A "bucket" list item for my husband and I, plus Mark and Linda Misencik, is/was to go to the Wine Library in Springfield/Short Hills, New Jersey. www.winelibrary.com. We are "big" fans of Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur and marketing guru (such good marketing, in fact, we made the trek up there to check it out because we certainly have wine shops in Maryland!) It was a three hour drive up I95 with minimal traffic on a Saturday with brilliant sunshine and good conversation with my traveling companions. Of course, we all bought wine, plus some very good cheese and imported Greek olive oil to boot. We did not see Gary, but the helpful folks at the Wine Library were personable and what was noted, take customer service seriously. Truthfully, the prices were lower than the "average" as Linda graciously checked many bottles on her vino wine apps for that purpose.
So when the drive takes a few hours, plus spending an hour or so in the shop, our stomachs eventually screamed for lunch! Since the staff was so nice and friendly, I inquired as to a local (non-chain) restaurant in the area before we had to strap it in for the drive home. Two staffers recommended a nice Italian restaurant called Enzzo's Trattoria that was "right down the street" (it was), and that it was BYOB. How convenient, right? Not knowing if they were "prepared" to remove corks (they were), we bought an "extra" twist off bottle to share just in case. This is where serendipity kicked in because it was the best Italian food we ever ate. The owners Vincenzo and Perri Urso (a husband and wife team; he the chef and she, the wait staff) were a one two punch of freshly made pasta, bread and several other food items on the menu that were simply fantastic. We leisurely ate the gastronomic feast and let the lunch linger as long as we could. It was one of those days that you just did not want to end. If you are in that area of the country, please pay them a call and sit down to one of the best Italian meals you could imagine!
PS, I will get back to the evening blogging...