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RATING: Highest Possible Rating: 4 chef hats
THE EMERALD: A RUSSIAN RESTAURANT 633 Morris Turnpike, Springfield, (973) 4678687
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By DR. JOSEPH P. DE ALESSANDRO
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
I knew when I first visited two weeks ago that I would return very shortly to participate again in another memorable Russian feast, and I was absolutely correct.
The Emerald in Springfield, which is scarcely a halfyear old, boasts a quaint, lovely, meticulously clean and tastefully decorated Russian restaurant.
It has two rooms and holds approximately 50 people. Russian music is always in the background, adding the right atmosphere to the delectable food.
Entering through a very ample parking facility, you arrive at a reception desk manned by a beautiful whitehaired Russian lady who also happens to be the grandmother of the chef, Eugene Gorelik, who is also the son of the owners Mr. and Ives. Gorelik.
The tables are beautifully appointed and spacious in terms of room and ease of dining.
Our young Russian waiter was completely familiar with the menu and was most attentive during the serving of the dinner. He constantly inquired about whether everything was okay.
The appetizers are a tour de force — Baba Hanush with tomatoes and pita bread was fresh, delicious and delectably spiced. Sliced tomatoes accompanied the dish.
The restaurant’s Smoked Salmon with Red Caviar and Basil Sauce gave a new meaning to this classic dish. Portions were ample and the spicing and temperature of the food were right on point.
Their Meat Dumplings were deliciously decadent — the great savory spice most delectable. They also served Blintz with Salmon Caviar. I could have made a dinner of the delicious appetizers.
The soup course offered a real challenge: Cold Borsch, Hot Borsch and Chicken Soup with Russian Dumplings.
We ordered the Hot Borsch and found it to be the best that I have ever tasted. It was not heavy, it was light and extremely tasty, full bodied and very satisfying.
The Chicken Soup with Dumplings is not to be missed — the soup is a very fine chicken elixir with wonderful Russian dumplings. They defy improvement. Again, I could have stopped at this course.
The Emerald offers at least eight salads, but I must focus on two of them.
They serve a Duck and Pear Salad made of crispy duck, pears, and mango dressing served over mixed greens. If you are a duck enthusiast, it is worth your while to try this dish. The duck is perfectly cooked and served, an ample portion being complimented by the pear and mango dressing. A must.
The second salad is Cracked Bulgar Wheat Salad — a European classic with lemon zest, olive oil and dried currants with the bulgar wheat.
They also serve Marinated Vegetable Salad, Greek, Turkish and a Fresh Vegetable Salad, all of which are a wonderful experience.
The entrees caused the writer a great deal of difficulty. They were all
so good that a selection becomes a challenge. The restaurant offers choices of poultry, veal, beef, pork, lamb and seafood.
I kept salivating as the dishes were produced from the kitchen. The aroma and presentation was excellent.
Similar to the appetizer, they offer an entree of Grilled Duck Breast Marinated, Long Island duckling served with vegetables and rice pilaf. It is an extension of the duck, served as an appetizer. Absolutely delightful. They also offer Chicken Kiev — chicken breast rolled around a stick of butter, breaded and baked — delicious.
The veal dishes present Calves Liver Berlin style, sauteed liver steak with onions and apples. This is a must for liver lovers. Veal Stew a la Moscow, tender veal morsels simmered in a wine sauce with fresh tomatoes served either with rice or noodles — the aroma and delicacy are an attraction to any appetite.
Beef entrees include the classic Beef Stroganoff Tenderloin tips sauteed with mushrooms and sour cream served with broad noodles. The dish is sufficient to serve three people. It is a magnificent rendition of the classical dish.
I enjoyed grilled pork chops Russian style — two center cut pork chops with wild mushroom, roasted potatoes and demi glace. This will be a repeat order.
My companion enjoyed Rack of Lamb Russian style gentlyseasoned and prepared to perfection — an ample portion and very satisfying.
Seafood entrees include Shrimp Risotto, Broiled Salmon, New Zealand Mussels and Shrimp Française. I will save these for another visit.
Toward the end of such a great dinner, dessert becomes a love affair.
The desserts are made on the premises. They make a Napoleon with a crust so delicate it falls apart like angel wings and has the most delicious napoleon cream that you cannot imagine. Definitely a must.
They also prepare a classic Apple Strudel — delectably tasty and most satisfying. The Rice Pudding is so light you have to hold a plate on top to keep it from floating on air. It includes rice, spiced and mixed with wonderful charlotte rouse type heavy cream. I have never tasted a rice pudding equal to this one.
Coffee, Espresso complete the menu.
The restaurant does not have a liquor license. It is encouraged that you bring your own bottle. I would suggest an ample supply of good vodka.
A very delightful feature is that there are no dishes over $20.
The politeness, the beauty of service, the quality of food, the presentation of food and the atmosphere are all the ingredients that make up the formula for a great dinner and dining experience.
As we leave the restaurant and say Dos Vidania to the Goreliks, I predict that within two or three months, reservations will be required one to two weeks in advance.
A great, great dining experience.
Mer Mer Mer Mer Merck & Company to Sponsor ck & Company to Sponsor ck & Company to Sponsor ck & Company to Sponsor ck & Company to Sponsor Symphony’s Opening Concert Symphony’s Opening Concert Symphony’s Opening Concert Symphony’s Opening Concert Symphony’s Opening Concert
WESTFIELD – Merck & Company, Inc. will sponsor the first concert of the 17th concert series of the Westfield Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, October 9, at 8 p. m. at the Union County Arts Center.
The theme is “Invitation to Dance,” and the program will feature Copland’s
Rodeo Dance Episodes for Orchestra and Sarasate’s
(Gypsy Dances). The program also includes a new work by the orchestra’s Composer in Residence, Richard Nanes, entitled,
Rhapsody for Violin
and culminates with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.
The concert is the first in a series of five produced by the allprofessional orchestra during the 19992000 season. The theme for the season is “enchantment.”
Music Director David Wroe commented, “Each concert in the series celebrates the positive and uplifting spirit within us all – that’s the WSO’s gift as we embark on the new century. In the first concert, the audience will be sweptup by the music of such pieces as HoeDown from
Rodeo and the steamywild pulse of Sarasate’s Gypsy Dances.”
Merck’s Executive Director for Public Affairs, Richard F. Trabert, commented that through the pharmaceutical company’s sponsorship, it seeks to add substance to the quality of life in the community.
“Merck’s continuing support for both the Union County Arts Center and the Westfield Symphony Orchestra demonstrate its commitment to the area and its many employees and their families who make their homes here. We are proud to sponsor the symphony as a leader that has received so much critical acclaim as a primary professional force for performance, excellence and music education.”
The soloist for the evening is violinist Zina Schiff, a protégé of the late Jascha Heifetz. Ms. Schiff’s many awards include the Young Musicians
Foundation Debut Award, the San Francisco Symphony Foundation Award and a grant from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music.
A student of Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music, Ms. Schiff is the only violinist to have won both the
Junior and Senior auditions of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Radio listeners are familiar with Ms. Schiff’s appearances on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and WGBH Boston’s “Morning Pro Musica.” She appeared on PBS’s “Nova,” performing the Sibelius concerto on an experimental violin designed by Texas A& M professor Joseph Nagyvary. She has a variety of CD’s to her credit. Zina Schiff
Center For Hope Slates Fashion Show Benefit
LINDEN – The Center For Hope Hospice in Linden will host its second annual “Get Away in Style” fashion show and luncheon on Sunday, October 3, at 11 a. m. at L’Affaire in Mountainside.
Sponsored by the Center For Hope Hospice Auxiliary, the fashions will include selections from shops in the Mall at Short Hills, and stores in Summit and Millburn.
A Grand Raffle will be held during the show.
First prize is an eightday trip to Ireland including airfare, five nights at the Castleroy Park Hotel in Limerick, two nights at Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo and a rental car.
Additional prizes include a New York City theatre weekend for two, a 27inch color television and gold and onyx earrings. A “Parade of Prizes” auction, consisting of over 70 prizes valued between $150 to $400 will also be held.
Reservations are required. Tickets are $40 per person. For more information, please call Bobbi Wegryn or Anna Miranda at (908) 4860700. To purchase raffle tickets, please call Elaine Brown at (908) 5872112.
By DEBORAH MADISON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
FANWOOD — This season’s Carriage House Poetry Reading Series, held at the Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center in Fanwood, got off to a lively start last Thursday, as two nationallyrenown poets shared selections of their work.
New Jersey native Sander Zulauf, a Professor of English at County College of Morris and Editor of the Journal of New Jersey Poets, was the first to read from his collection of poems, entitled “Succasunna, New Jersey.”
“Succasunna New Jersey,” is an assortment of poems reflecting Mr. Zulauf’s impressions about and experiences of growing up in Northern New Jersey from boyhood to adulthood.
His poems embody many familiar passages of childhood: smoking cigarettes in the woods, rickety old roller coasters and eating wild honeysuckle in backyards.
One poem, which begins with a litany of New Jersey’s rivers, is
a remembrance of canoe trips with his father and of his father’s old Studebaker, which became Mr. Zulauf’s first car. Another poem, “Waving Goodbye to my Son,” highlights the poet’s memories of carving a pumpkin for his own son 23 years ago.
An anniversary party for an old couple, a cricket cage, a piece of someone’s porch, a small mechanic’s micrometer — all of these played equally significant roles in Mr. Zulauf’s past and each served as inspiration for his poems.
All of his works capture the tremendous significance which seemingly little events have in our lives and how these brief moments create who we become.
Mr. Zulauf’s humor was as much a part of his readings as his insightful and nostalgic poetry. His father pretending that the town of Tom’s River was Florida and a publisher rejecting his thank you letter were stories which amused the audience, some of whom came from as far away as New York City to hear him read.
Mr. Zulauf has also produced and directed the First American Video Disc, the world’s first laser videodisc anthology of distinguished American poets reading their poems. In addition, he is the founding editor of the Index of American Periodical Verse, an annual reference guide to poetry in periodicals.
He also has written screenplays and acted as editor and publisher of Ars Poetic, a group that publishes poetry.
Since 1988, Mr. Zulauf has served with the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s PoetsintheSchools program. His poems have appeared in many nationallydistributed poetry journals. They are also featured in several anthologies and textbooks.
Mr. Zulauf has been named the first Poet Laureate of the Newark Diocese of the Episcopal Church.
The second featured poet, Randy Rader, widelyknown as R. G. Rader, is cofounder and playwright in residence at the Arrowhead Theatre Company in New York City. He also teaches at several colleges in New York and New Jersey, and was recently appointed an associate professor with the United States Open University.
Mr. Rader’s poem, “His Silence,” was written about a professor whom he had befriended and who was hospitalized for insanity. The screams of the insane professor and, in a separate poem,
the screams made by a lobster when plunged into boiling water, set the disturbing tone of his dramatic reading.
In one of his poems, Mr. Zulauf discussed how children would bet on how long the old parishioners at church would pray and the long hours children would endure at church. The struggle between secularism and fundamentalism was a common theme encompassed in many of his other poems.
After the two featured readers, there was a very eclectic open reading by several local poets.
The Carriage House Poetry Reading Series, begun in December of 1998 and funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, is organized and hosted by Fanwood’s Cultural Arts Director, Adele Kenny.
Last year’s debut season featured several nationallyrecognized, distinguished authors and poets.
This season, which runs from September through May, will also feature two poets a month, along with open reading time for audience members. The next poetry reading will be on Thursday, November 18, at the Cultural Arts Center.
A poetry writing workshop, which is free and open to the public, will begin this Saturday, October 2, at 9: 30 a. m. For more information, please call Ms. Kenny at (908) 8897223.
Deborah Madison for The Westfield Leader and The Times
HE’S A POET AND HE KNOWS IT... This season’s Carriage House Poetry Reading Series, held at the Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center in Fanwood featured two nationallyrenown poets, sharing selections of their work. New Jersey native Sander Zulauf, a Professor of English at County College of Morris and Editor of the Journal of New Jersey Poets, was the first to read from his collection of poems, entitled “Succasunna, New Jersey.” Pictured with Mr. Zulauf is Adele Kenny, Fanwood Cultural Arts Director.
Shopping • Dining • Entertainment
CALENDAR OF DOWNTOWN EVENTS Continuous October 7 to 11 –
Costumes from 1910 to the present MaryLou’s Memorabilia 17 Elm St. • 6547277
Thursday, October 7 at 11 a. m. – Alphorn Performance by Dr. Ted Schlosberg NJ Workshop for the Arts 150152 East Broad St. • 7899696
Friday, October 8 at 11 a. m. – Alphorn Performance by Dr. Ted Schlosberg NJ Workshop for the Arts 150152 East Broad St. • 7899696
Saturday, October 9 from 10 a. m. to 5: 30 p. m. – 50% Off Sale on all Cellular Phones and Cellular Accessories
Cellular Signal Plus 132 E. Broad St. • 7895302 Saturday, October 9 from 10 a. m. to 6 p. m. – Mary Baker Eddy Exhibit • Story of a Healer, Thinker & Reformer
Christian Science Reading Room 116 Quimby St. • 2333621 Saturday, October 9 from 11 a. m. to 1 p. m. –
Book Signing • Muckraker by Billy Callahan The Town Book Store 255 E. Broad St. • 2333535
Saturday, October 9 from 1 to 3 p. m. – Book Signing • Stylish One Dish Dinners
by Catherine West DeFoyd & Linda West Eckhardt The Town Book Store 255 E. Broad St. • 2333535
Saturday, October 9 from 1: 30 to 3 p. m. – Chamber Orchestra Performance NJ Workshop for the Arts 150152 East Broad St. • 7899696
Saturday, October 9 from 4 to 5: 30 p. m. – Jazz Band Performance NJ Workshop for the Arts 150152 East Broad St. • 7899696
Saturday, October 9 at 8 p. m. – Westfield Symphony Orchestra • Invitation to the Dance
Union Co. Arts Center, Rahway • 2329400 Sunday, October 10 from 12 to 5 p. m. – Mary Baker Eddy Exhibit • Story of a Healer, Thinker & Reformer
Christian Science Reading Room 116 Quimby St. • 2333621 Monday, October 11 from 2 to 6 p. m. –
Limousine Showcase • Exclusively Yours Wedding Center 227 South Ave., West • 3019450
105 Elm Street, Westfield • (908) 7899444
October 7 through 11