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July 5, 2012

Hudson Restaurant Week Returns for its 8th Summer from July 23 – August 3 2012

Hudson Restaurant Week returns for its 8th Summer from July 23 – August 3 with 40+ participating restaurants in Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken. Prix-fixe lunches start at $13 and 3-course dinners start at $23. There are more Hoboken restaurants this year including: 3Forty Grill, Amanda’s, Brass Rail, Clinton Social, Dino & Harry’s, Elysian Café, Hoboken Bar & Grill, Madison, Oddfellows Rest, Sushi Lounge, Trinity, West Five Supper Club, Wicked Wolf Tavern, Zylo and new to the list: Las Olas and Pilsener Haus & Biergarten. For the entire list including some great restaurants in Jersey City & Weehawken, restaurants menus and more visit: www.hudsonrestaurantweek.com or find us on facebook.com/hudsonrw. During Restaurant Week – tweet from your seat with #hudsonrw for a chance to get your meal paid for!

 

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June 6, 2012

Hoboken Community Boat House Happy Hour at the Madison Thursday June 7, 2012 7-10pm

Filed under: Happy Hour,Hoboken,Hoboken Boathouse,Madison Bar — Tags: , , , — TheBoken @ 10:00 AM

Here is a note from the Hoboken Community Boat House on their Happy Hour at the Madison Thursday June 7, 2012 in Hoboken from 7-10pm… Hoboken Boathouse Happy Hour Madison 6-7-2012

Dear Friends of the Boathouse,

Join us for a drink at our final pre-season happy hour this Thursday, June 7 from 7-10PM at The Madison, 1316 Washingston Street, Hoboken, NJ.

We are toasting the start of our  2012 season  and look forward to meeting you at the Madison. Please stop by and show your support of the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse.If you are unable to attend and would like to support us please click here. Thank you for your continued support and see you out on the river this season.

Cheers.

The Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse Board

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April 11, 2012

The Great Outdoors: 10 Tips to Eating/Drinking Outside from Hoboken’s Drunken Polar Bear

It’s getting warmer and summer is right around the corner.  We’ve slowly inched up the thermometer to shorts and hoodie weather (the best time of year).  Living in Hoboken, warmer weather brings us beautiful tree-lined streets, waterfront walkways, plenty of parks and outdoor seating any many bars and restaurants.  After many years in Hoboken, I’ve amassed some best practices to dinning and drinking outside in Hoboken.  I’m sure I will miss a thing or two so please add to it in the comments below.

(Editorial note: unlike other local blogs, I promise not to launch into a low carb induced childish diatribe on why the city doesn’t let bars/restaurants open outdoor seating before April 1st.  Normally, it’s very cold between Dec  1st and April 1st so it’s not worth the pixels.  And it’s spring – be happy!)

  1. Pick the Place – the first, and most obvious step, is picking where you’re going to enjoy the outdoors.  I thought about making a list, but with bars/restaurants changing their outdoor layout year to year it’s always changing.  Regardless, I estimate there are over 75 places to sit outside.
  2. Time It Right – Bin 14 has 90 minute wait for outside seating at 8pm on a Saturday night?  Shocking!  Many other Hobokenites like you will be flocking to locales with outdoor seating for happy hour and weekend dinners.  Get there early and have a few cocktails first to guarantee a good seat.
  3. Have a Back Up Plan – especially on those nice days there are going to be some long waits on good outdoor seating.  If your plan is to enjoy the outdoors, pick a backup bar nearby in case the wait is too long.
  4. Rooftop Ruckus – there are only two rooftop bars/restaurants in Hoboken (City Bistro & Dubliner) and they are always crowded.  While City Bistro is just a deck with no tables, I have found a great time to sneak up to the Dubliner roof is early evening (5-7pm) where you can probably grab a table.
  5. On the Waterfront – just like the rooftops there are just a few options for waterfront seating on Sinatra drive.  Plan ahead and make a reservation.  And cross your fingers.
  6. Dress the Part – if you’re walking around town your blood is flowing and you’re going to get warm, but when you’re sitting outside eating and drinking it’s going to be cold and a little windy.  Bring an extra coat, sweater, sweatshirt, shawl, etc.  Sunglasses are also a must.
  7. Find a Good Special – tons of bars and restaurants have great happy hour and daytime specials.  Nothing beats enjoying the afternoon outside with a bucket of cold beers or sangria pitchers.
  8. Crammed Quarters – in an ideal world there would be big couches and plush chairs we can sit on outside, but most outdoor seating in a little tighter than normal.  Don’t bring too much with you (bags and stuff) and be flexible about moving around a little bit.
  9. Thar’ She Blows – shocking to nobody in Hoboken, it gets windy from time to time.  Napkins, food, glasses, silverware all gets whisked away from time to time.  Make sure to be ready for the winds.
  10. People Watching – one of my and many outdoor enthusiast’s favorite urban sports.  Besides enjoying the weather and fine food/drink, the best part of sitting outside is taking in all the foot traffic.  Have fun with it!

In no way is this a comprehensive list, but here a few good places to sit outside by area:

-          Uptown – City Bisto, Pilsener Haus, Bin 14, Liberty Bar, Madison

-          Midtown – Elysian, Turtle Club, Mikie Squared, Stacks, East LA, Far Side, O’ Sullivans

-          Downtown – Brass Rail, McSwiggans, 1 Republik, Texas Arizona, Marty O’Briens, Dubliner, 4L’s

-          Waterfront – 340 Grill, Quays, Trinity, Wicked Wolf

Where’s your favorite bar/restaurant to each outside? Any other tips?

The Drunken Polar Bear

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June 24, 2011

Scotch Tasting Time!

Filed under: Bars,Madison Bar,Zylo — Tags: , , , , — Drunken Polar Bear @ 10:00 AM

Alcohol tastings – wine, scotch or other spirit – are always a good time.  Well at least that’s my opinion having attended multiple wine tastings and most recently 2 scotch tastings in Hoboken.  For those unfamiliar with the concept, a tasting is usually a couple (2-3) hour event where you are sampling a specific spirit (ie: Pinot Noir, Macallan scotch) with the help of a host/expert in that area.  They are a great opportunity to try different varieties, increase your knowledge and learn cool new things about your favorite alcohol.

My Love Affair with Scotch

I love scotch.  Absolutely love it.  I started drinking it in college when I had an upperclassman buy me a $7 bottle of Scorsby scotch (which is super gross).  It was always on the rocks and my housemates easily mocked me because what college kid drinks scotch on the rocks instead of stale, warm beer from a keg.  I have become somewhat infamous within my circle of friends for ending a long day with a large glass of scotch on the rocks.  Well thanks to my Dad’s ridiculous variety of scotch at home and proclivity to drink the good stuff, my tastes have significantly improved.  It also helped that I graduated from college bartending to a fulltime job that allows me to budget more than $7 for a bottle of scotch. 

So when my awesome wine-loving girlfriend (aka Snowflake) surprised me with a Maccallan scotch tasting a few weeks back I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning (and it was also cool because I met her at wine tasting).  Macallan is my favorite scotch variety and the tasting was in Hoboken.  In what was a cool coincidence Madison’s was hosting a “Dads and Grads” scotch tasting and meal the Monday after Father’s Day.  I easily pulled the trigger on that one and made it my Father’s Day gift to good old dad.  With 2 scotch tastings in the span of a few days I couldn’t resist sharing the experience/doing a mini-review…

Macallan Tasting at Zylo

If you have read any of my previous columns you can probably guess I don’t easily frequent places like Zylo – the bar/restaurant in the W Hotel – but I was excited to check it out for the first time.  The interior is gorgeous easily matching the W’s ornate style.  Macallan is one of the most popular single malt scotches because of its widespread availability, but also because it is a high quality scotch with many different flavors.  They hosted the tasting ($49/person) which was going to be a sampling of 5 different flavors – 3 from their Fine Oak line and 2 from their Sherry Oak line.  The tasting wasn’t actually in Zylo, but outside in the porch seating area which was great.  While Snowflake and I sampled a variety of scotches and snacked on an awesome trail mix, we got to sit outside with a cool breeze and view of the Hudson.  We were given a new 1oz of scotch every 20 minutes or so with a few quick lines from the host bout what flavor to expect.  It was more relaxing than anything else and I liked the laid back atmosphere. 

Dads & Grads Tasting at Madison’s

Taking a different angle than the Macallan tasting was the Dads & Grads scotch tasting paired with food courses at Madison’s.  I had never had scotch paired correctly with food courses before so I was quite intrigued to see how it worked.  Our host, Kevin, was a Master of Whisky from Fedway – a big distributor in NJ.  Right off the bat Kevin proved he was a Master of Whisky indeed.  He gave, without notes, a very detailed 10 minute talk about how they make whisky which was paired with some humorous anecdotes from his many trips to Scotland distilleries. 

After our scotch tutorial we were served our first course (oysters and Laphroaig Islay) I learned a cool trick – a few drops of water in single malt releases tons of the flavor within the scotch (similar to how you let wine breath).  As the rest of the evening progressed (Glenmorangie with cranberry & goat cheese salad), (Oban with herb crusted lamb chops), (Dalwhinnie with lavender crème brulee) I was blown away by how well each single malt paired with its course and what flavors I could taste.  Even better my Dad had a blast and even learned a few things about scotch even though he is a quasi-expert.

Because we do more than just 60 second reviews for our awesome Boken Online readers, I had the chance to speak with our host Kevin about some more info for those interested in scotch:

-          He recommended that if you’re looking to learn more about scotch to check out the scotch producer’s website as they have great information.

-          Best places to get a variety of good scotch in Hoboken – Sparrow (126 Washington or 1224 Shipyard)

-          Tasting opportunities galore! – wine, scotch and others – happen regularly in Hoboken and the Boken will post details regularly so you can enjoy.

Any good ideas for the next review Bokenites?

The Drunken Polar Bear.

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