CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
Arts & Entertainment
The Dining Table Valentine’s Day Edition
RATING: Highest Possible Rating: 4 chef hats
BALADI 515 BLOOMFIELD AVENUE, MONTCLAIR, (973) 5096544
DR. JOSEPH P. DeALESSANDRO
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
MONTCLAIR – The Pyramids may be in Egypt, but Baladi, a marvelous Egyptian restaurant, is in Montclair.
Be prepared for billowy tents, exotic surroundings, long, hanging, thin, cylindrical and multicolored glass chandeliers. Exotic Middle Eastern music with a slight hint of aromatic incense and a belly dancer will complete your culinary sojourn to Cairo.
Baladi, which means countryside or hometown in Arabic, is one of the finest restaurants featuring Egyptian heritage that I have ever experienced – not only in New Jersey, but in New York as well.
The owner, Chef Neamet elSayed, serves an excellent menu of exotic and elegant Egyptian or Middle Eastern delicacies in a Cabash tent atmosphere. The dishes, which are served among the tents and dim lighting, are highly original in this sensual setting.
Throughout the entire menu, the experienced diner appreciates the skilled use of spices and spectacular presentations, which are novelties for Middle Eastern and Egyptian cooking.
The appetizers highlight new and old items such as Mezza Platter which is comprised of Eel bil Zabeeb (roasted corn and raisins which are ginbraised with cloves.) Other appetizers include Gulash bil Gibna (baked phyllo with Egyptian white cheese, pine nuts and spinach), and Kebda, calves liver panroasted and preserved lemons with Egyptian pickles.
The appetizers and entrees are also equal in size — so in reality, you are enjoying two entrees.
Tajine Samek, (roasted red snapper with potatoes and carmelized onions and tomatoes) start off the entree list. Mozza Dani (apricotbraised lamb shanks with vinegar and bread sauteed Egyptian rice) are sure to follow.
Other entrees include Warak Enap, grape leaves stuffed with basmati rice and garlic in a mint broth. A wonderful dish is Lahma Dani – pomegranatemarinated Colorado rack of lamb with rice tassaya and wild mushroom sauce. Fantastic!!
Bata bil Roman, cardamommarinated Long Island duck breast in puff pastry with garlic mousse, carmelized Belgian endive and pomegranate sauce. Sayadea (leekstuffed salmon roulade with Mediterranean headonprawns, fresh tuna, orangebraised fennel and salmon mousse) is also excellent.
The desserts include Konafa, a dense Belgian chocolate topped and bottomed with crispy, shredded phyllo. This was amazing! Several other desserts included East Indian Bread Pudding and dishes, which extensively used cardamom, cinnamon and other exotic spices.
A wonderful final touch was the beautifully gilded, tall, thin glass and spoon for the enjoyment of an authentic mint tea.
The belly dancer, Nancy, was a sensuous, tall blonde who added greatly to the pleasure of the restau rant and its clientele. Her infectious
welcome and enthusiasm brought some of the patrons to the floor, applauding.
If there is one down side to Baladi, it would be the service. However, I
believe Chef elSayed is trying to improve this diligently. I am sure he will.
Withdrawing from the restaurant, you leave looking for your camel instead of your car. Baladi is popular and for many good reasons. I look forward to my next visit and hope to see you there.
Trip to See Aida Organized By Recreation Commission
WESTFIELD – Disney’s new musical, Aida, by Elton John and Tim Rice, will be the next trip offered by the Westfield Recreation Commission.
The trip is planned for Friday, March 10. The bus will leave the Westfield Municipal Building parking lot at 6 p. m. to see the 8 p. m. production, returning at 11 p. m.
Tickets are $95 per person, which includes transportation and the musical.
For more information, please call (908) 7894085.
Auditions Set By Music Club
WESTFIELD – The Westfield Junior Music Club, a performing group of musically gifted high school students, has announced that it will hold a second audition for the 19992000 school year on Wednesday, March 15.
During the audition, the student must perform two pieces by memory on an instrument of choice, including voice. One of these pieces must be from the period before or including the works of Beethoven. The other piece must be from periods after Beethoven.
The auditions will be held at 7 p. m. at 521 Tremont Avenue.
The club showcases the talent of its members in monthly meetings and two concerts that are open to the public.
Students must be in grades 8 through 12 and residents of Westfield or the surrounding area.
For more information, please call Kate Walsh at (908) 2325817.
Sweetheart Night Revealed At Kuran Cultural Arts Center
FANWOOD –Cultural Arts Director Adele Kenny and the Fanwood Cultural Arts Committee have invited the public to attend “Sweetheart Night” on Monday, February 14, from 7: 30 to 9 p. m. at the Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center on Watson Road, Fanwood.
The Valentine’s Day program will include a showcase performance of popular love songs, sung by lyric soprano Shelia Lounsberry.
Ms. Lounsberry has written and performed several cabaret shows and her concert credits include various classical and jazz recitals such as, “Evening at the Palace Nights in the Follies Bergeres,” “Gershwin et al,” and performances in the Green Room and the Grove Street Cabaret in New York City.
Recent theater credits for Ms. Lounsberry include Closer Than Ever, Cinderella Meets the Wolfman, Captain! An American Musical and Two By Two.
“Sweetheart Night” will begin promptly at 7: 30 p. m. and will be followed by a reception. The pub lic is invited to attend. Admission
is free. For more information, please call Ms. Kenny at (908) 8897223.
The program is part of Fanwood’s comprehensive cultural arts project and is made possible in part by a Union County Freeholders HEART Grant.
“Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever lov’d not atfirst sight,” Christopher Marlowe, Poet, Playwright
Male Chamber Choir to Offer Russian Folk Songs at Church
WESTFIELD – Traditional Russian folk songs will fill the air when AKAFIST, the Male Chamber Choir from Moscow, returns to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Westfield this Saturday, February 12, at 8 p. m.
AKAFIST is composed of highlytrained musicians and graduates from the Moscow Conservatory and other institutions. Their repertoire spans the musical tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church from the 16 th to the 20 th centuries and all Russian folk songs and spirituals familiar to Americans.
Cassette tapes and CDs will be available for purchase at the performance. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance by calling the church at (908) 2338533.
Town Book Store Sets Signing With Author
Edward Einhorn Livingston Taylor
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Private Screenings, Interviews Set By Filmmakers Symposium
MOUNTAINSIDE – The Filmmakers Symposium, which will offer 12 weeks of private movie screenings and interviews with actors, will offer sessions at Loews Mountainside on Monday evenings beginning on February 21. The second session will begin on April 3.
Confirmed films and those still under consideration include: Bless the Child, Committed, Company Man, Crime and Punishment in Suburbia, East Is East, Daddy and Them, Frequency, A Good Baby, Joe Gould’s Secret, Judy Berlin, Love’s Labour’s Lost, O (Othello), Price of Glory, Return to Me, Up at the Villa, What Planet Are You From?, Where the Money Is, and Wonder Boys.
Oscar winners and nominees such as Danny Aiello, Alan Arkin and Gil Bellows have participated in the symposium as guest speakers.
Seating is limited. Early enrollment is recommended. Subscription is $103 for six weeks or $194 for 12 weeks plus a $20 registration fee. For more information, please call (800) 2227719.
Three Generations Participate In Cranford Theatre Productions
CRANFORD – Jonathan Schwartz, the son of Michelle Massa and Neville Schwartz, and grandson of Fran Massa, will continue a tradition of performances at the Cranford Dramatic Club (CDC) when he portrays Patrick in Mame beginning tomorrow, Friday, February 11.
Jonathan’s parents and grandmother have all participated in CDC productions since 1965.
His grandmother has enjoyed roles in Kiss Me Kate, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Guys and Dolls,
Jacques Brel, I Remember Mama, How the Other Half Loves and Waltz of the Toreadors. She played opposite her daughter, Michelle in Beauty and the Beast.
Michelle made her debut as a teenager in 1973. She has had featured roles in Godspell, and choreographed
My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Follies, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and several children’s productions. She also choreographed her husband, Neville, in
However, now it is Jonathan’s turn to relish the spotlight. The sixth grader has already appeared on the CDC stage as Artie in Lost in Yonkers
in which he was directed by his father.
“That was fun,” said Jonathan. “It was a real bonding experience.” He has also portrayed the mayor in The Wizard of Oz, as well as several school plays. When it comes to his upcoming performance in Mame,
Jonathan loves his role and thinks the play is “going to be great.”
The Cranford Dramatic Club is located at 78 Winans Avenue in Cranford. Mame will be presented on Fridays, February 11, 18 and 25, as well as Saturdays, February 12, 19 and 26. All performances are held at 8 p. m.
Tickets are $15 and may be reserved by calling (908) 2767611.
CDC THESPIANS... Jonathan Schwartz’ portrayal of young Patrick in Mame
will represent the third generation in his family to take the stage at the Cranford Dramatic Club. His mother and father, Michelle Massa and Neville Schwartz, and grandmother Fran Massa have participated at the CDC. Pictured above with Jonathan are: standing, Michelle Massa, and Fran Massa.
WESTFIELD — On Saturday, February 12, from 1 to 3 p. m., Westfield native Edward Einhorn will promote his novel, “Paradox in Oz” at The Town Book Store in Westfield.
Mr. Einhorn is also a New York playwright.
Reserved, signed copies of the book are also available.
For more information, please call The Town Book Store at (908) 2333535. from Taylor and his guest vocalist
Mr. Greiza, were remarkable. Taylor had jokingly told the audience after explaining that he usually performs “City Lights” with his brother, James, “Folks, well, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you… James can’t be here tonight!”
James Taylor, Livingston’s brother, has often become synonymous with his classic, “Carolina In My Mind.” Saturday evening, Livingston gave a new heartfelt spin to the Carolina landscape when he performed “Carolina Day” for the Westfield crowd.
As if there were ever any doubt, Livingston Taylor made it clear that he is more than James’ brother. His expressive voice, sprinkled with lilts of humor and laid back ease, made for an enjoyable evening most aren’t likely to forget.
Opening for Taylor was Scotch Plains resident Alvin C. Madison. On a personal note, in auditoriums and even Westfield living rooms, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of hearing Madison perform some of the sweetest and saddest blues imaginable. Saturday’s performance was not an exception.
Madison put the audience’s feet, hands and voices to good use, encouraging participation in classics such as “Iko Iko” and “I’ve Got My Mojo Working.” Asked back to sing another song, Madison bowed his hat and head down while belting out the final chords on his harmonica. The applause was thunderous.
Madison is more than just an opening act. Saturday evening made that clear.
Although the proceeds from the Jaycees concert will benefit the Boys’ Ice Hockey and Girls’ Lacrosse teams, as well as other Jaycee projects, the audience equally benefited from the successful blend of the MadisonTaylor combo.
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tion sale to benefit the team. I only received four or five of the blooms, thus increasing that dreaded “awkward teenage years” feeling. When I came home, my mother and father had a small trinket wrapped specially in pastel Valentine paper and ribbon with a sentimentfilled Hallmark card. My parents – two great loves of my life.
Looking back, I am assured that Valentine’s Day holds more meaning beyond those presents and handmade cards. It’s more about the people who thought enough to give them. It’s a day that I set aside to recall the true meaning of love – selflessness, honesty, loyalty and truth. Sometimes it comes in different packages. But, if you look closely around you, it’s always there.
NEW JERSEY’S OLDEST COMMUNITY THEATER
The Cranford Dramatic Club Proudly Presents The Musical Comedy Hit...
Free, lighted, onsite parking Box Office (908) 2767611 Now accepting Mastercard and Visa Fri., February 11, 18 & 25 – 8: 00 pm
Sat., February 12, 19 & 26 – 8: 00 pm Reserved seating tickets $15.00 •
• • • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Music & Lyrics by Jerry Herman Mame
Featuring a cast of over 30 actors, singers and dancers performing the classic songs that make
the musical such a smashing success.
(908) 2771547 • CECSummit@ aol. com 31 Woodland Avenue • Summit
All CONCERTS ARE SUNDAYS AT 4 P. M.
Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
FEBRUARY 13: DUAL KEYBOARDS
Kay HealyWedsworth and Jim Little in their FIFTH annual fourhands tour de force
FEBRUARY 27: MADJAZZ
The a Capella ensemble returns, performing madrigals, jazz, and everything in between.
MARCH 19: DURUFLÉ REQUIEM
The Chorale, soloists, organ, and orchestra in Duruflé's moving and powerful work
APRIL 16: MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE
Eugene Roan on harspichord and John Burkhalter on recorder make their Calvary Chorale debut.
MAY 21: MUSIC OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
The Chorale and orchestra conclude the season with a stirring concert in honor of the 250th anniversary of the composer's death.
1 9 9 9 2 0 0 0 S e a s o n
Tickets $5 • Seniors $3 • at the door or the Westfield Y The Westfield Lecture Series Sponsored by the Westfield Foundation & The Westfield Y
If Aristotle Ran General Motors
Dr. Michael Mazzarese Thursday Feb. 10 • 7: 30pm
The Parish House of the Westfield Presbyterian Church 140 Mountain Avenue Westfield
Ethics and responsibility in an age of selfinterest
Lunch & Dinner Specials • Open Sundays 4-9 p.m.
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