#SCBDReview: Show Goes On at Circo


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There’s a circus in Manhattan and involves an adorable Venetian man who told The Dentist that he better be nice to me OR ELSE, followed by a sly wink and a coy smile. This isn’t a bar joke. This is true life at Circo in midtown Manhattan. I grew up eating at Circo, an Italian midtown staple located on 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue, right across from the famous New York City Center. I grew up knowing the friendly Venetian man named Bruno. Knowing just how wonderfully cheeky Bruno is, I wanted to go there as a last resort with The Dentist.

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I wanted to try something new. I wanted to broaden my horizons. When The Dentist told me he wanted something Italian, I wanted to be adventurous and step outside of my childhood comfort zone of Circo. I walked to 56th Street in order to try Basso56. I knew full well that I was walking in at primetime Manhattan dinner hours on a Friday night without reservations. Alas, Basso56 would not have a free table for another hour and a half. I tried Patsy’s right next door since they proudly display photos of famous celebrities who ate there. I wanted to join in on that club, but they, too, were full for another hour and a half.

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I sighed, knowing full well that Circo for Friday night Italian food it was. Bruno welcomed The Dentist and I with open arms, without a reservation. We had a lovely booth-style table and a kind lady checked in my trench coat for me. Circo is like your friendly neighborhood Italian restaurant, if your kind of neighborhood is midtown Manhattan. The food is always fresh, delicious, and made with Venetian love. It’s been consistently scrumptious for the past seven years that I’ve been going there.

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The Dentist had a great time at Circo. I asked him for his objective opinion of the restaurant, considering I grew up there eating Ravioli Di Mamma Egi and homemade gelati e sorbetti because they make their own gelato and sorbet ice cream over there. They even have a gelato cart outside of the restaurant. The Dentist was extremely entertained by the rotating figurines on top the restaurant since the theme of Circo is the circus. The bread basket alone was enough to keep him coming back for more. Perhaps, it was fate that the other two Italian restaurants I wanted to try that evening were fully booked. At least I knew that even with no reservations, The Dentist and I fit in perfectly with the classy neighborhood company at Circo.

I leave you with this food for thought quote by my boy, Drake:

“I’d much rather sit here in silence
I send all my money to banks in the islands and eat with Italians, I do”

Cheers! Say “ciao” to Bruno for me.



CIRCO MAIN WEBSITE                                                                    http://www.circonyc.com/index.html

HEY NEW YORKERS! THEY DELEIVER TOO                               https://www.delivery.com/nyc/circo






#DealAlert: Boca Bacchanal Wine Weekend Getaway

dealalertBoca Bacchanal Wine Weekend Getaway Gift Package, March 28-30, 2014 includes everything a wine and food lover would want for a luxury weekend away. For $925, with deluxe accommodations at Waldorf Astoria’s Boca Raton Resort & Club for 3 days and 2 nights, this decadent Boca Bacchanal Wine Weekend Getaway also includes:

  • Complimentary room upgrade (based on availability)
  • Breakfast at the Palm Court in the resort both Saturday and Sunday
  • Welcome gift including a resort beach tote with beach towels and resort gifts
  • Voucher for complimentary access to Spa Palazzo at the Boca Raton Resort & Club
  • 1 ticket to the Boca Bash, Saturday March 29, 2014
  • 1 ticket to the Boca Bacchanal Grand Tasting: Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Boca Bacchanal Wine Weekend Getaway gift package is available from now until January 1, 2014. 

Boca Bacchanal is a festive weekend in Boca Raton which celebrates and enhances the appreciation of wine and food, Boca Bacchanal brings together world class chefs and vintners, offering their finest specialties, providing the entire community with a delightful opportunity to support the heritage education and historic preservation programs of the Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum.

Additional tickets to all Boca Bacchanal events and further information on the package are available online at http://bit.ly/WineWeekendGetaway

Boca Bacchanal - Cendyn (1)

#SCBDReview – Mehndi at Morristown

scbdreviewphoto 1On Friday night, the Small Chick and I got mehndi at Mehndi in Morristown from the lovely lady doing henna artwork during dinner. Every Friday night, the henna artist is there to give mehndi artwork for free on a tip-by-tip basis, with the standard tip being about $5 per person. We also enjoyed a delicious press dinner with several other local New Jersey journalists and enthusiastic foodie representatives.

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 The meal was served family style. Appetizers were aplenty since we were given Maachli Koliwada (deep-fried tilapia), Paneer ke Sholay (homemade Indian cottage cheese, celery, carrot, and green chili) Mango Jhinga (jumbo shrimp, onion, tomato, ginger, and fresh mango), and Tandoori Lamb Chops.

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The main course dishes were Parda Biryani (bone-in goat, basmati rice, saffron, cinnamon, clove, mint, and green chili), Bhey Kofta (lotus root dumpling and mustard termping), Baingan Bharta (eggplant concasse, green peas, tomato, onion, and whole red chili), Murgh Tikka Masala (boneless tandoor-baked chicken, onion, and tomato-based sauce), Garlic Naan and Rosemary Naan, Jeera “cumin” Rice, and House Raita.

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Finally, the dessert was a simple but delicious Rasamalai—homemade fromage blanc dumplings in reduced milk with pistachios.

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My Harry Potter fangirl dreams came true when I drank their Hazelnut Spiced Hot Buttered Rum which was exactly the way I pictured Butterbeer to taste. The drink was made of rogue hazelnut spiced rum, unsalted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and warm water. I slept like a happy, inebriated panda that evening, curling my body up in my slumber and dreaming of visiting the SM23 Happy Hour in the near future. I also highly recommend visiting their lounge next door called SM23 which has an extremely low-key, downtown Manhattan feel due to the low-lighting, 25-and-over young urban professional crowd, and exotic cocktails. Cheers!

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MAIN WEBSITE                                       http://www.mehndimorristown.com/

BAR/LOUNGE NEXT DOOR (SM23)    http://www.sm23morristown.com/

Follow @MehndiMTown on Twitter


#DealAlert: Black Friday & Beyond

On Black Friday, Yoga + Herbs will be hosting an open-house from 5-7pm at the studio. Refreshments will be served and the 5-6pm and 6-7pm classes will be open to whomever comes and wishes to take them, free of charge.
Love Target? After midnight, guests took advantage of a special offer that started at 12:01 a.m. local time on Friday, Nov. 29. Guests who spend $75 or more in Target stores receive a coupon valid for 20 percent off nearly all items of a single, storewide purchase in the first week of December. The offer is also valid at Target.com and will be available until stores close on Friday night, Nov. 29.

For the first time this year, Target is offering additional deep discounts through Cartwheel, its digital savings app, available for free download. And REDCard holders took advantage of exclusive pre-Black Friday deals. REDCard holders will continue to enjoy 5% off all purchases, and free shipping throughout the season.

Target‘s Black Friday sale runs through Saturday, Nov. 30, while supplies last.Target’s Cyber Week event will kick off on Sunday, Dec. 1, with more than 100,000 items on sale and deals across all categories, including great savings on toys, electronics, women’s and men’s apparel, and more.

As we begin to gear up for the holidays, be sure to check out these must-have beauty deals from ULTA Beauty! The below highlights the top door buster deals for Black Friday that can be found at an ULTA Beauty location near you.

ULTA Beauty Black Friday Deals Include:


Select ULTA Exclusive BareMinerals Kits, $10 (up to $44 value)

Go for the Glow includes:

  • Small Exhilarate Blush
  • Small Clear Radiance
  • Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Smooth Talker

Light Things Up includes:

  • XS Velvet Vanilla Eye Color
  • XS Smoked Grey Eye Color
  • Flawless Definition Volumizing Mascara


-8ULTA Starry Lights Light-Up Blockbuster, $16.99 ($200 value)                                 Welcome to the bright side! This ULTA make-up collection features LED lights surrounding the mirror for an enhanced makeup application experience. Collection includes an expansive assortment of makeup and an interchangeable take away eye shadow and lipstick palette.  ULTA Starry Lights Blockbuster 76 Pc Collection Includes: 42 Eye Shadows, 12 Eye Liners, 6 Lip Gloss Shades, 3 Blush Shades, 2 Brow Pencils, 2 Mini Lipsticks, 1 Bronzer, 1 Interchangeable compact with 5 Interchangeable Eye Shadow Pans and 3 Lipstick Pans.


-9Benefit Lip Lotto, $18 ($54 value)                                                                        Exclusively at ULTA!  3 full size lipsticks from Benefit for the price of one!


-10OPI Cheers to the Holidays, $7.50 ($12.95 value)                                                  Celebrate the holidays with OPI’s festive Cheers To the Holidays Mini 4pc Set! With a superior range of shades and the hottest special effects and textures, OPI is the go-to brand for nail fashion.  This set includes:

  • Incredibly Festive
  • Gift Tag You’re It
  • Checking My List
  • RapiDry Top Coat

-11Red Carpet Manicure Pro 45 Starter Kit, $49.99 (Reg. $79.99)                                  Red Carpet Manicure LED GEL Polish and products from the Red Carpet Manicure system for a beautiful manicure that gives in minutes, weeks of gorgeous color and incredible shine, that lasts and lasts.

-12Philosophy 3-in-1 Shampoo, Shower Gel and Bubble Bath 16 oz., $10 (Reg. $16.50)                                                                                                                        Choose from all of the fun flavors such as Sweet Fluffy Cupcake, Peppermint Stick, Cinnamon Buns, Coconut Frosting and more!  The 3-in-1 formula provides a moisturizing lather to cleanse and condition, leaving skin and hair feeling ultra soft.

ULTA Holiday Store Hours

  • Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving Day): Doors open 8pm
  • Friday, November 29: 12am – 10pm
  • Saturday, November 30: 7am – 9pm


Shop with Naturalizer on Black Friday:
  •  Concepts/Website: Black Friday (11/29):  Handbags 50% off original price & 30% off Boots original price
  • Outlets: Black Friday (11/29): Handbags 50% off original price & 50% off Boots original price


Just Beautiful Boutique will be having a statewide super sale all day Black Friday and then a continuation sale at lesser discounts throughout the weekend.

50, 60, 70% OFF!!
PLUS all day sales throughout our site for the rest of the day!
 DON’T miss out! Get your shopping done early!








This holiday season, the online beauty boutique, Stylebell.com, is the web’s one-stop-shopping destination for all beauty and hair related gift giving and shopping:

  • Babyliss Appliance Promotion: Purchase the brand new Babyliss MiraCurl Nano Titanium Curl Machine from Black Friday (11/29/13)—Cyber Tuesday (12/3/13) and receive all 5 After Care Products FREE including:
    • Babyliss Pro MiraCurl Curl Prep 8 oz.
    • Babyliss Pro MiraCurl Curl Foundation 6 oz.
    • Babyliss Pro MiraCurl Defining Spray 8 oz.
    • Babyliss Pro MiraCurl Hair Spray 10 oz.
    • Babyliss Pro MiraCurl Thermal Shine Spray 4 oz.
  • Maijan Promotion: Purchase the new Maijan Pure Argan Oil & Mint Hydrating Shampoo 12 oz. and receive the Maijan Pure Argan Oil & Mint Hydrating Conditioner 12 oz. for FREE! Cyber Monday 12/2.
  • One Day Maijan Promotion: Take 30% off all Maijan Products including Argan Oils, New Shampoos & Conditioners, & Facial Steamers on Cyber Monday 12/2/13.
  • Keratin Complex Promotion: All Keratin Complex products including shampoos, conditioners, after care products, and appliances will be From now until 12/22/13, receive 20% off Black Friday 11/29/13 through Cyber Tuesday 12/3/13.

In addition to being Cyber Monday’s top shopping destination for beauty and hair products, StyleBell.com also provides shoppers with tips and tricks on how to use the products and tools like a true professional.  Stylebell.com has got it all for consumers who need to get their holiday shopping done, and want to do it all at the hottest online beauty boutique there is!

Right now all of ESC is marked down to 50% off using the promo code CHEAP. I don’t see the sale changing, just continuing through the Holiday. I have a Holiday release coming in 2 weeks or so. A shirt, sweatshirt, and snap back that is A Christmas Story inspired.
LoveWithFood.com is the easiest way to SNACK Smart and DO Good.Discover and sample the best organic, all-natural snacks delivered to your door for only $10/month. For every box sent, a meal is donated to feed hungry children in the U.S.. To date, we’ve donated more than 150,000 meals.
3 Day BlackFriday Sale - 20% OFF all Subscription Plans + all 6, 12 month plans purchase comes with a Bonus – 2 Year subscription to Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. Sale ends 12/1/13 at midnight

#SCBDReview: Rocco’s Tuscany Bar & Grill – Madison’s Best Kept Secret


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On Friday night, the Small Chick and I had a press dinner at Rocco’s Tuscany Bar and Grill in Madison, New Jersey. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to get a hold of Rocco’s so easily and quickly considering we casually told him we were coming in a few hours before. Chef Gino was very excited to receive us. He was a breath of fresh air from many chefs in the industry who act unnecessarily superior to restaurant patrons who might not be foodies.

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The moment we entered Rocco’s, Chef Gino had a huge smile on his face at the host stand. He was the first to greet us at the last to bid us a farewell. The Small Chick and I both drank Vino Arancia, a cocktail mixed with St. Germain, Orangecello, and Riesling served over ice. The orange was extremely overwhelming, but it was strong and delicious nevertheless. Chef Gino also gave us roasted peppers that came fresh from the garden as an appetizer. The roasted peppers were, in fact, extremely fresh.

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The Small Chick had shells Florentine for her entrée while I had a deep dish pizza pie with cheese, mushrooms, and anchovies. Excuse me as I wipe my mouth with my nonexistent napkin. I’m drooling again at the thought of the food. After we attempted to conquer our massive entrees, we saved just enough room for coffee and dessert. The Small Chick had a cappuccino while I had a single espresso. We both had a cannolo stuffed with a sort of fruity cream. It was an interesting take on the traditional cannolo.

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My only concern with Rocco’s was the fact that the free bread was a bit stale. Otherwise, the restaurant was perfect. There are two parts of the restaurant. One side is the dining room with a bar where the Small Chick and I dined, and the other side is the more casual pizzeria. Rocco’s staff was wonderfully accommodating and left a lasting impression on us. We will be back soon per mangiare e bere. Grazie and cheers!

SCBD’s take on Rocco’s:
I loved our dinner at Rocco’s. I thought the dinner itself was great because the food was fresh and the portions were filling. I agree with Kelly that the staff was on point and welcoming, I’d definitely come back and try other cocktails they offer and other dishes they offer. I loved my shells, and am glad I tried them as they were a special that night. Thanks for inviting us in Chef Gino, we’ll definitely be back!

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ROCCO’S MAIN PAGE http://www.roccostuscanybarandgrill.com/

- Ask for Chef Gino and tell him that Sara from SCBD sent you ;) -

#SCBDFavorite: Eat a Lot .@Eataly!



Ciao raggazi! The other evening I had the pleasure of going to the Birreria rooftop bar at Eataly with my dear amica from Italia. Yes, she came all the way from Italy to eat Italian food in the Flatiron District of New York City. The weather was fantastic, and we got a great view of the Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building. The Empire State building was lit up with beautiful red, white, and green, which was a perfect pseudo-Italian flag backdrop at Eataly.

For dinner, I had pollo del diavolo which was a bit spicy and extremely delicious. The chicken was fresh and had a great amount of herbs and spices. There were three chicken legs on the plate, and that was enough to keep me full. My amica from Italia had prosciutto crudo and a cheese platter. She devoured the prosciutto crudo and cheese like she had never had fresh meat and cheese before.

I also recommend the cask ales they have at the Birreria. If you’ve never had a cask ale before, a cask ale beer is a beer that is served from the same cask that it is conditioned in. They have three cask ales all for $10 a pint: Wanda, a chestnut mild ale, Giuseppina, an Italian-American IPA, and Gina, a traditional thyme American pale ale.

If you’re not an alcohol drinker or just want to try something different, I suggest the traditional Italian refreshments such as Lurisia Chinotto. Chinotto is an Italian soda made from the fruit of the Chinotto tree. The fruit is a bitter citrus which comes from the tree also known as “myrtle-leaved orange tree”. Chin chin e salute!



Eataly Main Website http://www.eataly.com/

Birreria Main Website http://www.eataly.com/birreria

Birreria Dinner Menu


Twitter Accounts:



#SCBDReview: Green Meadows – unique deal, unique decor

So I’ve lived in this area since 1983 and it took me until this year to get to Green Meadows. Boy, do I have a lot of lost time to make up for now! Great food, a very unique atmosphere, and 50% off Fridays, yes FRIDAY, and you have a real Jersey Shore area gem. When you walk in, there is Gene to greet you and seat you. Great guy, people sit at the bar and he makes great drinks. Get a real ‘old school’ drink here. It fits the atmosphere, and the decor. It is not old, it is classic. Chairs are comfortable and the waitresses make you feel like you’ve always been coming there. The waitresses know their stuff. If you are not sure about a choice on the menu just ask them. They have always been right on the money when anyone in my party has asked. It makes you feel very relaxed, they take care of everything.

1-1On this visit we chose one of the classics and one of the specials. I ordered the chicken Marsala and my companion had the shrimp and scallops with angel hair. You can switch up chicken and veal in many of the dishes. The chef here seems to enjoy personalizing your meal, unlike many other restaurants. While waiting for the entrees we enjoyed the salads and bread and butter on the table that comes with every meal. They also provide a long tray of wrapped saltines, a little odd to me but they do have great soup, so, they are great when you have the soup. Our entrees arrived and as always the sauces are perfect. Their presentation is also something to write about. When they place it in front of you, you just sigh, it is a work of art. But , heck, I eat it anyway!

And oh, don’t forget the dessert here. Every day there are different cream pies as well as other homemade desserts. We try to get at least one piece of pie to split, if we have any room left. This visit it was a banana caramel. And of course it is decorated with just enough chocolate to finish the picture and the meal. Oh, and did I mention it was Friday and all food is 50% off? Each night there is a different discount, but 50% off on a Friday, just can’t beat it. We go back, we bring others. Maybe we’ll see you there? Hope so.

Green Meadows Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge
State Highway 34 N
Colts Neck, NJ 07722
(732) 431-8755

#SCBDReview: Slap It Silly at Reservoir!


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Friday afternoon I walked into Reservoir Bar feeling out of place in my high heels and LBD post-work. In the back of the bar by the kitchen sat my friend The Writer on the velvet couch. The back was dimly lit, and he looked quite mysterious reading a book and drinking a beer under the mood lighting. There were posters all throughout Reservoir advertising different brands of beer. My favorite had to be the Porkslap Pale Ale poster that said: Slap it Silly!

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The Writer was drinking a LandShark Lager; it tasted warm and disgusting. He switched to Stella Artois which was much better. I ended up drinking a few bottles of Dogfish Head which is a craft brewed ale from Delaware. I highly recommend their 60 Minute IPA which is brewed year round. It’s called the 60 Minute IPA since it’s continuously hopped with more than 60 hop additions over 60-minutes.

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I really enjoyed the overall vibe of Reservoir Bar since it’s located in Greenwich Village. Since it’s an American sports bar, I anticipated sweaty men shouting about grown-up, manly things like sports, cars, and chest hair, but it ended up being mostly local college kids. This made sense to me considering it’s located on University Place between 10th and 11th which is right by NYU and the New School. Reservoir’s prices are extremely cheap for Manhattan since you can get 20 buffalo wings for $7.95. I wouldn’t imagine staying at Reservoir the whole evening of a night out in Manhattan, but it’s a great stop in between bar hopping or before dinner. Go on and Slap it Silly at a college sports bar!

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Twitter: @ReservoirNYC

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reservoir-Bar/116055921756458

#SCBD Friday Inspiration: Favorite Foodie Quotes!

Hello fellow #foodies! I’ve been inspired by these food quotes after getting back into my cooking jive again thanks to the simple recipe for Salmon Cartoccio Serena Palumbo gave me. So without further a due, here are some awesome Friday #foodie quotes I came across for some weekend inspiration:



With that being said, Happy Friday! :)

Cheers to the weekend, ’til next time…



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