, the opportunity for a night on the town sampling the local dining fare appealed to our interests. We are pleased to say Taste of Newton also satisfied our palates.

In its 17th year, the event is traditionally held on Spring Street, but this year it was relocated to parking lot #4 on Trinity Street. The new location proved to be a good choice as it allowed for ample space to accommodate a sold-out crowd. Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce VP, Kimberly Williams, informed us the event theme “From the Garden” was inspired by New Jersey’s reputation as the Garden State and all the food being sourced from Sussex County farms. With the vendors and dining tables all set up, attendees started filtering their way in at 5:30pm as the band, Captains of Leisure, began to play. Fresh local fare, great live music, a booze tent… what more could you ask for on a Monday night?

Despite having to leave a little early on account of our son reaching his bedtime breaking point, we had a wonderful time—hopefully next year he makes it until 8:30pm! If you couldn’t make this year’s event, we recommend placing a visit to any of these great establishments for a taste of what you missed:

The Walpack Inn


North Shore House


Sussex County Community College Culinary Institute

I’m always excited to see what my colleague, Chef Martin Kester, is cooking up with his students of the Culinary program at Sussex County Community College. With a resume that includes Executive Chef at Summit House and chef de cuisine at 90 Acres, he instills world-class technique as was demonstrated by preparing bi-color corn panna cotta with lemon balm. It was light, sweet, and delicious, and I have no idea how they made it. Do you? Maybe we should enroll in a cooking class at the Culinary Institute on Main St. opening soon!

The Circle


The Farmer’s Daughter


Pig Whistle Inn

Pig Whistle Inn is a backyard BBQ joint almost literally in our backyard that we’ve frequented a few times since it’s reopening in 2017. The smoker is always on and their wings are off the chart. I’m pretty sure that’s the owner, Michael, in the middle, whose jovial presence makes you feel right at home whenever you dine with them. Their pulled pork sliders hit the spot tonight.

O’Reilly’s Pub and Grill

O’Reilly’s Pub and Grill has one of the best burgers I’ve had in recent memory. Seriously, go order their house burger and let me know what you think. Tonight, they had pulled pork with cheddar and jalapenos, crispy and delightful while packing a nice punch.

Hayek’s Hometown Market

If you live in Newton, Hayek’s Market is a must. They’ve been around since 1939 and I’m there at least 3 days out of the week. Their homemade dinners are the perfect option on a night you don’t feel like cooking and their store-roasted turkey is so good on a sandwich you might never order Boar’s Head again. Tonight, Chef Aiden and Craig dished us some crab cakes that we thoroughly enjoyed.

Thai Na Khon


Mi Rancho


Newton First Aid Squad


Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream

When I saw Cliff’s was here, I had to refrain from making a beeline to the cart the moment I walked in. I am an absolute ice cream fanatic to the point that it’s an unhealthy obsession and could write a book about how Cliff’s has impacted my life. While all their ice cream is exceptional, their fall seasonal flavors are their best. I’m awaiting the annual release of their Dutch Apple Crumb next week, which actually ranks as my favorite flavor of all time by any ice cream maker. Their Sweet Potato Pie is a close second, that of which I feverishly consumed after permitting my son a small taste.

Teyma Drink Tent


A much-needed cup of wine for Mama Vitale.

Special thanks to the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce and all the sponsors who helped make this year’s Taste of Newton possible: ThorLabs, Teyma, Wildflowers With Tami, Up and Above Contractors, Planet Networks, The Newton Sports Bar and Kitchen, Ibranyi Is Floral, and the Town of Newton.

The Town of Newton’s 6th Annual Fall Festival and Car Show is coming up on Sunday, October 10th from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. More information on this and other events happening in the area can be found on the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce’s website.

The lucky guy who gets to eat the stuff his hot GF cooks.