#SCBDReview: .@SpuntinoWineBar with Wine Boy



Spuntino Wine Tapas Logo


Wine Boy and I were craving small plates and wine after a long day of working together, so we headed to Clifton, New Jersey. Right by the AMC Theater is an Italian Wine Bar and Tapas restaurant called Spuntino, known for its fabulous selection of Italian wines and small plates. The atmosphere was welcoming and I loved the decoration of wine racks surrounding the entire restaurant. The restaurant was divided into two main parts: the bar area and the rest of the restaurant with tables and booths.

Wine Boy and I had the nicest waitress: her name was Allison, so I highly recommend grabbing a table that is served by Allison. That night, Wine Boy and I shared truffle French fries made with truffle oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Italian herbs. After that, we shared spaghetti alla carbonara with bacon, peas, Pecorina Romano, and egg yolk. Finally, we had speck, which is smoked prosciutto, from the Aldo Adige region in Italy, served on grilled crostini.

Spuntino Food

He simply had a soda since he offered to be my designated driver, so I treated myself to a quartino of Moscato. The Moscato was a 2011 fruity, medium bodied white from Trentino, specifically Mezzocorona which is a commune in this northern Italian region. I’m absolutely in love with the wine list at Spuntino. All of the wines are Italian wines. Suffice to say I fell in love with the moscato. It was not super sweet, which I find to be a great thing if it’s only sweet enough. Instead, the moscato was fruity, and I could smell pears, apples, and other light fruits.

Spuntino Restaurant                            Spuntino Lights Spuntino Exterior

Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas also takes OpenTable reservation. I highly recommend going to Spuntino either on a date or with a group of friends and/or family so you can all share these small plates. You can also buy the wines by the bottle. There are over 150 Italian wines to try from nearly all of Italy’s 20 wine regions. Saluti, cin cin, e buon appetito!







Main Website                   http://spuntinowinebar.com/

Spuntino’s Twitter          @SpuntinoWineBar

Images courtesy of YELP.

#SCBDEvent Alert: THIS Sunday, April 6 – Chef Francesco Palmieri of The .@OrangeSquirrel .@WilliamsSonoma #Montclair for Demo & #EatInk Book Signing



Chef Francesco Palmieri of the


will be at



Sunday, April 6, 2014

630 Valley Road, Upper Montclair

(973) 783-1799


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for a Demonstration and Book Signing with

“EAT INK” Author, Birk O’Halloran -

Chef Francesco is a featured Chef in this NEW book about Chefs, Recipes & Tattoos

#SCBDExclusive – FDU’s Best Kept Secret at Vanderbilt’s Sports and Spirits


photo 1Up on a hill across blue parking spots at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s (FDU) College at Florham campus in Madison, there is a bar known as Vanderbilt’s. In the same way that Ted and the gang love the nonexistent MacLaren’s Pub in the Upper West Side, my friends and I love to go to Vanderbilt’s as our default bar of choice. (As a side note, if you want to see the bar that MacLaren’s is modeled after, it’s at a bar called McGee’s located in Midtown West on 55th Street between 8th Avenue and Broadway.)

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Vanderbilt’s holds a special place in my heart, especially considering all I have to do is walk more or less the same distance I do to get to class in order to get a change in scenery from the luscious greenery of the former Vanderbilt and Twombly estate to see the classy Wyndham Hotel bar. Vanderbilt’s is an interesting mix of young urban professionals on a Friday and Saturday night and the football fan crowd on a Sunday afternoon when they have 99 cent wings.

photo 2When in doubt, I enjoy my Smuttynose IPA and play a rousing game of pool. When I think of Vanderbilt’s, I think of pool tables, gin, great buffalo wings, and the friendly bartenders who know my drink of choice. They have specials every night of the week, and I have always found the relaxed, low-key vibe of Vanderbilt’s to be a more economical and relaxing alternative to the bar and pseudo-club scene at Morristown.

photo 4More important the simple and welcoming atmosphere at Vanderbilt’s Sports and Spirit are the memories you will make with your friends that you bring there. Vanderbilt’s is the place I hold near and dear to me where I  will always look back fondly on the heart-to-heart talks I had with my girlfriends there, talking about our college and personal lives, attempting to piece together the road map and journey of life one Samuel Adams® OctoberFest at a time. Here’s looking at the Spinach Artichoke Dip. Cheers!

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#SCBDFitness: Working it Out .@Barre3 in #Morristown #NJ




Sara and I had a wonderful opportunity to visit and take a Barre Tone class at Barre3 in Morristown, NJ. We were so excited but never had taken this class at a private studio dedicated to it before. I have taken them at a local gym, but let me tell you this is the best workout class I have ever taken! They recommended for us to wear comfortable clothing, such as yoga type workout pants and a comfortable shirt. Sneakers are not required; in fact they prefer you to wear no shoes. You do have the option of going barefoot or wearing socks. They even make these partial socks (which they sell at the studio- called ToeSox: http://shop.barre3.com/products/barre3-bella-toe-socks#.Ux-Q4I2Ya00) that have a non-slip pad on the bottom and only cover about a third of your foot. The end is open to allow your toes to move freely around.

Finally, they also recommend bringing a water bottle. They do sell water bottles if needed and they also have filtered water available for anyone to have if you need to refill.

No prior experience is needed; this class was great for beginners or the professionals, always offering different options of levels throughout the class. All the things used during the class are also provided (mats, yoga strap, Barre3 core ball, ballet bar, and light weights). Walk-ins are also welcomed, but you can call ahead to reserve a spot too! They sell all types of special packages if you want to buy a pack rather than pay each class as you go.

I am sure one question new prospects may have is what are the benefits of these Barre3 classes. Right on their website they list all the benefits. Some major points are that the class ‘builds long, lean muscles and a strong core’, develop muscle balance, helps increase flexibility and stability, and great motivation and support. This class is for everyone and they even offer childcare during certain class times (check the website for available times). They even recommend this class for pregnant and post-partum clients and minors 14 years and older (with a parent or guardian attending as well).



Walking into the studio, we felt so welcomed and were greeted by everyone, including the owners Rebecca and Lisa. They showed Sara and I a tour, and explained the process of price, locker use, babysitting, and the class. We took off our coats and shoes, locked them up, and went in to start the class. We felt so welcomed into the actual studio, the instructor introduced herself as Taylor and asked for our names. We started slow and then worked right into it. The first few moves were stretching and then we moved into planks on the ballet bar, planks on the floor, different dance moves, and some ab exercises. It varied and does vary in different classes. There were always options to make it harder or easier if needed. I didn’t feel pressured to ‘keep up’ with the instructor or others. We used light weights with high repetitions, and did lunges and holds. The entire time the instructor kept the energy light and free, and always motivating all of us. She said everyone’s names throughout the class, such as ‘Good Job Kristen, keep that up’ and motivating us just when we are ready to give up. I won’t lie, it was a hard class, but by having that uplifted spirit and motivation, it really pushed me to do better for myself and to focus on the movement and my breathing. When the class was over, I felt so empowered and ready to conquer anything. It was not just a fitness class, but instead was a personal workout session with a dozen or more individuals.

As a final note about the class, the instructor also took the time to show us the moves and then get up while we were doing it and be sure we all had the correct form. She would help us out and show us how to do it correctly or modify it if it seemed too difficult. Most classes I have taken (in various locations) do not dedicate themselves to correcting individually and privately. They either don’t modify or help at all or they scream across the room embarrassing you and putting you on display.

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After the class, everyone again was so nice! Rebecca and Lisa, the owners also gave Sara and I a gift bag full of awesome Barre3 things. We did not expect that at all, it really shows their dedication and passion about this class and company. I cannot wait to go back and take another class, in this generous gift they gave us a subscription for 30 Days to their online workouts, a free guest pass to go back and take another class, a Barre 3 water bottle (which I use every day now), a hair band, a Barre 3 core ball, and a Barre 3 DVD. I was so excited to receive this and to be able to spread the word on how wonderful this fitness studio is and how everyone needs to try it out!


SCBD’s POV: I am the type of person who works out occasionally. I honestly think I should work out more since I am always eating but I find my balance. I’ve always loved zumba, and I danced growing up. So I figured taking a Barre3 class would be perfect. The exercises we started with were challenging in the beginning but as the class kept going it got easier. We started doing exercises I used to do in dance which was relieving for me. It felt great to do the exercises again. I know I left the class feeling like I just had a great workout. I’d definitely take a class again and wish there was a studio closer to where I live. 

 Our instructor Taylor, was great and helpful throughout the whole class. Like Kristen mentioned, she’d show us what to do in class but also help us individually and continue to encourage us when we were doing well. Also the owners, Lisa & Rebecca were extremely welcoming. Before we left they gave us each a goodie bag which included a DVD to do some of the workouts at home. I can’t wait to use it! I know I will also definitely be coming back for a class again!

They have various locations all over the United States too. If you check www.barre3.com you can find a location near you.




#SCBDReview: In Heaven at Veggie Heaven in Denville, NJ



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I decided to try this restaurant I pass by all the time in Denville, NJ. It is called Veggie heaven. It is a 100% natural vegetarian cuisine restaurant. They pride themselves to being super healthy and vegetarian. They cook with pure olive oil and other healthy oils that all have positive nutritional value. They are an Asian inspired place as well. They create their dishes with vegetables and vegetable derivatives. They even quote on their menu that “our ‘meat’, ‘poultry’, and ‘seafood’ are made from ingenious blends of bean curd, taro root, wheat gluten, mushrooms, yams, and other vegetables.”

They are located right on the main street in the center of Denville. They start out by giving you water and a dish of a cabbage mix. It was sweet and so tasty. A great start to the meal.

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For my meal I decided to go with a lunch special. It costs $6.95 and included a choice of soup or spring roll. The main dish had a choice of white or brown rice. I decided to start with the spring roll. It came with sweet and sour sauce to dip it in. The taste was so fresh. It was delicious and honestly was the best spring roll I have ever had. The crust was flakey but not super oily.

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For the main dish I ordered the sweet and sour ‘chicken’ with brown rice.

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This was outstanding. I asked if it was fried, and she said it is lightly but can be cooked without it being friend, so I took that option. Everything was delicious. The rice was soft and good, it came with broccoli and mushrooms. These were soft and fresh. The sauce I got medium spice, it was the right amount of kick to enjoy. The ‘chicken’ was delicious. It was better than chicken, it was full of flavor and was a cool consistency. It was soft but not too soft. It had a consistency similar to tofu, but more hard. It was outstanding. I even had a little left over that I brought home. It was a good portion for lunch!

I also ordered the house tea. They do have other flavors but I was unaware of this when I ordered. It was similar to Chinese tea but not as strong. It was a delicious combination to accompany my meal. This was also no additional fee for the tea.

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The meal finished with the bill and a fortune cookie. I love finishing my tea with a fortune cookie; the combination of the two is delightful. My fortune cookie read ‘solid gains are possible today, but with a headache.’ I can relate to this. It has been a long day, but one where I accomplished a lot of difficult things. I love fortunes.

Finally my bill was under $10, it cost $7.44 with tax. Then I left a tip on top of that. It was a great deal for some amazing food. Even the average meat lover would love this place. I love a good steak, chicken, or pork dinner, but this place is outstanding no matter what type of eater you are.

I rate this place an A plus. Service was outstanding and alert, really friendly too. The food is beyond outstanding and the atmosphere is so relaxing and pleasant, it is like a getaway. Please try this place, a must go in Denville.




They do have other independently owned locations, listed below.

Veggie Heaven Teaneck: www.veggieheaventeaneck.com

Veggie Heaven Montclair: www.veggieheavenmontclair.com

Veggie Heaven New City: www.veggieheavennewcity.com

#SCBDEvent: .@ACFashionWeek



Get ready fashionistas! Atlantic City Fashion Week is back in Atlantic City, NJ this weekend from February 28th until March 2nd. The event is compared to the likes of fashion week in NYC, Paris, and Milan. There will be many exciting guests and designers at ACFW this year such as past contestants from Project Runway, Cory Wade Hindorff from America’s Next Top Model, current Miss NJ Cara McCollum, and many other important people! The fashion shows will take place at The Pier Shops at Caesar’s, located just off the boardwalk in Atlantic City. It is a beautiful venue that features a 48 foot runway, as well as amazing fountains that change color surrounding the runways.

Web Trio

Each night the shows run from 7 PM until 9 PM. Friday night will highlight Ready to Wear fashions, while Saturday is the Couture fashion shows. Sunday is an even more special treat with the South Asian Fashion Festival. This final night of ACFW will feature fashions from several countries in South Asia, as well as a pageant. It should be a very exciting weekend! Tickets are $35 a person for Friday and Saturday nights of the event, and $40 for Sunday’s event. Small Chick Big Deals will be there covering the event and live tweeting all weekend! Don’t miss this exciting event in Atlantic City!

#SCBDFavorite: Valentine’s Day Outing Options

scbdfavoriteWhether with a friend or with a spouse, mid afternoon or late night, there are a bunch of great places to celebrate this Valentine’s Day.


Happy Hour Party ($35/person) 

  • Three passed tapas items such as chickpea fries with sundried tomato pesto, yellowfin tuna crudo and crostini with roasted tomato and fresh mozzarella
  • Two passed pizzas such as “the forager” with wild mushrooms, ricotta and truffle oil or the Mortadella pizza with sicilian pistachios, mozzarella and pecorino romano
  • House selections of red & white wine, seasonal sangria, peroni beer

Group Function Menu ($60/person)

  • Three pizzza or tapas items such as spicy sausage pizza, chickpea fries with sundried tomato pesto or lemon and saffron arancini
  • Two antipasta items such as tuscan sale ceasar or veal-beef-pork ricotta meatballs
  • Two pasta dishes such as fresh rigatoni with spicy lamp sausage or lasagna al forno with truffle
  • Two carne e pesce items such as bone-in skate wing piccata or garlic and rosemary marinated skirt steak
  • Dessert of mini cannolis and warm bambolini

Brunch Party ($45 per person)

  • Two antipasta dishes such as kale caesar or chickpea fries with undried tomato pesto
  • Two breakfast items such as french toast or baked crispelle
  • On pizza such as margherita with fresh mozzerella
  • Brunch cocktails such as raspberry-white peach bellini and the Sotto 13 Bloody Mary


So many great choices, I WANT TO GO TO THEM ALL!
Have A Happy Valentine’s Day <3


#SCBDExclusive: Still Looking for a Super Bowl Party?



sb beer sb wings


Loreley Restaurant & Biergarten

7 Rivington Street, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)




Celebrate the Super Bowl with wings, buckets of beer and beer specials tied to the game’s score. Loreley will pick one beer to represent the Seahawks and one for the Broncos and each time a team scores a touchdown, the price of their designated beer by the liter drops by $1.The higher the score, the cheaper the beer! Guests can also get a bucket of five Augustiner Edelstoff or Reissdorf Kölsch beers for just $20 (regularly $30). To go with the beer, guests can enjoy wing specials: 10 wings for $7, 25 for $15, either classic buffalo style or German hot wings made with housemade curry sauce (typically paired with German currywurst), spicy mustard and housemade tabasco sauce. The regular menu will also be available.

Pilsener Haus & Biergarten

The Place to Watch the Game

1422 Grand Street, Hoboken NJ


NJ’s most authentic biergarten’s got multiple giant screens for viewing! Communal tables can be reserved at $15pp; groups of 10+ enjoy complimentary charcuterie. $4 1/2 liters of Pilsener Haus Original beer. 70+ beers, Austro-Hungarian food and a festive, stadium-like feel for cheering on your team. Menu

Naturally good Game Day food:

120 MacDougal Street, NY


Handmade sausages wrapped in toasted baguettes, Grass-fed burgers / Non-fried fries, Mac n’ Cheese / Handmade Sodas. New location in W. Village / Late hours Menu


#SCBDGETReview: Tropical Rush Good Earth Tea


This fall, I replaced my morning (and mid-morning and afternoon) cup of coffee with green tea. The health benefits of green tea are many and I felt a lot better without the jitters and subsequent anxiety that a large cup of coffee can often induce. I had the pleasure of trying Good Earth Tropical Rush green tea and I must admit that I am hooked. I prefer green teas infused with fruit flavors, but Tropical Rush takes it to a different level.


This tea offers a strong, but balanced combination of orange, lime, mango, and pineapple, as well as some earthy hints of lemongrass and chamomile. It is very sweet, so it does not require any type of additional sweetener. I tried it both hot and iced, and it works equally as well both ways. Although we are experiencing some extremely cold weather due to the “polar vortex,” I have been able to get a taste of paradise and get away to some warmer weather (at least in my head).



*Disclaimer: The PR team sent me this product. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

#SCBDReview: Burgers & Fries without the guilt .@ShantyFries #Warren #NJ


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I heard about Little Shanty in Warren, NJ one night when Jason and I ventured into Warren to get some froyo at 16 Handles. It looked like the perfect fast-casual date-spot, you know some burgers and shakes. They are definitely a healthier and less stressful version of a Smashburger since they have so many vegetarian and gluten-free options.

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Lets just say, I was extremely honored and excited that Jason, his mother and I were invited to a press lunch at Little Shanty. We all left extremely impressed, full, and eager to go back again. Unlike many fast-casual eateries in the area, Little Shanty focuses on making everything homemade, organic, and fresh and trust me you can taste it.

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We  tried a variety of burgers, I loved the mushroom-cheddar burger. I also couldn’t pick which fries I liked best since we tried both the traditional, “Grandma” fries and sweet potato fries. I was extremely surprised by the freshness and variety of the salads they had. They were far from boring, a table favorite was the All Year Round Summer Salad which had apples, onions, and strawberries with a raspberry vinaigrette. I also loved the wings they had on the menu, they use a great brand of chicken, Bell and Evans– delish!

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It was great finding out the mission from ‘s owner, Jonathan Lidz, “Little Shanty is a family-friendly, healthy, affordable, fast-casual concept. I only want to serve my customers the best and freshest ingredients.”  He also shared his story of how he came up with the name for this hot spot, “Every year for the last 20 years or so I go rafting with a bunch of friends in the Adirondacks and we stay at a lodge called the Big Shanty.  I normally cook about 10 pounds of fries over the course of the weekend.  In a drunken stupor we started talking about opening a restaurant revolving around the fries.  In honor of that conversation I called the restaurant Little Shanty.”


 Little Shanty is known for their amazing Wicked Good shakes, which do taste as good as they sound. They also have great homemade lemonade. Jonathan shared their famous recipe with us exclusively for you all.

Little Shanty Lemonade

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 1 lemon, sliced


  1. In a 1 gallon container, place sugar and hot water, and stir until sugar dissolves
  2. Add lemon juice and cold water to render 1 gallon
  3. Stir until mixed well.

Have you been to Little Shanty?!

Feel free to tweet us and let us know about your experience!

Loved the lemonade? Let us know!

Happy Eating! :)


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