I had just walked into Red Bank Flavour’s first event of 2013 and immediately my taste buds started tingling as my eyes met the trays of pork mole tacos, spicy curried chicken and rice, tuna tartare on tempura rice cakes, and edamame wontons. How does a person choose and really, how am I going to try everything? I knew I had to do a great job reporting back, so just for Jersey Bites, I channelled Julia Child’s own words, “Everything in moderation… including moderation,” and went to work.
I walked into The Red Bank Flavour Culinary Alliance’s event, ‘Party on the Promenade,’expecting the best, and I wasn’t disappointed. The party was held on the newly expanded deck of the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank on May 23rd offering spectacular views of the Navesink River.
Possible thunderstorms didn’t deter the crowd from coming out to this tasty event, which helped to raise funds for the Monmouth County Park System that sustained an estimated $9 million worth of damages during Hurricane Sandy.
Guests were welcomed into a large tent and indoor room, lined with offerings from Red Bank’s favorite restaurants including Danny’s Steakhouse, Front Street Trattoria, Teak, and Siam Garden. I sampled Grana Padana from Front Street Trattoria with poppy seed crisps, Molly Pitcher’s fresh shucked oyster shooters from Price Edward Island with Watermelon, Lime & Silver Rum Mojitos, and grilled Salmon Pineapple skewers with a corn and chili ancho glaze (definitely on my menu for this weekend).
Other memorable tastings of the night included a fresh lobster roll from the one and only Kelly Ryan of The Boondocks in Red Bank (now open). I’m not normally a huge fan of lobster rolls (I’d rather go for the lobster without the mayo), but this sandwich had the perfect amount of lobster to mayo ratio aka way more lobster than mayo all served on a buttery bun.
I washed all this food down with a jalapeno margarita from Tanteo tequila. I’m a huge fan of spice and tequila, so combining those things was a match made in heaven. I tend to flavor my tequila with jalapenos at home, but if you’re looking for the next best thing, or you’re just too lazy – I mean busy – try out Tanteo Tequila. They take actual jalapenos, mangoes, papayas, and cocoa beans and crush them into the tequila making process. No chemicals or artificial flavors are added – this is the real deal. In case you’re looking to add this to your cocktail repertoire, you can find them at Spirits Unlimited in Shrewsbury and Whole Foods in Middletown.
What goes better with alcohol then cheese? Not much. Steve of The Cheese Cave caught my eye while he was filling up push pops – get this, with cheese. Genius party appetizer. I tried all three, but my favorite was the creamy goat cheese, avocado mousse, and spicy red pepper jelly. It offered everything, the spice, the creaminess, and the freshness.
I didn’t let the cheese derail my dessert plan. I knew I had some room to eat at least some of the dessert offerings. I started with a lemon, raspberry cupcake from Sugarush a Sweet Experience and walked away with a lil Cutie Pops goody bag filled with Salted Caramel Cake Pops, Lemon Thyme marshmallows, and Nutella Cake Pops (I’m eating the marshmallow now – it’s the real deal).
Now I’m just looking forward to the next Red Bank Flavour Event. My stomach can wait, but my eyes cannot!
For more information about the Red Bank Flavour Culinary Alliance visit . For more information about how you can help the Monmouth County Parks System visit http://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/.
Melissa Beveridge is a freelance journalist and editor, focusing on great food, healthy living, and wellness. Her passion for eating and living well embodies her writing. A lover of all things Jersey, she is also an avid traveler, always looking to discover those hidden culinary gems everywhere she goes. Her musings can be found on her blog mbeewell.wordpress.com.