The second annual "A Taste of Weehawken" will be held Wednesday night, April 17, at the Food Court inside Lincoln Harbor Plaza on Harbor Boulevard.
All proceeds from the delicious evening will go to help the Weehawken Free Public Library run children's and adult's programs, to provide historical artifact preservations, and to enable the library to provide a regular lecture series in the library's multi-media center.
More than 20 area businesses will provide tasty morsels to be sampled during the course of the evening. Some of the restaurants that will participate in the event include Arthur's Landing, Spirito Grill, Chart House, and Ruth's Chris Steak House in Weehawken; Gerrino's Restaurant and Ganache Desserts of Hoboken, and the Horizon Cruise Line, which has its headquarters in Weehawken.
Many of the participating businesses attended a press conference at the Weehawken Free Public Library last week to talk about the event, which was a gigantic success a year ago, with approximately 400 people attending. More than $5,000 was raised to help the library host a variety of events, like a Valentine Day's concert and a Harry Potter Day festival for the children.
"We're very excited to have the event again," said Phillip Greco, the executive director of the Weehawken Free Public Library. "I know that those who missed out on the event last year have been talking all year, saying how they missed out on a wonderful event and they don't plan on missing it this year. Word of mouth passed around town just how great of an event it was. It was a great event and it's a good feeling, because it's all going for a good cause."
That was the general feeling of the participants who attended the press conference, especially Keith Carpentier, owner and operator of Ganache in Hoboken. Carpentier had to get involved for two reasons: One, because his fledgling Washington Street business is only four months old. The second? Carpentier is a Weehawken resident. "I can't count how many times I've hung out at Lincoln Harbor," Carpentier said. "When the thought came up, I knew I just had to be a part of this. It's a win-win for someone like me, because we're the new kid on the block. But I think we all want to be a part of something good that helps so many people."
Another participating contributor to the event is the highly praised Culinary Program at Weehawken High School, spearheaded by chef and cooking instructor Matt Krimski. The Weehawken culinary program has been receiving rave reviews for their participation in other township events.
Chef Gene Koykas is the main chef for the Horizon Cruise Line.
"I'm also a new kid on the block, so I'm excited to be a part," Koykas said. "I can't wait to share some of our finest dishes with the people of Weehawken."
Heidi Greenberg, representing The Chart House, said that it was vital for her restaurant to aid in the cause. "The community has always been very supportive to us, especially after we had the fire that burned us down," Greenberg said of the 1997 fire that destroyed the facility, only to see it return in its waterfront glory. "We have to be able to support the community any way we can."
When the chefs were describing the dishes they will prepare for the event, it was enough to make anyone's mouth water.
Spirito Grill will offer fingerling roasted potatoes and caviar. Arthur's Landing will provide duck with wild mushroom ravioli. Arthur's Off-Premises Catering will have Mahi-Mahi and roasted crab cakes. Horizon Cruises will offer Canadian salmon with a rich hollandaise sauce. And Weehawken High School will offer a venison loin with pumpkin risoto.
To top the evening, Ganache will offer three desserts, including their patented chocolate ganache - what else? - which takes approximately 15 hours to prepare.
"Dessert is all about fun and flavor," Carpentier said. "At an event like this, people might try something that they would never try anywhere else, so we want to present edible works of art."
The Weehawken High School Jazz Ensemble will provide entertainment. Wine tasting is courtesy of Tonnelle Liquors.
"It's a very fun evening," Greco said. "People get to meet new people there that they would not meet otherwise. You have friends of the library, patrons and those who become patrons. We have the finest restaurants in the area all participating and presenting gourmet dishes. The food is definitely top notch. The location is wonderful. You can't ask for a better night."
Prizes, such as one-night stays at the Sheraton Suites Hotel, dinner for two at the Chart House, Gerrino's and Spirito Grill, and the NY Waterways River Tour will also be drawn during the course of the evening.
"It's a great evening for a reasonable price," Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner said. "And all the funds raised go to help the Library. Last year went beyond expectations. We're expecting even a bigger turnout this year." As long as the residents bring their appetites and their pallets.
"A Taste of Weehawken" will be held Wednesday night, April 17, at the Food Court in Lincoln Harbor Plaza, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $50 for the entire three hours and $25 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Weehawken Free Public Library on Hauxhurst Avenue. Checks should be made to the Weehawken Library Building Fund. For further information, call (201) 863-7823.